According to themeparktour, the story goes that Lima was founded by the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro in 1535 as an outpost during the conquest of Peru. After 5 years, it became the capital of the Spanish colonial authorities and even received the title of “beautiful, delightful, loyal city of kings.” She saw the influx of the Spanish nobility, the reign of 40 viceroys, and in 1821 was declared the capital of independent Peru.
Interest in Lima does not fade even today. Despite the fact that it can hardly be called a tourist’s dream: there is constant smog, the accumulation of millions of people and cars, and it takes quite a long time to get there. But the “city of kings” knows how to take even the most sophisticated travelers. Some are invited to walk among the monumental mansions of the historic center – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – or unravel the mystery of the ancient temple of Pachacamac. Others are drawn to the ocean raging at the foot of the rocks. And the third is attracted by the neon light of fashionable discos and fantastic shows that increase the party glory of Lima. See nexticle for cultural travel in South America.
How to get to Lima
You won’t be able to get to Lima quickly: there are no direct flights from Moscow there. Most likely, everyone will be delivered to their destination and brought back by the Air France-KL-M tandem from / to Sheremetyevo in about 18 hours with transfers in Paris (there) and Amsterdam (back). From Domodedovo, fly about 20 hours via Barcelona and Madrid with Ural Airlines and Iberia. Flights from Vnukovo and Zhukovsky involve 2-3 transfers.
It is also possible to fly from St. Petersburg with one transfer – from Air France via the French Charles de Gaulle. But it will cost twice as much as a similar flight from Moscow, and it will take the same 18 hours in time.
From airport to city
Especially for tourists from Lima airport to the city (Miraflores district), buses of the Airport Express Lima company were launched (off. site). Blue shuttles will easily compete not only with ordinary public transport, but also with taxis: they have air conditioning, free wi-fi and usb ports and no luggage restrictions. You can buy tickets at the company’s counters at the airport, online or on the bus itself. The shuttle runs from 7:00 to 0:00, picks up passengers in the parking area of the airport terminal, makes 7 stops in Miraflores.
If you want to immediately dive into Peruvian life, you can leave the airport by regular bus. You will have to “catch” him on the track, the landmark is a motley group of locals.
Private traders in old cars are massively engaged in transportation, there are about a dozen official carriers. But it is worth contacting them, even if it comes out more expensive. The counters are located at the exit from the arrivals area, where the passenger immediately pays for the trip, and he is escorted to the car – as a rule, relatively new and air-conditioned. The fare to the center is 65 PEN.
You can negotiate with a private trader for 45 PEN, but for this you need to know Spanish and be able to distinguish a crook from someone who is trustworthy.
Generous Lima will shelter a tourist in modest apartments and in a chic “five” – the choice of a hotel depends on the tourist’s wallet and place of residence. The safest and most popular areas of the city are the favorite of visitors and locals Miraflores, the bohemian Barranco, Santiago de Surco and the business center of San Isidro. You should not settle in the center: smog is more noticeable and unsafe in the evenings.
Good apartments are rented for 100 PEN per day, a room in a 3 * hotel – for 190 PEN. Free Wi-Fi and air conditioning are included in the price. If these options are not critical, you can rent an apartment for 50 PEN.
The “five” of eminent hotel families are represented in Lima almost in full strength: JW Marriott, Swissotel, Hilton, Sheraton have chosen San Isidro, Santiago de Surco, Miraflores and the center. Almost everyone is ready to boast of close proximity to the ocean, mega-cool spas and restaurants. Per night they will ask from 500 PEN.
The most expensive hotel in Lima is Belmond Miraflores Park 5 * with marble baths and a heated pool. A night in it will cost 1400 PEN.
You should choose transport here based on the desired level of comfort: taxis, buses, and private cars stand for the same length of time in numerous traffic jams.
Public transport is represented by buses. Smaller and worse people drive on secondary streets. You can stop them with a wave of your hand, tickets are sold by the conductor, you can only dream of air conditioning and normal seats in them. Large comfortable metrobuses of the El Metropolitana company run along dedicated lanes of the central streets. They pick up and drop off passengers strictly at pavilion stops with turnstiles, tickets can be bought there from vending machines or from the driver. The network covers both the center and the outskirts.
Lima has the world’s largest subway, which runs entirely on flyovers. Tourists, however, will not need it: the elevated train consists of one line that does not go into the center.
A legal taxi can be taken at the parking lot near the bus and air terminal, in the area of hotels and iconic sights. Private traders slow down with a wave of the hand. For travel they will take a little less than official companies. The average cost of a trip around the city is 45 PEN.
Bicycles are quite popular in Lima. You can rent them at a hotel or rental office. However, there are few dedicated paths, so you will have to travel both on the roads and on the sidewalks.
Renting a car in the capital of Peru is not worth it: traffic jams, crowding, local indifference to traffic rules. But if the desire is stronger than common sense, you should take care of this issue already at the airport: there are offices of international Hertz, Avis and a little less well-known Budget and Grupo ANC.
What to bring
For souvenirs, you should bring a separate suitcase: local craftsmen skillfully weave, knit, sculpt and carve – it’s unrealistic to leave without a purchase. The first step is to “start hunting” for Peruvian carpets and clothing made from alpaca skins and wool – ponchos, hats, cozy sweaters, socks. You can “dilute” their company with a pair of colorful woven towels or a bright blanket. Next, turn your attention to the local ceramics: copies of ancient vessels, plates and mugs in the Art Nouveau style, ethnic dishes, and especially sets for drinking mate tea.
Fans of drinks from around the world can grab a couple of bottles of low-alcohol corn “chichi” and very strong grape vodka “pisco”.
Noteworthy are paintings by Peruvian artists, wooden ritual masks and figurines, numerous musical instruments (the kena flute is made of reed, the charango guitar is made from the armadillo shell) and gold and silver jewelry reminiscent of Inca treasures.
For shopping, you should take a walk to the Indio’s market (Av. Petit Thouars 5245) and Inka Market on Calle Gonzales Prada 280 – here you can bargain. Luxury shopping will be provided by Centro Comercial Caminos Del Inca at Jiron Monterrey 170, Centro Comercial Larcomar with a magical ocean view (Malecon de la Reserva 610) and the Ilaria Jewelery Gallery (Av. El Bosque 277). The mode of operation of many shops is subject to a siesta with a break of 1-2 hours.
Cuisine and restaurants in Lima
Bringing not only great memories from Lima, but also a couple of extra pounds is a trifling matter. It’s all about the fantastic local cuisine. The basis of the dishes: rice, vegetables (corn and dozens of types of potatoes), meat – pork, beef and chicken, as well as exotic meat of llama and guinea pigs (a delicacy called “kui” is dearly loved by the Peruvian nobility). All kinds of spices and fruits are held in high esteem, fresh juices are made from them and added to the first and second courses.
Peruvian cuisine has been influenced by Spanish, Chinese and Japanese cuisines. Hence the abundance of thick soups, seafood, including raw, sweet sauces and noodles.
Of the iconic dishes, it is worth noting “soup a la creola” with beef, noodles, vegetables and milk, kebab from pickled bull’s heart “anticucho”, “pachamanca” – vegetables stewed in an earthen pit with meat, assorted seafood “ceviche de mariscos, flan pie with cream and coconut flakes, and mate tea with coca leaves.
Fast food fans can buy fried chicken from the stall, a kind of burger with chicken, sweet potatoes and eggs, and in a vegetarian version – with avocado; tortillas with meat and vegetable fillings. Popular with locals, but a little frightening to visitors, a nutritious mixture of fruits, barley, oatmeal, milk, sugar and lemon, similar to liquid porridge.
A snack on the run will cost from 20 PEN per person, lunch in a mid-range restaurant – from 95 PEN, in a high-class establishment, a dinner with alcohol for two will cost at least 800 PEN.