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.

5 Reasons To Love Madrid

Madrid is magnificent.  I visited during this past Christmas break and absolutely loved the charm the city has to offer and I can see myself visiting again.  Madrid has something for everyone from art and culture to tapas to beautiful parks.  Depending how you choose to spend your time in the historical city, you will find yourself losing sense of the time and before you know it the day is gone.  Have no worries, things take on another fun vibe right through the night.  You can check out live music, flamenco shows, and eat until like 2 a.m. I tend to be one that turns in pretty early, so the latest I was out was about 12:30 a.m., but I heard that you can easily attend a flamenco show as late as 4 am within the local scene.

I want to give you my 5 top reasons to love Madrid and this is why I will find myself visiting again in the future.

  1. Madrid is a metropolitan city!  There is excitement the moment you enter the city and if you don’t speak Spanish, have no worries….most people speak English too.
  2. The architecture is gorgeous and no matter where you are, you find yourself surrounded by history.
  3. It is a walk-able city with and excellent metro system, which includes a route to and from the airport for 5 Euros.
  4. There is an incredible charm in this city, with its perfectly manicured parks.  I took a walk through the most popular, Buen Retiro.  This park, which belonged to the Spanish Monarchy until the late 19th century, is also known as El Retiro Park and apparently a trip to Madrid is not complete without a visit here.
  5. Spanish fashion is hot!  I remember when I first visited Spain in 2007 and bought my favorite pair of jeans from Mango.  A few years later Mango started opening stores across North America. If you want to refresh your wardrobe this is the place to do it

This article is not complete without a mention of churros and chocolate. I loved the energy in this cute busy little cafe called Los Nuevos Alpes. It is across from the Mercado Market on Calle Mayor, 54, 28013 Madrid, Spain.

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El Retiro Park
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Christmas in Madrid
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The Royal Palace. If you are a member of EU, you can visit for free between 4-6PM.
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That’s my husband dipping the churros in the hot chocolate.

 

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