Lima has one of the best economies in Latin American. It has had steady economic growth for the last decade. Our daughter has lived there for a semester in a study abroad program. She lives in the working class neighborhood of Magdalena del Mar. She has loved her time there and really wants to stay longer. I would say that in itself is a huge endorsement for anyone considering visiting here. Indeed, the two greatest problems plaguing Lima are pollution and traffic. We used Uber the whole time we were there and that was fine. There are some places I have no desire to ever drive, and Lima is definitely on that list. I was happy to Uber. The traffic was ridiculous. Pollution is another big problem. So if you have upper respiratory issues, you might want to consider that before going. As always, do your research ahead of time. Things have a way of changing. Having said those (negative) things, Lima is a lovely place to visit. Also as my daughter Halle can point out, the day trips you can take outside of Lima are equally exciting and adventurous. We only traveled to Lima City, so this blog will be confined to our time there. In the future, I would love to visit the Amazon and Cusco and get to the top of Machu Picchu. Halle did both of these things in her time there. If you ever catch up with her, I am sure she would love to talk to you about that.
Day 1 Huaca Pucllana Lima is an adobe and clay pyramid located in the Miraflores District of Lima, built from seven staggered platforms. It served as an important ceremonial and administrative center for the advancement of the Lima culture which developed in the Peruvian Central Coast between the years of 200 AD and 700 AD. Tours are in English or Spanish. I would highly recommend you check ahead on the times of the English tours. Paul and I literally walked up, and an English tour started 10 mins later. It was the last one of the day. I rarely go into something so unplanned. We were fortunate. The Llamas and Alpacas located on the property are an extra bonus at the end of the tour.
Day 2 Lima Plaza de Armas Cathedral & Arch Bishop’s Palace You can go into the cathedral and get a duo ticket for both of these places. Very fun. BEWARE of pick pockets and people selling post cards on the street. If they give you change back, it might be currency that is no longer in circulation. Buy your “stuff” inside bonafide businesses or the palace or cathedral themselves.
Day 3 Barranco District and Museo Pedro de Osma. This home/museum was built at the turn of the 20th century and is located in the heart of the Barranco district. The Pedro de Osma Museum exhibits Peruvian artistic pieces from the fifth to the eighteenth century. The art works from Ancient Peru corresponds to the geographic area of the south Andes and belong to a private collection from Cuzco. The Barranco district of Lima is itself one of the most picturesque districts of Lima. Very fun and kind of has a European feel to it. Lots of great restaurants and shops.
Day 4 Miraflores District and the Beach….
Day 5 Enjoy the city and the locals! Our daughter Halle lived in the district of Magdalena del Mar, largely a working class neighborhood. It was a delightful place to just walk around. As was Miraflores and San Isidro. Be sure to take the time to just walk the city and enjoy all of the culture (and the great food) it has to offer. And why you are at it, don’t forget to indulge in a Pisco Sour or two, a famous (and delicious) Peruvian cocktail.
Also another favorite district of Lima is San Isidro one of Lima’s well-to-do areas, and is home to most of the city’s embassies, great restaurants and shopping. It has its own ancient ruins as well: Huaca Huallamarca. (Pre-Incan ruins which were originally used as a temple, and later became a settlement;) We did not visit these ruins but will be sure to add that to our “next time list.”
If you are looking for a great place to stay, look no farther than the Hotel Boulevard. It boasts a very high score on Booking.com and costs a fraction of the cost it would to stay 5 nights anywhere in Europe or the States! One of the best parts is your cost includes a delicious breakfast. All in all, I found my first time ever in Latin America to be filled with wonder and curiosity. The people there are super friendly and I definitely intend to go back and continue the exploration.