Accommodation: Conveniently located in Miraflores District, near Parque John F. Kennedy, Allpa Hotel & Suites is located near several restaurants and cafés. The rooms were modern and fairly tidy. One slight complaint we had regarding the hotel staff was that they took quite long retrieving our luggage from their storage facilities, and there often was only one receptionist present at the front desk. Breakfasts were included in the price of the room but were very basic; given the choice, I may have opted to have breakfast elsewhere in Miraflores.
Food: Peruvian cuisine often combines influences from indigenous foods and cuisines brought in by European and Asian influences. In contrast with Cuzco, Lima is situated on the coast, making it the preferred place to try seafood. For ceviche and other types of seafood, restaurants such as La Mar, El Mercado, and Cinco Esquinas frequently receive great reviews; alternatively, to spend a bit less, opt for Punto Azul, Sonia, or Canta Rana.
Lima is also the gastronomic capital of South America, and its restaurants are frequently listed among the top in Latin America and the world. If possible, book as far in advance as possible for a table at restaurants such as Central, which is currently listed as the fifth best restaurant in the world; Maido (reviewed above); or Astrid y Gastón, the world-famous restaurant housed in a fantastic mansion, serving contemporary Peruvian cuisine.
The drinks on offer are fairly similar to those found in Cuzco. The most commonly encountered drinks may range from Inca Kola, a lemongrass flavoured soda; Chicha Morada, the spiced purple maize drink; Pisco, a type of brandy often used in the popular cocktail Pisco Sour; as well as various regional beers such as Cuzqueña.
- The weather in Lima is mild throughout the year, with temperatures ranging from 14-29oC. There are occasional coastal fogs and Lima is often overcast, and relative humidity is quite high, but precipitation is quite rare.
- Getting around Lima is not straightforward. Within a district such as Miraflores and Barranco, walking is possible; when travelling between districts or at night, I recommend taking a taxi, once again agreeing on the price before getting on.
- There are numerous other attractions in Lima not covered in our itinerary. Lima has a vibrant contemporary art scene, ranging all the way from street art to prestigious galleries. Some include: Lucia de la Puente Galeria de arte, Revolver Galeria Lima, Museo de Arte Contemporaneo (MAC) Lima, etc. Other options include museums such as Museo Larco, housing numerous ceramics, jewellery, and tapestries; Iglesia de Santo Domingo, one of Lima’s most frequented religious sites; or Huaca Pucllana, a restored adobe ceremonial centre near Lima.
- From Lima, other sites of interest are reachable. Several tour agencies organise full-day boat tours to the Ballestas Islands, often known as the “Poor Man’s Galapagos”, which are home to thousands of birds and mammals including penguins and sea lions. Their protected status means that you cannot swim with the animals or set foot on the islands themselves. Alternatively, you can visit other areas of Peru, including Iquitos, an Amazonian town bordering on the rainforest allowing jungle tours; Nazca, containing the mysterious Nazca lines; Arequipa, a colonial town sitting in the shadow of two impressive volcanoes; and others.