How to Enjoy Lima in 2 Days

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

Day 2

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.

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Walk across the Bridge of Sighs.

 

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.

Coromandel, NZ is Sold Out? Stay in Hamilton.

One of the busiest times to visit Coromandel is in December.  Everyone is holidaying at their beach homes or renting a house.  Hotels get sold out early and you should not expect to find an airbnb to rent.  We traveled from Australia and we had no idea how crazy busy it was going to be after Christmas and before New Years.  Our plan was to drive the north coast and see as much as we could in only 3-4 days.  With no vacancy in resort towns, Coromandel, Rotorua, and Tauranga we discovered Hamilton. We spent our first night in Auckland, two nights in Hamilton, and our final night in Auckland again.  Driving to our desired destinations took an hour or two from where we went to rest our heads each day, but it was worth all of the driving.  In fact, all of the driving is part of the touring.

Hamilton is a quaint little city with a ton of overnight hotel/inns available.  I recommend staying at the award winning Argent Motor Lodge.  The owner, Graeme Hunt, welcomed us when we checked in and made us feel at home.  I didn’t know what to expect before we arrived and I’m please to report that I was blown away with the interior, its upkeep and the staff.

 

Unfortunately, the city shuts down quite early.  We were excited to see what was happening in the town and have a good meal.  We heard about restaurants like, Bluestone Steakhouse, but when we arrived at 9:30 they told us they were closed because they had not received any walk-ins for the last 30 minutes.  There were only about 3 restaurants open at this point, which included Sal’s Pizza, Kebabelicious and some other spot we had no interest in going into.  We loved Kebabelicious for the quality of the food, speed, hospitality and ambiance.

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Where To Stay In Sydney

Sydney, Australia is one of my favorite cities that I have visited. It has an incredible skyline and multiple harbourside views for walking, dining, and touring in the heart of the city. The most popular attractions include the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. I love Sydney because it is a walkable city and the public transit is easy to figure out and extremely accessible. When visiting Sydney, stay in the central business district, also known as the CBD. I stayed at the Grace Hotel and its location was perfect for everything that I needed to do. I was walking distance to the Opera House, Darling Harbour, the Circular Quay, all the shopping, the Contemporary Museum of Art, the Rocks Precinct and more.

The Grace Hotel is one of the oldest buildings in Sydney and was recently restored. This neo-gothic structure was built in the 1920s by the Grace Brothers. I found the hotel to offer the warmth of a heritage hotel with a touch of luxury for an affordable price. The room with the double bed was very spacious and the beds were just as described… “dreamy”. Our room was made up perfectly every day and any time we needed something, the staff was responsive right away. If you want to stay at a reliable hotel with a lot of charm, this will be the place for you. The only downfall for this hotel was the gym. It is on the top floor with a very low ceiling. Weight trainers will have to skip their routine and stick to cardio on the treadmill or the bicycle. Overall, I recommend this hotel for someone who wants a very clean hotel, with a perfect location, and good service. Look for this hotel on Hotels.com to get the best rate.

If you don’t mind staying a little further out, there are some hotels closer to Spice Alley that may be good options too. 

No matter how you travel or where you stay, always be thankful for your adventures. I thank God for travel.

 

All opinions in this article are my own.

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