After two days journey from Abu dhabi we finally land in the capital of Peru, stepping for the first time on south american land, tired and carrying with me a broken heart due to some personal issues experienced before departure but nevertheless with a strong desire to leave everything behind and make the best out of this trip.
While planning our holiday to Peru we were constantly advised by friends and family to take into consideration the safety concerns regarding South America and Lima in special (two girls traveling alone), to not pack expensive stuff and to avoid crowded touristic places especially after sunset.
*entrance of Larcomar mall
Miraflores, the pearl of Lima
Initially we booked two nights in the most beautiful area of Lima, Miraflores but we end up extending our stay for a whole week totally in love with the animated life of the capital city, the people but most of all…the food.
The first day I felt quite scared whenever I was out on the streets, holding the bag close to my chest, wearing the worst outfit from my wardrobe and being aware of my surroundings the whole time. Then I realized that Lima its like any other big capital of the world and if I have to compare it with my country I would definitely find Bucharest much more dangerous in some areas.
The best way of transportation in Lima its Uber (cheap, clean and with polite drivers) or Google map if you chose to stay in a touristic area where everything is close by, the last option allowing you to discover lot of places hidden on the narrow streets that can be easily missed if you are inside of a cab.
Normal taxi can be found everywhere and are pretty safe (never had any bad experience) just make sure to negotiate the price before you accept the ride.
What surprised me the most in Lima was the kindness of the people, always friendly, ready to help or simply greeting you with the famous “Hola” (which you are going to hear a lot) while walking on the streets or entering a shop. I was really impressed to hear “Hola” from the cleaners attending the parks, street vendors and basically from any other category of people in the most unexpected situation.
The merchants are very polite and you wont fell harassed or forced to spend your money for unnecessary souvenirs while enjoying a walk in the park. A simple “No, gracias” will make them move away to another potential costumer.
The Larcomar shopping center its located in the most beautiful area of Miraflores, on the edge of a hill just above the Pacific coast.
We have made a routine by walking every day from the hotel to Larcomar (10-15 minutes) to enjoy the delicious food served by the restaurants or just to admire the sunset from one of the terraces facing the ocean while sipping from a glass of Pisco sour.
Considered the national drink of Peru, Pisco its an alcoholic beverage which can be served plain or used as a base for different cocktails, the most famous being Pisco sour (a Peruvian alternative of Pina colada, citrus flavored). Don’t get fooled by its sweetness as pure Pisco can reach up to 48 degrees alcohol.
Love its in the air
South Americans are well known for their romanticism and Peruvians are not an exception from the rule. In this sense they created a special place dedicated to the lovers, a park where the couples can relax on the grass or share “besitos” (kisses) while watching the stunning sunset. Actually in Lima besitos are something normal and can be encountered at every corner of the street. If you are not traveling with a partner you might consider finding someone fast as the situation can get quite frustrating.
Parco del Amore is located just 5 minutes away from Larcomar in the same beautiful area of Miraflores.
When it comes to the nightlife, Miraflores seems to be the safest neighborhood in Lima (and not surprisingly in entire South America), the right place to get absolutely blasted on a night out and then walk to your hotel without having to worry much. Police cars are patrolling the area constantly and are quite used with drunk people dancing in the middle of the road. Upps!
Lima is divided in 30 urban districts, Barranco being the most animated and vibrating when it comes to the night life, lately gaining lot of popularity among the tourists for the low prices and diversity of clubs and restaurants.
Ayahuasca bar is considered one of the best places in Barranco (according to TripAdvisor) offering a wide selection of cocktails, delicious food and a great atmosphere under the roof of a classic mansion. I highly recommend it, not only for the quality of products served but also for the exclusive design, every room being decorated in a different unique style.
During day time the cosmopolitan neighborhood transforms completely in one of the most colorful and creative place of Lima where unknown artists express their ideas using a modern, unconventional method…wall murals.
Barranco doesn’t host only visual arts but also talented musicians, photographers, cathedrals and art museums being considered the city’s most bohemian and romantic spot.
Don’t leave the area before crossing Ponte de los suspiros (the bridge of sighs). The legend says that your wishes will come true if you manage to hold on to your breath until you reach the other side.
Trying to escape the noisy lifestyle and agitation of the capital or just looking for a place to relax and enjoy the sun? You can choose from the numerous resorts and beaches surrounding Lima the one that suits your preference. Sandy or rocky, calm or wavy, all the beaches have one thing in common…the great quantity of plankton (organism present in water) which gives the green color of the ocean and strong currents necessary for surfing. The fun is guaranteed.
Punta hermosa its best known for its big waves but also as a hot spot for weekends getaway, located only 40 km south of Lima.
Being almost the end of summer (March) the ocean was quite cold but the weather didn’t stop us from having an amazing day in Paradise.
In conclusion Lima it’s one of the best cities I ever visited and more than that, the place where I would love to spend my entire life.