Peru is a beautiful and diverse country located on the western side of the South American continent. A long stunning coastline, huge swathes of Amazon jungle and the towering peaks of the Andes combine to create a country that boasts a range of incredible landscapes, cultures and food types. Peru has a long and storied history that have left a number of significant archeological sites and awe-inspiring ruins.
Peru is a very big country, the third largest in South America. It covers a total area of 1,285,216 square kilometres. The land mass is more than twice the size of the state of Texas in the United States. The people of Peru are a mix of many different cultures, including Indians, Spaniards and other Europeans, descendants of African slaves, and Asians. Until the 1970s, most people lived in the countryside. But now, more than 70 percent live in cities.
Lima, the capital city of Peru is the second largest desert city after Cairo. It is the fifth largest city in South America with a population of over 10 million people. It is also famous for being the gastronomic capital of the Americas!
Peru was declared the world’s leading culinary destination again for the 6th year running in 2017, with many world-renowned chefs predicting Peruvian cuisine will be the next big thing. So don’t miss the chance to taste it in Lima, the heart of Peru. Lima has a thriving restaurant scene where you can taste for yourself why Peruvian cuisine has been attracting so much attention in recent years. We recommend you try ceviche (the traditional raw fish dish cooked only with lemon), causa de atún, yucas, lomo saltado… we could go on and on!
Peru is also famous for the quality of its textiles, and many world-famous brands like Lacoste manufacture their clothing here. Shopping in Lima is in abundance, from the beautiful Larcomar on the Costa Verde close to Miraflores to the monstrous Jockey Plaza shopping mall in Surco, which contains some of the most exclusive shops in Peru. If these malls are out of your budget, there is a huge black market here in Lima, the 2 most famous markets being Gamarra and Polvos Azules.
Lima is a sprawling city, and away from the main tourist areas above, there are many gems. In the south, there is a place called Asia, a stretch of about 50kms of beaches with modern restaurants, bars and nightclubs, it is normal to see Lima’s feel deserted during Summer weekends as so many goes south to party and relax. To the north there is a place called Caral, a UNESCO world heritage site thought to be the oldest city in the Americas (over 5,000 years old) and only recently made open to tourists. We can´t forget Pachacamac, 30 minutes inland and to the South where we can visit the famous pre-Inca Citadel.
Must see things to do in Lima
Follow these steps:
- Spend an evening witnessing an amazing light and fountain show at Circuito Magico del Agua. It’ll make you feel like you’re in the magical movie. A must see.
- See all the masterpieces and treasures full of Peruvian history at the Larco Museum.
- See the ruins at Pachacamac, a pre-Inca Sanctuary located 30 minutes to the south of Lima.
- Walking tours including the Plaza de Armas in Lima City Center. The Spanish colonial influences can be felt throughout the whole city, but Plaza de Armas is probably the heart of Colonial Lima.
- Take a walk along the beautiful Costa Verde from Miraflores to Barranco.
- Take a day trip to Caral, which is just 2 hours from Lima, it is the oldest city in the world and a UNESCO world heritage site.
- Try ceviche, causa de atun, lomo saltado, and many other Peruvian cuisines.
- Spend a walk in the evening around Barranco’s Puente de Los Suspiros.
- Go to Las Brisas del Titicaca for a traditional dance evening in the City Center. (Wednesday – Saturday)
Follow these steps:
- Be careful using ATM machines and avoid using them at night if possible.
- Be aware of pickpockets and NEVER take your passport or credit card anywhere unless 100% necessary.
- Lima City Center at night can be dangerous. Be careful, only day trips are recommended and try not to go alone.
- Use caution whenever stopping a taxi. Some try to scam travelers or in some cases rob them. Ask our reception staff to call a trusted taxi service for you.
Taxis inside the airport are safe but expensive. Airport Express Lima can be a good option for getting to or from the airport and Miraflores.
- Currency Exchange – If you want to change cash then there are many people selling dollars and soles on the streets (almost everywhere in Peru accepts dollars and soles), or of course you can go to one of the local banks. If exchanging money on the street make sure you are in a safe district like Miraflores.
- Try to avoid bringing credit cards or other valuables out at night. It is best to just bring what you need and store everything else in lockers at your hostel.
There are many bars, pubs and clubs all in Miraflores within a short walking distance from the hostel. Some in Larcomar with incredible vistas of the Pacific Ocean are well worth a visit.