Monday, 19 December 2016

PERU: Visit Lima For Your Next Holiday

Lima is the capital of Peru and its largest city

With most tourists dashing through Lima on their way to see Peru’s famous Machu Picchu ruins, the country’s capital has long flown under the radar as a destination in its own right.

And many aren’t seeing the city at its very best: northern hemisphere travellers typically make the mistake of visiting the city in July or August.

The garua or sea mist hangs over the city making everything cold, grey and damp.

If you're there in the southern hemisphere summer from December to February, you find Lima transformed.
With its Pacific views, hippy vibe and fresh food, the mix-up is understandable.

With nearly 10 million residents, Lima is South America’s fourth largest city, trailing just behind Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro, and that energy infuses the music and nightlife as well.

Everyone is super friendly and there is always a party and good food.

Residents won’t stop praising the quality of the food. Peruvians are passionate to an Italian degree over their ingredients and their cuisine. You simply won't eat better seafood anywhere.

Lima has more restaurants than any city outside of Tokyo,Paris, London and New York.

Haute cuisine is cheap enough. Visit a cevicheria or seafood restaurant, or chifa Chinese restaurant and you'll find good food for a small cost.

Lima is split into 30 districts,43 if you count the outside districts of the Lima province, so living options range from the densely populated, always-on areas to more residential and quiet spots.

Bohemian Barranco, located 13km south of the central Cercado de Lima, is one of the city’s most popular neighbourhoods, famous for its preserved casonas, Spanish-colonial influenced houses. With ocean views, plenty of green space and lots of restaurants and cafes, it’s a favourite of artists, writers and musicians. Barranco also has surfer-friendly beaches and a yacht club for boaters.

Miraflores, 10km south of downtown, is often crowded with tourists but has much of the city’s upscale shopping, restaurants and nightlife, much of it in Larcomar, the 100-store mall and entertainment centre.

The city’s financial centre, San Isidro, 9km south of downtown and popular with the city’s politicians and celebrities, has an upscale residential feel. It’s home to the Lima Golf Club and famous Bosque El Olivar, where Spanish olive trees from the 17th Century still grow.

La Molina, 20km east of downtown, has large houses and numerous exclusive country clubs.

Tourists may hop the quick one-hour flight to Cusco to get to the famous Incan ruins, but plenty of other interesting destinations can be reached without ever stepping on a plane. Set in a mountain valley, Lunahuana, 184km south of Lima, attracts both locals and tourists alike for its white-water rafting along the CaƱete River. The area also recently became the first in the Lima region to offer a pisco trail, which includes five nearby wineries.

Cieneguilla, just 40km east of downtown, and Marcahuasi, 20km south of downtown, are both easy spots for outdoor getaways with plenty of camping and hiking spots.

Other South American cities can be reached via direct flight, including Rio de Janerio in five hours and Buenos Aires in four hours. Central American cities like San Jose can also be reached in less than four hours.

Though the city is growing more expensive, especially in comparison to other cities in Peru, Lima is still much more affordable than cities in its fellow South American countries.

Lima is about 25% less expensive on average than Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires for food, housing and transportation, and about 60% less expensive than New York City in those categories.