While we were in Peru we talked to many other travelers about Lima. Here is just a bit of the advice that we got: “Stay away, it is a total dump!” “Lima is one of the ugliest cities I have been to.” “There is nothing to do there and the traffic is horrible!” “Do yourself a favor and skip it, you will hate it.” “It is a grey, depressing city with pollution.”
Of course after all this advice we still went and we ended up totally loving Lima. Yes the traffic is bad, but the free buses around the city were great. And since we stayed in Miraflores, a swanky neighborhood by the sea full of amazing restaurants and long promenades along the cliffs, we walked almost everywhere.
Lima is known as the foodie capitol of South America, and I totally agree, the food was so amazing that it will get its own blog post. =)
We also had sun the entire five days we were in Lima, which is not normal. In fact, some Peruvians we talked with said they had not seen sun for two and a half weeks before we came. Sunny days make everything better and I like to believe Lima brought out the sun for us because we were giving her a chance. People may disagree with my fondness for this city, but that is the great thing about overlanding, if you don’t like cities, you can just drive right by them.
The only thing that hit me about Lima was the wealth. We had just spent weeks in very poor parts of rural Peru where people lived off their livestock and small family corn plot. The mansions, swanky restaurants, and giant malls of Lima was a huge contrast to say the least. It was like a different country.
Most of what we did here was eat. And then figure out ways to get hungry again so we could eat some more (hence the coastal walks). So most of our pictures of Miraflores are of restaurants.
Famous for its artists who sell their paintings. To me more famous for all the healthy, loving cats that are taken care of by locals. If you miss your pets at home this is the place to come.
Lima has miles and miles of coastal sidewalks which we walked everyday. They were a fun place to get the energy of the city, especially around sunset when they would be full of families and couples enjoying the end to a sunny day.
San Francisco Church and Convent was one of the most beautiful churches/monasteries we have seen since the Andalusian churches of Spain. They have thousands of hand painted Sevillian tiles, intricate carvings and underground catacombs. The bad thing is they are strict about no pictures inside so you will just have to visit one day.
There was a huge food festival of regional food from all over Peru in this square. I bought a bag small little red quinoa and fresh pear juice.
This building remind me so much of Paris, I really loved it.
Lima is a busy city with bad traffic, but there are so many parks and free buses, it is easy to escape it.
We did walk through some areas of Lima that were huge street blocks after street blocks of stores selling everything plastic ever made for human use and even an entire street with costumes and wigs. This area was not the prettiest part of Lima, but it was not boring.
Plaza Mayor was so beautiful, I kept walking around it trying to take it all in.
This is in the historic center, I took this picture of Sam because he looked like a secret agent spy.
Barranco is a lovely old neighborhood with old mansions and lush foliage, it felt like a peak into the past life of the old rich Europeans who once lived here combined with hip coffee shops and breweries. We walked to Barranco from Miraflores along the coast in the morning, and it was the only day we had a few hours of misty grey, it burned off around noon. So these are our only pictures without sun.
So did we like Lima, hell yes. Would we go back? In a second. The food alone is worth a visit (just wait for the food post!) and we just scratched the surface to all there is to see in and do in this cool, urban coastal city.