Lima is the capital of Peru and is probably where you’ll fly into (I highly recommend flying into Lima versus Cusco so you don’t get destroyed by the high altitude in Cusco… It’ll hit you hard and hit you fast….Stay tuned for next weeks post on Top things to do in Cusco which will have tips on beating altitude sickness ). Lima is a cool city, but you don’t need to spend a ton of time here. If you’re on a short time-line, 1 full day is enough! If you have more time, spend 2-3 days and really see everything! Also check out my previous post here for a great packing list for South America
Hostel Recommendation: Pariwana
Pariwana was an AMAZING hostel to stay at. It is in an area called Miraflores, which is the boujee part of Lima. You are just a stone throw away from amazing restaurants and bars. Plus Pariwana has a great rooftop bar with tons of seating, ping pong, Foosball and beerpong… you genuinely couldn’t ask for more out of a $16/night hostel. I would reccomend getting them to have a taxi sent to pick you up from the airport. It’s a set price, and then you don’t have to feel worried about getting in a sketchy cab late at night. (The airport in Lima is kinda dodgy)
Another great thing about this hostel, is it’s so big and popular that you’re going to meet some amazing people! I’m about to go on a bit of a tangent so bare with me….. Meeting people in hostels is hands down one of the best parts of traveling. Some people I met here on my first night I ended up meeting up with a month later down in Chile….. And other people I had met here I kept in touch with and flew down to Florida at the end of my trip to meet up with…. Great crew (you know who you are). Sorry…. just took a little mini trip down memory lane there…. The point of all of this is, it’s a great hostel, and make sure you go out of your way to meet the other travelers. If you’re interested in booking, check out their website here.
As I mentioned above, Lima isn’t the most note-worthy of the places in Peru, so my list of activities is going to be a little short. I would keep your time in Lima to a minimum, fill your day or two with these activities and then move on.
Lima doesn’t have amazing surf, but when I was there, there was a pretty big swell period (time between waves) which is great, and the waves were about 3-5 ft which was perfect for me. If you head down to the beach, you’ll have no problem finding a board and wetsuit to rent. I am also pretty sure I heard some people giving lessons, so if you’re just getting started you could most likely get a pretty cheap lesson. I met a great guy (Bruno) who let me borrow his board and suit in exchange for a beer sooooo as long as you’re nice this activity doesn’t have to cost you much.
Free Walking Tour
So yes, the walking tour is “free” in the sense that there is no listed price… but you are expected to tip. Anything between the equivalent of $10-$20 CAD is more than enough! Totally worth it though, the walking tour takes you around the city and shows you all the highlights. It’s a great first day activity to get yourself familiar with the city and meet some other people (shout to my Florida crew). The tour also took us to a cool craft-beer bar where we got free samples, and to a chocolate factory where we again, got free samples. So it’s definitely worth it!
Check out the Barranco District
Barranco is just down the street from Miraflores (13 minute drive…. or if you’re a psycho like I am, about an hour long walk). It’s right on the coast, and is a bit more “hip” than Miraflores. If you’re spending more than 2 days in Lima I would recommend even staying in Barranco for a couple nights just to change things up. Check out new restaurants and new bars… plus there is another “free walking tour” for Barranco as well.
I wasn’t in Lima long enough to come up with a super long list of where to eat. I mostly cooked at the hostel, or ate the food they had there (which was pretty good!). However, these 2 places listed below are definitely a must-do!
This restaurant is somewhat “upscale” and is home to the best ceviche in all of Peru. I realize that it a bit of a stretch but it has the best ceviche in Lima, and anyone who knows anything knows that Lima has the best ceviche in all of Peru… so you can put two and two together. The second best part about this restaurant is it is on top of the cliff and over-looking the ocean. So, it is a great spot to watch the sunset!
Did you know that Lima, Peru is home to a michelin star restaurant! Yeah…. from my understanding there aren’t any of those in all of Canada…. soooooooooooooo that’s pretty neat! The best part is you get amazing, world class food, but still at Peruvian prices. (Side story: I once went to a michelin star restaurant in Budapest and I think it was something like $45 per sushi roll… YA …. PER INDIVIDUAL ROLL). So take advantage of this amazing opportunity! We were lucky enough to get a reservation a few days in advance but I would suggest booking a reservation as early as possible!
If you’ve been to Lima and have anything else to add, please let me know in the comments below!