This is Lima Peru?!

Lima Peru

Call me ignorant. Please. We just didn’t study South America much as a kid in school. Honestly, I think that is how it has kept all its wonder over the years. Somehow when I think of Peruvian cities, I think of the dusty roads of Mancora, or the colonial style that is found in Cuenca, Ecuador or Cuzco, Peru. Welcome to Lima Peru, right?

Lima-31I just never thought there would be BOOMING METROPOLIS.

Eight or nine million people call it home. Hell, it has more American restaurants and stores that I’ve seen than our time in Honduras. I would even venture to say it is the USA of South America (from our experiences in SA that is). Chili’s, Starbucks, Burger King, KFC, Tony Roma’s, Radio Shack, Mc Donald’s… you get the point. Malls are left and right. The roads are paved nicely. There are high rises! Good lord I now know why people say it is so easy to live in Lima.

And while you can find the more traditional Lima in the center with it’s old historical buildings and the Plaza de Armas where they held Spanish Inquisition executions many moons ago, I am still overwhelmed at how up to date and metropolitan everything is.

Yes, boo me, but I finally had a Starbucks coffee after 9 months of travel. Coffee just isn’t the same outside of Colombia. Milk and instant coffee is the only thing you can find.

Beautiful Lima

We met up with our Banos Couchsurfing friends Pacho and Catalina once again and took a day tour that one of the guys from Lima Couchsurfing was offering of the city. We weaved our way through the busy streets, through historical buildings, and into crowded markets. By night, we were drinking pisco sours at bars we would have no clue about with the massive Couchsurfing community found there.

What is Lima like

Overall, we had a very fulfilling time in Lima. It is nice to be in a city that doesn’t fit the stereotypical mold, even if I do have to see the eyesore of a Chili’s blocking the view of the ocean. You do need a change up in your routine every now and then right?

Lima Peru






City of Lima

Things to do in Lima

Lima Peru

Lima is a big city


34 Responses to “This is Lima Peru?!”

  1. Audrey February 20, 2012 at 12:21 am #

    We had heard bad things about Lima before arriving but ended up staying almost 3 weeks there and really enjoyed it. Although Miraflores had tons of American-style restaurants and such, the neighborhood we stayed in (Barranco) didn’t have all that. So it was nice to pop back and forth depending upon our mood and whim.

    And the best pisco sours we’ve had were in Lima. Ah, miss that.

    • Erica February 25, 2012 at 4:11 pm #

      @Audrey: I think the city gets a really bad rap and I’m not quite sure why! We could have stayed in Barranco for a while (if we weren’t on a budget crunch). Best piscos EVER!

  2. Osvaldo February 20, 2012 at 12:24 am #

    Whoaaaaaaa, nice you really met Cata and Pacho. That proves how small this world really is 😀

    • Erica February 25, 2012 at 4:23 pm #

      @Osvaldo: Right?! I still bump into people we met in Colombia!

  3. The Time-Crunched Traveler (Ellen) February 20, 2012 at 12:30 am #

    We had much the same reaction to Lima … we were expecting something very run-down, but were quite impressed with what we saw. We know there are places of extreme poverty there, too. Great photos, guys!

    • Erica February 25, 2012 at 4:24 pm #

      @Ellen: There are places of extreme poverty everywhere as well. I know a few shanty towns in Texas with no running water… but yeah, this definitely was nothing like that.

  4. Emily in Chile February 20, 2012 at 8:22 am #

    Haha, I feel like you guys would have had the same reaction to Santiago! Now that you’ve seen Lima though, it probably won’t be as much of a surprise, although when I was in Lima in 2005 I thought it wasn’t as modern as Santiago. I’m not sure how much it’s changed over the past few years – will be interesting to hear what you think!

    • Erica February 26, 2012 at 12:59 pm #

      @Emily: I think we were a little more prepared for Santiago (but because I had seen pics on your blog). WE can’t wait to get there! We’ll be there in 2-3 weeks or so. <3

  5. The World of Deej February 20, 2012 at 8:37 am #

    Don’t feel bad…My knowledge of South America is equally absent, and I’m a bit of a geography nut. Sure, I know where Lima is and all that, but I too had no idea it was as great a city as you’ve shown. Might be putting it on my list somewhere:)

    • Erica February 26, 2012 at 1:00 pm #

      @Deej: I’m just glad that now my geography is sticking due to this trip. I was blown away that they had 8-9 million people there!

  6. riki February 20, 2012 at 12:17 pm #

    wow!!!. nice place, nice photo especially the yellow buildings. love it 😀 keep it up.. 🙂

    • Erica February 26, 2012 at 1:19 pm #

      @Riki: Thank you! Most of the colonial buildings are painted yellow. It is really cool!

  7. Andi of My Beautiful Adventures February 20, 2012 at 3:01 pm #

    I loved Lima, sadly I broke my ankle there and didn’t get to explore much, but I’ll definitely return in the future. I LOVE your shots!!!!!!

    • Erica February 26, 2012 at 1:26 pm #

      @Andi: OH NO! And the sidewalks there are already perilous as it is. I nearly bit it a million times. I think that Lima can totally me “Andi glamorous”. <3

  8. Jaime February 20, 2012 at 5:28 pm #

    Oh wow… call me ignorant too… I would have never guessed it looked like this. Wow it’s like a huge city… and like very american… oh this is interesting. Oh & i love love the photo of the colorful houses up the mountain side.

    • Erica February 26, 2012 at 1:27 pm #

      @Jaime: There are so many different sides to this city. It would take months to discover all the good stuff. Hurry up and get here!

  9. Anna February 20, 2012 at 6:50 pm #

    I’m a huge fan of Lima and loved these photos. Glad you got to see a glimpse of the urban style of this city!

    • Erica February 26, 2012 at 1:32 pm #

      @Anna: Awesome! It makes me sad that people skip Lima. There is SO much to do and see! 😀

  10. Camels & Chocolate February 20, 2012 at 10:38 pm #

    This is not at all what I envision when I think of Peru! You weren’t alone in that =)

    • Erica February 26, 2012 at 1:35 pm #

      @C&C: RIGHT?! I love how many different sides this country has to it. You can get EVERYTHING.

  11. Terri February 21, 2012 at 12:04 pm #

    I’ve heard nice things about Lima. Mostlyl that it has a lot of amenities even though it might not have as much to see or do for the average traveler. I hear you on the Starbucks. Even though I only have some maybe once per week, if I went 9 months without it, I think I would indulge.

    • Erica February 26, 2012 at 1:41 pm #

      @Terri: The food there is FREAKING PHENOMENAL and is known as the culinary capital of South America. I think you would be up for it for sure. 🙂

  12. Colin February 23, 2012 at 8:06 pm #

    Beautiful pictures!

    Make sure you see Callao – but during the day! Amazing architecture.

    Also, make sure you eat plenty of Peruvian tipicos.

    • Erica February 26, 2012 at 2:25 pm #

      @Colin: I wish we had more time in all the places. It sucks that you will always miss something. 🙁

  13. Sarah Wu February 23, 2012 at 9:55 pm #

    wow I love how the old mix in with the new. Beautiful photos guys! Maybe all the great travel adventures makes up the “missing” good coffee part. Love the shot that by the mountain. Really nice crop and the little house makes the color so vibrant.

    • Erica February 26, 2012 at 2:39 pm #

      @Sarah: It is a little weird how you can see both in just a matter of minutes. So colorful. I love South America.

  14. Normand Boulanger March 5, 2012 at 8:27 pm #

    Great pictures guys. Lima is my first stop when I’ll leave in July. Happy to see some fresh pictures of the city. Won’t be staying long in Lima but looking forward to exploring it. Thanks.

    • Erica March 15, 2012 at 9:49 am #

      @Normand: The airport is a bit out of the way but definitely make sure to explore. There is so much to see and you will be surprised for sure! Also, make sure to get some ceviche while there. It will be life changing.

  15. Brett March 6, 2012 at 8:49 am #

    Wow, Peru looks great. Now wonder so many people are quitting life in the USA!

    • Erica March 15, 2012 at 9:53 am #

      @Brett: I know quite a few people currently living in Lima!

  16. Carlos March 6, 2012 at 9:23 am #

    Most of the 8-9 million inhabitants of Lima DO NOT live in places such as Miraflores or Barranco, where you stayed. This is still a very unequal city and the current pseudo “economic boom” is not changing much about it.

    Does it mean that the place is “bad”? Absolutely not of course, nonetheless you people shouldn’t be so naive.

    • Shaun March 7, 2012 at 11:11 am #

      @Carlos: Thanks for posting your thoughts- you brought up a good point, just in a less-than-helpful way.

      We spent about a week in Lima and most of that time was hanging out with people in the Couchsurfing scene, which generally provides a much more realistic view of a city than just sticking to the tourist attractions. Generally speaking, couchsurfers tend to be a good representation of normality. That isn’t to say that there is a decent percentage of those who are better off (or even much better off) than average.

      Make no mistake, however, naivety had nothing to do with this post. Any large city, especially in Latin America, has a high percentage of poverty and Lima is no exception to this. But the purpose of this post wasn’t to say that there is no poverty in Lima. Instead, it was to show that there are booming metropolises all over the world, if you know where to look, and that even ‘third world’ countries have ‘first world’ comforts/conveniences.

  17. Jenny Truong April 14, 2012 at 1:28 pm #

    If you go to the Miraflores shopping area, they have Dunkin Donuts, and a Starbucks!

    • Erica April 22, 2012 at 5:22 pm #

      @Jenny: Oh yeah, I hit up the Starbucks! <3

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