After a long and stressful 20 hour bus ride from Mancora, Brandon and I were really excited to get to Lima. We spent a few days in Lima 2 years ago when we did our Incan Trail trip, so we knew exactly what to expect and where we wanted to stay. We rented a room on Airbnb in the neighborhood of Miraflores, which is the nicest neighborhood in Lima (maybe all of Peru?). It is on a cliff that looks right over the ocean, so the views are beautiful!
Miraflores has all the comforts of Chicago, so we made sure to take advantage of them since we are about to travel into Bolivia, where there will be few. We declared an “American Day” when we got there and headed over to Larcomar, a shopping mall built into the side of a cliff. The mall is exactly like any that you would go to in the U.S. – complete with Gap, Banana Republic, North Face and many other American stores, as well as restaurants. We had burgers and fries at Chili’s (where they even had American ketchup!) and returned to the mall later to watch a movie in English and have giant sodas and popcorn.
One thing that I had been looking forward to doing in Lima was running. Between high altitudes, travel and packed schedules, I hadn’t run more than 2 or 3 miles at a time since getting to South America. Lima has awesome paths that overlook the ocean so I made sure to pound out a few 4-mile runs – man, were my legs sore!
There are tons of parks along the path that Brandon and I explored. One of the more famous ones is Love Park – it has a giant statue of a couple making out. Right after we snapped a picture next to it, we remembered that we did the same thing in 2012 – so here the pictures are for a comparison (first is now, second 2012). The weather wasn’t as nice as the last time we were here – but I can handle a winter that means highs in the upper 60’s and overcast skies more than Chicago’s brutal weather.
Besides Chili’s, we had a few other food cravings that we wanted to fulfill. We grabbed sushi one night and then the next day went to a different neighborhood called Barranco to try a place called Burrito Bar. Those who know Brandon know that he LOVES Chipotle – as in probably ate there at least once a week in Chicago – so I did a search to see what Lima had to offer by way of burritos. Although you ordered at the table and not at the counter, this place was pretty spot on. Barbacoa, carnitas or chicken burritos, tacos or salads with cilantro lime rice and different beans, toppings, and salsas to choose from. The burritos even came wrapped in tinfoil!
We explored the rest of the neighborhood a bit too. There were some really nice parks and even a Chocolate Museum – those who know me know that we obviously went in for a tour!
I love Lima! Out of all the places that we’ve visited so far, Lima is the place that I could stay the longest. It has all the amenities that I like – diverse food, good shopping, lots of beautiful parks – and awesome bike lanes! Check these out – there are even bike specific traffic lights! Chicago’s got a lot of catching up to do…