In a modern age of technological and cyber revolutions, Peru remains one of the world most fascinating countries and cultures, with magnificent natural landscapes, stunning remote locales and breathtaking ancient ruins. The mysterious and magical Incan civilisation has been well preserved by one of the richest indigenous populations in the world, with close to 50% of Peruvians being of Incan descent, and many of the traditional arts, crafts, music, cuisine and languages still found in everyday use, especially amongst the 100 plus tribes that still dwell within the vast tropical rainforest, many of which remain totally isolated from modern communities.
Peru continues to draw in every budding Indian Jones with world famous sites such as Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail, and new archaeological discoveries are continuingly being found. As well as its close ties to ancient culture and history, Peru also offers an amazing diverse geography and climate, offering a choice of snow capped mountains (including one of the world’s highest cities in Cusco, found amongst the Andean mountains), to sizzling hot jungle, and bustling cities, such as the capital, Lima, which sits deep in lush rolling valleys with stunning panoramic views of the Pacific Coast.
Teaching English in Peru
Many avid explorers and travellers are perhaps unaware of the teaching opportunities for those with English fluency and a 120 hour TEFL certificate.
Despite the country’s rapidly growing economy and expanding tourist industry, Peru continues to offer a very low cost of living, even in its major cities, which makes TEFL teaching in Peru and even more attractive proposition, with teachers of all levels given a chance to live within their varied budgets. New teachers can expect to earn a monthly wage of around 1500 PEN (£350, €430, $570), with more experienced and higher qualified teachers able to find wages up to almost double that amount. Teachers are expected to teach around 25 class hours per week, plus some preparation time. There is also the opportunity to teach privately, with many adult learners looking for 1 on 1 tutoring. Private teaching can earn between 20 to 50 PEN per hour (£5-£12, €6-€14.50, $7.50-$19). One should also note that tax is expected to be paid at 15-27 %, but full time teaching wages are still enough to survive on, even after tax deductions.
The demand for English competency in Peru has never been higher, with many agencies and schools actively seeking new and experienced teachers.
A lot of schools and job opportunities can be found in Cusco, at the gateway of the world famous Machu Picchu. It’s estimated that over 70% of people living in Cusco now work in the tourism industry, and national workers continue to flock here in search of such work, making for an ongoing demand for qualified English language teachers.
Lima is another recommended destination for TEFL teachers in search of work in Peru. Lima, the capital city, is home to around one third of the country’s population and is the centre of Peruvian business and economics, with plenty of corporate English teaching positions and business professionals looking to improve their English proficiency though private lessons. Lima is also home to many richer Peruvian families looking to boost their children’s education with private home tutoring, making for plenty of opportunities teaching privately.
What to do in Peru
With so much to see and do in Peru, here are a few of our must do activities:
Exploring the great Inca Ruins
Machu Picchu draws in tourists by the thousands, and remains one of the most precious ancient sites of the world, and is the most visited tourist spot in all of Latin America. Despite the constant flow of back packing traffic it is an experience not to be missed (although it is probably best avoided during the peak tourist months of June/July/August, where over 3000 visitors visit Machu Picchu every day). Machu Picchu is the ancient capital of the great Inca Empire and is best entered via the city of Cusco, where many tours and guides can be found. Cusco also has evidence of ancient Inca walls, and there are also other Inca fortresses to be found in the nearby towns of Pisac and Ollantaytambo.
Trekking along the Inca Trail
The preferred and most adventurous way to reach Machu Picchu is by trekking or hiking along the Inca trail. Along this life changing journey you will be rewarded with breathtaking views and lots of hidden ancient ruins and monuments will be found in isolated and remote locations. All treks tend to end fittingly at the great Machu Picchu, but tours and guided treks can be arrange for anything from 2 to 8 days, with Cusco being the best place to find, negotiate and organise your ideal ancient trek.
Try Surfing in Peru
Despite being so well renowned for its rainforest and mountain ranges, along the coastline stretching north of Lima you will find some of Latin America’s finest beaches, many of which are also known for churning up waves perfect for surfing, attracting many serious, thrill-seeking surfers from far and wide. Chicama is famed in the surfing world for producing some of the longest waves in the world, whilst Puntas Rocas hosted the 2008 international surf contest. As well as producing some gnarly waves there are also lots of calmer beaches idea for beginners, with plenty of schools and experienced surfers willing to introduce you to the world of surfboarding. Peak surfing season tends to be between December and April.
Hike along the Colca Canyon
The Colca Canyon is over twice as deep as the Grand Canyon and is home to some of the world’s largest and most exotic birds on the planet. Taking a guided hike along the canyon allows lots of opportunities to get up close to the huge winged beasts, travelling between the many quaint traditional towns lining both sides of the canyon, all of which offer guests lots of hostels, hotels and chances to indulge in local cuisine and culture.
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