Wednesday 21 December 2016
PERU: Visit Lima, The Gastronomy Capital Of The Americas
Lima is the capital of Peru and its largest city.
The modern city is a curious mix of the modern mega city with some 'islands of modernity', large but orderly slum areas and colonial architecture in the city center. Lima was the seat of the Spanish rule during 300 years, and as such it has wonderful churches, cloisters and monasteries that are worth a visit.
Lima is also the best place to try the wonderful Peruvian cuisine, which has a huge variety of ingredients from coast, mountain and Amazon regions. The cold sea current in front of Peru's large coast makes the sea very rich in fish and seafood, which have a great taste due to the special plankton they eat. Fish and seafood restaurants are therefore worth the time, and not expensive.
Lima is built upon a valley surrounded by an extremely arid desert. In the summer, the weather is usually beautiful, very warm and sunny, sometimes with rains around January. In the winter, the city is overcast and rainy for days at a time. The rain in the wintertime doesn't fall hard, but it gets everything wet. Temperature also falls to around 7-12 C⁰ (45-55⁰ F), which seems chillier when combined with the general dampness.
Metropolitan Lima is a metropolis of almost 8.5 million people. Many of these people have migrated from the Andes mountains to find work in Lima, without success. For this reason, there is widespread poverty in the city center and in the peripheral areas. If you fly into Lima, the first thing you see upon leaving the airport is these types of poor neighborhoods between the airport and Lima's historic center.
Lima's pre-Hispanic and colonial architecture is beautiful and the city has several museums such as Museo Larco that tell the story of a country with a long history that produced a large number of coastal and Andean civilizations (such as the Moche, Chavin, and the Incas) and many local cultures. There are several archeological sites both within and around the city locally known as huaca.
Jorge Chavez International Airport also called Jorge Chavez Airport Lima-Callao. It is in the harbour city Callao and within metropolitan Lima.
The airport is well connected with most cities in South America. There are regular flights to Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, Los Angeles, Newark, New York, Atlanta, Houston, and Dallas in the US. There are daily flights from Amsterdam, Madrid, Paris, Miami, Bogotá, Medellín, Quito, Santiago de Chile and Toronto.
Lima is the hub for many regional domestic flights and is served by LAN Peru, LC Busre, TACA Peru, and Star Peru.
Airlines Flying To And From Lima
- Aerolíneas Argentinas (Bogotá, Buenos Aires-Ezeiza)
- AeroGal (Guayaquil, Quito)
- Aeroméxico (Mexico City)
- Air Canada (Toronto-Pearson)
- Air Europa (Madrid)
- Air France (Paris-Charles de Gaulle)
- American Airlines (Miami, Dallas/Fort Worth)
Avianca and Avianca Peru Merged with Taca Asunción, Bogotá, Buenos Aires-Ezeiza, Cali, Cusco, Havana, Guatemala City, Guayaquil, La Paz, Medellín, Montevideo, Quito, Rio de Janeiro-Galeão, San José, San Salvador, Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Santiago, São Paulo-Guarulhos
- British Airways (London (Gatwick Airport)) 3 times per week
- Copa Airlines (Panama City)
- Delta Air Lines (Atlanta)
- Iberia (Madrid)
- jetBlue (Fort Lauderdale)
- KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (Amsterdam)
Latam and Latam Perú,Arequipa, Bogotá, Brasília, Buenos Aires-Ezeiza, Cajamarca, Cali, Cartagena de Indias, Chiclayo, Cordoba, Cusco, Easter Island, Guayaquil, Iquitos, Iquique, Juliaca, La Paz, Los Angeles, Madrid, Medellín, Mexico City, Miami, New York-JFK, Piura, Pucallpa, Puerto Maldonado, Punta Cana, Quito, Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Santiago de Chile, São Paulo, Tacna, Tarapoto, Trujillo, Tumbes.
- LCPeru (Andahuaylas, Ayacucho, Cajamarca, Chimbote, Huancayo, Huánuco, Huaraz)
- Peruvian Airlines (Arequipa, Cusco, Iquitos, Pucallpa, Piura, Tacna)
- Sky Airlines (Antofagasta, Santiago de Chile)
- Spirit Airlines (Fort Lauderdale)
- Star Perú (Ayacucho, Cajamarca, Cusco, Iquitos, Pucallpa, Puerto Maldonado, Tarapoto)
- TAM Airlines (São Paulo-Guarulhos)
- TAME (Quito)
- United Airlines (Houston-Intercontinental, Newark)
Arrival at the airport can be chaotic. Most flights from overseas arrive in clumps either early in the morning or very late at night, which means that getting through immigration and customs can be tremendously time consuming; the difference between arrival at the gate and exiting customs can range from 20-90 min.
The area immediately outside of customs is typically crowded, full of people waiting for arriving passengers. It's not uncommon for entire families to show up to greet a returning family member and the crowd is further swelled by pre-booked car and taxi service drivers holding up signs with passengers' names; in recent years, a large area where passengers can stand freely and scan the crowd to look for people and not be accosted has been cordoned off in front of customs exit.
If you are merely transiting through Lima, the airport has a separate hall for connecting international passengers, who need not pass through Peruvian immigration or customs, but will have to pass through a security checkpoint dedicated to screening connecting passengers before they can enter the secure area of the terminal where the international gates are located. Due to congestion, the airport often does not assign gates to flights until less than two hours before departure.
Airport to Miraflores: Get out of the airport and turn right on the main road. You will find the bus stop after the overhead bridge. The bus, IM-18, has a blue stripe; it is very new and big. It wil say O.Miraflores on the side and it costs 2 Soles. It is a comfortable trip that takes around 1h30mins to two. You can get off at Av Jose Pardo, close to the Parque Central de Miraflores which is the main spot at the tourist area. No extra charge for backpacks or a small case but there is no dedicated luggage space. Be careful with your valueables at the bus stop.
Miraflores to Airport: You can get the bus at Av Jose Pardo close to the crossing with Av Grau. There are designated stops called Paradero. Again, it is the IM-18 hich would say Faucett on the side (which is the avenue that gives access to the airport). The journey is comfortable and it takes about an hour to 1h30mins. Let the driver know that you are going to the airport and they will drop you off right across the street from the main entrance.
The airport is a 20-40 min drive from San Isidro or Miraflores. Some hostels and hotels offer free airport pickup; check with your hotel regarding this service. Don't worry about standing outside the airport alone for this; it's well-lit at night and security guards are prevalent.
Be aware of the taxi drivers at the airport: if you need transportation at the airport you should avoid using the informal taxis outside of it that will accost you, and either hire it inside the customs reception area. Currently there are Green Taxi, CMV, and Mitsui Taxi Remisse, pay a premium to get a ride with them, or book taxi service ahead of time online with a reputable company where you can book your taxicab service online, you will have plenty taxicab companies and its members to chose from, it is safe and reliable and free to use, no charges or fee for using this online tool.
Its best to use a Certified Ground Transportation supplier so you can always be on the safe side. The taxis when you leave the terminal are safer than the ones outside of the airport grounds. That being said, once you leave the grounds of the airport things get much cheaper rather rapidly and a trip to Miraflores shouldn't cost you any more than S/.25 soles but it is obviously not as safe and secure. Paying 40 S/. will get you a taxi to Miraflores (not during rush hours) after some discussion probably, normal airport rate starts at 50-60. Getting to the airport with taxi can take 30-35 minutes or depending on traffic one hour and a half.
Also, Uber works in Lima along with Taxibeat and Easy Taxi which are similar apps but can often be cheaper than Uber.
There is also an Express bus to Centro and Miraflores leaving from the Arrival hall; ask at the airport information desk.
Car rental is available at the airport via Avis, Budget, Dollar, Hertz, and National, but unless you have experience driving in extremely challenging environments you should avoid driving yourself in Lima. If you're set on driving yourself, take cabs for a day or so and see what navigating Lima traffic is like before making that decision.
Two new central Bus Terminals At:
- Gran Terminal Terrestre en Plaza Norte, Plaza Norte - Tomas Valle y Túpac Amaru s/n Along Av. Túpac Amaru btwn. Av. Bolognesi & Tomas Valle.
- Terminal Terrestre Sur Atocongo, Km 12 de la Carretera Panamericana Sur, Santiago de Surco; San Juan de Miraflores. edit
Most companies still maintain their own terminals in La Victoria, lined up along Paseo de la Republica, not Lima's nicest neighbourhood. Others are along the cross streets off of Paseo de la Republica 28 de Julio, Jiame Bauzate y Meza, Ave Mexico, Javier Prado Este, etc. etc, which are better. There you find some of the more reputable companies like Cruz del Sur, Linea, Movil Tours, CIAL, OLTURSA, Ormeño, TEPSA, and ITTSA. Avoid bus companies that allow travellers to get into the bus outside the official stations. They are normally badly managed and can be dangerous, due both to unsafe practices and/or to highway robberies, which are unfortunately not uncommon. This should be heeded especially by female travellers going on their own. There are many shoddy bus services in Peru.
There are scams going on in the buses between Ica and Lima July 2013 where people put water on the floor so your bags get wet and then they tell you to put it on the shelf above you. Later on, they distract you while getting off and then steal your backpack. If someone puts water on the floor be very careful!
You can get to/from Lima by bus to/from a number of other popular tourist destinations by using Cruz del Sur. This is the most popular and safest bus service for tourists. They offer clean and comfortable seats, meals, and toilet on board. There are also two different price points; the more expensive one gives you bigger seats on the lower level that recline even more than the upper level. This is recommended for overnight bus trips.
Regular buses run up and down the Panamerican Highway and inland:
- South: Pisco, Ica, Nazca, Arequipa & Tacna
- North: Huaraz, Chimbote, Trujillo, Chiclayo, Piura, & Tumbes
- East: Ayacucho, Cajamarca, Huancayo, Huaraz, Madre de Dios, Pucallpa, Puno.
Bus terminals in La Victoria or elsewhere:
- America Express, Av 28 de Julio 1192, La Victoria, Lima (Av 28 de Julio & Jose Galvez), goes north to Chimbote, Trujillo, Piura and other places in between in the Ancash, La Libertad, Lambayeque, & Piura Regions of the north coast.
- Civa, Av Paseo de la Republica 575; La Victoria, Lima Paseo de la Republica & Av 28 de Julio
- Excluciva, Av Javier Prado Este 1150, La Victoria, Lima, a subsidiary brand of Civa. In addition, to their own Lima terminal at Javier Prado Este 1150 they also make stops at the Civa terminal at Av Paseo de La Republica 575 the Gran Terminal Norte and the Terminal Sur.
- Cruz del Sur, Av. Javier Prado 1109; La Victoria, Lima Av Javier Prado & Nicolas Arriola
- Expreso Cial, Av República de Panamá 2469 - 2485; Santa Catalina, La Victoria.
- Transportes Flores, Paseo de La Republica 627 & 683, La Victoria, Lima Paseo de la Republica & Av 28 de Julio
- ITTSA, Paseo de la Republica 809, La Victoria, Lima Paseo de la Republica & Humboldt,goes north to Chimbote, Trujillo, Piura, Sullana, Paita, & Talara in the La Libertad, Piura, and Lambayeque regions.
- Transportes Linea, Paseo de la Republica No.941-959; La Victoria, Lima Paseo de la Republica & Av Isabel La Catolica goes north or east to Cajamarca, Chiclayo, Chepen, Chimbote, Guadalupe, Trujillo, Jaen, Huancayo, and Pacasmayo, in the Ancash, Cajamarca, Junin, and La Libertad Regions
- Movil Tours, Paseo de la Republica 749; La Victoria, Lima. Serves destinations in northern Peru North of Lima.
- Oltursa, Av Aramburu 1160; San Isidro, Lima.
- Ormeño, Av Javier Prado Oeste 1057; Lima. Ormeno is in the Guinness Book of Records for the longest land route, Caracas to Buenos Aires via Lima. The most popular company with tourists.
- Tepsa, Av Javier Prado Este 1091; La Victoria, Lima.
- Transmar, Av Nicolas Arriola No.197, La Victoria, Lima. They also have another terminal at Av 28 de Julio No.1511, La Victoria also. Goes up to Huancayo, Huanuco, Iquitos, Jauja, Juanjui, etc.
- Z Bus, Jr. Julián Piñeyros 440, Lima 25, goes north to Caraz, Huaral, Huacho, &/or Huaraz in the Lima and Ancash Regions.
If going further, a taxi ride between adjacent neighborhoods costs about S/.6 soles(US$2), if you speak Spanish well enough. A longer ride may cost from S/.9-21 (US$3-7). A reasonable price for a taxi service between the airport and Miraflores is about S./36 (US$12), but may cost more from within the airport. By custom, taxis do not have meters; rather, the fare should be negotiated before boarding the taxi, or, if you request one by phone, at booking time. If asking for a ride on the street, don't be fooled into getting into the cab before a rate is negotiated. Be also very discerning about which taxi you choose, and avoid hailing random cabs off the street as much as possible.
Caution is advised in Lima, and the same goes for taxis. As a foreigner, do not ever get into shared taxis, and it might not hurt to look if there's someone hiding on the back seat or the trunk before entering.
Jump Into A Taxi In Lima:
- Do not show any valuables including jewelry and try to look a bit shabby.
- Ask around for the regular price,someone that is not a taxi driver and has nothing to gain from you getting robbed. If the driver you talk to goes under that price, he might be looking to make money some other way.
- Tuck away your phone and passport where they will not look for it or see it.
- Know where you are going, know the route or at least pretend you know.
- If they start talking to you, mention that people are waiting for you, that you know local people and this is not your first time in Lima.
- Keep an eye on the driver and check if he is communicating with anyone.
- Always look like you are paying attention but stay calm.
- Try to look like you are not to be messed with if at all possible.
- When in doubt, do not get in ! There are plenty of taxi's around.
- If you have doubts after entering the taxi, try to get out where it seems kind of safe and pay him full price. You can also ask him to take a different route that you choose.
- Speaking Spanish with confidence to your driver helps.
- Never show the address or directions on your phone. Remember the address or write it down.
The taxi driver might take you to a different location where others are waiting and/or threaten you with a gun or knife. By the time you get to your hotel or hostel you will not have your passport, money, backpack or anything else for that matter.
Even though most of the taxi's in the center of the city are quite safe, be extra careful around the airport and especially the bus stations. Preferrably take a taxi from a taxi company.
Public Transport In Lima
Micro Buses or Combi Vans are small vans, small mini-buses, or larger full sized buses often packed full of people. You could stop them at any street corner, lately however, the government has clamped down and insists that they only stop at defined "paraderos", bus stops, at least in the more upscale parts of the city like Miraflores and San Isidro. In a combi you usually pay between S/.0.50-1.20. You won't need to haggle over the fare. Be careful with pickpocketers.
There are also medium and large buses, they operate the same as the micro buses but tend to be a little slower and are possibly safer.
On the side and/or front above windscreen of every bus or van you will find written the names of the major avenues it travels along, also the conductors generally lean out the door of the bus yelling the names of its destinations. If this doesn't make sense, ask the conductor. Also here be careful with pickpocketers.
Metropolitano is a rapid transport bus system. This bus system is modern with wheel chair access. The buses are folding and express routes have their own dedicated lanes on express ways. Rechargable cards are used as tickets with a minimum purchase price of S/.5.00.The transport to one point to another cost S/.2.00 soles.
Metro de Lima Also known as Tren Eléctrico Line 1 is fully functional, with passengers with trains serving Villa el Salvador, Parque Industrial, María Auxiliadora, Jorge Chávez, Ayacucho, Angamos, San Borja Sur, Javier Prado, Arriola, Gamarra, Grau, El Angel, Presbitero Maestro all the way to Bayovar in San Juan de Lurigancho in Lima's northeast. There is a flat fare of 1.50 soles, but an electronic card must be purchased first.
Line 1 – currently 26 stations through 11 districts
Live Folklore shows
- Peruvian horses and Marinera Dance Shows in Mamakuna by Mirabus
- Las Brisas del Titicaca, high lands dances
- Restaurant Junius in Miraflores, dance from all over the country
La Dama Juana Restaurant in Miraflores
Places You Should Not Miss To Visit
- The Lima Gourmet Company, Miraflores, Lima, Peru. This company provides tourists with a combined city tour and a culinary tour of Lima. Travelers will visit a local market, have a hands-on cooking class and try different Peruvian dishes while they tour the city's main districts and historical points of interest. Great alternative if you don't have much time in Lima.
- La Casa de Arturo, Calle Barranco 151 urbanizacion ingenieria . A helpfull Peruvian family-run bed and breakfast for backpackers, in a quiet local neighbourhood. Ten minutes from the old city. They can pick you up at the airport (20 minutes). Can offer you personalized services accompanying to visit Lima.
For some reason it is very hard to change money other than Euros and US-Dollars in Lima. You can't even change the currency from neighbouring countries in normal money exchanges and banks. You might find more flexible exchange offices at airports, but they often charge ridiculous service fees and exchange-rates. Changing money in Miraflores can be done safely with cambistas on the street, but you must follow a few simple rules to avoid being cheated. First, make sure that the cambista is wearing the vest-uniform indicating that he or she is an authorized, licensed cambista. Always ask for the exchange rate ("tipo de cambio").
It is worth it to compare with several cambistas, especially if you are changing a significant amount of money. Some of them do tricks with their calculators in your face and you won't notice, so the best way to know how much you should be getting is to bring a calculator yourself or use the one in your cellphone. Finally, make sure that the bills the cambista gives you have his or her seal ("sello") stamped on them - that way, if by chance one of them turns out to be counterfeit you can come back and complain. I have never gotten counterfeit notes from a cambista, but asking for the seal probably helps maintain the incentive for honesty.
As anywhere, your best bet is usually to simply draw money from an ATM. There are banks dotted all over Lima and some of them have guarded ATMs. Chances are your bank will charge you a fortune every time you withdraw money so it is better value to get as much as possible when making a withdrawal. Banco de Credito and Scotia ATM's generally allow withdrawals up to 700 soles. Interbank has been known to charge insane fees (around $18 for a $50 transaction).
Withdrawal limits and commissions of local banks for russian SberBank's visa electron card:
Interbank 400 14.5
Scotia ≥900 0
Banco de la Nacion 400 0
BCP (Banco de credito) 700 0
At the airport, the only ATM on the ground floor is Interbank, but if you go upstairs and turn right there are ATMs from the other banks too.
For most Canadian and American cards, there is a substantial withdrawal fee (between 14 and 18 soles per transaction) from all bank machines in Peru.
Fortunately, most of Lima business accept dollars.
Markets Av. La Marina in San Miguel on the way to the airport. An idea might be to stop there for last-minute shopping before leaving the country. These goods are similar to those of Av. Petit Thouars, but as the neighborhood is considerably less upscale and fewer tourists come here, the prices are a little lower.
Gamarra Jr. Gamarra in La Victoria is a gigantic textile market, possibly the biggest in South America. Taking up 24 blocks, Gamarra has more than 20.000 textile shops and gets more than a 100.000 visitors a day. You can find any piece of clothing you can imagine and you can get your own design printed at one of the manufacturers. The prices are considerably cheaper than in the Miraflores district but are usually of inferior quality. As a tourist, they might charge you more so be prepared to haggle. When you're shopping in Gamarra, watch out for pickpockets. It is better to go with a Peruvian or with a few other tourists since the neighborhood can be dodgy and there could be pickpockets. The easiest way to get there from Miraflores is to take Benavides Street up to Ovalo Higuereta. There you can take the Metro (not Metropolitano) and get off at Gamarra station.
Larcomar Malecon de la Reserva N° 610. Miraflores. You can find Larcomar at the end of Larco Street in the Miraflores district, right on the cliffs. This shopping center is one of the fanciest in Lima and has all kinds of national and international brand clothing, like Adidas, Caterpillar, Desigual, Converse, Esprit, etc. It also has many restaurants and several bars and clubs.
If you are interested in purchasing Peruvian folk musical instruments, there are a number of stores selling charangos, quenas, antaras, etc. on Calle Cantuarias right near Astrid y Gastón. If you have the time, a number of these stores can help you find a teacher to learn how to play your purchase.
A limited section of cheap English books from prices of one sol can be found at the first stall on 964 Jiron Camana in the center. There are a large number of Spanish language book stalls in this area.
Gastronomy Capital of the Americas
Warning-when to eat ceviche
The locals make it a rule not to eat ceviche late in the day since all ceviche is made from that morning's fresh catch of Corvina (Chilean Sea Bass), which is why you will not easily find a cevicheria open after 5PM.
The offerings in Lima are nowadays most varied and cover a wide range of types and cuisines, both regional and international.
Despite the wide range of choice in Lima's many restaurants, ceviche is surely number one on the list of dishes you must get to know, not only because it happens to be the "Peruvian national dish", but because of its unparalelled delicious taste. With the increasing interest in the Peruvian cuisine, ceviche is quickly making its way onto tables all over the world. But if you want to enjoy the real thing, don't miss it during your stay here in ceviche's Mecca. There is at least one cevichería in every neighbourhood, so it won't be hard to find one. Moreover, most criollo restaurants include ceviche on their menus; indeed, many restaurants do, even the more upscale nouveau-cuisine.
A second must goes to Asian cuisine, both Chinese and Japanese, which predictably, have a strong Peruvian influence. Chifas -that is, Chinese restaurants-, which can be counted by the hundreds if not thousands, are usually down-to-earth neighbourhood eateries, offering a fare rich in seafood and chicken. Japanese restaurants, on the contrary, are less widespread, and more upscale and expensive. Their forte is, of course, a year-round supply of the freshest and most variegated seafood.
Peruvian food tend to be spicy and heavy. Try it with method and ask if any dish is picante (spicy), and if you are not fond of that, avoid it since it may be really picante. A full meal may be really heavy and cause problems even if it's perfectly nice and well prepared with fresh ingredients.
Travelers longing for a delicious falafel or shwarma sandwich will be pleased to learn there is an excellent cafe along Parque Kennedy that serves these type of Middle Eastern foods at reasonable prices.
There is a heavy presence of Western fast-food chains such as KFC, Burger King, Pizza Hut, Domino's Pizza, McDonald's, Subway and Starbucks Coffee all over the city if you'd rather not try anything new to you. Places such as Chili's and Friday's are scarce, but can be easily found around Miraflores. Also, you shouldn't miss Peruvian-style hamburgers at Bembos or traditional Peruvian sandwiches in Pasquale if you want to give your everyday fast-food a local twist.
Lima is home to around 220,000 restaurants, cafes, juice bars and runs a program (Restaurante Saludable) to recognise clean and healthy restaurants. Only around 800 or 1.2% of venues have recieved this award, so keep your eyes open for the logo Restaurante Saludable.
Pisco Sour is the national drink of Peru, made with Pisco, a brandy made of grapes. It is highly recommended that all adult visitors to Peru try this drink at least once before exiting the country. Visitors might be amused to learn that a controversy exists between Peru and its neighbor Chile over whose country really created the Pisco Sour, although the Chilean and Peruvian recipes are somewhat different. Variations include Maracuya Sour, Coca Sour and Chicha Sour and are offered in several bars around town. Just be careful with it; the fresh and sweet flavour makes easy to drink too much, and you can get drunk so easily.
Inca Kola is the most popular soft drink in Peru, one of few sodas that Coca Cola couldn't defeat (until they bought the company). It's a yellow-fruit flavored drink that tastes like cream soda.
Jugos You can find great fresh fruit drinks all over Lima. Starting from 0.50 soles for a fresh orange juice at the market to some more expensive ones. Surtidos, containing several different fruits are quite tasty.
Chicha Morada A non alcoholic refreshing purple drink high in antioxidants. It's made by boiling purple corn with pineapple, cinnamon, clove, and sugar.
San Borja is a relatively safe middle-class area, home to many businesses.
Miraflores, Barranco and San Isidro are some of the nicest and safest areas in the city. Although they sometimes come a bit pricier than the old city center and other parts, some budget accommodation options do exist.
- Miraflores Vacation Rentals in Lima, Av. 28 de Julio, Miraflores. Beautiful apartments for tourists and visitors, weekly rentals, direct from the owner, do not pay commissions. From US$240 to US$420 week.
- 1900 Backpackers hostel, Ave Garcilazo de la Vega 1588, LIMA, . Located in the historic center of Lima, in front of the Museums of Art and the Metropolitan of Lima, offers you a really good option for a good experience in the Old Town. Friendly staff and plenty of travelers would make your stay really special.
- Hilton Lima Miraflores, Avenida La Paz 1099, checkin: 3pm; checkout: 1pm. One of the newest hotels in Lima, the Hilton features a stunning rooftop pool and magnificent accommodations, next to its Social Restaurant, 4 more fantastic dining choices on the same block.
- JW Marriott Hotel Lima, Malecon De La Reserva 615. checkin: 3pm; checkout: 1pm. A top luxury hotel in Lima, the JW Marriott Hotel Lima offers ocean views from every room, an ideal Miraflores, Peru location and superb facilities and service.
- Pirwa Inclan B&B, Coronel Inclan 494, Miraflores. checkin: 11am; checkout: 10am. Offers budget lodging in shared dorms & private rooms, 4 blocks from Kennedy Park. Internet + Wi-Fi, TV/Cable, Continental Breakfast, Luggage Storage. US$10.30+.
- La Casa de Teresita, Mariano Odicio 326, Miraflores, Lima, Peru (4 Blocks from plaza Kennedy, near Quadrant 5 of Avenida Ernesto Diez Canseco). Run by a friendly old lady who has a couple of rooms to sleep, shared bathroom. There is wi-fi, and every room has a refrigerator. She says herself that the neighbourhood is safe, but she also takes security measures. Cleaning is done by the guests, but it is relatively cheap. 15 soles per person (private rooms for 2).
If you witness a crime being committed, do not intervene unless you are really sure of what you are doing: many criminals, even pickpockets, carry guns, knifes, etc and may use them if feeling threatened.
In general, a tried and true technique for staying safe in Lima is to simply maintain a low profile. Leave the Rolex at home, don't wear the fine suit and don't carry a laptop when hailing taxis on the street, and keep a relaxed, friendly, smiling attitude. If you do need to go out dressed like a gringo, call a taxi rather than hire one in the moment - the few moments you wait and the few extra soles you pay will be worth it.
Crooks And Thieves
While there is not much violent crime against tourists, opportunistic theft is rampant. Watch out for pickpockets constantly. If you carry a purse, a camera, a backpack or just a pair of sunglasses hang on to them at all times. In crowded areas, put your back pack on your front and hold shopping close to you. Just keep your eyes open and be aware of people around you. In any case, if someone extremely friendly approaches even wanting to shake your hand, just try not to talk that much, and they'll go away. It's normal to find polite people around trying to help tourists, but stay away from the extremely friendly ones.
Avoid the surroundings of Soccer / Football stadiums before and after big matches, since "barras bravas" (hooligans) can be very violent. Ask for advice if you plan to go there or thereabouts. Very infrequently, but occasionally, even in nicer tourist areas, gangs of youths, sometimes supporting rival football clubs, or strikers involved in a labor dispute may brawl. If you find yourself caught in the middle of such a confrontation, just try to move out of the way, preferably behind a closed door - these youths generally do not carry lethal weapons, and the worst that is likely to happen is that someone will get hit with a rock before the police arrive to break it up.
Some areas of Lima are safer than others: Miraflores and San Isidro have large populations of well-to-do and wealthy Peruvians, not to mention large tourist groups, so they have large police presence to protect the population. Other districts, such as La Victoria, are much more dangerous. Visitors would be well advised to stay out of these areas unless accompanied by an experienced native or visiting busy areas during daylight hours. Downtown Lima is normally well patrolled but be careful anyway. Callao the port, technically a different city is rather rough: ask for advice before going there if you plan to. The area around the airport is generally safe and well guarded but use common sense while lugging your luggage outside the airport.
Miraflores safety: Beware of women approaching you asking if you can escort them home on a bus because they don't feel safe. They will take you out of Miraflores and into a dangerous district where you will be robbed. Tell them if they don't feel safe then ask a police officer for help, but do not take them home. They have no business at all asking a tourist, who doesn't know Lima, for help.
Staying safe for adults can also require an understanding of the sexual climate of Peru. In general Peru is a relatively conservative country in the sense of male and female roles, but at the same time Peruvians are extremely open to friendships with foreigners. Thus, some males can find themselves suddenly the object of flirtation by attractive young Peruvian women, but then be suddenly rejected for having violated some unwritten line of conduct in, say, discussion topics. Women can find themselves the object of unwanted looks and stares, but at the same time the risk of violence and rape is not as high as in many other countries.
A problem that can arise is the Peruvian concept of the pepera, found at certain night clubs or pubs. Peperas are usually attractive women aged 16-25 that deliberately entice foreign tourists and then spike their drinks with sleeping pills and rob them once they're unconscious.
Usually peperas work in groups of two, although smaller and larger groups exist as well. Male "peperos" also spike the drinks of women but robbery is often accompanied by rape. Peperas in general are found in dense tourist areas, such as Park Kennedy in Miraflores as well as the Plaza Mayor in central Lima. One locale in particular that is notorious for dangerous peperas is the Tequila Rock discoteca in Miraflores and its sister in Pueblo Libre (La Marina).
Another cultural concept worth learning is the "brichera" or "brichero". There are two types of bricheras: the first type are women that are genuinely looking to meet foreign men in the hopes of dating or marriage or even a quick fling. The second type are women that search for foreign men with the implicit purpose of exchanging sex for small gifts or money. This second type of brichera is risky, especially for foreigners lacking local sensibilities, since it involves prostitution. These bricheras do not use contraception reliably, and therefore pose a higher risk for transmitting STDs (Sexual Transmited Diseases). If you decide to have a fling, make sure to use a condom.
Another important point to be taken into consideration is that you should not pick up just any taxi, especially when you are leaving the airport. It is not strange to hear news that some taxi drivers cheated tourists (for example, going from the northeast point of the city to the southeast part would take you at most S/.50 soles and that is the largest distance in Lima so do not pay more than that) by charging them S/.100 or even S/.200 soles for normal rides (even though Peruvian taxi drivers normally tend to increase their fares in front of gringos, it is not a massive difference). I
t is most advisable to use one of the official taxi companies inside the airport (such as Green Taxi) with set fares to ensure your safety or you may use taxidatum.com, which is a large taxicab database where you can identify the driver, automobile and other relevant information before arriving to Lima,you can also book your taxicab service online with one reputable company and the taxicab driver will be waiting for you at your arrival , don't take any risk when choosing your taxicab service in Lima Perú.
Taxi drivers have also been known to participate in robberies, express kidnappings or serve as get away vehicles. While the overwhelming majority of Lima's taxistas are honest hard working people trying to make a living, you should be alert if you are going to hail a taxi on the street, especially if you appear to be wealthy and/or a foreigner. Your safest bet is to have your hotel call a taxi for you or keep the numbers of official taxi companies ("radio taxis", which are marked with registered numbers) handy. Lima's tourist information centers will be willing to call one for you as well.
If you are flying out of Lima internationally, the airport tax is US$31, US$7.40 for domestic flights. As of January 2011 this tax has been rolled into the purchase price of the tickets at this airport. Ensure you receive a sticker on the back of each ticket from the check-in counter to attest to this at the security checkpoint.
The surrounding residential towns of Lima in the foothills of the mountains offer spectacular views and are ideal day-trips from central Lima.
If you are flying to your next destination, you can take the "S" bus to the airport (ask at your hotel for the stops) or any micro bus that says "Faucett" on its side. The trip from Miraflores takes about an hour and costs 3 soles. Cabs are of course more convenient and much more expensive.
If you wish to take a long distance bus, see the Get In section above for bus companies, the various locations of their terminals and their destinations.
Some popular destinations from Lima are:
- Arequipa— An attractive city in the south.
- Cajamarca— Hosts an exciting Carnaval every year.
- Cuzco— The centre of the Inca civilization. Luxury tourist buses run twice daily with Cruz del Sur.
- Huancayo can be reached by taking a scenic train trip through the Andes.
- Huaraz— A mountaineering centre.
- Iquitos— By plane or via Pucallpa.
- Ica— With an interesting museum and oasis.
- La Merced— 7 hr by bus and you're in the jungle.
- Mancora— A very relaxing beach in the north that parties hard nightly.
- Nazca— Home of the ancient and mysterious Nazca Lines. Luxury tourist buses run twice daily with Cruz del Sur.
- Pucallpa— Can be reached by bus or plane and is the only major river port linked by road to Lima. Its possible to travel by boat to Iquitos from Pucallpa and on to the mighty amazon river.
- San Mateo— 4.5 hr outside of Lima.
- Tarma— The Pearl of the Andes.
- Trujillo— A city in the north home to Peru's largest adobe ruins.
So enjoy your stay in Lima