Peru: A day in Miraflores
How did we spend a day in Miraflores? Here are some highlights.
Breakfast at the hotel. Wander along Larco Avenue, where most of the major attractions are located. Check out art gallery Luis Miró Quesada Garland Hall, a municipal exhibition space displays an outstanding collection of the most interesting Peruvian artists.
Parque Kennedy or Kennedy Park is at the heart of Miraflores. The park can get quite busy during the day. There are street vendors selling sweet Peruvian donuts, artisans with crafts and paintings, kids playing hide and seek in the park, and of course tourists resting on the bench soaking up the wonderful surroundings. If you are a cat lover, you’ll be in heaven. This place is home to 50 or more friendly cats that will delight you with their playful bounces and purrs.
Take some time and explore the Handicraft markets to find traditional artwork and souvenirs, made by local artists. Very close to Oval de Miraflores. I got an army of cute alpaca fridge magnets for my family and friends. You will find pins, key chains, jewelry, silver, clothing, paintings…etc in the market. There are multiple markets not far away from one another on Av Petit Thouars; there’s the Gran Chimu, followed by Artesania Señor de Sipan, Gran Chavin, the Cuzco Market, La Portada del Sol and the Inka Market. Majority of the stores stock pretty much the same stuff. Definitely look around and compare prices. Bargaining is expected. However, since they are located in the heart of the city, the items are not cheap. If you are going to the mountains, it’s better to purchase them in Cuzco or Pisaq since the price is much better and the stuff is pretty much the same. I had much more fun shopping at Pisaq than in Lima.
Lunch at Astrid y Gaston. It was completely by luck that we ended up in Astrid y Gaston. We tried to make a reservation for dinner two months in advance but it was already full. So when we passed by Astrid y Gaston, we stopped and inquired about a table for two for lunch, and they have one last table left and we were in! We totally did not dress for it though. I was wearing hiking pants with sports jacket and my husband had backpack, jeans and running shoes. I am surprised that they were gracious enough not to turn us away. Just lucky! 🙂 I will dedicate a separate post to the dining experience at Astrid y Gaston later.
Explore the world of chocolate at the Choco Museo – Chocolate Museum. You can take a tour and watch the journey of the beans transform themselves into delicious food for the gods. You can also take hands on chocolate making classes and become a recreational chocolatier.
After the chocolate tour, we headed to Arabica Espresso Bar to get a cup of pick me up. Behind the charming red door is a warm and cozy coffee shop nestled on Ave Grau. (Avenida Grau 269 Lima, Peru.) We loved how they offered different methods of coffee brewing. You can get siphon, chemex, V60 dripper, and of course espresso. To my surprise, they also offer vegan dessert. At least at the time, I believe the menu changes regularly. I had a lovely vegan mango moose cake to go with my coffee. The staff was really wonderful and friendly. They treat their patrons like their friends.
Do some shopping at Lacomar, which is built entirely into the cliff overlooking the pacific 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.
For dinner, we dined at the Maido Japanese Restaurant. I would not recommend it if you are vegetarian or vegan like me, there’s essentially nothing you can eat on the menu. ZERO! Mr. R on the other hand, had a great time eating their signature dish Characato, which is sushi with pork jowls slow cooked for over 50 hours.