Best Date to Visit: May – Sep
Things to Do: Dine, Shop, Museums and more
Points of Interest: Museo Larco, Larcomar, La Catedral de Lima, Park of the Reserve, Plaza Mayor, Park of love, ect
The Good: Vey rich in colonial Spanish culture/ plenty of preserved buildings from the Spanish era.
The Bad: One of the most undeveloped capital, I’ve been to. Taxis have no meters making it difficult for tourists to determine correct prices.
Lima is the capital city of Peru which founded after the ‘Peruvian War of independence’. The city has a population of more than 10 million making it the 3rd most populated city in the Americas. An interesting fact is that the City of Lima is built on a desert and is known to be one of the most driest capitals in the world some sources says it is second driest just behind Cairo.
Lima for me was out of the ordinary, it was the most undeveloped capital city I have ever encountered in terms of lifestyle. However this wasn’t a massive blow but an interesting aspect of the country. The city itself was large and easy to explore, first impression is that the city is very very religious (Christianity) with churches nearly every corner of the city.
Lima is the second largest desert capital in the world.
The Beautiful City Centre
Firstly the best place to visit in the capital is Lima’s historic centre and Rimac district. The historic centre is a UNESCO world heritage site since 1988, with plenty of traditional old styled Spanish buildings. Whilst I can’t say I visited every points of interest, there is definitely plenty to see and do. One of the places to go is Plaza Mayor which is one of the main square of the district and the area where Francisco Pizarro (a Spanish Conquistador) founded Lima. Around this square you will find the Municipality of Lima, Lima Cathedral, Palacio Arzobispal de Lima and other attractions surrounding a beautifully gardened plaza.
In my opinion the historic centre should equate to a whole days visit with plenty of churches, monuments and significant buildings around. Furthermore there is also countless modern outlets and restaurants so there will be plenty to see and do whilst visiting the area.
A Lot to Learn
One of the highlight of my Lima trip is ‘Larco Museum’ in the Pueblo Libre district known to be one of the best in Peru and top 25 in the world. Here there are many historic relics and artefacts from the ancient Incan era. In my opinion It is a good way to start off your journey if you are visiting Machu Picchu.
The Richer Section
Finally one of the more developed places in Lima is ‘Mira Flores’ which is definitely the upper residential and commercial neighbourhood in the city. Firstly the place that must be visited is ‘Larcomar’ which is a large modern upper class shopping mall in Lima, here there are high end brands and restaurants such as Nike, Kipling, Pandora and so much more. Mira Flores also has a ‘cliff walk’ which gives various panoramic views of Lima Bay, this pathway welcomes many with pets and allows various leisure activities such as biking, skateboarding, yoga and many more. Along this area there are lighthouses, paragliding, surfing and many more. The ‘Park of Love’ which is part of the cliff walk and about 15 minutes away from Larcomar, is also a popular place for locals and tourists to unwind. Finally Mira Flores is also the district where there are plenty of traditional outdoor markets one of them which I visited was the ‘Indian Market’ which had various souvenirs and traditional crafts, the best place for souvenirs in my opinion.
My Take on the Capital
Overall Lima is a capital that is catching up with the rest around the world in terms of modernising. The real gem of the city (for tourism) would not be their modern approach anyway but their history. All their preserved Spanish colonial buildings made the city for me and I don’t think any new buildings would give the city a push in tourism. I was particular assured that there was plenty of security in nearly every corner of the tourist areas I walked (especially in Centro) but i tend to think why they need the large numbers, is there something I’m missing in terms of safety? Anyway The biggest negative I have is the fact that taxis do not have meters and a price is negotiated with the drivers, now how can this be fair for a tourist who has no clue on what is fair or not? Nonetheless the city was enjoyable, there was plenty to see and learn, sometimes too many. 3 days would be a good duration to stay in the capital.
References https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lima https://www.lonelyplanet.com/peru/lima https://www.wsp.org/featuresevents/features/lima-running-dry-–-promoting-water-culture-second-driest-capital-world