Our primary reason for travelling to Peru was to visit Cusco and Machu Picchu, but whilst in the country, it made sense to check out the capital, Lima. I must admit I knew very little about the city other than it is on the Pacific coast and that it has an upmarket, beachside district called Miraflores.
As it happened, the hotel we chose to stay at in Lima, the Crowne Plaza, was situated in Miraflores. It proved easy to travel from there to central Lima by taxi and the beach front area was within walking distance. It also proved to be an excellent hotel with large, attractively furnished rooms and a very good restaurant. Highly recommended.
Our one day visit to central Lima was not well planned. We simply wandered through the streets past government buildings and shops, stopping along the way to admire some impressive squares and fine religious buildings.
It was a hot humid day, more noticeable after four days at the much cooler higher altitudes of Cusco and Machu Picchu, so the many bars in the central area proved very inviting and the occasional cold beer proved highly refreshing.
Our highlight of central Lima was the main square the Plaza Mayor or Plaza de Armas of Lima. It is considered the birthplace of the city and certainly walking around this massive square, watching people getting on with their everyday lives, gives a flavour of this city.
The historical centre of Lima was granted UNESCO World Heritage status in 1991.
The square is surrounded by many fine buildings several in a striking yellow colour with black and white balconies. These are complimented by the grey stone structures of the Cathedral of Lima, Archbishop’s Palace of Lima and the Government Palace, the official residence of the President of Peru.
We spent some time visiting the Cathedral of Lima which dates back to 1535, but was remodelled several times to give the present Baroque-style cathedral. There is a small entrance fee, but well worth it to see some of the fascinating murals and side chapels.
From the Plaza Mayor we headed down to the river past the Monastery of San Francisco, a flamboyant example of 17th Century Spanish Baroque. The river area itself was decidedly underwhelming, save for the view of the Cerro San Cristóbal hill on the far bank.
From our hotel in Miraflores, we walked down a steep road to the boardwalk and beachfront, where we passed a flurry of surfers taking advantage of the waves as the sun slowly set behind them.
The white and blue painted pier attracted us and proved a great place for a sundowner, watched by colourful Inca terns outside the windows.
Next day we said our final goodbye to South America, before heading 2,500 miles north to Miami and the Everglades, the final stage of our Round the World trip.
• Round the World in 40 Days: Planning and Booking
• Stage 1 – Golden Triangle of Agra, Jaipur and Delhi
• Stage 2 – Singapore and the Gardens by the Bay
• Stage 3 – Taipei and NE Taiwan
• Stage 4 – Seoul and the DMZ
• Stage 5 – Hong Kong Revisited
• Stage 6 – Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef
• Stage 7 – Earthquakes and Vineyards in New Zealand
• Stage 8 – A Tour of Santiago, Chile
• Stage 9 – Cusco and Machu Picchu
• Stage 11 – Miami and the Everglades
POSTED 15th JANUARY 2018 by STEVE HANSON