Lima Journals

Lima adventures with my kid brother

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A July 1997 trip to Lima by wanderluster

Coastal desert city Photo, Lima, Peru More Photos
Quote: Suddenly single at 35, I was free to explore the rest of the world! Eager to embrace a foreign culture and language, I chose South America for my first adventure. My brother, 21, a stranger when I left home, decided to join me. Lima was our intimidating introduction to Peru.

Lima adventures with my kid brother

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Overview

Coastal desert city Photo, Lima, Peru
Quote:
Zounds! Hair-raising traffic, constant honking, beautiful Colonial churches, blatant stares from hostile men on the streets, dusty desert heat, mud-bricked buildings, brightly dressed Peruvian women in the Indian markets, alpaca sweaters, haunting flute music, fast-spoken Spanish, magnificent and morbid museums, and a pyramid are images that stuck with me long after I left. Situated on the Pacific coast in the center of the country, Peru's capital city is home to 8 million people. Decades of political unrest and violent street crime have made Lima rather unsettling for tourists to visit. Few foreigners ventured here in the 80s and early 90s. By 1997, we still felt largely unwelcome and intimi...Read More

Colonial Inn

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Hotel

Colonial Inn Photo, Lima, Peru
Quote:
This was a friendly, clean, nicely decorated three star hotel located in the upscale Miraflores district of Lima where we stayed four nights. The first night we were traveling with another girl, and the hotel didn't have her reservation. So we had to wait one hour while the staff tried to find us a triple room. I didn't mind the wait, as it allowed us to mingle with the other guests and people watch. Time flew when I struck up a conversation with a couple who had just returned from hiking the Inca Trail. We were led down a garden corridor between two buildings and entered our triple room from outside. The room was large, had three single beds, a couch and a decent bathroom. Sandw...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 19, 2002

Colonial Inn
Avenida Coman Espinar
Lima, Peru

San Francisco Monastery and Catacombs

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Attraction | "San Francisco Church & Catacombs"

San Francisco Monastery and Catacombs Photo, Lima, Peru
Quote:
Near historical buildings in Lima's downtown Plaza de Armas is the San Francisco Church. My brother and I jumped off the bus and waited outside the impressive yellow Colonial-styled structure watching children chase pigeons until the next forty-five minute tour began. Despite it's stunning Baroque architecture, the main draw to this 17th century church is the Catacombs for most people. But they save that for last on the tour. First you go through the church decorated with wood carvings, faience tiles, and ornate moldings; then the monastery to view a museum of religious art and finally their library where antique texts and parchments are displayed. We saw huge choir songbooks oddly...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 19, 2002

San Francisco Monastery and Catacombs
Central Lima
Lima, Peru

Huaca Juliana Pre-Incan Ruins

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Attraction

Huaca Juliana Pre-Incan Ruins Photo, Lima, Peru
Quote:
Driving around our hotel district in Miraflores, we'd noticed a large dusty pyramid smack in the middle of a residential neighborhood. What's THAT, we wondered. Intrigued when we later found out it was a pre-Incan site currently being excavated and open to the public, we hired a taxi to take us there. I couldn't get over the fact that this enormous structure, visible above rooftops, was only discovered in 1969. How could that be? It encompassed the space of an entire city block. But once we entered the site we learned that the recent discovery was not the pyramid, but the area adjacent to it on ground level. Here ruins of an ancient city silently existed underneath presen...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 19, 2002

Huaca Juliana Pre-Incan Ruins
Corner of Larco Herrera & Elias Aquirre
Lima, Peru

Parque de las Leyendas

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Attraction | "Lima Zoo (Parque Las Leyendas)"

Parque de las Leyendas Photo, Lima, Peru
Quote:
After spending a couple weeks exploring Peru with GAP (Great Adventure People), we flew back to Lima and wandered around on our own for a couple days before we flew back to the states. On our last day in Lima, we decided to visit the zoo. The 10-minute taxi ride cost 7 soles ($2 US) from the hotel, and was a rather calm drive. Was it really less chaotic on the streets or was I just becoming accustomed to the hair-raising turns, curb-assisted wheelies, and near misses with pedestrians? The day was warm and sunny, typical for Lima's dry desert climate and apparently a good day to visit because the zoo was crowded with locals. It was kind of cool wandering around a foreign zoo, reading...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 19, 2002

Parque de las Leyendas
Avenida La Marina, cuadra 24, sin número
Lima, Peru 32
+51 1 4521316

Museo de la Nación

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Attraction | "Museum of the Nation (Archeology)"

Museo de la Nación Photo, Lima, Peru
Quote:
The Museo de la Nacion was superb! Wonderful replicas of every main archeological site in Peru took up the length of entire tables. We marveled at the complexity of the Machu Picchu model ruins, increasing our excitement about visiting in person. Exhibitions on four floors featured paintings, ceramics, costumes and jewelry from pre-Hispanic to present day Peru, illustrating the development of the country. But the highlight was a special exhibit on Sipan. In 1987, one of the richest tombs in the New World was discovered in northern Peru. Inside an eroded pyramid near Sipan, archeologists found the royal tomb of Lord Sipan in all his glory. Covering the sk...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 19, 2002

Museo de la Nación
Avenida Javier Prado Este 2465
Lima, Peru 41
+51 1 476 9875

Cockfighting in Lima

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Attraction

Quote:
At 9pm a small group of us took taxis to a cockfight. Don't ask me where...we followed an American who'd been living in Peru for a year and knew about such unadvertised events. We paid 10 soles, and entered an arena. The center ring where the fighting would take place had a dirt floor and was enclosed with chicken wire. Spectators sat in surrounding chairs. We walked down an aisle, carefully avoiding droplets of fresh blood on the cement floor and settled into seats near the stage in the 5th row. The audience was primarily male, locals. Although there were some sharply dressed middle-aged women and younger females in their twenties casually dressed, most were young teens to middle-...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 19, 2002

Cockfighting in Lima
ask a local
Lima, Peru

Lost in Lima

Story/Tip

Quote:
"We do not recommend wandering around on your own in Lima, as it can be dangerous." (GAP warning) After visiting the intriguing pre-Incan Huaca Juliana site, my brother and I decided to walk back to our hotel, located in the same Miraflores neighborhood. We outlined a shortcut on our map then stuffed it in my pocket, using the pyramid looming over the residential area as our guiding landmark. Confidently, we walked toward our hotel with plans to stop for lunch en route. Easier said than done. It's so easy to get turned around when all the dust-colored buildings look alike and street names don't match the map. But we...Read More

A wild taxi ride

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Story/Tip

Quote:
The airport set the alarming tone for the city. We were ushered outside to the "official taxi" desk to pay $20 US for a taxi to our hotel in Miraflores, 6 miles away. Meanwhile, unofficial taxi drivers yelled to us across a fence in a frenzied, escalating kind of way, trying to get us to doubt the officials and go with them instead. A friend, traveling with my brother and I, became pretty stressed and angrily asked the officials what all the racket was about. She wanted to check their rates. The uniformed officials told her that the unofficial taxis are not safe, and whisked us into an official black taxi. Once inside, our doors were slammed shut and the locks immediately fastened. ...Read More