As the largest city in Peru, lazing in Lima for a few days is a lovely change, especially if you want to rest and recuperate after some serious Peruvian trekking.
Although I never sleep on overnight buses, comfort is important. Depending on the bus company, quality can be hit and miss in Peru, which I explain briefly in my Cusco post.
West of the Andes Mountains, and surrounded by a harsh arid dessert, Lima is a bustling modern metropolis that sits in the valleys of the Chillón, Rímac, and Lurín rivers in Peru’s central coast.
The Spaniards used Lima as a seat from which to rule for 300 years and left behind a legacy of colonial architecture – contrasted with innovative modern buildings, Lima provides an eclectic mix for the traveller.
Renown for delicious fish and seafood due to the unique plankton they eat from the cold South Pacific current, Lima is also a great place to try Ceviche – one of Peru’s signatory dishes and very addictive.
Even though Peru’s capital boasts around eight million people, it’s easy to find somewhere in this massive city in which to laze around. Especially, as Lima flaunts kilometres of sparkling Pacific Ocean shores and wonderful for long romantic coastal walks.
After completing the challenging 5-day Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu, it’s great just to relax for a couple of days. Lima is a stop-off for our flight to the US to catch up with friends and spend time on their boat. But, also to meet up with our travel buddies that we first met in Salta, Argentina and mainly to relax, as my partner has become quite ill.
Wander down to the waterfront and enjoy a wonderful seafood meal or refreshing drink, whilst watching the sun cast its final hues over the expansive, calm and inviting South Pacific waters.
Established in the 16th century, Miraflores is a main tourist attraction in Lima and one of its most affluent districts, with exclusive residential and upmarket shopping. And, our hostel is also in this district.
Although we’re not staying in the impressive flashy Marriott Hotel or the Hilton, this district offers a deluge of all types of accommodation, bars, nightclubs, restaurants, and department stores.
If you love to shop, which I don’t, then visit the very popular Larcomar shopping hub in Miraflores. With more than 80 shops in the complex including high-end brands, you’ll definitely be in heaven.
Built into the side of a cliff and mostly below ground, it is also a good stop-off point for some great food whilst admiring the spectacular Pacific Ocean views and the afternoon paragliding. This is the place to be ‘seen’.
Why not pick up some Peruvian souvenirs whilst at Larcomar?
Although I didn’t explore Lima’s historic centre, I hear that it holds gorgeous and impressive colonial architecture, with several opulent cathedrals and churches worth a visit.
Taking advantage of the free entry to the pre-Incan historical ruins in Miraflores, right in the centre of the city, after laying eyes on Machu Picchu, there is no comparison. Maybe see the historical and cultural Huaca Pucllana park, before you set out for Machu Picchu.
Built around 500 AD and as one of the few still remaining sites from the historic pre-Columbian period in Peru, Huaca Pucllana was a ceremonial and administrative centre of the Lima Culture.
Surrounded by Lima’s exploding urban growth, it feels as if this extensive city is squeezing down on Huaca Pucllana. The adobe pyramid is well-preserved, considering its location and that it is centuries-old.
Apart from the archaeological ruins, a workshop area, museum, small souvenir shop, and a restaurant are at the park.
Excavation and conservation work is still in progress and continues to unearth more ruins.
Free to roam around on our own, apart from workers surprisingly, there are not too many tourists about today, which makes a nice change.
A large structured wall surrounds Huaca Pucllana dividing it in two separate parts (north – south directions): administrative and ceremonial sectors.
Archaeologists discovered textiles, stone tools, bones, animal and seafood remains, fruit, seeds, and vegetable remains, which all provide vital information about life of the Limeños – native of Lima.
An interesting site, it’s easy to spend several hours at Huaca Pucllana.
Extremely sick in Lima
Although I’ve also been sick for the last couple of days and during the overnight bus from Cusco to here, luckily I’ve recovered. Tonight though, the night before the flight to the US, my partner’s illness is much worse. Tingling sensations in his hands, they’ve gone stiff and feel numb – but, refuses when I suggest a doctor or re-scheduling/cancelling tomorrow’s flight.
Scared and alarmed, I search the internet for a possible cause and find it can be due to extreme dehydration. With severe vomiting and diarrhoea for the past couple of days – not even able to keep water down – and sick on and off since landing in Argentina months ago, it’s not at all surprising.
On the hunt for electrolytes as ours are finished, pharmacies are not open at 9:30 pm. Finding a supermarket instead, I buy gaseous water and a large bag of salty potato crisps. After the salt doses, my partner starts to feel better and insists we continue with our plans to the US. I don’t like this idea, but go along with our original plan.
During our travels in South America for the past 7 months, both of us have been ill on and off, but my partner’s illness has been much more severe and continues. The English-speaking doctor in Argentina did not know what type of bug my partner picked up, but prescribed antibiotics anyway. The meds didn’t make any difference and the bug continues with vengeance.
Situated in the popular neighbourhood of Miraflores, Hostel Rivendell Lima is manned 24/7 so very secure, and is clean. The Jorge Chavez International Airport is only 14 kilometres away.
One block from the seafront and one kilometre from the Miraflores Central Park, this hostel is in a great location.
The small room with two bunk beds offers barely enough space to accommodate our two large backpacks and day packs. Although, with a private bathroom and the hostel’s proximity to everything, it’s home for a couple of days, and staff are friendly.
With an invitation from our friends that live on a boat to sail down the Hudson River and into New York, a flight to New York is booked from Lima, for a side-trip to America. And, who wouldn’t take up a kind invitation such as this one?