I’d like to talk about Lima. I mean, it is Peru’s Capital City, and it’s also one of the main cities people start their trip in. It’s a city you need to learn to love, a lot like Nicolas Cage films actually. It’s also one that has different districts and reputations depending on what stories you hear, people you meet. Leaving Lima, you’re also able to stop in at a lot of nice little places as well along the way to either Cusco/Arequipa.
Getting into Lima:
✈ F L I G H T
The main airlines are Avianca, LATAM, Aerolíneas Argentinas, VivaColombia, VivaAir as well as some others – you can check here for other low-cost airlines in South America.
Depending on where you’re flying from – it’ll vary hugely in price.
|USA||Spirit Airlines if your route works, otherwise Delta, Copa, Aeroméxico, Air Canada and United Airlines all have flights to Lima also.|
|AUS||There are no direct flights, you’ll have to fly to Chile (from Sydney) or to the USA.|
|EUR||KLM, Air Canada, Air France, British Airways, LATAM Brasil and Iberia, as well as some others, can all get you there – with stopovers along the way.|
🚌 B U S
If you’re coming from anywhere else – Ecuador, Bolivia – you could probably manage a night bus – it wouldn’t be the nicest of experiences but it would be the cheapest.
Check here for a list of reviews of different bus companies.
Coming from the AIRPORT?
Try the express bus!
Every 30 minutes, nearby stops and wifi/charges which is perfect after a long flight.
Getting Around in Lima:
🚐 U B E R
Yep, you can use Uber or what’s called Taxi Beat here.
🚕 T A X I
Always ask the fair before getting in the taxi, if you feel it’s inflated – negotiate.
Trust your gut with Taxi’s – especially if you’re a Solo Traveller. Try booking through your hostel / having a companion to travel with.
🚌 B U S
Taking buses is the cheapest option, but it can be overwhelming. Take a look at this intensive guild here on how to get buses around Lima.
🏃 W A L K
Yep, you can always walk around Lima in the main tourist areas – as the majority of things are pretty close together.
MY TOP CHOICES
⏰ 09:00 – 17:00
💰 S/ 7.00 | $2.75 AUD | $2.15 USD
Between 200 AD – 700 AD this was a Ceremonial Center of Lima, making it one of the most important ancient monuments.
I’d suggest doing the tour – it’s very informative and they explain everything quite thoroughly. Although I find mannequins terrifying, it showcased how those ancient times would have been spent by the natives.
They also have an amazing restaurant here at night that looks over the ruins, a bit pricey but when will you be having dinner looking over ruins. You could also just go for a pisco sour & dessert of course.
Miraflores is a district in Lima that has become one of, if not the most popular districts around. They have a Cat Park, Shopping, Beaches, Restaurants, Museums & Cafes. It’s very central so if you’ve become pretty handy on the buses (see link above) then you can also get to the historical area of Lima.
Things of note in Miraflores
– Homemade Cafe – This place has the best gnocchi pasta ever, as well as nice juices.
– Chocolate Museum – a free tour on how the cacao bean is used + free taste testers!
– The Beach + Park of Love
– Cat park + good Peruvian coffee.
⏰ WED – SUN | 15:00 – 22:00
💰 S/ 4.00 | $1.50 AUD | $1.20 USD
In the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest outdoor water fountain complex in a public park, the 13 fountains make a wonderful night. They also have an educational aspect to them.
Check out a video here:
The historic district is full of rich architecture, cathedrals and street performers and vendors. Known as the “City of Kings” was founded by a Spanish conqueror in 1535. One of the most things I found most interesting was that this area is frequently hit by damaging earthquakes which makes the history that much richer, so to say.
Things of note in the Historic District:
– Church and Sanctuary of Saint Rose of Lima
– Church & Convent of San Francisco
– Government Palace
WHERE TO STAY
🏢 H O S T E L:
Hostels are a great way to meet people. I’ve stayed in 3 different hostels whilst in Lima. Click the names to go to the main websites and TA for the Trip Advisor reviews.
1900 Hostel || TA
Located in the Historical Area of Lima – this has a partnership with Intro Hostel in Cusco. It’s a popular hostel with many areas to meet other travellers. The staff are wonderful in suggestions and when a friend had some major travel hiccups, they helped him out tremendously.
It is quite loud due to the location, has a bit of party vibe but they will advise to quiet down at night.
|🍽️||Free breakfast + kitchen amenities.|
|🛁||Shared, very clean bathrooms for dorms/public areas.|
|🛏️||Large dorms with lockers, private rooms.|
|🎲||Large area to meet other people.|
|🍺||Bar with a decent happy hour + full-size pool table.|
Located in Miraflores, it’s the perfect location if you’re only wanting to venture around there. The only downside is that wifi doesn’t reach the rooms – which as a traveller can be great sometimes, but others kind of annoying.
Number 18 Bus is direct to the airport.
|🍽️||Free breakfast + kitchen amenities.|
|🛁||Shared, only a few so can get crowded. Clean.|
|🛏️||Large comfy beds, lockers underneath to store big bags.|
|🎲||Cards, Jenga etc.|
|🍺||Rooftop Upstairs, decent happy hour & social atmosphere. Closes at 12.|
You can have a shared room, private room or entire house depending on how you’re travelling or your budget.
Never used Airbnb before? Click here to get $50 AUD off your first trip!
WHAT I DID
I’ve been to Lima 3 times now. Each time is a different experience – we stay somewhere else, meet different people, try different places. Except for the cafe Homemade, which I will never stop going to.
I hated Lima when I first got there; I had never been to South America, I knew really nothing about it, was well over my head and to top it all off – knew no Spanish.
I thought it was busy, overcrowded and a bit grimy. I was here to holiday. This doesn’t sound like the thoughts a traveller/tourist should have – but like I said, I was young, kind of scared in a “what am I doing?” type way and a bit lost.
Luckily, I had my friend Jessica with me. Together, our first impressions became a thing of the past when we met up two years later in Lima, again! Lima is now a place I can’t wait to return to.
We went to the Chocolate Museum daily and whenever a staff member would ask “Have you been here before?” we’d say “No!” to get ourselves a free tour, and some free chocolate.
Essentially all of the top recommendations is what we did. The best part of my Lima experience was catching up with Danielle, who I hadn’t seen for nine years. She took us to the Huaca Pucllana restaurant. We had the best food there, the best atmosphere and it was so lovely to catch up with her after all this time.