All things must come to an end. Including this trip! And to my surprise, my last day in Peru was actually way more awesome than I thought it would be. We ended the trip by catching a flight to Lima Friday evening and then spent our entire Saturday walking around the Miraflores district, where our Airbnb was located. I completely underestimated Lima, and I’m so glad we made room in our itinerary to spend at least a full day there.
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GETTING TO LIMA FROM CUSCO
After spending the night in Aguas Calientes, the gateway city to Machu Picchu (read “Part 5: Machu Picchu”), we had to get all the way back to the airport in Cusco City in order to catch our flight to Lima. So we hopped on the Vistadome train that took us back to Ollantaytambo station and then had a driver take us to the airport from there.
Cost of Flight from Cusco to Lima: $155 (Roundtrip)
WHERE TO STAY IN LIMA
This trip was a really nice mixture of hotels and Airbnbs. If you’ve been following along on my guides, then you’ll remember the AMAZING Airbnb my friends and I experienced in the Sacred Valley. Well, we lucked out again. The chic urban Airbnb we found in Lima was very different from the scenic rural Sacred Valley Airbnb, but both were fantastic in their own ways.
The Lima Airbnb was a condo that was stylishly decorated in a trendy, modern way and conveniently situated in the heart of Miraflores—which meant it was easy to walk around to the places we wanted to visit. It had 3 bedrooms, 2 full bathrooms, a half bathroom, a balcony, kitchen, and a swanky living room. The host left a binder for us with detailed suggestions on what to do in Lima, as well as house rules. Her thoroughness was borderline OCD, but it was 100% appreciated.
Cost of Lima Airbnb: $120 a night for 3 Bedrooms ($40 per person)
Get $30 off Airbnb: https://www.airbnb.com/c/ashleys793
I loved the location of the condo. When doing research, Miraflores seemed like the best location to stay in, particularly for female travelers. If you have safety concerns, then Miraflores is your best bet.
5 THINGS TO DO IN MIRAFLORES
1. Eat Dinner at Tanta
After we landed and got settled in, we walked over to Tanta. This restaurant is where I learned that there is more to Peruvian drinks than just the traditional pisco sour. In Lima, you can try all kinds of unique cocktails with pisco in it. Every cocktail I had in Lima was yummy and packed a punch.
View on Map: Nicolás de Rivera 142, Distrito de Lima 15001, Peru
2. Shop for Organic Food at Bioferia de Miraflores
You guys know how strongly I feel about supporting the locals when I travel so this made my day. At the Bioferia de Miraflores, you can support local farms and buy organic products at this super cute outdoor farmers market. There was so much variety! I even found some very tasty vegan food to eat for breakfast.
Opening Hours: Sat from 8:00 am to 2:30 pm
3. Eat Lunch at La Mar Cebicheria
Originally, we were hoping to get into Central Restaurante, the #4 best restaurant in the world—but it was closed during lunchtime. So we looked at reviews for other highly recommended restaurants and found La Mar Cebicheria. My friends are certified foodies and can completely vouch that our meal there was one of the best they ever had.
The three of us shared an order of paella and the ceviche sampler. Obviously, you can’t come to Lima and not have ceviche—it’s one thing they are known for! Now I’m more of a dessert person; that’s where my inner fat kid likes to come out to play, and the dessert there did not disappoint in the least. I ordered picarones drizzled in Amazonian honey, which is a type of doughnut that actually originated in Lima! If you visit Lima, do not leave without trying this signature dessert. I also tried 2 different pisco cocktails, which were both phenomenal: Pisco punch and the Volador.
View on Map: Av Mariscal La Mar 770, Miraflores 15074, Peru
4. Stroll Down El Malecón
After our massive meal, I insisted we walk back to our condo. So glad we did! We walked along El Malecón, Lima’s 6-mile seafront walkway. We saw mostly locals out and about enjoying the beautiful day, walking with their families, and enjoying the various parks and activities. I found it particularly interesting that the walkway was setup in a way that encouraged people to be active. We saw people playing tennis, paragliding, and even working out on the various exercise machines and obstacles they planted along the walkway.
We also ran into the Parque del Amor just as the sun was starting to set. This park whose name translates into “The Park of Love” appropriately gives off a romantic vibe that’s particularly strong during sunset. The artsy park is surrounded by beautifully designed mosaics and the main piece of art is a statue of two lovers.
View on Map: (Parque del Amor) Malecón Cisneros, Miraflores 15074, Peru
5. Go Salsa Dancing
Even though we had a 7am flight to catch in the morning, I was determined to experience the nightlife in Lima. So I researched a few clubs and had Uber take us to one that seemed to have pretty good reviews. It was a complete fail though. The club he brought us to was extremely pretentious and expensive. They wanted us to pay $70 to get in! I wondered if it was because the bouncer could tell we were tourists.
So we walked away and headed towards a different area that seemed to look lively. We ended up in an alleyway with some fun, hole-in-the-wall bars and nightclubs. This was more my scene. It had a very authentic feel to it. Sure enough, we ducked into a little building where we heard good Spanish music blaring from the speakers, and happily took in the scene before us. Locals were out on the dance floor salsa dancing and having a good ole’ time. We bought some beers, did a little people-watching, and then started dancing too.
View on Map: (Location of Alleyway with the fun bars/nightclubs) Calle de las Pizzas, Distrito de Lima, Peru