How to: Long layover in Lima
When I bought my plane ticktes, I thought I was being very suave with the return journey- only a couple hours in Lima and we will be on our way home. I booked a hella early flight out of Cusco (6:30 AM) in order to make that 11:30AM international flight.
PLOT TWIST: I booked an 11:30 PM international flight. *face palm So while not being super stoked about the early flight when we could’ve taken a later one, we at least had plenty of time then to explore the beautiful capital city of Lima.
At the airport we stored our bigger bags at the locker facility (you can easily fit 2 carryons and maybe a small backpack on top of that) and booked one of the many many taxi cab services located in the terminal (we were running low on cash so the appeal was being able to pay with credit card). It was a reasonable fare to go all the way to Miraflores (about an hour) at $18- especially considering we could split that cab fare 4 ways among our group.
First thing first, we started with Kennedy Square as that seemed to be the easiest drop off spot. Right by the square was a delicious looking café (that accepted credit cards haha) so we had breakfast there. For $10 I got a latte, fresh squeeze juice, eggs, and a variety of breads. Definitely a worthy brunch if nothing else. The highlight of Kennedy Square is definitely the ART scene. As we ate we watched several artists start setting up there easels. So right after breakfast we headed over to admire the multiple wares and pet the well taken care of stray cats that take residence in the park. (over 100!)
Top things to see in Miraflores
1. The COAST (basically just the walkway along the beach or up on the cliffs checking out the many parks as well as the lighthouse are a great to spend a lazy afternoon)
2. Barranco: If you’re into shopping, this is the spot
3. Kennedy Park to check out the many artists work and maybe purchase a really unique souvenir
4. The Huaca Pucllana ruins which are in the heart of Miraflores and are pre-Inca!
5. If you’ve ever wanted to try out surfing, this is a great place to do it!
One of the many cats roaming around Kennedy Park
We explored the immediate area around the Square enjoying what seemed to be a flash mob aerobics class in the street right next to the cathedral where choir music slipped out to contrast the high intensity techno.
We wandered our way down to the coast admiring the Park of Love and then following the beautiful coastal path as it wove through lots of parks and little cafes. At this point I was really feeling worn down after the long previous day and little sleep before traveling so I took a break from my compatriots to find a seat on a park bench and nap/ read for a while.
Statue at the Parque de Amor
Stunning views of the coastline
Looking down at the restaurant we’d be eating dinner at later
After saying hello to a few happy dogs on the walkway, I settled into a café I was hoping would have wifi (it didn’t) but did order a drink and churro to pass the time.
The cafe had really cool views (though you can’t tell as well with the gloom hanging down on the ocean)
Enjoying my treats and the “view”
Other top things to do in Lima
1. Take a tour out to the Peruvian desert and sand surf!
2. Take a Peruvian Cooking class
3. Visit the historic district- most notably the Basilica and Convent of San Francisco to see the catacombs there.
4. Check out the government palace
I proceeded to do none of those things (though I really would’ve done some of them if I had more time to plan my time in Lima… *whoops* but the one masterful idea we had was a recommendation that came from fellow trekkers to Salkantay:
Eat at La Rosa Nautica
I re-met up with my compatriots out front and we had some amazing seafood with a 5 star eating experience.
The try all seafood platter I shared with a friend that included fish, clams, mussels, shrimp, squid, octopus, and probably some other things thrown in there I missed. It was awesome getting at least 2 of everything so we were able to try everything and divy up (based on preferred pallets) any extras.
It was a moody gloomy day, but inside was cozy and romantic. (Tip: Make a reservation to get a better spot by a window) This is probably one of the fanciest restaurants I’ve ever dined at considering they had a specialist in wine selection just waiting to make appropriate recommendations, white napkin services, and of course, charged you for the bread. haha! (even if you don’t eat the bread… take a note of that if you are gluten free)
All in all it was a relaxing day in Lima exploring the hip neighborhood of Miraflores, trying divine seafood, petting lots of dogs, and taking it easy on a long layover. I hope you get to experience some of Lima on a layover or longer stay! Enjoy.
Total Cost for day in Lima:
Airport storage locker $16.70 split 2 ways $8.35 pp
Taxi to Miraflores Kennedy Square (split 4 ways) $18 – $4.5 pp
Latte and Churro at Buenavista Cafe $3.60
Dinner at La Rosa Nautica $40
Taxi back to airport $15- $3.75 pp