When we landed in Lima two days ago, we barely knew what to expect. From reading travel blogs, newspaper articles, and other sources around the Internet, we found a remarkable disagreement about the safety, beauty, and enjoyability of Lima. The only thing people seemed to agree on – especially lately – is that the food in Lima is among the best in South America.
After our 3 days in Lima we can put these debates decisively to rest: Lima is (relatively*) safe, shockingly beautiful, entertaining, and has incredible food.
* It is a 9 million person city, so the usual caveats about a city apply to the safety concerns. If you feel comfortable in Brooklyn or Manhattan, you will feel comfortable in the City Center, Miraflores, and Barranco neighborhoods. We do in all three, so we loved it.
Lima isn’t all sunshine and lollipops, however. There is still a large poverty problem in Lima, although it is largely relegated to neighborhoods that we didn’t visit. Many of these neighborhoods are unsafe, and we were advised by the helpful people at our hostel about the very strict street-borders we shouldn’t cross. One such border was also enforced by the Peruvian military which had set up what looked like a pseudo-checkpoint on one of the bridges over Lima’s Rimac river, so there was that.
On to the good stuff. All of the photos from our visit are in this gallery.. We saw unique sights, walked over 30 miles (not all at once), ate awesome street food, gorged ourselves on delicious ceviche and drank pisco sours. We also confirmed for the 842nd time that we are city folk. In Lima, we immediately felt comfortable. We knew how to get around, handle ourselves, and look for restaurants, attractions, bars (never found a good one though), and appreciated the abundant safety net of taxis and busses to rescue us if we got too lost. The evidence is mounting….
We wish we had more time to explore more of Lima, but we are off on our 22-hour bus trip through the Andes to Cuzco this afternoon. We love you all, and may god have mercy on Mike’s soul (Anna’s is safe).
Pedestrian Median lined with palm trees and benches
Mike striking a pose
Pisco sour at its (alleged) birthplace – El Bolivarcito
Basilica Cathedral of Lima with Palm trees
Anna with Llamas
Park in Miraflores above mall built into side of cliff
View from our future apartment in Barranco
Lima Municipal Palace. Note the flag in the top right, flown we assume in honor of Illinois finally legalizing gay marriage on Wednesday.
Paragliders soaring above the Plaza de Amor in Miraflores.
Illuminated Fountains during the nighttime show.