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Lima as a tourist destination?

Lima as a tourist destination?

Old Jun 23, 2017, 10:20 am
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Lima as a tourist destination?

I know, strange headline. Let me try to explain.

I found a pretty compelling mileage run to Lima for later in the year, the week of my anniversary. We went to Guadalajara on a whim last year and had a great time without leaving the city limits, but most of the reading I've done on Lima (including this forum) seems to suggest that all the interesting stuff isn't in the city itself; instead most of tourists fly in and then go to Macchu Picchu, or rain forest tours, etc.

Our preference is to stay in the city - we like good food/drink, museums, architecture, etc. Not hikers or explorer types (although a flight over the Nazca lines seems like a cool side trip...) Is the city itself worth the price of admission for a weeklong trip? Or is most of the tourism appeal outside the city?
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Old Jun 23, 2017, 10:39 am
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No strange at all. Actually there may be other similar threads. Lima has many many places to visit (depending on what you like). Historic center, beaches in summer, museums, bohemian and night life), LOT of good restaurants, etc.

So if you are not an outdoor traveler, hiker, etc. yes there are several places you’ll find interesting.

Those are the pros. Cons? Heavy, heavy traffic the whole day everywhere. Lima has become a nightmare talking about traffic. You must be patient and must plan your visits considering times and traffic.

You must go at least to Ica city if you want to take a touristic flight to Nasca lines. It’s 4 hours from Lima, and you may include a visit to Paracas nature reserve or Ballestas island (though I know you are not interested in places beyond cities, but I mention them anyway )

Now, a weeklong… I’m not sure. I guess 3 days in Lima would be more than enough. Why don’t you combine Lima and Arequipa? Arequipa is a beautiful city too, lot of architecture, churches, etc. For city tourism is a very good alternative. And it’s not so high, altitude shouldn’t be a big issue.
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Old Jun 23, 2017, 3:52 pm
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I have gone to Lima a handful of times in the last few years and really enjoyed the nightlife, restaurants, and sightseeing. As Villavic pointed out that there are cons like heavy traffic and some areas are safer than others. There is also the time of year that you are looking at going. Some times can be rather hot and I found the winter with the thick humid air I was almost choking at times due to the pollution.

Unless you have someone that knows the area willing to show you around I think 7 days is rather long. Personally, I enjoy going to Cusco more as it is more walkable, ruins are just outside the city, and the city tour is fun.

Some good reference videos:

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Old Jun 23, 2017, 3:58 pm
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Originally Posted by Astrophsx
Personally, I enjoy going to Cusco more as it is more walkable, ruins are just outside the city, and the city tour is fun.
Thatīs true. Cusco without Machu Picchu and Sacred Valley is enough beautiful and interesting too.
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Old Jun 24, 2017, 11:19 pm
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I've become a real fan of Lima and have done four trips now where that's the only Peru stop. The longest was 6 days.

I'll always stay in Miraflores because it's a nice section, well-patrolled and the chain of parks + Larcomar atop the cliffs is an attraction in itself, a bit reminscent of Malibu. Food is really great and I always hit Punto Azul a time or three, or La Mar for a splurge, and there are lots of other places in and around Miraflores. The "sangucherias" (like La Luna) and rotisserie-chicken places like Pardo's are so good they'd be exportable to the U.S.

There are also bus daytrips on double deckers leaving Kennedy Park that can be kinda neat, including one out to the big ruins complex in Chorillos. All can be done independently as well.

I'll also sometimes take the Metro from Miraflores to downtown and go around Plaza San Martin and the Quilca-Jiron axis, which is a great spot of you collect postcards, records or certain other antiques. Basically lots of sellers of used items in run-down but low-rent buildings. That theme kinda continues all the way to plaza 2 de Septiembre, a crowded circle and epicenter of traffic problems, but with a certain downscale old-world charm. Food is also inexpensive generally downtown, and the Gran Hotel Bolivar has a pisco sour catedral that's supposedly one of the best anywhere (or there's Roky's next door for volume at lower cost.

As for touristy things, the Museo Larco is worthwhile, you've got Inca ruins in both Miraflores and Chorrilos (though they can't substitute for MP), downtown and the cathedral and presidential palace outside might be worth a look (bus tours also go there), you can go paragliding in Miraflores, there's a chocolate museum (also one in Cuzco), some mediocre casinos, and maybe something like soccer at the national stadium which is also on the metro.

I once took a taxi to get in at the noon opening at La Mar (it's very popular) and walked back to Larcomar via the chain of parks atop the cliffs overlooking the Pacific on a nice day. Hard to beat.

The practical reason for the Lima trips, BTW, involved cheap access via Spirit (I think Jet Blue also goes there). Last year if you timed it in May and hit a sale like one of their 99 PCT ones, it dropped the one-way airfare from ATL to $86, plus $21/30 for the bag. From LIM I flew Sky Airline (a Chile-based LCC) to Santiago for $90 and then used miles to fly SCL-ATL on AA (Being quite a bit heavier on bags flying back vs. going out).
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Old Jun 26, 2017, 3:44 pm
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We stopped in Lima for 2 days on our way to Cusco/MP a few weeks ago. I think 2 days was just enough to see everything we wanted to see. If food/nightlife/parties is your thing, then maybe there's much more to see. But in terms of historic, cultural, etc - a day downtown and a day around Miraflores was enough.

Cusco, Sacred Valley, etc., was much more interesting and much more worth the time invested.
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