Lima, Peru: Part I
Spending a week in Peru is fascinating and a super chance to explore the Inca culture, one of the world's great ancient civilizations. The only slight downside is that Lima weather in March and April can be rather humid, although not as bad as earlier in the year. It is important to pack comfortable clothing, and sweaters for the evenings for temperatures ranging from the 60s-80s. Hopefully, at this time of year, some of the fog Lima is known for will dissipate, and you will be treated to sunny days and breathtaking views of the ocean. For the long plane ride, you might want to read the funny and informative Turn Right at Machu Picchu by Mark Adams (available in Kindle edition) to get a flavor for the history of Peru you are about to experience.
Before heading to Machu Picchu, after landing in Peru, take in some of the Lima tourist sites like the Lima Cathedral, the Government Palace, the Archbishop's Palace, and the Church of San Francisco and its catacombs, but do not miss the beautiful privately owned Larco Museum with its trove of Inca artifacts and window into pre-Columbian history. The Museum was actually built over a 7th century pre-Columbian pyramid. Unusual for a museum, visitors are allowed into the store rooms to see what is not on display. Of course, it is worth mentioning, Wearever's Off the Beaten Path suggestion, that this Museum also is home to a very large ceramic erotic pottery collection, the Gallery of pre-Columbian Huaco Erotic Pottery. It has been often been called the Kama Sutra in clay. Stop for lunch or a snack at the recommended Museum restaurant.
Then, set out for a walk, bike ride, or a jog on the El Malecon in the Miraflores District. Lima is known as the Garden City, and on this 6 mile stretch of parks in Miraflores high above the Pacific, you will see some beautiful views, statues, and gardens. Be inspired suggestion-this is also one of the prime spots for parasailing in the area - if you have the nerve. Stop at the Larcomar mega entertainment complex which hangs under the cliff to try some original Peru ceviche made up of raw fish, hot peppers, onions and lime juice. While you are in Miraflores, you might want to see some ancient ruins that are right in central Lima, the Pucllana Temple and excavations are dated from around 500 A.D. For very fine dining in Miraflores, restaurant Astrid y Gaston serves beautifully prepared Peruvian dishes. Reserve a table now.
Stay at Relais & Chateaux's B Arts Boutique Hotel in Lima's hot, young and beautiful Barranco neighborhood. It is the cliff area of Lima with recently restored art deco buildings, an artists' community, bars, and restaurants. The hotel only has 17 rooms, but more than 200 pieces of art grace its walls. Also, notable at Hotel B is its art concierge, and its restaurant run by top Peruvian chef Oscar Velarde. You can also try Cala with a seat on its terrace at sunset. Just spectacular.
Check out part II of this Peruvian adventure coming this friday... Machu Pichu here we come!
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