First Impressions of Lima (Peru)

Parque-Amor-Lima-Peru

Lima grew on me. If I was to be totally honest about my first day here I remember being driven into the city on the bus and thinking this may not be my cup of tea. On my 2nd and 3rd day though I changed my mind entirely and actually wished I had an extra day to see and do everything I wanted to. Yes Lima isn’t pretty, the large majority of the city looks rough and dirty, but there is actually a lot to do here. It’s also very cheap, which as the big city of Peru I didn’t expect. Another added bonus.

Miraflores

Miraflores-Lima-Peru

Miraflores has a totally different vibe to any other part of Lima. It’s positioning along the coast is one major part of this. The cliff-side views of the Pacific Ocean are beautiful and refreshing, especially considering how congested you sometimes feel in Lima further into the city. Then there is the fact that a lot of money has been invested into Miraflores to make it look nice. On the downside this also means that a lot of tourists are based here and/or rich people – so if you’re looking to meet the locals this probably isn’t the place to do it – but being by the coast and pretty cliff-side parks you sort of didn’t care in this particular instance. It was just a nice place to be and certainly a great place to spend an entire day.

Foodies Paradise in Barranco

It was thanks to a top tip from my buddy Audrey Scott over at Uncornered Market that I decided to check out the neighbourhood of Barranco during my short time Lima. If you’re someone such as myself who loves to taste the local food on your travels then you will love it here too. I literally did nothing but eat my way around this place and I was completely happy!

Barranco is sort of like a low key Miraflores that is also a bit cheaper. For example, Cala, Las Mesitas, and Songora Cosongo were 3 Barranco restaurants that I went to that all served tasty local Peruvian dishes. Cala is a little more on the expensive side than the other two, but all 3 were places I’d recommend.

Crazy buses

buses-lima-peru

Photo credit; Zonda Bez

A friend of mine joked (when I mentioned that I was going to Lima) that I should “try and catch a bus. It’s hilarious.” Little did I know just how true that statement would be. Public transportation in Lima is crazy. The buses literally stop for a minute for everyone to run and get on. Then it starts moving. Fast. You’ll see plenty of people just running and then jumping onto the bus, always making it on with ease. Meanwhile the foreigners such as myself are always at the back of that queue and end up waiting on the 3rd or 4th bus before they sometimes make it onto one! Then you have the driving. I mean, Peru in general has so many crazy drivers but I think in Lima you probably have the worst. In 2.5 days of hopping on and off buses (mostly to Miraflores from the city centre) there were several times I literally gripped my seat or we only just avoided a crash. Lets just say it’s certainly ‘an experience’ to catch the bus in Lima and certainly part of experiencing a tiny part of the local way of life here!

Friendly people

Again, shooting away from the norm of big cities I found the local people of Lima to be very friendly. Only once was I ripped off in a taxi (which you usually expect all the time in a new city/country) but the rest of the time everyone was very nice, never charged me more than the local rate, and were keen to help me with directions. The city definitely gets a thumbs up from me on this one!

– If you liked this post you may also be interested in reading the cheapest way to get to Machu Picchu.

5 Responses to “First Impressions of Lima (Peru)”

  1. Colin says:

    Miraflores I’ve heard is the place to be in Lima. Barranco sounds cool though.

  2. Audrey says:

    So glad you made it to Barranco!! And yes, the food there is so great – local, cheap and just delicious. Also liked the feel of it more than MIraflores. We spent a couple of weeks in Barranco finishing up a project so it has a soft spot in our hearts 🙂

  3. Sam says:

    My partner and I recently spent 6 weeks in Lima, and I generally agree with everything you’ve said here. It was nice that taxi drivers seemed to always offer fair prices, though we weren’t as brave as you to try taking a local bus (just the Metropolitano into the centre)! Although we stayed in Miraflores, Barranco was definitely our favourite part of the city; much more chilled out and easily walkable.

  4. Alex says:

    Sounds great..especially with regards to the food! Did you feel it was a safe place to be? As you had said it looked rough!

    • Jane says:

      In Miraflores I felt quite safe and during the day everywhere I went, but it’s a big city so I think you always have to be careful – especially at night.

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