I couldn’t leave this series on Peru without mentioning Lima – after all this will probably be your first and last stay in the country. So here are a few observations, suggestions and tips.
Lima is a great city, and certainly worth staying for a few nights. It is worth giving yourself a bit of time here at both ends of your holiday. When you arrive you will probably be tired and jet-lagged (depending on where you are coming from of course). And before you leave it is good to have a bit of leeway in case of any delays.
Getting from the Airport
By far the best way to get from the airport to the city is by the Airport Express Lima official bus service. This is a fast, cheap, regular service which covers the main tourist areas, where most of the hotels are situated. Follow the link above to see the route, stops and timetables.
It is also the safest way of getting into the city – we found the driving in Lima to be quite alarming! Nobody seems to want to stop at crossroads – everyone just keeps creeping forward, even though traffic is hurtling past with what seems like inches to spare……. This only seemed to be the case in Lima – once out of the city everything was fine!
Many hotels in Lima will arrange a transfer from the airport – check with your hotel, but also check how much they will charge for this, because the bus service may be much cheaper, and almost as convenient.
Where to Stay
Many guidebooks suggest staying in the Miraflores area, and we definitely agree. This area is attractive and upmarket, with lots of good hotels, restaurants, shops and parks. It has all the facilities that tourists need for a pleasant couple of days in the city.
Things to do in Miraflores
There is a lovely walk known as the boardwalk which follows the top of the cliffs with great views of the Pacific.
Before we travelled I had read about the Larcomar shopping centre and not been particularly interested – I am not a fan of generic shopping malls that could be anywhere in the world! But Larcomar is fantastic. Much more than just a shopping mall, it is a multi-level complex, spectacularly built into (and sometimes overhanging) the cliff-face.
The complex has some great restaurants, with terraces overlooking the ocean.
The city centre has some fine architecture, as well as many picturesque parks and squares.
American black vultures frequent the city, and are a common sight on high buildings.
A great way to spend an afternoon is to take an open-top bus tour of the city.
These and many more tours from Lima can be booked in advance through Viator.
Lima is worth more than just a quick stopover before starting your tour of Peru – it is a lovely destination in its own right!
For more ideas and resources if visiting Peru please see the Practicalities page.
Please remember that this post is based purely on our own experiences – therefore kindly note the Disclaimer.