Peru is not only Machu Picchu but has also a lot of other great things to offer. From ancient Inca cities via beautiful beaches, the Amazon area and great food to the desert, Peru appears to be very variable.
We started our Peru trip in Lima even though I heard from several people that Lima is not really one of Peru’s highlights. But we wanted to ensure ourselves about what the capital Peru is really like. The good thing was, as we did not have high expectation it couldn’t disappoint us. Actually the opposite was the case Lima did not seem as bad as its reputation.
Instead of living in a hostel or hotel we decided to rent a small 1-bedroom apartment in Miraflores One of the best neighborhoods in Lima. Located in Calle Bernardo Alcedo 345, Miraflores, 18 Lima it was not far to the promenade and the Centro Comercial Larcomar. The location was pretty sweet and also the restaurants and nightlife were quite close.
Unfortunately I do not know how it is to spend more time in other neighborhoods since we spend most of our time in Miraflores. In Miraflores you can find some really good restaurants and some nice bars and Clubs. Also for people who like shopping there is the shopping center Larcomer where you can find apart from shops a cinema and a food court. The market (Mercado Artesenales) is also in Miraflores in case you feel like shopping some Peruvian souvenirs.
Barranco is great for a night out. Plenty of bars, restaurants and Clubs are located in this area and I spent a really great night partying here. These are only to of the more famous neighborhoods and I hope I will see some more the next time I am going to be there
La Cucharita: In La Cucharita in Miraflores I ate one of the best Tapas I ever had and I had been to Spain several times. I coincidentally stumbled into this place and I was really surprised by the quality of food and the moderate prices (Miraflores).
La Lucha: Peruvian Fastfood and great hangover food. La lucha is a so-called Sangucheria, since their specialities are sanwiches. La Lucha is all over Lima as it is a chain. Try the sandwich „La lucha“ probably not the healthiest sandwich but it is really good.
La Mar: Everything you can get from the sea. Starting from the Peru typical Ceviche you can get some great prawns, Red snapper and everything what the daily catch has to offer. You should go for lunch since the restaurant is only open until 5:30pm. Usually afterwards it is booked for private events (Miraflores).
Asi de simple: Ceviche and other Peruvian specialties. Like the name already reveals it is simple but delicious (Miraflores).
For me personally the Peruvian kitchen is one of the best in Latin America and maybe even in the world. Once a guy from Peru told me that back in the days a lot of young people wanted to become drug dealers and now they become chefs.
Sightseeing and activities
As mentioned previously Lima is not one of the most beautiful cities in Latin America but you can still find some nice places.
Around the Playa Mayor there are several beautiful colonial style building, a Peruvian Chinatown and a market. I fell in love with the charcoal grilled chicken in the city center since it reminded me a little of my favorite chicken in Portugal
Parque De La Reserva (Magic Water circuit):
Is a park close to the football stadium in Lima, which impresses with its illuminated water fountains and a great water video mapping show.
Barranco: Best neighborhood to go out
Miraflores: Great for partying, eating, shopping and a stroll at Limas promenade.
Surfing: Lima seems like a good spot for surfing but the water temperature in May was not really tempting in my case. But this did not discourage the locals to ride some waves maybe next time if the water is a little warmer I will give it a shot.
For sure there are much more interesting things to see and do in Lima but unfortunately we didn’t have more time. And even though Lima is not that beautiful I thought it is a very interesting city and it definitely has its charm. Especially the food I can’t get out of my head anymore.
By the way apart from Ceviche (in lime juice marinated fish) you should definitely try Pisco Sour a Peruvian cocktail and Chicha Morado a drink made of corn which reminded me of the German mulled wine in color as well as in taste. Guinea pig is another common dish in Peru but after I tried it already in Peru (tastes like rabbit) I didn’t see the need to try the Peruvian guinea pig.