We flew direct from Medellín to Lima with Avianca airlines. We pre-arranged a taxi ride (55 soles) to Miraflores using Transporte Fácil Peru. I messaged them on Facebook and arranged a ride with ease. Taxi prices can run a bit higher, so we preferred to plan ahead. The airport offers 30 minutes of free wifi, in case you need to communicate with your pick-up arrangement.
We mostly used our feet to get around the city, and stayed around Miraflores neighborhood. To reach downtown and the Plaza de Armas, we took the metro bus. The cost is 5 soles for a card, and 5 soles for a round trip ticket. Taxis are around, but for safety reasons, make sure it is obviously marked and has documentation. Without meters, prices should be negotiated before entering a cab. When in doubt, have your hotel call one for you or use a phone app like Easy Taxi. (For more details on taxis in Lima check out this article)
Get Your Adventure On
Larcomar: Even if you’re not into shopping, this cliff-side mall perched on the coastal hills is worth checking out. We grabbed a seat with a view at one of the many restaurants.
Plaza de Armas: We spent a day walking through this downtown spot, full of people-watching, churros, corn snacks and European architecture.
Museo del Pisco: On the corner of the Plaza de Armas, this bar offers tours that provide of wealth of information on the country’s prized liquor: pisco.
Coastal Parks: Along the high cliffs next to the ocean, you can find several public parks lined with grass, playgrounds, seating, and locals. These are a great spot to sit for a picnic or enjoy the sunset over the water. One of the most iconic park is called Parque del Amor, filled with beautifully tiled sculptures detailed with quotes about love.
Kennedy Park: Our taxi driver described this area using the phrase hay de todo, or ‘there’s a bit of everything’. Breweries, bars, fine dining, clubs, late-night eateries, and park events were a few of the activities we enjoyed. We chose to stay in a hotel next to the park which kept us centrally located around all the hype.
Markets: Just north of Kennedy Park, several local markets and artesanal shops await you. We wandered up to one of the open-air vendor locations and explored for a while. Some of the better finds include alpaca gear (sweaters, blankets, gloves) and silver jewelry. I noticed that vendors were open to some bargaining but not too strongly. Expect to pay more for higher quality alpaca-fur items (lower costs means less alpaca blended with cotton or wool).
Eats & Drinks
Raw Cafe: I have to recommend this for my vegan friends or fellow gluten-free eaters! They had a lovely array of desserts, veggies and rice bowls, GF breakfast dishes (yes, pancakes!), and lentil burgers. There are a couple locations, including one in Miraflores.
La Lucha Sanguchería: Cheap, late-night eats won me over at this place. We had what was essentially the poutine of Peru (Lomipapas: fries covered in cheese sauce, onions, peppers, and grilled lomo steak).
Alfresco: This higher-priced restaurant is just a 10 min walk from Kennedy Park. The food is worth every sole! My favorite dish was the blank ink risotto, mixed lavishly with squid and topped with crab meat. They offer huge platters to share of grilled seafood or meats. Make reservations!
La Mar Cebicheria: At least five people recommended this place to us, and it was obvious why. Hands down the best ceviche we had, and I’m glad we ordered the sampler platter. To top it off, we feasted on grilled scallops served in clam shells with a garlic olive oil sauce. Divine! Note: They only serve lunch (closed at 5pm) so that there fish is served as fresh as possible. Make reservations!
Panchita: Luckily we made it to this restaurant on our way out of town. It ended up being my favorite meal! They serve traditional Peruvian dish done elegantly. We shared a roasted chicken with cilantro sauce and a pork stew, both recommended by the server. Come here to try Peruvian food you may not find everywhere including roasted guinea pig. (For my gluten-free friends, they also served a GF quinoa beer on tap here!)
We spent a day checking out this neighborhood south of Miraflores. Although we went during the daytime, it seemed like a fun atmosphere to experience nightlife as well.
Barra Mar: We stumbled upon this place and found some delicious, high-quality ceviche. The fish was super fresh, topped with crispy bits, and laid on a bed of sweet potatoes. They got extra points for giving us each our own tub of canchita so we didn’t have to share!
Crem dela Crem: This ice cream is offensively good. Personally, I highly value unique flavors and they win in this category. Options include Peanut Butter & Jelly, Carrot Cake, and Banana Fosters…what?!? Try them all.
Since our trip to Lima was unexpected and unplanned, we threw together an itinerary quite quickly. I would return with more purpose, perhaps checking out a museum or two, planning a trip outside the city, and getting more into the nightlife. Or honestly, I wouldn’t mind returning and eating all of these items one more time.