Lightpocketed in Lima



Description:

Lima is a city of contrasts, from the tinted glass and polished steel high rises of San Isidro to the bohemian and rustic Barranco to the impoverished pueblos jovenes on the city's outskirts. Thankfully this enormous diversity means that a budget vacation in Lima can be an interesting and exciting experience, with a huge range of free or nearly free activities to keep you entertained. There are numerous free or cheap museums andarcheological sites, the neighbourhoods of Miraflores and Barranco are great places to lose yourself on a walking tour while much of Central Lima's history and impressive architecture can be admired from the outside for nothing! During the weekend's Lima's big supermarkets give away a huge amount of tasters and samples (who said there's no such thing as a free lunch?) while street vendors sell anything from tacos toempanadas (tasty meat-filled pastries) to chicharron (roast pork) sandwiches, which will keep you full for next to nothing. For the brave, transport within Lima is easy and cheap thanks to the vast numbers of 'combi' buses that ply virtually every route night and day. Short trips cost just 50 centivos (USD 0.15) and longer journeys cost 1 sole (USD 0.30). Just read the destination on the front of the bus and the route it follows which is printed on the side. The main routes are Panama and Arequipa which will get you to all the important sites.

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Author: Matthew Barker


Day 1 - Lima, Cercado, Barranco


Day one is a tour of Lima's historical center, where most of the city's classical colonial facades dominate grand open plazas and where history exudes from each impressive building. Fortunately, the best of central Lima can be enjoyed from the outside, so spend a while walking around the Plaza de Armas and soak up some of Lima's long and eventful history. The fountain in the Plaza center is actually the oldest feature here and the Cathedral may allow free entry early in the morning or later in the afternoon. After a cheap snack from one of the many street vendors in this area take a walk downPaseo Colon for a fine example of Lima's colonial architecture before arriving at Plaza Bolivar. Swing back round and continue your walking tour to AlamedaChabuca Grande for a view of Lima's main source of water, the Rimac river. Finally, catch a bus (1 sole) marked San Cristobal for a journey up the imposing hill that faces you where you'll be rewarded with the best views in the city. Don't attempt to walk this journey, it's longer than it looks and it crosses a number of unsafe neighborhoods. If you're in a large group, San Cristobal is safe at dusk, when you'll see the sun setting over the pacific and the city's lights begin to twinkle in thetwilight. Make sure you get a bus or a taxi back down and catch a combi to Barranco (it will read Arequipa on the side and Barranco on the front) for 1 sole. Enjoy a classically Lima meal of ceviche at La Canta Rana and spend the night in the comfortable and fun, but budget concsious Mochilero's hostel.


1

Plaza Mayor (Plaza de Armas )

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Location:

Plaza Mayor
Centro Urbano
Lima, Peru

Contact:

tel: +51 1 315 1300


2

Paseo Colón

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Location:

Esquina Avenida Wilson y Avenida 9 de Diciembre
LM 01 Lima, Peru

Contact:

tel: +51 1 574 8000


3

Plaza Bolívar

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Location:

Plaza Bolívar
Avenida Abancay, cuadra 2
Lima, Peru

Contact:

tel: +51 1 574 8000


4

Alameda Chabuca Granda

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Location:

Alameda Chabuca Granda
LM 01 Lima, Peru

Contact:

tel: +51 1 315 1300


5

Cerro San Cristóbal

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Location:

Near the Rimac River
Lima 1 Cercado, Peru

Contact:

tel: +51 1 315 1300


6

La Canta Rana

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Location:

Genova 101
Barranco
Lima 4 Barranco, Peru

Contact:

tel: +51 1 477 8934


7

Mochilero's Backpackers

Location:

Avenida Pedro de Osma 135
(Barranco)
Lima, Peru

Contact:

tel: 51 1 477 4506
fax: 51 1 477 0302


Day 2 - Lima


Another walking tour, but this one is much closer to home and begins from the hostel in Barranco. Take your time, explore the tranquil Plaza and Barranco's back streets which are are fine examples of early 20th century Republican era architecture and which used to provide an out-of-town holiday get away for the Lima elite. These days the neighborhood is home to the city's urban bohemian and artistic community, and many artists are happy to show you round their workshops and galleries. Keep walking north until you hit the next district ofMiraflores. This is the trendy shopping and commercial center but there is plenty for shoestringers to do here including people watching in Park Kennedy, a quick tour of the church and window shopping in the area's malls and shopping centers. Restaurants and cafes are expensive but snacks from street vendors are cheap, tasty and filling. Most food outlets will offer deals on take-out, ask for "algo para llevar?" If you're tired, catch a bus back to Barranco for 50 centivos, or else walk back along the sea front for a glimpse of how the city's rich live, in luxury condos and seafront apartments. The best show in town comes entirely for free and you can catch the jaw-droppingly beautiful sunset from the many look out points on the Barranco cliffs. Walk back along the hopelessly romantic puente de los Suspiros (Bridge of Sighs), remembering to hold your breath and make a wish as you cross. Grab a cheap bite to eat at El Muelle and spend the evening soaking up the atmosphere of Barranco's central plaza or one of the many cheap bars that fill this lively neighborhood.


1

Barranco

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Location:

Barranco
Costa central de Lima
Lima, Peru


2

Miraflores

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Location:

Miraflores
Costa central
Lima 18 Lima, Peru

Contact:

tel: +51 1 6177272
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3

Puente de los Suspiros

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Location:

Puente de los Suspiros
Calle Ayacucho y Bajada a Los Baños
Lima, Peru

Contact:

tel: +51 1 315 1300


4

Muelle (El)

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Location:

Alfonso Ugarte 225
Lima, Peru


Day 3 - Lima, Barranco


Budget travel in Peru doesn't require you to fork out the cash for guided tours of Machhu Pichhu. In fact, you can get Lima's answer to the world-famous Inca site for free, by catching a combi bus (1 sole, marked San Isidiro) to Huaca Huallamarca. This site is actually pre-Incan and gives a good insight into how people used to live in this vast desert before the Spanish arrived. There is a museum on site and entrance is free. SanIsidiro itself is an expensive business and financial district so don't expect to pick up any cheap eats around here. Take a packed lunch instead. Once you're back inBarranco, relax in the legendary Juanitos where cheap pork sandwiches are served up along with endless glasses of beer. Drink with a group and order a jar (jarra) rather than a single glass (chop) for big savings. If you've still got some kick left in you, head to La Noche where live music is played nightly and you can get free or discounted tickets by asking other party goers for a spare flyer (same word in Spanish).


1

Huaca Huallamarca

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Location:

Nicolás de Rivera 201
Lima, Peru

Contact:

tel: +51 1 222 4124


2

Juanito's

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Location:

Grau 274
Lima 4 Barranco, Peru


3

Noche (La)

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Location:

Av. Bolognesi 307
(El Boulevard)
Lima, Peru

Contact:

tel: 51 1 477 5829
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Day 4 - Lima, Miraflores


Spend your last day in Lima relaxing on the beach with the locals. Lima's city beaches are popular during the summer months but for cleaner water and a more relaxing atmosphere catch a bus further south (buses reading SanBartolo head in the right direction) and get off at El Silencio , one of the most popular beaches. Keep an eye on your belongings while in the sea and be sure to wear plenty of sunscreen - Peru's fierce sun can burn even through the coastal mist. If your day on the beach hasn't washed you out, head back intoMiraflores for a cheap meal at Media Naranja and kick back at Mochileros where the great atmosphere will keep you dancing all night.


1

Playa El Silencio

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Location:

38 km al Sur de Lima
LM 24 Lima, Peru

Contact:

tel: +51 1 574 8000


2

Media Naranja

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Location:

Schell 130 at Psje. Porta
Just off Miraflores' main plaza
Lima 18 Miraflores, Peru

Contact:

tel: +51 1 4466946


3

Mochileros

Location:

Avenida Pedro de Osma 135
Lima, Peru

Contact:

tel: 51 1 477 4506
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