Perú es un país ubicado al oeste de América del Sur (Peru is a country located in western South America). It’s one of the most popular places to travel in all of Latin America, as it’s home to the ancient city of the Incas – Machu Picchu. Este artículo es sobre mi experiencia viajando por Perú (This article is about my experience traveling to Peru). In Parte Uno, I’ll talk about our trip to Peru and our time spent in the capital of Lima.
Nuestro viaje a Perú
Viajamos a Perú por casi dos meses (We traveled to Peru for almost two months). Our trip was split up into two parts. First up, we spent a month in Lima to give the big city life a try. After traveling in Chile, Brazil, and Bolivia, we returned to Peru for a few weeks.
En este tiempo, visitamos la ciudad, la playa, la selva, el desierto y las montañas (In this time, we visited the city, the beach, the jungle, the desert, and the mountains). It really is amazing the diversity of landscapes you can see on a trip to Peru!
Un mes en la capital
Para empezar, pasamos un mes en Lima (To begin with, we spent one month in Lima). Here are some fun facts that you might not know about the Peruvian capital:
- Lima is home to about 1/3 of Peru’s population.
- The city is made up of 43 different districts.
- It’s known as La Ciudad de los Reyes (“The City of Kings”)
- The people in Lima are called Limeños.
Most travelers only spend a few days in Lima, but we had to catch up on some work. Such is the life of nómadas digitales (digital nomads). We rented an apartment in Miraflores, which is located in the area known as La Costa Verde (the Green Coast). ¡Es un lugar muy hermoso! (It’s a very beautiful place!).
Estudié español aquí por dos semanas (I studied Spanish here for two weeks). After studying in both Puerto Vallarta and Medellín, it was nice to get back in the classroom if only for a short while. I took classes at El Tulipan and I can definitely recommend them if you want to study in Lima.
When I wasn’t working or studying, I enjoyed taking a walk on El Malecón. This scenic promenade is located on a clifftop and provides some incredible views of el océano Pacífico (the Pacific Ocean). Hay muchos parques aquí donde puedes hacer ejercicio o simplemente relajarte (There are many parks here where you can get exercise or just relax).
Because of it’s location and the often windy conditions, Miraflores is a great place to try parapente (paragliding). If that’s a bit too intense, you can always just rent una bicicleta (a bicycle) and go for a ride.
There’s lots of interesting art to see along the Malecon as well. In El Parque del Amor (Love Park) you can see the famous statue called El Beso (The Kiss) by Victor Delfín. As you might expect, this is a popular place for couples of all ages!
Another place I enjoyed hanging out in is Parque Kennedy, which was named after former US President John F. Kennedy. Many refer to it as El Parque de los Gatos (the Cat Park) since it’s home to over 100 cats. No one really knows where they came from, but they sure have made themselves comfortable here.
I almost forgot to mention las ruinas (the ruins). You see, you don’t have to travel all the way to Cusco to see ancient ruins in Peru. Huaca Pucllana es un sitio arqueológico en Miraflores (Huaca Pucllana is an archeological site in Miraflores). This great adobe pyramid dates back to the Lima Culture, which called the area home between 200-700 AD.
El Centro Historico
Of course, we got out to explore the city a bit as well. We joined a walking tour of el centro historico (the historic center) to do some sightseeing and learn about the city’s history.
Hay muchos lugares famosos para visitar aquí, por ejemplo, la Catedral de Lima y el Palacio de Gobierno del Perú (There are many famous places to visit here, for example, the Lima Cathedral and the Government Palace of Peru).
Another day, we headed downtown to visit La Basílica y Convento de San Francisco (the Basilica and Convent of Saint Francis). In addition to admiring the beautiful church, you can also take a short tour of las catacumbas (the catacombs), where it’s estimated that upwards of 75,000 people were buried.
We actually spent La Navidad en Perú (Christmas in Peru), and the historic center was a very festive place to be. It’s hard not to get a little homesick when you’re away for the holidays, but we enjoyed our time celebrating Christmas in Lima.
Mi área favorita de Lima es Barranco (My favorite area of Lima is Barranco). It’s located just south of Miraflores and is a cool place to visit. We did another walking tour of Barranco and also visited several times on our own.
Es un barrio muy bohemio y divertido (It’s a very bohemian and fun neighborhood). Here you’ll find a lot of arte urbano (street art) along with plenty of trendy shops, cafes, and bars.
One of the top things to do in Barranco is crossing La Puente de Los Suspiros (the Bridge of Sighs). An urban legend says that if you can hold your breath and cross the entire bridge, your wish will come true!
While I enjoyed staying in Miraflores, I think Barranco is more my scene. We’re already talking about going back to Lima and staying in Barranco for a while.
La Comida y la Cerveza Artesenal
¡Me encanta la comida peruana! (I love Peruvian food!). Whether it’s a plate of ceviche, some ají de gallina, or lomo saltado, Peruvian cuisine is muy deliciosa (very delicious). If you’re not too familiar with it, be sure to read my recent post about Peruvian food.
After traveling around South America for seven months, I can say without a doubt that Peruvian cuisine was my favorite. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it as I write this post!
I’m a big fan of la cervesa artesenal (craft beer), and there are many excellent options in Lima. Some of my favorite places include Barranco Beer Company, Barbarian, and Lupulo.
Apparently la vida nocturna (the nightlife) is pretty good in Lima, but we didn’t experience too much of it. With work starting at 6AM most days and then going to Spanish class in the afternoon, I decided to skip out on going out at night. I’m glad there are some great craft beer joints in Lima for those relaxed nights out after a long day!
In Parte Dos, I’ll write a bit about our bus trip all the way from La Paz, Bolivia back to Lima with stops in some of the most fascinating places in Peru along the way!
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