Teaching English in Peru

Everything you need to know about teaching English in the land of the enigmatic Incas.

Peru is a country that always leaves a lasting impression on the people that visit or live there for a while. Its incredibly varied geography of coast, mountains, and jungle means that it is home to an astonishing array of different indigenous cultures, types of nature, culinary traditions and even languages. The capital, Lima, has all the modern conveniences you could ask for and is a fascinating cultural melting-pot, whereas the other cities each have their own unique traits.

While wages in Peru are lower than in many Asian teaching destinations, the country makes up for this with its low cost of living, and an unending variety of places and cultures to explore. Peruvians are very welcoming and friendly, and it’s not uncommon to get invited over for dinner to someone’s house just after meeting them.

Keep reading for all the facts you need to decide whether this could be your next destination to live and work as an English teacher.



Teaching wages range from $450 – $2,000 USD per month.

This could seem low but the low cost of living and the country’s cultural wealth make up for it!



Teach in a large, modern city or teach surrounded by beautiful mountains or rainforest: Peru is a mega diverse country and you’re sure to find a place to suit you.



Almost everyone speaks Spanish, although some also speak another native language like Quechua. Younger generations increasingly speak at least some English which will help you get around.



Most parts of Peru are generally warm from September to May, even during the rainy season which mostly hits the mountains and rainforest from December to February.

TEFL wages in Peru

Wages for ESL teachers in Peru are almost as diverse as the country itself. It might seem at first that the wages are on the lower end, but when you take the low cost of living into account, it is still definitely worth it, and most teachers also manage to save at least a little each month.

This is largely split into the following tier system (wages displayed are after tax):

Cities: Public schools and language centers: Private/international schools:
Iquitos, Puno, Puerto Maldonado $450 – $600 p/m $500 – $700 p/m
Trujillo, Arequipa, Cusco $500 – $650 p/m $600 – $750 p/m
Lima $700 – $900 p/m $900 – $2,000 p/m

It’s clear to see that the capital, Lima, towers above the other cities with a potential for much higher wages. But you do need to consider that the cost of living can also be quite a bit higher there in terms of rent, transport, and food.

On the whole, teachers in Lima, Trujillo, Arequipa, Cusco have the potential to save 10-20% of their wages each month, depending on their salary and spending habits. It’s also important to point out that teaching in Peru will be a unique experience because of its immensely interesting array of cultures, creating priceless personal experiences.

Where to teach English in Peru 

Peru boasts a vast range of natural and cultural settings, which is exactly what makes it a very interesting place to teach in. When asked about Peru, many people immediately imagine Machu Picchu, llamas and tiny mountain villages frozen in time. While Machu Picchu and the dozens of other archeological sites are amazing and must-sees, and the llamas and mountain village are a very real part of Peru, the majority of the population actually live in the capital and other main cities on the coast, and around 60% of its territory is covered by the Amazon rainforest.

In these different areas of coastal desert, giant mountains, and the humid jungle, there’s a large variety of different climates. When choosing where you would like to work, you should consider the climate in order to select a place that suits you best. The cities on the coast are warm and humid all year round and quite hot during summer (December-February). The cities in the Andes mountains enjoy a moderate temperature all year round, with colder nights, especially in June and July. The mountains are hit by an intense rainy season from November to February, and so are the towns in the rainforest, but, unsurprisingly, here it is hot throughout the year.

Golden tip: Not many institutions necessarily recruit online and it might feel like the teaching opportunities are slim if you base this on online search results. If you can’t find a suitable teaching position before your arrival, just make sure to plan for 2-3 months to apply at schools and institutes in person or through local contacts, which is how recruitment is most commonly done here.

Peru has a huge choice of destinations to call home. Here are some of the top picks:

Food in Peru

Peruvian cuisine has triumphantly entered the spotlight in recent years, winning one culinary prize after the other, and considering its enormous variety of dishes and ingredients, this is absolutely no surprise. The great thing about Peruvian food is certainly its versatility: meat lovers and vegans alike will all quickly fall in love with Peruvian food.

English teaching requirements in Peru 

Requirements for English teaching positions in Peru vary as widely as the types of jobs available, since there are all sorts of establishments where you could teach, ranging from NGOs, small and large English language institutes, affordable private schools and top-end international schools. There is definitely a shortage of native or fluent English teachers, so whatever your qualifications or experience level, there will be a position for you somewhere. The best time to apply for regular schools is probably around October-November because the school year kicks off in March.

Many large schools and institutes will assist you in obtaining a working visa which is valid for a year at a time, and can then easily be renewed. However, this visa is difficult to obtain if the employer doesn’t assist you in the process so make sure to ask about it during the recruitment process. It will most likely be necessary to get your foreign Bachelor’s and/or Master’s degree registered by SUNEDU, the Peruvian educational institution. In order to do this, you will likely need to bring your original degree certificate and transcript of studies certified with the apostille and subsequently get it translated in Peru into Spanish by a sworn translator as part of this process.

Non-natives: If you don’t have a passport from the UK/US/IRE/CAN/AUS/NZ/SA, you can still get a fully legal work permit in Peru! Some of the more prestigious private/international schools might not accept you, but there are still plenty of schools which accept fluent non-native teachers.

Teachers without degrees: To teach at international schools and universities you’ll usually need a degree (with a preference for education-related degrees, including masters degrees). However, many public schools and language centers don’t require degrees if you have a TEFL certificate and can demonstrate your skills to them.