Peru celebrates is Independence Day on July 28th and 29th: these celebrations are called “Fiestas Patrias,” and if you are spending these days in Lima, you will surely find many chances to have a great time, no matter your age.
First of all, take advantage of the fact that many, many Limenians actually use this long weekend to travel outside Lima. You’ll find it easier to move around the city, because there will be less people, less cars… and less traffic jams! That does not mean, however, that there are less attractions to visit. In fact, there are usually many commemorative and festive events. Here we’re suggesting only a few possibilities!
Movies: Lima has some terrific 3D theaters, like Cinemark.
Get Wet: That is, visit the Magic Water Circuit, which usually hosts impressive night shows on these days, as well as events, fairs, contests, and concerts. The show-stoppers are without a doubt the colorful fountains’ laser displays.
Eat! Peruvian gastronomy is booming, and Peruvians love to eat; any celebration in Peru means food, and lots of it. Lima is no exception, and many municipalities organize small, local food fairs for the neighborhood. Ask your friends, and keep an eye on the local news.
Circus time! This is the time of the year when everyone goes to the circus. There are plenty of choices, but this year we suggest the “La Tarumba” and “Paukartampu” shows, both of them 100% Peruvian. An international choice could be the Chengdu Circus, from China. Tickets for all these are sold by Teleticket.com and TuEntrada.com, so you can either buy them online or in-person at any of the ticket vendors located inside Wong or Metro supermarkets.
Museums: Admission to most Peruvian museums is free on July 28th and 29th. We suggest the Pachacamac Ruins Site Museum, Huaca Huallamarca, Huaca Pucllana, and the San Cristobal Hill museum.
Enjoy the parade! The traditional celebration includes a big, colorful military and civilian parade, which has become more festive each year. This year it’s likely to be even more special since the new president, Ollanta Humala, is taking office during Fiestas Patrias. The parade tours Brasil Avenue, but you must arrive very, very early if you want to score a decent seat. On the other hand, it’s free!
Party! Many restaurants and bars have special offers for groups and couples during these days, including live Peruvian music shows. Our top suggestion is still Brisas del Titicaca. Make sure to book a good table in advance.
And of course, you can walk along and around downtown Lima, since this is a good time to get to know Limenians’ festive spirit, and usually there are celebrations taking place in the streets, especially at the Plaza Mayor. However, keep in mind that this year, since many officials are attending Humala’s presidential inauguration, security protocols are likely to be reinforced and access to some streets may be temporarily closed.
Images: Miguel Vera/Flickr