City Spotlight: Lima, Peru

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Lima, Peru

January 2016

Length of visit: 2.5 days

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Lodging: Hilton Lima Miraflores

Both L and I really enjoy staying in Hilton hotels for a few nights when we travel, and especially after our trek up the high peak in Machu Picchu, checking in was a great break.  Customer service was delightful, their lounge was well-stocked, and the room was comfortable and well-furnished.  We enjoyed staying in trendy Miraflores and particularly liked being just a few blocks from the beach.  One tip: save money on your cab fare by walking a couple of blocks away and flagging them down.

Can’t Miss Sights, Tours, and Experiences

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+ Right when we got into town, we dropped our bags off and walked to the path along the ocean in Miraflores – stunning views! The steep cliffs with the Pacific Ocean going on for miles beyond it cannot be missed.  If you head down to the ocean, wear lots and lots of sunscreen. For me, it was my first time touching the Pacific!

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+ Lunch at Mangos in Larco Mar was a culinary highlight for Peru.  I had the Mangos Ceviche and a pisco sour, and both were outstanding.  I’m typically not a seafood fan, but this was fresh and perfect.  An excellent balance of spice and tang and fresh, clean seafood. L had a Spanish omelet, and it was great.  We ended up having a great lunch with sweeping ocean views for an incredibly reasonable price.

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+ Lima’s Plaza de Armas is easily accessible via their bus system, and is a bustling center of activity.  The beautiful buildings in the vicinity are worth a look, including the Catedral de Lima and the Casa de la Literatura Peruana.

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+ If you go to no other church in Lima, stop at the Museo Del Convento De San Francisco.  You can’t take photos inside, but there is an excellent English tour of the entire convent, including views of the beautiful Moorish-style ceilings, the courtyard, a magnificent library, and catacombs. This is definitely worth a visit.

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+ The Museo Rafael Larco Herrera was a nice final stop in Lima for us, and had highly intellectual (and beautifully translated) exhibits of items particular to Peruvian history.  We got much more out of the museum than we anticipated, and ended up being so glad that we stopped by.

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Overall

Lima is sometimes written off by people who are coming to Peru to see Machu Picchu or to hike, but I think that if it’s at all possible, it warrants a few days.  While it’s a bit gritty in some spots, we found it to be easily accessible, reasonably priced, and full of surprises.

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