First stop on my Peruvian vacation, Lima. What can I say, I loved Lima. I read all about it’s interesting history but really had no idea what to expect. The climate reminded me of San Francisco or Seattle – although we went in winter season, locals told me it was pretty much always overcast and in the 50s and 60s. (Fahrenheit).
Do Your Research
If you want to enjoy Lima, you need to do your research. It is a HUGE city and most of it isn’t that pleasant. The city has a bad rap since most travelers fly into the airport and maybe stay the night (and the airport isn’t a great location). Remember, it is still a developing country (especially compared to the United States). We chose to stay in the Miraflores neighborhood on the coast. It was amazing.
It was totally walkable with great restaurants, shops and generally nice people. OK, here is where I need to get honest. I wish my Spanish was much better than it is. I had the typical American thinking of ‘oh surely they will cater to me and know some English’ and this just wasn’t always the case. In fact, it rarely was. This is a busy city and much like here in America, people don’t have time to try and figure out what someone wants or needs if they don’t know the local language. It was a little wake-up call for me. Everything turned out fine and made me appreciate the Peruvian culture even more. It also forced me to learn more Spanish phrases quickly.
Yeah, do it. We took a day tour downtown and saw the more colonial side of Lima. It was great and I recommend it, but I personally had more fun walking around Miraflores. It was still cool to see the Convento de San Francisco – the Spanish name for Saint Francis Monastery located just south of Parque la Muralla and one block northeast from the Plaza Mayor. The church and convent are part of the Historic Centre of Lima. Discovered in 1943, the catacombs below contain thousands of skulls and bones, most likely burial sites ran out of room and they had to improvise. Yikes.
Next stop…Aguas Caliente!