Driving through central Lima in a cab felt like driving through a wormhole and into the future compared with all the small colonial towns and old city centers we had been staying in for the previous couple months.
We checked into a hostel in the Miraflores district as that had been recommended as the popular upmarket touristy place to be. They have developed a beautiful seaside promenade and we enjoyed a lovely afternoon walk with me personally happy to back on the coast after several months in the mountains.
Just south of Miraflores along the promenade is the trendy bohemian district of Barranco where we found lots of little cafes and family run restaurants all huddled together around the little central plaza and winding down towards the beach. As we were passing through the local community had arranged a little competition for the restaurants in the Plaza. Each were represented by their top waiter who at first gave a presentation of their own specialty drink then had to run a race around the plaza carrying a round of drinks on a tray. Looked like lots of fun and a good laugh too!
The main Plaza Mayor in Lima was very impressive and so picturesque that while we were wondering around there were 2 wedding parties having their pictures taken next to the main fountain in the middle.
A short walk from the main plaza is the San Francisco Church and monastery which is definitely worth a visit. The church was completed in 1774 with a vast array of passages and catacombs under the church (new passages are still being discovered) and, up until the beginning of the 18th century, the was Lima’s principal burial site. Over the years an estimated 70,000 people were buried in those catacombs which themselves were only discovered in the mid 1940s. The catacombs tour is very interesting but not for the fainthearted or claustrophobic.
Another great spectacle is Lima’s Magic Water Circuit. 13 unique and beautiful fountains spread out over a park complex make for stunning visuals and a lot of fun. Every evening they project images and lasers onto a synchronized series of fountains over 100m in length which, with the music, creates the most fantastically entertaining show.
We really enjoyed our short stay in Lima and it seemed like a really cool happening city to spend more time in but we were a bit behind schedule so had to keep moving. We still had a lot of Peru to see in a short time and had a long way to go in order to get up north to catch our flight. So we packed up our bags, jumped on an overnight bus and got ready for some speedy whirlwind traveling…