June marked 2 years since I started my blog. Admittedly I haven’t been writing for a solid 2 years, however, I have so enjoyed sharing my experiences of Lima with you all! Hopefully it has encouraged people to come and visit, and that you have had, or will have, a great experience here, whether it’s for one night or 2 weeks.
This blog has never been about reviewing everywhere to determine if it’s good or bad, but in fact finding the hidden, or not so hidden, gems that make Lima great. From an amazing ice cream store, to some fabulous ancient ruins, Lima really does have a variety of things to offer.
In the spirit of this, my June edition of Bookmarked is going to be a bit of a highlights tour of my time here in Lima. My favourite parts.
At the end I will also share a snapshot of greatness from the rest of Peru, but with my limited visits there are only a few places that I feel I’m qualified to judge! However, with some more trips under my belt in this coming year, I hope to shed some more light on the rest of this beautiful country.
So without further ado, here is my list, my top 40….
1. Eating maki rolls at the sushi bar in Hanzo on a Friday night
2. Wandering through the olive trees and forgetting that I’m in the middle of a city in El Parque de los Olivos.
3. Spending a lazy Saturday afternoon drinking beers, playing dominoes and eating fish and chips at the English Brewpub ‘Wicks‘.
4. Chinese take-away! Eating Arroz Chaufa (a little like egg-fried rice) and Pollo (chicken) or Pato (duck) con Tamarindo (a little like sweet & sour sauce) in my pyjamas.
5. Buying croissants from Don Mamino and filling them at home with either chicken mayonnaise at lunch, or Nutella at breakfast (or any other time!)
6. Eating ceviche on a hot, sunny day.
7. Walking with the dogs up to the lookout point at Lomas de Lúcumo, when the hills are green and lush, and the flowers are in bloom.
8. Exploring Mercado Indio for presents to take home, like little bulls or woven alpaca blankets. You’ll find it opposite the Inca Market and Compu Palace!
9. Getting sugar rush from the desserts at Maga…mis suspiros. Maybe Suspiro de Limeña, Tres Leches or Pie de Limon.
10. Getting my ice cream/ gelato fix from Laritza D‘ (Chocolate Amaretto or the signature Laritza)’, Anelare (Menta Fudge) or Blu (Blueberry/Arandano, Chocolate or Mandarin). Maybe even OVNI‘s famous lúcuma ice cream cones if I’m heading that way….
11. Eating big bowls of warming ramen soup from Naruto.
12. Making myself as full as I possibly can at La Bistecca or La Vista buffets!!
13. Being spoiled with home cooked traditional meals like Aji de Gallina, or failing that heading out to traditional restaurants like Rincon Chami for Tacu Tacu a lo Pobre (my favourite dish over here!).
14. Gorging myself on empanadas (like small cornish pasties!) and pastel de choclo (cake made from sweetcorn) from Tanta or Pastipan
15. Treating ourselves to Pollo a la Leña (chicken roasted in a wood fired oven) and piles of piping hot chips from Granja Azul, if possible, or Matambrito at the beach!
16. Going back in time in places like ‘Museo Larco‘ or the ‘Museum of Archaeology, Anthropology and History‘ to find out about the cultures that preceded us through the artefacts that have been discovered. I also love visiting archaeological sites, such as Pachacamac, to see what it truly may have been like all those years ago.
17. Eating sweet, sticky turron from Pasteleria San Martin and then crossing the square to drink Pisco Sours in the famous Hotel Bolivar.
18. Watching the chefs in Astrid & Gastón prepare beautiful dishes whilst waiting hungrily to devour them.
19. Visiting the MALI (it’s especially great for S/1 on a Sunday) and exploring exhibitions on Peruvian artists or Peru’s cultural history.
20. Eating breakfast, or lunch, from El Pan de la Chola. Freshly baked bread (especially the focaccia), hot sandwiches and refreshing fruit extractions, all followed by a fudgy brownie or slice of cake!
21. Feasting only on dessert from Dolce Nina, San Antonio, La Casa de Gloria and Mariarte. They satisfy that sweet tooth with perfection!
22. Trying the different kinds of pisco sours and chilcanos available in Ayahuasca Restobar, housed inside a colonial mansion in the middle of bohemian Barranco. Every room holds a creative and colourful surprise!
23. Watching Netflix whilst eating Queso Mantecoso on crackers. Enough said.
24. Getting my organic veggies and native potatoes on a Saturday from the Bioferia.
25. Taking a walk along the Malecon in Miraflores, maybe stopping for a picnic or just to enjoy the beautiful views in the sunshine.
26. Listening to South American music in the many music festivals or gigs that appear in the city throughout the year.
27. Spoiling ourselves with chicharron (fried pork) sandwiches from El Chinito (exceptional flavour) or the ever popular Sarita.
28. Wandering through Parque Kennedy and Parque Central, exploring the different food stalls. From popcorn and emoliente, to sandwiches and picarones. Or if they’re not open, heading over the road to La Lucha for their hot sandwiches and purple chips.
29. Trying not to spend too much money at Jockey Plaza.
30. Soaking up the pisco with late night sandwiches from Alf, full to the brim veggie tacos from Super Rueda, or piping hot salchipapas from Tip Top.
31. Buying beef for a weekend BBQ or peanuts to make creamy homemade peanut butter from Eden mercado. Or browsing the selections of fruit, vegetables, nuts and everything else they have on offer at the famous Mercado Surquillo.
32. Buying bread. And then eating it. This is my absolute favourite thing to do! There are so many excellent bakeries here, even the supermarkets make some excellent bread!
33. Sitting eating freshly made sandwiches at lunch time, like you can do on the roadside bar at El Enano. While you wait you can drink divine juices made from a plethora of fruit.
34, Going to every single food and drink festival I can possibly find, like Salon del Cacao and Expo Vino.
35. Soaking up the sun at the beaches, with an ice cold beer (or a G&T…) and.mountains of canchita (fried Peruvian corn)
36. Buying a huge variety of amazing sausages from Tito’s.
37. Listening to the amazing tenor that comes to sing at Il Piccolo on a Wednesday night whilst eating Fiorentina pizza and frozen tiramisu.
38. Drinking Kola Inglesa, because I love that strawberry taste!
39. Checking out of the city for a few days and escaping to ARO..
40. Sitting by the sea with my dogs and my boyfriend watching the sun go down. The best things in life are free after all….
There are a million other things I love doing too, but I had to narrow it down somehow and 40 seemed like a good number! I love finding new places to visit and explore, so I could probably get this list up to 100 very very soon, if not already!!
There are about a million more things to recommend that I haven’t even done yet, but I can only recommend the things I have!!
Cusco is actually not included, which is an obvious recommendation, but I figure this is on everyone’s list of places to go so I’ve given it a miss on this list!
So, in no particular order….
Beach at Punta Sal
This Northern beach town is an absolute delight and it’s one of my all time favourite places. It’s pure paradise off season, so don’t go in the summer months; it’s hot and sunny all year round.
Wander the incredible site (so much colour is still visible) of El Brujo followed by visiting the museum and the remains of Señora de Cao (whose tomb was found in the complex). She is incredibly well preserved and you can still see her tattoos after all this time.
Machu Picchu (and the Inca Trail before it)
Machu Picchu is the most amazing place. You can spend the day exploring, or literally just being there. I recommend doing the Inca Trail beforehand, because there is nothing like seeing this site after having been awake since 3am that morning. What a prize.
Museo Tumbas Reales del Señor de Sipan
A beautiful museum just north of Chiclayo, displaying the treasures and artefacts discovered in the royal tomb of the Señor of Sipan.
(no photos allowed inside)
Huaca de la Luna
Just in the south of Trujillo lies the Huaca de la Luna and the Huaca del Sol. The Sun Temple is yet to be fully excavated but the Moon Temple is utterly stunning. So much detail and colour has been preserved after all this time.
Waterfalls in the Cloud Forest of Chanchamayo
A Cloud Forest is a rainforest, but it has a layer of cloud around the tree tops and is normally found surrounded by mountains. The vegetation here is full and green and there are beautiful walks that bring you to refreshing little pools and cascading waterfalls.
Los Uros – The Floating Islands
In Lake Titicaca, there is a community of people that have built islands out of the reeds that grow there. Their islands, houses, shops, and boats are all made from these plants and you can take a trip to visit their islands to find out all about how they made them. You may even be able to take a boat ride around them too.
A vast complex and the largest pre-Columbian city in South America, Chan Chan was the capital of the Chimu kingdom. It is an incredible place to visit and there is so much to see. From vast areas of beautifully carved walls, to an oasis in the midst of the sand.
Ollantaytambo is located within the Sacred Valley. A perfect jumping off point for the Inca Trail, but also a beautiful little town in the midst of the mountains, with an incredible set of ruins all of their own. I was there at the end of May at the beginning of a 4 day festival, so the town was full of celebration.
A few hours drive outside of Lima leads you to the beginning of the walk up to the plateau of Marcahuasi. This incredible area is surrounded by giant rock formations eroded by time, or perhaps something else. Camp here on the flat section and explore the area above, where there are ruins and huts that were abandoned long ago. The views from the top are really remarkable, and staying there during the full moon is recommended! It’s also reportedly a good place to see UFOs….
….of things yet to be accomplished!
Ica & Huacachina
Arequipa & Colca Canyon (to be visited later this year!!)
Lagunas de Llanganuco (Cordillera Blanca)
Chavin de Huantar
Let’s hope I get to visit all of these amazing locations soon!!
What are your favourite things to do in Lima? Where would you still like to visit?
So many places, so little time….