Arriving into Lima I’ll admit that I didn’t really know what to expect. Jason had led much of the planning of South America, with me chipping in here and there, but in terms of the culture or landscape, my mind was a blank canvas. Our first sight of Peru was through the plane window, an endless landscape of dusty mountains with tiny paths winding through them, more likely to be huge paths down at land level. When I see the views from planes, I love trying to imagine the people who might be living down there, what they could be up to at that very moment.
The next morning after a rocky night’s sleep (I guess it’s expected with hostels) we set off for a day out exploring the local area of Miraflores, Barranco and Lima centre. Miraflores is classed as the high end of town and apart from the psychotic driving that makes crossing the road a death defying experience, it has a nice chic city feel to it. Barranco, which is a bit more of a classic Peruvian town, was slightly different with an artsy hipster vibe. We instantly fell in love with this beautiful place where the walls were adorned with street art and little makeshift galleries were hidden away in the local courtyards. We were lucky enough to see the place in the evening as well where it had a much livelier feel to it with music and street performances. It has the sense of a place still untouched by excessive tourism and we were able to walk the streets in the evening comfortably and safely.
We took the Metropolitana to Lima centre (the smartest choice given the chocablok traffic that seems to be the norm here) and it only took us three attempts until we managed to get on the right bus into town, good job we didn’t have to pay each time! The main plaza was beautiful and the architecture had a very European feel to it reminiscent of Italian and Spanish architecture.
There is plenty to keep you busy for a few days in Lima depending on your pace, from hidden gems like a water fountain park full of beautiful displays and evening light projection shows to the local pre-Incan ruins Huaca Pucllana, where you’ll also get to see some cute Llamas and Alpacas as part of the tour.
Lima has been a great introduction to Peru, showing us both the cultural and historical sides. The only downside is that I clearly won’t be losing any weight in South America if the food is as great as it has been in Lima!