2 days in Lima, Peru
Lima is the capital of Peru. Most people when they think of Lima, think of it as a city that one must pass in order to arrive to the more desirable locations such as Cusco and Machu Picchu. Some don’t even leave the airport. But to miss this capital, which contains more that 30% of the Peruvian nation, is a big mistake. From culture, to food, to great nature views, Lima has much to offer.To give a small taste of what this city has to offer I explain how I chose to spend 2 days in Lima.
Day 1- Hisotoric city center museums and restaurants
Morning around the main plaza of the historic city center
This first day in Lima can be fully filled in the historic center of the city. Start your day out in “Bar Restaurante el Cordano” eating a delicious ham sandwich
, coffee, and papaya juice at this classic restaurant where you can often spot the powerful policy makers of Peru also having breakfast. It is located on the corner to the right of the National Palace. I recommend the “Jamon del pais.”
After breakfast, take a walk down the street to the Basilica de San Francisco. Join the tour of the creepy catacombs underneath the church. Keep a look out for the skulls. Although it looks very old, do not worry, these catacombs have survived earthquakes for hundreds of years.
After the church take some time getting lost in the downtown. Walk down the small streets such as Jiron Junin and Jiron Ica. Enter the “Museo de la Inquisición y del Congress” to learn about how the Inquisition of the Spaniards affected Peru. Step into the “Casa de Literatura Peruana” to learn about some famous authors of Peruvian history and some more contemporary books. Head over to Chinatown for some gift shopping. Or in Jiron Ucayali step into the Museo del Banco Central de Reserva del Peru which has old money and other pieces of history of Peru. All of these stops offer free entry. Once you are tired and hungry, off the main plaza (Plaza Mayor), you will find a small one block street full of restaurants offering large 10 sole ($3) “menus” where you can find anything to your liking.
Afternoon in Hotel Bolivar and MALI
After lunch, head down the pedestrian street Jiron de la Union to the Plaza San Martin – stopping in some of the Peruvian department stores on the way. Once in the plaza step into the historic Hotel Bolivar, which will give you the sense you stepped back in time 100 years. This hotel boasts the creation of the Pisco Sour, so be sure to head into the bar and have one– or two. Specifically is it known for the Cathedra Pisco Sour- which is basically an extra large drink. Good times in Lima!
After your drink, keep heading down the street Jiron de la Union, past the shopping mall and Sheraton Hotel to the Museo de Arte de Lima – MALI. This large historic building will give you a great history of the art of Lima. The park it is located in is also very pleasant to walk around, and often has events occurring.
End your day exploring Miraflores or Barranco by night. I highly recommend Barbarian or Nuevo Mundo bars in Miraflores, or Ayahuasca in Barrranco. Later, check out Sargento Pimienta or La Noche for some dancing. The, get some rest.
Day 2- Strolling around beautiful neighborhoods and historic museums
Morning walking in Barranco and Miraflores
Start this day off with a wonderful breakfast at the Bodega Verde in Barranco. I love the Runners Breakfast. From there, head down to the Puente de los Suspiros for some nice ocean views of this old beach escape neighborhood of Lima. While Barranco is a place known for nighttime excursions, a walk around here during the day is a peaceful escape from usually bustling Lima. Spend the morning enjoying this, specifically the Plaza de Barranco. Then cross the big bridge back over to Miraflores for a beach stroll along the “Malecon de Miraflores”. Here you will find some amazing views, a mall on a cliff (Larcomar), people jumping off the cliff for Parasailing, and some amazing sculptures. Take your time here.
Keep walking down and end your morning around a street called “La mar” which is full of Lima’s amazing seafood. A favorite of mine is the restaurant “La Mar” by Gaston Acurio- a world renowned Peruvain chef. Here you can get a ceviche taster, where you can have 3 different types of the famous raw seafood dish. Also take a look for the fish of the day.
Afternoon in Pueblo Libre museums
Next, hop into a cab and head to the Museo Larco, famous for its huge collection of pre-Columbian artifacts, specifically its erotic art room. Just the building itself is worth a visit, a 18th century building covered in a variety of flowers. This museum gives you’re a great idea of the history of the many civilizations that lived in Peru and how they traded and interacted. After the Larco museum follow a blue line for about 20 minutes in a walk that winds you through the neighborhood not often visited by tourists- Pueblo Libre. This line leads you to the Museo Nacional de Arqueología. This place is huge, and most visitors including myself would be tired of museums by now, but it is worth entering for a quick view of the fabrics in the Paracas exhibit.
End your time in Lima with a drink in the famous Santiago Queirolo bar. I recommend a Chilcano- Pisco with lemon, and ginger ale. You can also get it in some fun fruit flavors, such as passion fruit (Maracuya). Accompany it with an appetizer plate which includes yucca balls filled with cheese, and anticuchos (beef heart). And then tell me Lima is not worth a stay! Enjoy.