Lima: modern city in the dessert

In our last post we have been writing about Peru’s city of culture. Now we take you to the government centre of the country: Lima.

Lima is the capital and the biggest city of Peru. It is located at the coast of the country to the Pacific Ocean. It’s elevation is 0-550m and the population is around 12,140,000 excluding the urban areas.

Despite being located in a tropical dessert the climate is mild.

Eventhough Peru has limited LGBTI rights and isn’t necessarily tolerated in the rural areas, Lima has a colourful LGBTI scene in the Miraflores and Barracco neighbourhoods. This is also the touristic area with the main attraction being Kennedy Park.

The city is notably shaped by European and Asien influences, due to migration and colonisation.

The beaches fill up in summer and is known as the Gastronomical Capital of the Americas.

For transport you can take taxis, Uber’s and the metro but be aware of crazy Rush-hours. Everything will take up to an hour longer if you try travelling during peak times and metro buses can become crowded.

Lima has many museums and cathedrals you can visit while also exploring traditional restaurants and cafes.

Take a walk to the Plaza de Armas de Lima and watch the changing of the guard at the Presidential Palace. This change is more a studied performance lasting half an hour every day at 12:00am, accompanied by a live military band.

In the corner of the Plaza next to the Palace you will find a chocolate museum with Peruvian chocolate goods and a pisco museum.

Budget Tip: The Museum offers free tastings of flavoured Pisco and raw Coca beans.

Looking for some more culture?

The museum offers chocolate making classes for all ages, taking you through the process step by step. Ask at the museum for more information.

Lima has by far the most ethnic Chinese community in Latin America. Asian and especially Chinese immigrants came mainly in the 19th century to Peru. You can Chinatown not far from Plaza de Armas where you can buy Chinese medication and food from Chifas.

A Chifa is a restaurant that sells a culinary which is a mix of Cantonese Chinese elements and Peruvian ingredients and traditions and worth a try.

Recommendations on what to do:

  1. Huacachina an oasis in the desert with the possibility to go on a buggy tour through the dunes
  2. Explore Chinatown and taste a mix of cuisines.
  3. Taste local and cheap street and market food at the central market.
  4. Take in the Plaza de Armas and watch the change of guard at the Government Palace of Peru
  5. Visit the chocolate museum and get your taste buds moving with flavoured Pisco!
  6. Take a step back in time and go to the Basilica and Convent of San Francisco and walk amongst the dead in the catacombs.

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