The First Footsteps on a New Continent… Lima, Peru

Lima, Peru is the hub for people heading to Machu Picchu. With cheap flights in and out of Lima, there are loads of tourist flocking the streets daily! The architecture in Lima has a huge Spanish influence, the food is considered top notch, and the Pisco Sours are served strong!

 

 

Getting Into Lima 

Taxi? Taxi? Taxi? Those are the only words we heard for the first ten minutes wondering the streets of Lima. We finally made it through the mess of taxi drivers who insisted that, “Taxi is cheaper than bus! Trust me!” and found the local combi (small bus) station. Here we were still pestered by taxi drivers until a nice man working at the station helped turn away the taxis and led us to the right bus we needed to get on.

 

{Traveler’s Tip… For those of you traveling in Lima, head to the local bus station.. It will get you basically to downtown Lima and Miraflores is out of the airport parking lot and to the right. We didn’t know much Spanish, but people were very helpful with showing us which bus to take and telling us when to get off.. One lady actually got off with us and walked us to the place we were staying for the night. We definitely recommend taking the combi.. It is super cheap S/.2 per person (2 nuevos soles – the Perivian currency), which is less than $1 USD, and is a great/crazy experience.} 

 

In Lima, our plan was to couchsurf for the four nights we would spend in the lively town. We stayed with a man named Nino the first two nights just a few minutes walk away from downtown Lima. He was a fantastic host, making sure to tell us what to see, and even going with us down to Miraflores and showing us around that part of town. When we got to Nino’s house, he was not home but another couch surfer named Chris was there. Chris showed us around the house and we were able to chat with him about all his travels.

 

We walked around the town for a bit in the afternoon, then Chris joined us at night, where we all got Pisco Sours {a fantastic, strong, local drink…a must have in Peru} and then we grabbed cow heart and cow intestine for dinner. Yes.. we ate cow heart and intestine the first night we were in South America. YOLO right??!! After enjoying the street food sitting outside a beautiful church, we went to San Martin Plaza {a must see in Lima} to enjoy a local beer called Cusquena {again.. another must have in Peru!}

 

{Traveler’s Tip…. Don’t be afraid to try the street food!! In most cases, it’s extremely good, and very, very cheap!}

 

 
 

MiraFlores : Lima’s Beach District

Tuesday we were up and moving fairly late. Sleeping on a plane the night before and the 2-hour time difference were both catching up to us. When we woke up, we got ready to head down to Miraflores for the day. Nino was excited to join us, so we went out to a local restaurant for ceviche {another must have in Peru.. it’s a super simple dish consisting of fish, cilantro, onions, and a hot red pepper with a slice of potato on the side} before heading down to the water. We took the local blue bus down to Miraflores from Jesus Maria, where we were staying for two nights. This bus only costs S./1 per person.

 

{Traveler’s Tip… Ceviche is a must have in Lima.. but get it early. The later you go the longer the raw fish has been sitting out, and the more likely it is for you to get sick!} 

 

{Traveler’s Tip… If you’re traveling in this area and are interested in taking the local bus to Miraflores, be sure to take bus 301 or 302; 303 will not get you down to Miraflores}

 

 

Having Nino with us was great down in Miraflores. He knew all the ins and outs of the town and all the really nice places to see. We made our way to a local park to watch people paragliding, found a lighthouse, and then walked all the way to the town of Barranco.

 

{Traveler’s Tip… When you get off the bus in Miraflores, walk down the right of the park all the way to where you can see the water, but don’t go down the stairs here. Keep going right along the cliff/coast line to see the Parque de Amore (Park of Love),and watch people take off paragliding down the beach} 

 

 

Once back in Miraflores, Nino left to head back to work, and we walked around for a bit more enjoying the ocean view. We decided to walk the five miles back to Nino’s house since it was a popular road with a great walking path as the median. At night the buses get jam packed to where there are literally lines waiting around the block to get on, and we felt much safer just taking the nice walk back to Jesus Maria.

 

 
 

Puerto Libre : Lima’s Hidden Gem 

Thursday, we got up, packed up our backpacks, and made our way to Puerto Libre to meet up with Jose our couchsurfing host for the next two days. One of the best things about couchsurfing is that you get to meet new people, really understand the culture of the place you’re in, and you get to stay with someone that wants you to truly enjoy their city. Staying with Jose gave us a completely different look at Lima. He took us to a fantastic coffee shop, where we had the best coffee we have ever had. Yes, even Heather enjoyed her iced coffee infused with lime!

 

 

Jose showed us around town, took us to a winery/Pisco tasting room, and brought us through the local market. When evening rolled around, he took us to a Lima specialty dinner (Chifa) and then we walked around Central Lima.

 

{Traveler’s Tip...Chifa is a must have in Peru as well.. it’s a mix of Chinese food and Peruvian food that is extremely good and extremely cheap! The three of us ate and had leftovers for less than $10 USD all together!!}

 

{Traveler’s Tip… Take care of your belongings when walking around Lima at night. There is a lot of petty crime in Lima, most of which happens to tourist in the evening. Only bring the bare minimum of cash and cards on you when walking around at night.}

 

 

Thursday we woke up and Heather was sick all day. With the kind of sickness we like to call mudbutt.. thanks to Heather’s trip to the Dominican Republic in high school. All she did from the middle of the night till 6:00 pm was sleep, sit on the toilet, drink water, and repeat. There’s a trick for this kind of sickness while in a different country. Toilets don’t always refill so quickly with water to be able to be flushed again, so you really have to figure out a rhythm to this. Heather did an okay job at this, only sometimes having to pretend to be in the bathroom by closing the door to both the bathroom and the bedroom so that nobody tried going to the bathroom when it wasn’t flushed.

 

 

With the help of some medicine and herbal tea from Jose’s garden, Heather was finally able to get out of bed without stomach pain or bathroom problems at around 8:00 pm, so the three of us made our way to Circuito Magico del Agua. This is a beautiful park with lots of different fountains that are all lit up and are of all different sizes with different fountain designs. There is even a show that is projected in one of the fountains that you can watch at night. Our camera stopped working here, but you should look up this show online, and if you’re visiting Lima this is definitely worth the S/.4 per person!

 

{Traveler’s Tip.. Circuito Magico del Agua, the Magic Water Show, is a must see in Lima. This water show takes place in Parque de la Reserva, and runs every night 10 or 11:00, and costs S/.4 per person. We recommend a couple hours to really be able to enjoy the whole show! If you want more information on this show/park, check out this article.}

 

 

After the water show, we went back to Jose’s house to pack our bags and head to the airport. Jose was picking up his mom and sister from the airport that night, so we took advantage of the free ride to the airport at 12:30 in the morning. Our flight to Cusco wasn’t until 9:35, so this meant we would call the airport our home for the night. We ended up finding a nice quiet corner right by the police department of the airport to sleep in for the night. Quiet and safe what more could you ask for?? We got out our sleeping bags and our eye masks and snuggled with our backpacks for about seven hours until we needed to check in for our flight to Cusco.

 

Lima was a very interesting city. It had a mix of building that had a large Spanish influence along with buildings that are more expected from seeing pictures online of Peru. We had a great time in Lima for the four days that we were there, but we were very excited to continue with our travels leading us to Cusco where we would begin our journey to Machu Picchu.

 


 

…Prayer Requests…

*Pray for Nino and Jose. Both of them welcomed us into their homes with open arms and open hearts, and were both fantastic hosts!

*Pray that the Lord has His hand on our bellies allowing us to enjoy the local food here without getting too sick! Also that his hands are on our bodies as well, keeping us from getting injured.

*Praise the Lord for us arriving here safely!

*Pray for guidance for where we go next.. (We have already done Machu Picchu- a post will be coming soon- and are spending the next few days in Cusco, then Saturday we get on a bus to Ica/Huacachina, Peru.)

*Pray for Jason’s ankle.. He rolled it really bad while we were doing the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu and it is still pretty swollen and bruised.

*At the same time, praise the Lord for Jason rolling his ankle the last day of our hike, and it not becoming swollen or bringing him pain until we left Machu Picchu and were on the train back to Cusco.

 


 

— Our plans at this point —

We are staying in Cusco until Saturday afternoon. This will give us a chance to rest and relax after the strenuous hike, it will allow us to write all about Machu Picchu, and it will give Jason’s ankle a bit of a break! Saturday afternoon we get on a bus and head over to Ica to spend the day and then will probably be spending a couple days and nights in Huacachina.. seriously check out this place on google images!! It is beautiful. From there, the idea is to go to Nazca and see the Nazca Lines, then to Arequipa, Puno, Lake Titicaca (yes that’s the real name) and after that into Bolivia.

Notice how we said our plans at the top.. Yes.. This means this is not at all set in stone. Anything and all things can change at any moment depending on where the Lord is wanting us to be.. So don’t be disappointed if that’s not the actual plan that we stick to!!

 


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