My first stop on my South American adventure was Lima. I spent 3 nights in the capital of Peru, which gave me 2 full days to explore. I also had one final night in Lima at the end of my trip before heading to Brazil.
This was enough time to do the main highlights listed below (click on each link for more details):
– See the colonial architecture of Central Lima (by “see” I mean “glance at” really)
– Wander the beautiful seaside parks of Miraflores
– Stroll through the bohemian Barranco district
– Learn to make ceviche at a Peruvian cooking class
– Play in the dazzling water fountains of El Circuito Mágico del Agua
Also, here are a few logistical notes:
There are no visa requirements or entry fees for US citizens entering Peru, but don’t lose the immigration exit card they give you.
The Lima International Airport has plenty of bank services, money exchange counters, and a couple globalnet ATMs (mastercards seemed to have issues here). Be wary: these are sneaky machines that return your card after you get your cash — I did my good deed of the day when I chased down the traveler before me who left her card in the ATM. In the city, there are plenty of ATM options and so far the best I found was BCP (Banco de Crédito). It has the lowest fee and lets you take out 700 soles (most only allow a maximum withdrawl of 400 soles).
When you exit customs, there is an official Taxi Green stand immediately to your right. It has a sign detailing estimated fares to each area of the city. It cost me 55 sol and about 25 minutes to get to Miraflores by taxi. You can probably bargain cheaper with an unofficial taxi driver but I didn’t want to deal with that. Most taxi drivers will try to sell you on a different hotel they have connections with but just state firmly you already have a reservation.
I stayed 3 nights at the Pariwana Backpackers Hostel located at the Ovalo tip of Parque Kennedy. Natalya and Yusuf loved this hostel and I share their sentiment. It’s in a perfect central location from all the points of interest and has a great social atmosphere to meet other travellers. When I arrived Saturday night, there was a balloon party underway and salsa dancing all night at the rooftop bar. I immediately partook in the festivities with a pisco sour in hand.
I am a huge supporter of public transport. It is super cheap and the new Metropolitana bus is super easy to navigate. Another reason I preferred buses to taxis is the aforementioned unwillingness to haggle… Plus my Spanish is nonexistent so that severely diminishes my bargaining power.
Lima is laid out in a grid system so even with my innate sense of misdirection, I was able to make it to all my destinations safely. The snazzy Metropolitana bus requires a card purchase for 5 soles and then you top up — each fare is only 1.50 soles. I used this to get to Central. The combis (minibuses) are a bit more confusing but if you are just going to neighboring districts like Barranco, it is pretty straightforward once you figure out which direction traffic is traveling.
Return to the Peru Main Menu.