Where to buy – Drinking Water

Tap water in Lima is not drinkable... this is where to get your H2O

This is quite an essential “Where to Buy”, as it is one of the world’s favorite drinks AND you cannot drink water from the tap in Lima. A shame (and cute a reversed culture shock when coming back to Europe). You do not want to get dehydrated after sport (or other drinks), thus you will have to get yourself some H2O at some point during your time in Lima. This is where to buy it, the most economic and environmental options first.

1. Bottles with Filter – cheap and eco

Okay, you could actually drink water from the tap, but you will need a special bottle for it. You know, one of those bottles that filter your water while you drink. They are quite an investment to initially buy (think $40) but imagine how much money you can save with it because you never have to buy bottled water anymore. Moreover, mother nature will be grateful. If there is one thing I regret about my years of traveling, it is not getting one of these bottles earlier. It is at the top on my wishlist at the moment (HINT JOE).

2. The University Refill

No money for the filter bottle? A regular bottle comes in handy too! At Universidad del Pacifico (but most probably at other universities too) there are multiple water dispensers in every building. This water is totally safe to drink and free… Result? Students refilling their liter bottles to consume at home. Very Smart.

Drinking Water Lima Refill UP
One of many water machines is at the seventh floor of the H building.

3. DIY – Boiling and storing

Have some time on your hands, you can create your own drinkable water too. It’s very easy: boil your water, put it in a bottle/jug, let it cool down, drink, repeat. I am not sure how environmentally friendly the process is (energy wise) but there is no waste. Especially when you reuse the bottles with milk and yogurt of the brand DanLac. These bottles are made of class, so super easy to clean and they hold from when 100-degree water is poured into them. Besides the fact that the dairy products of DanLac are about as good as it gets in Peru (no sugar added, yay). They are bit pricey at $3 per bottle, BUT you can use them after for your water: a win-win!

TIP: Only put the bottle in the fridge after its already around room temperature (you don’t want to break your fridge by making it work too hard). 

DIY boiling Drinking Water Lima Dan lac
DanLac, best yogurt ánd bottle for DIY drinking water. (This breakfast is pretty good too)

4. Carton box (and wetsuit bag!!!)

In case you are set on buying your water, it always applies that the bigger the quantity, the littler you pay per liter and the littler you hurt the environment. So, let’s start with the biggest quantity available: the carton boxes containing 20 liters. They have a nice little tap to easily pour yourself a glass and they only cost about $5. For the physics Masterminds among us, they are big and do weigh 20 kilos, so they are therefore best not bought too far from the final destination. If you buy them, they are carried easiest on one shoulder (or by Joe, not very feministic I know). The Best feature of these boxes? the foil bag inside is a GREAT bag for storing a wetsuit!

TIP: take out the aluminum bag when it’s empty. Cut out the top and give it to one of your surfing friends. They will be grateful: this bag is super strong and super waterproof.

5. Bottles in all sizes

The last and most plastic intense option are the bottles of water. They have them in all sizes, from 0,5 liters to 7 liters, about 50 cents and 2,5 euros, respectively. When you take a 7 liter one, the ones by San Martin are nice in particular, because they have a special lid that allows you to poor water at a slower pace. Very handy because the bottles are quite heavy (= splash risk). In case you go low-budget and buy a San Luis or Ciel, only make a small hole in the foil instead of ripping it off altogether! It doses the water, so it has the same effect on the pouring as San Miguel. 

Buy Drinking Water Bottle
My lack of photos of water: ask my Buddy Bruno to take a foto in Tambo.

Where to buy – Water?

The bottles of DanLac, the boxes, and bottles you can buy in every supermarket. A regular bottle you can find at Wong (they have glass ones too, which you can use for smoothies as well). The fancy ones with a filter, you most probably have to bring from home-home. From an economic and environmental perspective, buying a bottle is like a long-term investment but very worth it. While we flush our toilets with mineral water in the Netherlands, water is scarce in Peru: try to use this resource consciously.  

What was your go to water Method? I vote UP-refill. 
Let us know below! 

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