Another short and sweet trip in South America and this time in Peru! We covered as much as we could in 4 days. Our ultimate goal was to get up to Machu Picchu, which we did on a Saturday. I’ll share more about that adventure in another post.
We arrived in Lima on a Sunday and had two days to explore this major city. I found Lima to be a beautiful city because of its proximity to the Pacific Ocean, the landscape and its history. Each neighborhood has its own little story to tell. I found the streets to be vibrant with mostly locals and very clean. Before venturing out, always consider what is important to you most and then design how you want to take on the city. We always tour the area that we are staying in first, to get to know the lay of the land.
Where to Stay
Miraflores – this is a trendier upscale area, which is known as one of the more affluent neighborhoods for living and also offers a ton of shopping. We stayed at the Radisson Hotel Decapolis Miraflores. The hotel is ranked as a 4.5 star and that is a fair rating. The location is prime as you can walk to the beach in just 11 minutes and if you love to surf the waves here are perfect for the thrills of an avid surfer. From here you’re only a 15 minute walk to Larcormar, a high-end fashion mall that overlooks the ocean. Even if you don’t plan to shop this is a sight to be seen. There are tons of cafes and parks within less than 10 minutes. You can spend your first day walking this area, people watching, talking to people, and visiting artisans selling their crafts in the Kennedy Park.
Make a stop for a photo at the Love Park (cover image).
There is no shortage of food selections, but on a Sunday, which also happened to be Easter Sunday, quite a few spots were closed. Without any recommendation, we decided to go to Cafe Cafe to order some authentic Peruvian food. I ordered the Oporto Drunk Chicken. I’m surprised I ordered that because I hate anything that has to do with being drunk, even the word irritates me. The dish was made of corn and chicken and prepared similar to a risotto with a Peruvian yellow sauce. My husband ordered the Cafe Cafe Style Stir Fried Beef with a side of fries. By the way you will see meat served with fries often. The service here was great and if you don’t speak Spanish, this is a restaurant that’s got you covered with an English menu and English speaking staff. We sat outside as the weather was perfect for hanging out on the patio and people watching.
Cafe Cafe. Calle Mártir José Olaya 250, Miraflores 15074, Peru
Take a Bite of Something Sweet
One of my favorites treats are churros! We found this place, Manolo, with four varieties: chocolate, dulce de leche, vanilla and original.
Manolo. Av. Larco 608, Miraflores – Lima – Perú
Hit the Main Square, which is known as the Plaza de Armas. This name remains consistent in all the major cities in South America that I have been to. Here you will find all of the historical buildings along with the Presidential Palace and St.Francis Cathedral.
Head to Barranco and Surquillo. Barranco is a pretty cool artsy area with bohemian charm. You will see a ton of wall murals near the Bridge of Sighs. I had read that people walk across the bridge, hold their breath and make a wish. We did the same and I am ready for my wish to come alive.
In Surquillo have ceviche at La Picanteria.
While you can have some of the best ceviche anywhere in Peru, it is noted that chefs in Lima have perfected the dish. On this note, it was a must to indulge. I tried the ceviche served with calamari at La Picanteria. A side of corn nuts was served and I learned that I should add the corn nuts into the dish. I took the photo before I added the corn nuts.
La Picanteria. Surquillo, Sta Rosa 388, Cercado de Lima, Peru
Make Lima more than a city to pass through on your way to Cusco and Machu Picchu.