Amazing Peru: Capital City Lima
Lima is a metropolitan city that contains more than 25% of the entire Peruvian population. It’s situated on the western seaboard in the Peruvian Coastal Plain. When we visited Lima in August, it’s winter in Peru and it’s unexpectedly damp and cold! Even though we are from Canada, we still find the weather troubling. Because of the high humidity, it feels much colder, so definitely dress warmly when you visit. Despite the overcast and gloomy sky, we were extremely excited to start our journey in Peru. We were picked up from the airport by a very nice driver who spoke very little English in the early morning. We understood “Hola,” and “un momento,” and somehow that was enough to get us to Miraflores. The traffic in the morning rush hours was CRAZY! Largely due to the lane constriction from 4 to 1. Cars were piling up one on top of another. It took about 1.5 hours to get from the airport to our hotel in Miraflores, and we thought it’s suppose to be a 30 minutes drive according to Google Map. 😛 The hotel we stayed at was El Ducado. It’s a small hotel hidden in the narrow, quiet streets in Miraflores. It provides fairly decent guest rooms and amenity. I would probably rate it 3 out of 5 stars. The staff was generally polite and some of them spoke fairly good English, which helps a lot in terms of providing proper direction to attractions and translation for us and the driver. The location was very good, close to the shopping mall, restaurants, and major banks. Free wifi was provided, but the signal was very slow and weak. The room was old and the beds and showers very uncomfortable. The windows doesn’t close properly and the cold air has no problem finding its way into the room. Sound proofing was terrible, the noise travels easily from one level to another. We headed out and exchanged some Peruvian sols in the bank. Zisha recommended that the rate would be better in big banks than the small kiosk in the airport. There were many restaurants to choose from as well as mobile stores to get prepaid SIM card. Make sure you check out Lacomar, which is built entirely into the cliffs overlooking the ocean. It is a multi-level complex that offers breathtaking views as well as entertainment, shopping, and fine foods. However, it is quite westernized and there are many familiar big chain stores from North America. If you’d like to get some luxurious alpaca knit wear, definitely check out Sol and KUNA. We had encountered countless street vendors who claimed that their products come from “baby alpaca.” Buyers beware, you might just be getting “maybe alpaca!” Later on in our trip, we were actually shown how to differentiate between genuine alpaca fibers and other low grade fibers, which was very educational and helpful. Lima Natives – Limenos – are obsessed with food. The traditional Peruvian cuisine is making waves on the world stage. There is no shortage of excellent restaurants to choose from. I’ll be sharing my dining experience at Astrid y Gaston, which has been the winners of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants for 4 years in a roll. Definitely one of the best restaurants I’ve ever had the pleasure to dine at. Look forward to posting more of my amazing Peru trip in the upcoming posts! Travel Notes: – It can take longer than anticipated to get from the airport to Miraflores, so plan your schedule wisely. – The area around the hotel is pretty shady. We stayed one night close to the airport because we have an early flight the next day, and the hotel staff told us not to go out after night fall, they would order take out for us if we are hungry. – Lima in the winter is colder than you think, and the hotels likely are not going to have heater, so dress warmly! – Fine dining restaurants in Lima usually has a long waiting list, make sure you make your reservations weeks in advance.