Lima, Peru is the third largest city in South America with a population of around 10 million people. It is not exactly a tourist destination as it is not the safest or nicest city in Peru, but since it houses the only international airport in the country, tourists do travel here. There is also some history here – some Incan ruins and museums that are worth seeing.
There are 40 smaller districts within the city of Lima. We stayed in Miraflores which is one of the nicer, more Americanized (and expensive) areas of Lima. Miraflores is actually quite nice and it didn’t really seem like we were another country with the exception of the ride to and from the airport. It is right along the beach with lots of American restaurants and shops. Chili’s, Starbucks, KFC/Pizza Hut Combos, and Pinkberrys on every corner. It wasn’t exactly the most authentic experience, but it was a nice place to kick back and relax for a few days.
There are a lot of beautiful parks in Miraflores and Lima including the Parque De La Reserva that has about 12 different fountains, one of which has a laser light show called Circuito Magico del Agua, five nights a week. On our second day in Lima, we took a guided tour of Huaca Pucllana, restored Pre-Incan ruins in Lima, and later that evening visited Circuito Magico del Agua. That ended up being an experience – we got into an unmarked taxi with a driver named Carlos, who we eventually learned was actually not a taxi driver, but a tour guide. Long story short, he ended up dragging us through an unsolicited tour of the park and expected money at the end. I had a similar experience in Mexico, and unfortunately this kind of thing happens often with foreigners, especially Americans. It’s easy to get taken advantage of – definitely something to be aware of when traveling in foreign countries.
We spent the rest of our time in Miraflores walking along the beach and eating at the overpriced touristy restaurants. There were lots of surfers and some swimmers in the ocean, but Lima is very humid, windy and slightly chilly, and the beaches are very rocky so we stayed along the coast. Overall, I’m glad we checked out Lima, but I would only recommend staying for a day or two if you find yourself there.