We’re not big on large cities, and as the capital of Peru, Lima falls into the big city category. We didn’t have high expectations for Lima, and were planning on staying for a night then continue on heading up the coast. However, Lima pleasantly surprised us and we ended up staying longer. Miraflores, the main backpacker hub, is a lively neighbourhood on the oceanside with lots of green space. We also made our way over to Barranco, a hip neighbourhood with lots of art, colour and parks. Lima is also a culinary capital of the world, so make sure to get some high quality ceviche! Don’t underestimate this Peruvian capital, and make sure to allot a couple days to exploring this vibrant city!
How to Get There
We bussed from Ica/Huacachina to Lima on Peru Bus for 40 soles. The trip took about 5.5 hours. There were screens in the back of all the seats, but there were only Spanish movies.
We also took a bus from Lima to Trujillo (we stayed in Huanchaco) which took about 10 hours on Movil Bus. That trip cost us 60 soles. There were USB chargers for each seat, but the wifi didn’t work and again the movies were in Spanish. You can check out our reviews on the bus companies, and others here.
Where to Stay
Flying Dog Hostel – This fun hostel is in a great location in Miraflores (the usual backpacker hub to stay!). We opted for a dorm room as we were travelling with our friend and rooms were pretty expensive in this area. It was 38 soles for a comfy six bed dorm. The common room was decked out with tvs, comfy couches, a foosball table and a nice view. The dorm price also included a nice breakfast from a cafe next door with eggs, toast, and juice/coffee. You can book a dorm bed online here.
What to Do
- Parque del Amor – This park is a great green space that runs along the cliffs on the oceanfront. It’s nice for a short walk, to check out the statues and some ocean views!
- Rosa Nautica Pier – If you walk past the surfer stalls selling lessons along the boardwalk, you can get to Rosa Nautica Pier. You don’t have to go to the restaurant at the end, but getting out on the ocean is pretty cool! We had great views of the surfers, and saw lots of crabs and even a sea lion!
Larcomar Mall – A modern change from our usual market shopping, the Larcomar Mall is a staple of the Miraflores area. The mall itself is nice, but the fact that it’s built into the oceanside cliffs is what makes it an attraction on this list! We walked along the food court patio and had people parasailing right overtop us!
Barranco – A short 10 soles cab ride away from Miraflores is the hip neighbourhood of Barranco. There were tons of street performers and even a band in the Plaza de Armas. The surrounding streets sported a lot of art and restaurants to check out, we enjoyed lots of time just wandering around the area.
Park Federico Villareal – This park in Barranco leads down to the ocean, and has lots of street stalls, cool graffiti and sculptures. It also has a great viewpoint to check out the sunset! There are artists everywhere selling jewelry and paintings for you to check out.
- Mercado Artesanal – A huge maze-like market just north of Park Kennedy in Miraflores. A little expensive compared to the markets we went to in Cusco and elsewhere, but there was lots of cool stuff! You could spends hours walking around this market.
Where to Eat
- Punto Azul – This was an amazing seafood restaurant, living up to Lima’s reputation as a culinary capital. They had the Peruvian favourite, ceviche, which is raw fish done up in delicious sauce! We had that as an appetizer and we all had delicious seafood pastas as our entrees. It was a little on the expensive side, but you’ve gotta splurge on one nice meal in Lima!
- Blu Gelateria – A great tiny gelato place in Barranco with some really fun flavours!
- Calle de las Pizzas – There are lots of restaurants along this street right off of Diagonal St. near Parque Kennedy. The doormen are super pushy, but you’ll find some decent meal and drink deals here.