My post yesterday did seem to be the launch of my Lima Appreciation Society! Or, in other words, for me to share the things that I think you as visitors will love about Lima, and all in time for Valentine’s Day. I will say the following again incase you missed yesterday!
These Top 10 places are by no means the only 10 places that are great in Lima, and my choices are fairly general (mainly because I have lots of favourites so I’m grouping them!). There may even be better places that I have not visited yet, but for now this is what I would recommend to get you started.
I am going to share a few per day so that I can go into detail if necessary without drowning you in information! However today (Tuesday) will have only 1 as it is a fairly in depth section.
I also want to point out that these are mainly for people visiting Lima and not for people who already live here! I wouldn’t see many residents checking out a lot of the tourist spots, but who knows, maybe you will all be inspired!
So, here we go with number 3!
This is in fact an entire district of Lima, but it has a lot of greatplaces to spend some time. It is also the most popular place for tourists to stay within Lima too, so I will lay out the top highlights.
PARQUE KENNEDY / PARQUE CENTRAL (Parque 7 de Junio) // In the heart of Miraflores lies these 2 parks, separated by a small road (this is where the sightseeing Mirabus tours go from). To the north of the park is the Ovalo de Miraflores and down either side are the roads Jose Larco and Diagonal. All around the parks are restaurants (El Parquetito is where some of the tour groups are taken for dinner and La Tiendecita Blanca is good for desserts and afternoon tea), bars (La Emolienteria is a fun, bright bar just along Diagonal from the bottom of Parque Kennedy) or food joints (La Lucha sells amazing sandwiches and purple chips, and there are regulars such as McDonalds, Starbucks and Pinkberry). There are hotels and hostels to be found within walking distance, so this can be quite a good base from which to start exploring from. Parque Kennedy has a small souvenir market that is open in the evenings, and both parks have vendors selling food throughout the evening too. The food they sell is very good and extremely well priced, from butifarras (sandwiches with meat and salsa criollo) to picarones (fried dough made from squash), and from churros to chicha (purple corn drink). The parks are also full of cats which are very friendly!
HUACA PUCLLANA // North of Parque Kennedy and the Ovalo de Miraflores sits the archaeological site of Huaca Pucllana. There are other sites in Lima but this is probably the most popular, in part due to the reportedly excellent restaurant onsite which, at night, has views of the site illuminated in wonderful colours. However, the structure itself is incredible and the seeing the building work close up is amazing.
The website states that ‘Huaca Pucllana, with its adobe and clay structures, served as an important ceremonial and administrative center for the Lima Culture, a society which developed in the Peruvian Central Coast between the years of 200 AD and 700 AD’.
You must take a tour to see it and on request they can provide them in multiple languages. They show you animals and plants of the time as well as a tour of the site itself and tombs there. It’s open every day (except Tuesdays and some holidays) from 9am-5pm and for adults it is S/. 12. Check the website for concession prices and holiday closures.
EL MALECÓN // The Malecón in Miraflores stretches along the coastline but high up on the cliff tops overlooking the Pacific. It runs alongside green areas and parks almost all the way along, that are perfect for sitting, picnicing, or even playing with your dogs. The Malecón itself attracts runners, cyclists, rollerbladers and dog walkers alike, and the majority of it is well lit at night too. It really is a great place to spend some free time and it doesn’t cost a penny, even the wi-fi is free! At one section of the Malecón, at the bottom of Avenida Jose Larco, lies the mall Larcomar, which is mainly open air. The fact that it has shops, bars, restaurants, a cinema, a supermarket, and a great view of the ocean, means it can be the perfect place to spend a lazy afternoon, a night out, or to pick up anything you may have left at home before your travels.
INCA MARKET // This is a very touristy recommendation, but everyone needs somewhere to buy those souvenirs. This place is great, and I send all my friends and family here when they visit! You can purchase blankets, ceramics, jewellery, socks, carved gourds….. pretty much whatever you might want to take back as a reminder of your trip. I personally love the alpaca blankets and the little colourful ceramic bulls. The market is situated on Av. Petit Thouars and the sign on top actually refers to it as the Mercado Indio, however this is not what it is locally known as. Head up Petit Thouars from Avenida Ricardo Palma, and it will be on your right hand side about 2 and a half blocks up. You will pass others on your way, but to my knowledge this is the best one. The place is full of colour and patterns from the Peruvian artwork and textiles, and full of different stalls competing for your custom so bargaining and haggling is allowed!
Miraflores is honestly a great base for your travels around Lima. It has a mix of hotels for people on different budgets, world class restaurants and great street (park) food, and also a lot of the tour buses leave from here as well. If you happen to be only here for a day, Miraflores is a good stop to make too. You can see the ruins in the morning, eat well for lunch and have a pisco sour with a view of the ocean, walk it off on the malecón, and finish your day with souvenir shopping at the market. All in one place!