After discovering Cusco, Sacred Valley, the Machu Picchu and the Amazon Rainforest, we headed to our last Peruvian destination - Lima, the capital.
As because during the trip we wanted to focus more on nature and less on the cities, we only spent one day in Lima, before flying to Chile.
You might have heard that Lima is not the safest city in South America, but according to our (short) experience, if you don’t go to areas which are not recommended, and you don’t walk around with a lot of values, especially at night, then it is fine. At least, we didn’t have any dangerous situations.
Uber in South America
We arrived at Lima Airport in the evening from Puerto Maldonado.
When we were waiting for our luggage, we noticed a couple of warning signs that we only should go to the city with taxis which are partnered with the airport, because the private taxis can be dangerous.
However, we read a lot beforehand, and Uber is also a recommended way of transportation in the main cities of South America, because the Ubers’ routes are always tracked and we can also see the ratings of the drivers in advance.
Plus it is definitely cheaper than the normal taxi.
So we decided to take an Uber - it was around 9 EUR, and the airport taxi would have been around 12-15 EUR, the prices are of course depending on which part of Lima you are going.
Surprisingly, when we got in the car, the driver asked us, if we want to use his Hotspot (getting internet access), he was really nice.
Do you need a local SIM?
By the way, you might wonder if you need a local SIM card because of the internet. Good news: It is not necessary. All the airports (at least where we have been) have free WIFI, and in the city, most of the time you can easily find a cafe / restaurant which has free WIFI and you can easily connect to it without even entering the place. → This is very useful, if you just need the internet for calling an Uber. However, it can happen that at the spot where you would need it, there isn’t any.
We also had this situation a couple of times, but you can easily ask someone on the street to share his/her hotspot for a few minutes until you call an Uber. All the people we asked were super friendly and helpful and without any hesitation helped us.
Make sure that you download the Uber app to your phone while you are still at home, and pair your debit / credit card with it. → Then during traveling, it is gonna be really easy and quick to use it.
Lima in one day
We started sightseeing early in the morning, because we had an afternoon flight to Santiago.
Our accommodation was next to the Park of the Exposition, and from there we walked downtown, arriving at the main square - Plaza de Armas.
Plaza de Armas is the starting point of a couple of Free walking tours.
We attended a shorter one around the city center. During the tour, we got some deeper insights into the city’s history, and the people’s traditions around the area.
We had the possibility to try out roasted cacao beans and different types of Peruvian chocolate.
At the end of the tour, we even tried the most famous Peruvian national drink, the Pisco Sour.
Bytheway, you can try all these also if you are walking around without a group, because a lot of tiny souvenir shops are trying to attract and catch the tourists via inviting them in for a free Pisco Sour tasting.
The tour ended at Basílica y Convento de San Francisco de Lima. So we had a look inside the Basilica, which was actually really nice and then headed back to the main square. We arrived there just at the right time -noon, when there is the Changing of the Guards at the Government Palace.
After the Changing of Guards, we went to the closest station of Metropolitano.
Metropolitano is the new city bus, whose line goes down until Miraflores to the beach area. It has open-air bus stations (sometimes even underground), but there is a gate, so you can only enter with a valid bus ticket. If you want to purchase only a one-time ticket, you still have to purchase additionally the card itself, but e.g. two people can use the same card, so You can just purchase one and put the money for 2 bus tickets on it.
As because the ticketing system and the bus stations are quite modern, I kind of expected modern buses with AC, but the bus we took, was actually super crowded without air conditioning.
We finally arrived at the closest station to Miraflores beach - at Estación Ricardo Palma, from there until the shore, the walk was quite nice. We went through the Miraflores Central Park and the John F. Kennedy Park, where there was a nice exhibition of paintings.
After that, we shortly arrived at the shore, not the beach but kind of on the edge of the cliff, because the ocean and the beach were under us.
We did not have time to go down, but we had a walk around Parque del Amor, which, with its nice mosaic benches, totally reminded me of Park Güell in Barcelona.
The view was really nice from there, we could see the whole coast and a couple of paragliders taking off and landing on the cliff nearby.
After enjoying the view, it was time to call an Uber, because we still had to go back to our hotel and pick up our backpacks before going to the airport.
During our whole South American trip, we had a couple of days when during the day we were sightseeing and then we had an afternoon / evening flight but we did not want to carry our big backpacks so we asked the accommodation, if we could leave our luggage there for the day.
AND in the Uber app there is an option to add stops to your route (just like in Google Maps) and then if you set the accommodation first and the airport as second stop, then it is very convenient.
This way the Uber takes you to the hotel first, waits for you until you quickly pick up your luggage, and then directly takes you to the airport.
This way of traveling is definitely: faster, cheaper, easier and more convenient than any other option.
Our visit to Lima was quite short, but we definitely brought the most out of it. And if you also have only a short time at your visit, I would recommend you, not only to go to the downtown but also to Miraflores, because it shows a totally different and nice side of Lima.
Have a nice day,