Lima, Peru bleg

Your assistance is humbly requested, noting that the shortness of the trip will prevent any significant excursions outside of the city.  Do note I have been there twice, though not in the last nineteen years or so.

I thank you all in advance for your suggestions.


The Magic Water Circuit is really quite fun and unique.

And of course, don't skimp on taking advantage of the high-end culinary scene. With the possible exception of Mexico City, it's the best in Latin America. I really enjoyed Astrid y Gaston, and though I haven't been, Central's suppose to be great.

Museo Larco is one of the best-curated museums in the world. Be sure to visit the gallery of pre-Columbian erotic pottery and the storerooms, which are open to the public.

Also recommended, the hidden museo Amano. Needs reservation:

Museo Amano
Retiro 160, Miraflores, Peru
+51 1 4412909

I found the erotic gallery to be offputting, FWIW. The rest at least showed that Peru could do more than build magnificent stone structures. At Caral (long drive from Lima) learned that Egypt and Peru were building comparable pyramids at around the same time - 5,000 years ago. How is that possible???

"– 5,000 years ago. How is that possible???"

Egyptian culture never completely disappeared.

Gutted, just left the country this week.

Try to make it to the following restaurants:
Isolina for classic "creole food".
Cevicheria Beto in Chorrillos for the best in town, also not a place with too many gringos
Amaz for great Amazonian fusion
El Mercado for the best grilled octopus in town and great tiraditos
Cosme for great "Peruvian international"

Then don't miss Gaston's:
Astrid y Gaston


- Isolina
- Cevicheria Beto
- Amaz
- Cosme
- el Mercado

Restaurants: Brujas de Cachiche, 472 Bolognesi in Miraflores - concentrates on food from Peru's North Coast, which is almost never visited by foreigners and is basically unknown to foodies; La Rosa Nautica on the beach - built out over the Pacific on a pier and I often wonder if they just catch the fish out of the kitchen window; and Restaurante Huaca Pucllana, General Borgoño Cuadra 8, Miraflores - actually built on part of one of the largest archaeological mounds in Lima, you can look at the excavations as you eat. Also, if you want something not grand at all, try (1) "chifa" or Peruvian Chinese food, which is very different from what we eat in North America; and (2) also not grand at all, "anticuchos" or kebabs, made of either chicken hearts, bits of beef, or pork. Street food and very good too. Things to see: the Cathedral and San Francisco, if you are in "Lima" (the old downtown, like "the City of London" vis-a-vis London). Finally, if you do have time to visit one archaeological site, make a huge effort to visit Pachacamac, on the southern fringes of Lima. Take a tour or get your hotel to arrange a driver; good restaurant on site.

I was there about the same time TC was last there. Besides the ceviche / sushi, which I never tried (I don't eat sushi outside of Japan and LA), my recommendation is the Museo de Oro which has a Nazi art collection (upstairs) and a Inca sex exhibit of clay figurines, fertility figures, doing stuff like threesomes and '69'. I figured out--too complicated to get into here--that one of these figurines was actually a fake modern interpretation. How? Because the sex pose was so unlike the others, it could not have been anything but a modern forgery.

Also drive by the American embassy and note how it looks like a fortress. There's also a famous square, not quite as good as Zocolo in Ciudad de Mexico, but worth visiting. Also the "Rosa" district is the high-end district, note the status of the armed guards is determined by how big a weapon they have. Take a private bus too, just for fun, if you speak Spanish. All of this from memory.

Ah, I see from James Gimmelmann upstream that the erotic pottery museum is not the Gold Museum (which has the Nazi art upstairs, note the Nazi flag made from black and white pearls) but "Museo Larco". My mistake.

I have never been to Lima. But many United States Embassies look like fortresses. Given the political unrest in Peru over the last 30 years security would be tight.

You are correct Bob, the embassies of the US in Thailand, Greece and the Philippines look like fortresses. But the one in Peru looks especially overbuilt.

It's just an outdoor mall, but when I visited in 2006 Larco Mar was a great place to hang out with amazing views of the cliffs along the Pacific. I was very pleasantly surprised at the natural beauty to be found in Lima along with its wonderful climate. Reminded me a lot of LA.

I'm sure you know all the sites in the guidebook, and they're all worth it. Huaca Puclana, the Cathedral and catacombs, the national museum and museo larco are all worth your time.

Lima has to be the most underrated city in South America.

Underrated, yes, if you like dirty cities (a thin layer of grime everywhere) like Mexico City, like Manila, both overcrowded with poor people. I personally like sooty, hitty, depressing cities just so you can laugh at the locals and feel superior (inside of course, you don't want to look like a Lochte Ugly American, unless that's your intent).

If you can possible get reservations at Chez Wong, do so.

You well be amazed at the quality of the food.

It's ceviche, and you don't get to pick.

I second Chez Wong. Only about six tables in a modest restaurant run out of a residential building. Your main food options are 1) hot or cold, and 2) sweet or sour. Chez Wong will then cook whatever he wants that day (some type of ceviche), and you will love it.

As a Peruvian who hasn't been back to my birthplace in a long time, I can't point you to specific places any more, but I can commend some of the flavors I still remember from my childhood, which many travelers don't opt for. For street food, try the "anticucheras" -- ladies selling skewers of marinated beef heart, usually with some boiled corn, potato, and aji. And ask anyone where the best "chifa" can be found -- when the Chinese cuisine of the immigrants mixed with the local criollo, some really good things happened, and they call it "chifa".

I second the anticuchos de corazón recommendation. You can also try them at El Tío Mario, in Barranco.

Thirded on anticuchos de corazon. Especially around the Plaza de Toros de Acho on bullfighting days. As good as or better than anything else I ate there.

And as you probably remember, a pisco sour at a nice hotel bar in Lima is like a Guinness from the Brewery in Dublin - looks the same as what we have here, but tastes exponentially better, slap-you-in-the-face level good.

Would recommend Isolina and Amaz as well. Also you should check out Maido for some Japanese Peruvian food. Or Don Fernando (av General Garzon 1788, Jesús Maria, Lima), for some northern Peruvian food.

By far the best thing about Lima is the food scene. lt has been booming for at least 10 years and is ever changing. I lived there 4 years and visit frequently and cannot keep up with the changes. There are "subcuisines" that are too complex to describe (classic criollo coastal Peruvian, Chifa, Japanese-fusion also known as Nikkei, Andean from the highlands, Amazonian and more). My favorite has become Nikkei, with some of the best and most creative sushi ever -- I have a true Japanese friend who was embarrassed to confess that he had sushi better than anything he had tried in Tokyo. Part of the secret is the quality and freshness of the seafood due to the Humboldt current, but also the "fusion" of cultures from immigrants and locals. Try Maido and Osaka, for starters.

How are the beans?


Ah, one of those post blogging era types are you? Bleg = blog + beg

The daily political discussions / debates that take place in the Plaza San Martin are not to be missed. Even if you've seen them before, it's unclear how much longer they will last. So far they have survived all the changes in media over the past century -- simple, robust, public discussion between citizens in the publi square. It's quite remarkable to see, of course even more interesting if you can understand some Spanish or will be with someone who does.

Brief video about the Plaza San Martin debates:

City of both Martin de Porres and Rose of Lima. They were comtemporaries.

Here's a fun thing - while in the Plaza San Martin, look at the tail of the horse that San Martin is riding. Rumor has it that you can see Bolivar's profile in that tail...

Check this out: Peru's chess grandmaster GM Julio Granda Zuniga, who is 49 years old and became a GM at age 18, just reached, this year, his highest Elo ever, at an astonishing 2699, about 50th place in the world ( Usually chess players slow down with age, with a very few exceptions, this being one. I don't think they have a big chess club scene in Peru, unlike in the Philippines.

So there's hope for me to reach Expert? Not unless I play with more awareness than this game just now, where a missed an obvious mate (but otherwise played pretty well). Check out White's 26th move, what would you do? I've been playing badly lately, and was 'looking for a draw' instead of playing to win. Attitude is important in chess. If you think you'll lose, you will.

Ray,Lopez - Computer Set to Elo 1930 [B72]

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 d6 6.Be2 g6 7.Be3 Bg7 8.h3 Bd7 9.Qd2 Nxd4 10.Bxd4 Bc6 11.f3 0-0 12.0-0-0 Qa5 13.Kb1 Rfc8 14.g4 Rc7 15.h4 Rac8 16.Bd3 e5 17.Be3 h5 18.Bh6 hxg4 19.Bxg7 Kxg7 20.fxg4 Nxg4 21.h5 Bd7 22.hxg6 fxg6 23.Rdg1 Rxc3 24.Rxg4 Bxg4 25.Qh6+ Kf7 26.Qh7+ Kf6 27.Qh4+ Kg7 28.Qh7+ Kf6 29.Qh4+ Kg7 30.Qh7+ Kf6 ½-½

The Basilica y Convento de Santo Domingo is, I think, the best place in the world to have your picture taken with a dog. Of course, the spectacular nave lateral (the large part of the church interior on the side when you enter from the front towards the main altar) (the amazing resting place of relics of Santa Rosa de Lima and Saint Martin de Porres) would not be an appropriate spot. Martin de Porres is one of the most famous saints to be the still unofficial patron of a group - in his case, veterinarians, and, by the logic of such things, of all dogs that have ever been or ever will be benefited by a veterinarian; but no matter how pure your intentions might be, the local pious churchgoers would be scandalized, I believe. However, there are great opportunities on the beautiful grounds for having one's picture taken (if necessary, with no dog but in a pose that lends itself, at a later date, to photoshopping in a dog), with landscape/architecture blended backgrounds not only unique in the New World but also, in some ways, outdoing the Old World. Most local guides would quickly understand your motives. If I were going, I would check out the stamp shops and the cigar stores nearest the station - twenty minutes at each, I would spend about twenty bucks in each place out of kindness to the businessmen who work there. "Chevere", also pronounced "chebere", appears to be a nice and safe synonym for thank you, although maybe the South Americans I know have been joking with me about that.

Find the amphitheater in Parque Kennedy on a weekend evening. -- Miraflores
El Enano for juice and a sandwich -- Miraflores

Every day, when you wake up, you will thing that it is pouring with rain. Wrong! Lima gets hardly any rain but the fog in the morning is intense, until the sun burns it off. You will be amazed at the transformation in the 19 years since you were last there.

everybody knows that peru its all about the food. my favorite blog about the subject would be this one

Looks good. BTW, it was first discovered that rabies cannot be killed by cooking from an incidence in Peru around the 18th century. An entire family was killed by rabies after eating an infected cow (I did not know cows could be infected, but being mammals I guess so) that was thoroughly cooked, yet the family went foaming mad.

Bonus trivia: the rabies virus can only be transmitted, aside from eating infected meat, from saliva. But for this to happen, the virus has to be in the brain of the animal (such as a dog), and it can take up to six months for the virus to travel from say a puncture wound to the brain. That's why a dog foaming at the mouth is dangerous. Otherwise, if the virus is in the dog's body but not the brain, you cannot get rabies from it. That said, sometimes rabid animals have no symptoms. So in the Philippines, where rabies are common, you routinely get a rabies shot if a dog bites you, or, (overkill IMO) if a strange dog licks you and you think you have an open sore where it licked (I had that happen from the family pet and declined treatment). One guy in our neighborhood in PH was bitten by a dog, brushed it off as nothing, had no symptoms, and six months later got rabies and died. It took that long for the virus to make its way from the bite wound to his brain.

Economist to visit with deep bow of respect - Hernando de Soto
Political prisoner to visit with deep bow of sympathy - Alberto Fujimori
Ceviche in Chorrillos - Sonia's place
Container port - Callao
Sociologists to avoid - too many to mention, Anibal Quijano, Julio Cotler...
Unputdownable book to read - Vargas Llosa's The Discreet Hero

If you can get a table at Central, it is not to be missed.

There's a small, little visited, museum near Parliament dedicated to the Constitution. Worth a visit only to marvel at how, over the 200 years, each new constitution became thicker than the previous one.

...oh, and La Gloria restaurant. Also worth a visit, and one of the few places where you would want to try the Guinea Pig.

I just moved back to the US after 3 years living in Lima. I see many recommendations on the restaurants above but have not seen my favorites. I would make sure to visit either Fiesta (for dinner) or La Picanteria (for a late lunch). Both are from chef Hector Solis. His cuisine is from northern Peru and flavors are spectacular. The other top restaurants (Astrid y Gaston, Central, Raphael, Maido) feel like they could be in New York or London. In Fiesta and La Picanteria, you know you are in Peru.

Definitely stop in Barranco for the art galleries. Galeria Lucia de la Puente is my favorite. The exhibitions are good but ask them to show you the "deposito" to see all the paintings in their inventory. Plan to spend at least an hour. Also walk across the street from Lucia de la Puente to visit Dedalo. It's a very unique store, and great place to pick up unique Peruvian art & design for folks back home.

In the center of the city, I would not miss a quick tour of the Convento de San Francisco. The library there is not well-preserved but still spectacular to see. Thousands of books that look like they have not been touched in 300 years.

Enjoy! It's an amazing city!

I did not particularly enjoy the food at Huaca Puclana. I would highly recommend Maido (Maido, Central, and Astrid y Gaston are 3 of the Top 50 restaurants in the world, and all 3 are in Lima). I enjoyed Astrid, but much preferred Maido. With Maido, I just asked to sit at the (sushi) bar as I did not have a reservation...and they let me right in. Also highly recommend "La Mar", a fantastic cevicheria (only open through the afternoon as that is the only time ceviche is fresh). More for the views on the water, I enjoyed Cala (the food was decent, but not as great as the others). The Chica Morada (non-alcoholic purple corn native beverage) drink was fantastic.

Also, feel free to use Uber and Cabify to get around (that way, you don't have to negotiate with the cabs)

Still dreaming about the nigiri salmon with gin (and Karashi emulsion) at Maido. Also the Canelon de Mango dessert...incredible!

On a separate note, I also miss the pisco sours...

La Mar!! My ultimate favorite modern cevicheria, spectacular seafood, creative cooking, and great mood -- in a space with no windows, a miracle of design.
Only open for lunch! and they take no reservations. Get there no later than 12:20pm or expect a long wait.

Peruvian social scientist here... Food scene is indeed the best thing the city has... Here are some suggestions:

- Central (4th best in Next reservation available is for Sep 29th though. Really mind blowing food, amazing ingredients... I wouldn't miss it if I were you. It takes about 2 hours and a half to go through the menu de degustación)
- Maido (14th best in the, perhaps my personal favorite, best nikkei in the city)
- Astrid & Gaston (the battlecruiser of Gaston Acurio's –the most famous Peruvian chef in the world– emporium. Really great...).
- Amaz (No chef in the world knows the Amazon as well as PM Schiaffino –ok, maybe Atala. There are few restaurants in the world in which you'll be able to try food like this and of this quality. Try the patarashca, ensalada de chonta, the lomo saltado Amaz)
- Costanera 700 (amazing fish and sea food with Japanese flavors. Try la chita a la sal, los cachetitos de mero, and la causa de cangrejo)
- Isolina (remarkable criollo food. Massive plates, share between two or even three –DO NOT attempt to finish it all at once.
- Fiesta (delicious Northern Peruvian food... Amazing duck...)
- La Mar, Mercado (great fish and seafood in these). Chez Wong is also great, but you'll have to suffer chef Wong's mood...He can be rather nasty sometimes)

- Madam Tusan (Acurio's Chinese-Peruvian fusion. Great quality). Other good and more "classic" chifas are Salón de la Felicidad, and Walok –both in the Historical Center–, and Chifa "Unión" (Chung Yion) in Barranco
- Tanta. (This is a really good and considerably less costly option. Works well if you just want to go without making reservations...Good causa, good tiradito, ceviche, sancochado)
- Osaka, KO, Hanzo are other places for sushi and Asian food in general that are really good.
- If you go to Museo Larco, try the sudado de corvina. Remarkable...

There are many other alternatives... Most of the ones other people mention in the posts here are quite good. I just wouldn't go though to Rosa Nautica or Brujas de Cachiche... They are very expensive and far from the quality of the ones I listed here.

Two further thoughts, both inspired by the fact that almost all the comments here have been about food. (1) Peruvian food, especially the coastal traditions, is a fantastically creative blend of Old World foodstuffs brought by the Spanish and local ingredients used for millennia before Pizarro arrived. Take ceviche, which is the quintessential Peruvian coastal food: fish (local, indigenous), lime juice (Old World), corn (indigenous), chili pepper (indigenous) and cilantro (Old World). Put these disparate ingredients together and you can create something truly marvelous. And (2), as mentioned above by Doug, Mexican food is pretty good too. The reason for this is that Mexico (Mexico City) and Peru (Lima) were for several centuries the super-rich capitals of powerful viceroyalties, where all the money, all the power, and all the desire for ostentation together created a market for fine creative cooking, to an extent that the rest of Spanish America simply never matched. Sure, people had to eat everywhere, but in Lima and Mexico they dined.

And no-one has mentioned Peruvian wine. Well, let's just say that there is lots of room for improvement here, still, after four-plus centuries. All the good stuff gets made into pisco. Most people drink Chilean wine or Peruvian beers like Crystal or Cusquena (both wine and beer are Old World introductions; barley is a sizeable Peruvian import). Don't touch the local corn beer or chicha de jora; traditionally, fermentation is started by the use of oral enzymes; i.e., you chew the corn, spit it out, and use that to start the fermentation.

If you want a nice walking with great sigthseeings, try to cover Malecon Cisneros in Miraflores, you can finish your walking in Larcomar.

About food, besides the good recommendations that you have received, i think you would like to visit MISTURA,, the best fair food in Latin America

have a nice trip

La 73 in Barranco. Quiet, unassuming cafe with simple but excellent food. I recommend the octopus if they have it. Enjoy your trip!

I HIGHLY recommend going to El Mercado for cevicheria lunch. Had a great meal also at La Mar, but found El Mercado to have some truly standout dishes especially off the specials menu. If they have the seafood tamale with fried langostine in a creamy seafood aji sauce, you must order it. It was so good we ended up going there the following day for lunch again just to order this dish a second time. The tiraditos and ceviches were also very good as was a seafood ravioli. The piccarones for dessert were also fantastic. We had a reservation at Maido but canceled after eating too much food at lunch at El Mercado. We enjoyed our dinner at Amaz as well. We also really liked our sandwiches at La Lucha Sanguchería Criolla. I really wanted to try La Picantería but ran out of meals and time to get there for lunch.

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