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downundergal Lima - A travel report by Kerrie
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Lima,  Peru - flag Peru -  Lima
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downundergal's travel reports

Lima- Garua, Gold and Gigantic traffic jams

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Lima travelogue picture
Most travellers have to come to Lima the capital of Peru; not by choice but due to the fact almost all international flights fly in or out of here.
This is not a breathtaking, beautiful or architecturally inspiring city but it does have a couple of worthwhile museums and a rather grand Plaza de Armas in the city's old historical centre. For much of the year the city is covered in a grey mist, the garua. At times it is so heavy especially by the sea it is impossible to see the breakers situated a short drop on the beach. I'm not sure how the locals manage as after a few days these grey skies become very depressing.
The Gold is for the fantastic museo de oro, a must see for all visitors.
The traffic, I have never seen such a free for all on the roads in all my life. It really is every man for himself!

Favourite spots:
Lima travelogue picture
The highlights are the Museum of Gold and the Museum of the Nation. The privately owned gold museum really has some standout items from the various parts of the country including gold earplugs, necklaces and the famous ancient ceremonial spoon each of course made from gold and studded with jade and other semi precious stones. Entry is approx 12 soles ($3US) and includes entry into the attached Arms Museum as well. This contains a history of weapons from the 1800's onwards not only in Peru but from other areas as well. It is still quite interesting and well worth a look.
The Museum of the Nation (6 soles $1.50US) cronicles the history from the earliest settlements right through to the Conquistadors arrival. Most interestingly it offers many made to scale models of the various ruins including one of Machu Picchu giving you some insight before actually visiting the sites. It also contains many delicate weavings that are very rare due to they are prone to desintegrate.

What's really great:
Lima travelogue picture
Lima was a good place to visit to get your bearings before setting off to other parts of the country. I can't say that I wish to visit there again. The other thing though we did find really interesting is an ancient Huaca or burial mound right in the middle of the city. Although it was a Monday and it was closed the guard did let us in for a closer peek.
The main square or Plaza de Armas is also quite impressive. We were lucky to gain entry to this main square as well. This being due to the fact that there were major demonstrations taking place and we had to sweet talk a guard in full riot gear to let us in and take a peek. After our third attempt we got lucky.

Lima travelogue picture
We stayed at Miraflores at the San Antonio Abad located on Ramon Ribeyro 301. The hotel was beautifully presented amd must have been a private residence at some stage. The rooms were clean (twin beds though) with their own bathrooms. Although not cheap $40US the rate included a cooked breakfast served in their nice and airy dining room fronting on to a courtyard in the back of the hotel. It also included a complimentary airport pickup (the driver was late) and if you required a return it was $10Us. They also offered a booking service if required and complimentary safety boxes. All the staff were really welcoming and friendly.
Although we did not stay there the other place we found that we really liked was La Casa de los Sanchez on Avenida Diagonal 354-358. It was a good location and the rooms seemed really comfortable.

Lima travelogue picture
There is a really cosy English pub down in Miraflores called "The Old Pub" serving beer on tap and playing good music including live bands Friday and Saturday night. It's one of those places with lots of memorabilia from past patrons tacked up on the walls including drink coasters, business cards and the like. Its located on Calle San Ramon otherwise known as Pizza Street. The staff are eager to practise their English.

Lima travelogue picture
Funnily enough the standout restaurant for us was the Palacio Beijing, not very Peruvian but great Chinese food. The guy that owns it is really interesting. We never realised that there was such a huge Chinese population in Peru but it is actually one of the largest outside China. He has written a book on it from there earliest histiry in Peru and it is well worth a look at. The food is good too, just don't be suckered in to trying chicha as the cost will appear on your bill, not cheap.
The other place you will probably find yourself going to for a cheap meal is "Pizza Street" (real name Calle San Ramon). It is quite literally a pedestrians only street with restaurant after restaurant (nearly all Italian) lining both sides. Take your pick as you will probably find a deal that suits you personally. If not, take a punt as they are all very similar anyway.

Published on Thursday February 20th, 2003

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Fri, Feb 17 2006 - 03:07 PM rating by rangutan

Fantastic report on a stop-over, casualy written....

Fri, Jan 07 2005 - 02:39 PM rating by davidx

Very informative. I'm looking forward to those museums in September.

Mon, Apr 14 2003 - 03:39 PM rating by fpinheiro

Thank you for the very informative deescription of your short trip to Lima. I am planning on going there next July and you certainly gave me some hints.

Flavio Pinheiro
São Paulo, Brazil

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