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Welcome to Lima, Peru!
Peru may be one of the smaller countries in South America, but something that makes this country interesting is the sheer number of biomes that exist in such a small space. The mountains of the Andes, the urban center of Lima, and the forested rural areas are all nearby. The nature of the city and the greenery that surrounds it has given Lima a certain trait that is hard to find anywhere else.
Lima is urban and modern, but it is also old and a former Spanish colonial outpost. Having been discovered in 1535, Lima has a lot of beautiful Spanish-style architecture. Despite its colonial past, the people and the country still hold onto various traditions, especially Peruvian cooking. This guide will help you get acquainted with Lima so you can cruise the city like a worldwide local.
Worldwide Local Tip: Once arriving in Lima, the best method of getting around will probably be through a taxi. A ride from the Lima airport to the center of town will only cost you around $5.00 USD, but the prices are always negotiated beforehand as taxis do not have meters. Do not get into the cab before a rate is negotiated.
Getting Situated in Lima
Any worldwide local knows that once you arrive in a new city, the best thing to do is to get acquainted with it. It’s time to see some of the local landmarks and know where everything is. There are a lot of tours operated out of Miraflores, which is the downtown urban core area. These tours are often done by locals in large groups, so you can always meet fellow travelers. This is also a great way to get out of your Lima hotel and learn about the city from the eyes of a local. Best of all, many of these tours are free, which is ideal for a worldwide local on a budget.
Worldwide Local Tip: If you’re not into walking, then consider taking a bike tour around the city. Bike tours will generally cost around $30.00, but the tour will be a little smaller and personal. You’ll also get to check out other areas further away from the city center.
Get to the Beach!
This city is known as the “Pearl of the Pacific,” and if you experience the Lima weather during the hot and humid summer months, you’ll learn why. The beaches in Lima are a popular destination for locals and travelers alike, as the best way to cool off is to jump in the ocean. Costa Verde and Agua Dulce, are the two most popular beaches in the city. Tons of local Peruvians spend their summers on the beach. So be aware that the beaches do get pretty busy.
Worldwide Local Tip: With a little know-how and some ingenuity you can find some of the best secluded beaches around. The fishermen of Lima often take people to more secluded beaches off the coast for a small fee. It’s a good way for them to make money in the off season but of course, always be mindful before hopping into a stranger’s boat.
A Must-Visit Neighborhood: Barranco
Lima is large and urban but at some point, you’ll probably want to get away from the hustle and bustle of Miraflores. Luckily, the Barranco neighborhood is Lima’s hotspot for the young and cool. The area has a flourishing art scene and some of the city’s oldest colonial architecture. The area is a great place for those looking to try out some delicious Peruvian cuisine and head to some themed bars and clubs. Barranco is popular with visitors and locals alike and is perfect for a night on the town.
Worldwide Local Tip: Enjoy local customs to make your trip worthwhile. Barranco is host to many events called “pena.” Penas have traditional Peruvian music, that is almost always played live with traditional instruments. Food and drinks are almost always part of the fun, as well, and the meals rival the menu in even the best Lima restaurant.
Have a Wonderful Time in Lima, Peru!
From the modern and contemporary to the traditional and colonial, Lima sure has a lot of contrasts going on all at once, especially for its relatively small size. This city is an experience, with many cultures and customs all mixing together, and a worldwide local knows that this is what makes Lima special.