Back in October I had an opportunity to visit Lima for a week, so I took it. This is the second time I have been in Peru and since the first time I spent 10 days all over the country, including Machu Picchu, I was able to just focus on the city of Lima this time around, which is amazing and rough at the same time.
Historically speaking, the city was founded in 1535 as the capital of Spain’s South American empire and independence came in 1820, but rather reluctantly since the elite had lots of support from the crown.
Within the city of Lima there are several historical places to see right in town. The Old Town is a World Heritage Site and there are two pre-Spanish settlements to discover. I am going to explore them with you in the coming week, but today I simply wanted to share a few observations.
First off the town is quite crowded with bad traffic. The bus from the airport down to the city center took an hour and I recommend using it and not the taxis since it is so nice and cheap to boot. Also do not leave the airport grounds to get a bus or taxi, because the surrounding neighborhood is not very safe.
Speaking of traffic, I found it interesting that the bus stops are down on the highway instead of coming up an offramp. The problem with this is the fact that it narrows and blocks traffic near the bus stops. Instead of driving yourself I recommend using Uber. The app works really well and the prices are cheap. I was getting 10 mile/half hour long rides for around $6 US. Easily made it not worth getting a car and dealing with the hassle of dealing with traffic.
My finally thought is on Peruvian food. There are lots of different things to try from veggies to beef to chicken – to guinea pig (I am not a fan, too greasy and not much meat), but the most famous is the ceviche and for very good reason. It is fresh and so light. The lime juice makes the various seafood just sparkle, if that makes sense. One thing I had never heard of was chicha morada, which is a refreshing, purple, non-alcoholic drink made by boiling purple corn with pineapple, cinnamon, clove, and sugar. It is different, but quite yummy.
Make sure you come back every day over the next week to read all about the various places and experiences I had around Lima.