Lima! This city of 8 million people is built on the coast of Peru and offers all of the wonderful variety that we’d been craving since being in the Galapagos for two weeks.
We spent less than a week here at Lima Backpackers, a nice apartment-turned-hostel in the Surco district which is a short jump to Miraflores and the ocean-front shopping mall. The manager, Marco, was wonderfully friendly throughout our entire stay and more than happy to help with any of the unending barrage of questions we had.
Exploring the city was pretty fun as we bounced around from the Larco Museum, to the plaza mayor, and to a massive water fountain park that blew our minds with their holographic laser shows. We also spent an afternoon at the ocean-facing mall in Miraflores that’s built into the hillside restocking on things that had been stolen (backpack, dictionary, water bottle).
On the day we were meant to leave we decided to drop into a clinic and get a quick checkup due to all the diving we’d been doing. We were in-and-out in less than an hour and during that time we were given all the information we needed about our travels to Cusco! The doctor took an interest in us and was more than happy to help plan our bus route to Cusco and gave a couple route recommendations.
Capital of Peru. Stay in Miraflores. Also worth visiting Barranco. World-class cuisine.
La Bonbonniere at the airport for amazing cebiche.
Book a tour to see the Nazca lines at Miraflores Park.
We’ve been recommend two routes by a local:
Route 1: Lima -> Ayacucho -> Andahuaylas -> Abancay -> Cusco
Route 2: Lime -> Ica -> Nasca -> Pukio -> Anbancay -> Cusco
The trip from Lima to Cusco takes around 21 hours and costs from 30 $ with Expreso Wari/Internacional Palomino (no bus cama), 36 $ with Cruz del Sur & Expreso Cial, 40 $ with Tepsa & Movil Tours and 51 $ with Civa.
Might be interesting to stop a couple of days in Arequipa (second city of Peru) where you could acclimatize to the altitude (lower than Cusco) and visit the Colca Canyon, the city itself and the towns around it. You would need two or three days for the Colca Canyon depending if you want to go to the lagoon or not. The city itself is doable in one single day.
If you have some more time you might stop between Lima & Arequipa in Lunahuaná (adventure sports including rafting, wineries & fresh water prawns tasting), Pisco (trip to Ballestas to see marine birds & sea lions, dune buggy tours), Ica & Huacachina (wineries, sand dunes & sandboarding, dune buggies, palm-fringed lagoon, interesting museum, …) and Nazca (Nazca lines)
Lima is Peru’s largest city by far. It’s home to more than a quarter of Peru’s roughly 30 million people, has wonderful food, the beautiful Miraflores district (where you can drink while overlooking beaches lined with small rocks that form eye-catching patterns each time the tide rolls out) and excellent museums.
The Museo Larco and its Erotic Gallery is devoted to sculptures from more than a thousand years ago celebrating sexual congress in all of its least procreative forms. Reproductions of these works pop up all over Peru, notably in the form of a bottle of pisco shaped like a fellow in an extremely good mood.
Museo Larco (Larco Museum), Bolivar 1515, Lima; +51 1 461 1312
Fresh, raw fish marinated in citrus juices and spiced with chili peppers and sometimes other tongue-tingling spices, ceviche is Peru’s most popular dish, a must-try for any visitor.
In Lima, internationally famed La Mar is a great place to try it, but ceviche is prepared differently throughout the country, from humble street stalls to elegant restaurants.
Government Palace, the official residence and office of Peru’s president. Back in the time of the Incas, the site had strategic and spiritual meaning, which is why the last Inca chief in Lima also lived here. Pizarro, the conqueror of the Incas, so liked the site that he kept it for the first Spanish palace, whose construction began in 1535. Since then, Government Palace has been rebuilt numerous times; the current French-inspired mansion was constructed in the 1930s.
Access to the palace is restricted; special tours can be arranged directly through the protocol office at +51-(0)1-311-3908.
But you don’t need tickets to see the changing of the palace guards, which takes place each day precisely at noon. (Behind the palace is the Peruvian House of Literature — it is Lima’s old train station, which was restored by the government in 2009 and turned into a reading room of Peruvian works. It’s worth a quick peek.)
Government Palace occupies the north side of the Plaza de Armas (or Plaza Mayor), Lima’s central square. On the other three sides of the square are the Cathedral of Lima and the adjoining Archbishop’s Palace, which were originally built during the 1600s; the Municipal Palace (City Hall); and private office buildings. All the structures sport the intricately carved wooden balconies that make the downtown cityscape so unique.
The Cathedral is open to the public and houses a museum with an extensive collection of religious art, much of which represents Peru’s famed Cuzco School (Escuela Cuzqueña) of painting. The Cathedral is open until 5 p.m. daily; admission is $1.50 for adults (less for children and students).
After you’ve toured the Plaza de Armas, walk south on Jirón de la Unión, a long pedestrian mall, along which you can admire neoclassical and Art Deco architecture, shop and watch street performers.
When you get to Plaza San Martin, which was refurbished in 2009, take a gander at the lovely 19th-century buildings, then duck into the Gran Hotel Bolivar. The hotel, which once welcomed the rich and famous, is on the wane, but the lobby and glass atrium are still worth seeing; the bar, with its polished woods and bronze, offers a surprisingly tranquil atmosphere to savor a delicious pisco sour ($4).
- Government Palace - North side of Plaza de Armas, Lima, Peru; 51-(0)1-311-3908
- Cathedral of Lima - East side of Plaza de Armas, Lima, Peru; 51-(0)1-427-9647 or 51-(0)1-426-7056
- Peruvian House of Literature - Jr. Ancash 207, Lima, Peru; 51-(0)1-426-
Best preserved. Text brought over after the spaniards’ incas’ conquest. Catacombs. The Church of San Francisco is located about 45 minutes by taxi from San Isidro/Miraflores. It’s open from 9:30 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. daily, with tours (including the catacombs) lasting approximately one hour; the entrance fee is about $2.
To get to us from the airport we recommend you to choose any of the official taxi companies inside of the airport as shown in its website:
All of them are safe and they speak English. ‘Taxi Green’ for example is a good company and cheaper compared to the rest. Their taxi counter is located in the national and international waiting areas.
Before riding the taxi make sure that the taxi driver knows our location. To achieve this please show him these three things altogether: address, map and location references. If necessary ask the driver to call to our number (979398493) so that we can guide him. Taxi fare from the airport is between 50 and 55 soles. Tipping the taxi driver is not necessary. The taxi ride will take 40 or 45 min. Finally, avoid those taxi drivers that will approach you trying to get you into their taxis. The problem with some of these guys is that they will try to take you to a different accommodation because they get money commission from them.
|2:39PM||In a cab to the airport.|
|2:54PM||Checking in. 17.2kg in my bag.|
|3:33PM||Grabbed some Juan Valdez.|
|5:41PM||Through security again.|
|5:53PM||At our gate.|
|8:53PM||Landed in Lima.|
|11:30PM||Arrived at our hostel!|
|Total air time||2:44|
|Total flight legs||2|
Apple’s power adapters are rated up to 240V! Super useful in Peru where the power is 220V.
Kinda like a rice krispy.
Having my first salad in forever!
They had a cool colored sign near the beaches.
Spending today figuring out our travel plans.
Tastes like white freezie!
This museum is well-known for its collection of ancient Incan sexual artifacts and they definitely didn’t disappoint.
The museum itself contained only “normal” artifacts and was really well thought-out, with every description being presented in multiple languages side-by-side in legible fonts. The artifacts themselves were all well-lit and carefully placed, making it an incredibly informative afternoon.
Once you finish the primary museum you can wander down a garden path to the sex museum where we were surprised to find that the Incans had made sculptures of every major sexual position they could imagine (and they had quite the imagination). Much respect to the museum for actually displaying these artifacts and not simply hiding them due to “profanity”.
The Incas had their own data scientists. These threads recorded numerical information using colors and distances of knots.
$2.50 lunches! These were actually really good.
We dropped in to this park after hearing that they had decent water fountains and we were really impressed.
We’d heard that there would be lasers at this park, but nothing prepared us for the breath-taking massive holographic display they had on show, with dancers from every culture floating ephemerally in the air as they demonstrated their talents.
We dropped in here to get a checkup due to some ear issues post-diving in the Galapagos. Found out there was some congestion in one of the ears and we got a short prescription of decongestants. It was fast, cheap, and informative, something we’re definitely not used to in Canada!
The doctor we had was also super friendly. He asked us about our trip and gave us tips on routes to Cusco, basically acting as our travel planner for the next few weeks in Peru! He even gave us his card specifically so that we could contact him if we have any questions about Peru and places to see.
We’re at Wongs buying tickets on Cruz del Sur to Ayacucho.
We were really surprised by the quality and variety of the Indian food here! We had chicken korma and saag paneer with a sweet lassi, garlic naan, and mango chutney. Everything was delicious and we had plenty of leftovers for the next night in Ayacucho.
|9:01PM||In a cab to the bus terminal.|
|9:16PM||Arrived at the terminal.|
|9:29PM||Checked our bags in and waiting in line.|
|9:42PM||Boarded and waiting to leave. We’re in front row seats!|
|9:46PM||And we’re off!|
|10:50PM||We’re playing bingo!|
|7:11AM||Descending into the city of Ayacucho!|
|Total bus time||9:25|
Every seat had its own touch screen!