My first full day in Peru accomplished a lot. After having a mini meltdown back in my hotel room when I couldn’t manage to hail a cab to take me to Miraflores, I put on my big-girl panties and hailed a cab easily on my first try (second try?) by walking to the left of the hotel and standing on the corner by the church for all of thirty seconds before a cab flashed his lights at me and picked me up. However, I didn’t negotiate a fare and paid twice as much as I should have to get to Parque Kennedy in Miraflores – twenty soles. I was just happy to get a cab and didn’t feel like arguing. The ride from the hotel to Miraflores was much longer than expected – we had to take a highway and went through another ghetto to get to the better area of Lima.
I walked thru the park which is just a normal park with some statues and flowers and continued on my way down Larco Street to the beach. You just walk all the way down until you hit the beach. Easy peasy!
Right in front of you is the shopping center that has all these stores and restaurants tucked into the sides. It is very nice. I had breakfast overlooking the ocean- well at least trying to overlook the ocean. It was very foggy and you couldn’t see anywhere but down; at least I got to see the semi sand / rock beach and waves crashing into the land. Breakfast was good and I grabbed some water and then continued on my way to the north (to the right if you are facing the beach).
I first hit a random park where I met a Peruvian guy on a bike and then we went together to
Parque del Amor where there is a huge statue of lovers entwined. Supposedly people go there to hook up or get engaged or something. There are nice mosaic tiled walls and it’s a great place to sit and read or people watch. However, I had no time for any of that; I had places to go! I took advantage of the park’s free Wi-Fi and got my GPS to pull up directions to Huaca Pucllana which is old ruins right smack dab in the middle of the city. I had to wait for a 45 minute English tour but it only cost 12 soles which was great. The guide was interesting and easy to understand.
To get to the ruins from Parque del Amor, you just walk away from the water to Grau, then left onto Grau which turns into Elias Aguirre and the ruins will end up being right in front of you. You just continue along the right side of the ruins to the entrance!
After the ruins and getting hit on by yet another guy (I guess Peruvians like the gringas!), I tried to get a taxi back to the hotel, but they wanted to charge me 30 soles so I said no and walked two blocks to a main street where I found a cab for 10 soles. He didn’t know where he was going so he had to ask for directions 4 times; still was well worth the price.
Future travelers – become acquainted with the streets near your hotel and if possible, have a map on hand to show taxi drivers; most of them have no idea where streets are in Lima.
I finally got to the hotel, then had to switch rooms right away from a single to a double with my roommate. Met up with the group – great people and only 6 of us. Met our guide Bobby, did orientation and then a tour of downtown Lima. Saw the president’s house, bishop’s house, library, church, catacombs and ate a yummy empanada and churro. Overall, the tour was less than interesting but it was better than sitting in a hotel room.
Other than getting a sunburn, it was a really decent day. Afterwards, we came back to the hotel, rested for a few then had dinner at the Bolivar hotel which was really nice and tasty and reasonably priced for how fancy it was. Came back to the hotel early and got ready for our trip to the Amazon Jungle the next day.