Backpacking across the Andes Lima

Backpacking across the Andes – #19: Lima (Peru)

We left Cusco after a few days of exploration to reach our last stop: Lima. Our backpacking trip across the Andes was reaching its end!

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DE CUSCO A LIMA

For the first time during our trip, we took a plane. I would have prefered going to Lima by bus to keep on exploring Peru but time and money were running out and I don’t think I could have handled another 20-hour bus ride at that point… So we flew. The flight was only an hour but the take off in the middle of mountains was very impressive. It was as if we could have touched the mountains!

EXPLORING MIRAFLORES

We reached Lima by night and went straight to our hostel in Miraflores. As our budget was getting very limited at that point of the trip, we stayed in one of the cheapest hostels that we found in Miraflores. The good point was that it was right in the middle of Miraflores, one of the nicest areas of Lima. The bad point was that we had no hot water…

FINDING OUT ABOUT THE CITY’S NICKNAME

What struck us the next day when we woke up was the weather! It felt very humid: we were right by the Pacific Ocean. The sky was grey and it remained like that the whole time we were there. We did not see the sun and hardly saw a piece of blue sky. We understood why Lima was nicknamed “La Gris” (the grey) by its inhabitants.

STROKING CATS AT KENNEDY PARK

We first discovered the surprizing Kennedy Park which was located right in front of our hostel. As we strolled by the park, we saw dizains of cats in the grass, on the benches, being stroked by visitors! They have taken this place for their haven and they are not shy at all. We learnt that they are fed by visitors and that we are not sure why so many cats ended up there!

STROLLING AROUND PARQUE DEL AMOR

We went to the Parque del Amor right by the shore. It is a colorful park in a Gaudi style. From there we had a beautiful view on the ocean.

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LUNCH AT “LA LUCHA”

Lima is famous for its delicious cuisine. Even with a tight budget, we were able to experience it and confirm that the food was delicious. We had lunch at a place called “La Lucha“ in Miraflores and had two amazing sandwiches.

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VISITING LIMA’S HISTORIC CENTER

From Miraflores we took a taxi to reach the historic center as the areas of interest are located rather far away from one another.

WALKING AROUND PLAZA DE ARMAS

IMGP7364We discovered a beautiful colorful colonial center around the Plaza Mayor, flanked by impressive buildings. As the taxi driver dropped us out on the plaza, we could not believe our eyes.

We first saw the imposing Catedral. We learnt that the first stone was laid in 1535 by Francisco Pizarro, conquistador and founder of Lima. The construction was delayed several times because of the lack of funds and several earthquakes.

Next to the Cathedral, we discovered the Archbishop’s palace and its beautifully carved wooden balconies. It is the residence of the Archbishop of Lima and the administrative headquarters of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Lima.

The plaza is also flanked by the Government Palace. It is also known as the House of Pizarro as it was built in 1535 by conquistador Pizarro.

The other sides of the plaza are flanked by beautiful yellow colonial buildings with wooden balconies.

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BEING IMPRESSED BY THE MONASTARY OF SAN FRANCISCO

What most impressed us that day was the beautiful Monastary of San Francisco, located a block away from the Plaza Mayor. Unfortunately we were not allowed to take pictures inside and were only allowed to get in with a tour.

The complex is composed of a church and a monostary organized around a beautiful inner court. As we were visited the monastary, our guide draw our attention to a crowd noise that was heard in the distance. He said that it was the monks playing football! The monastary is still inhabited and the monks seem to be pretty active! We also visited the beautiful ancient library and the catacombs.

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The next day we would fly home, happy to have done such an incredible adventure and also to unpack!

How to go from Cusco to Lima

BY PLANE

If you are planning on flying from Cusco to Lima, the peruvian company Star Peru offers cheap flights and is very decent. You can find a Star Peru agency in the center of Cusco, on far from the Plaza des Armas, 627 avenida El Sol, to buy your tickets. You will be able to pay by credi card.

BY BUS

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if you are planning on going from Cusco to Lima (or from Lima to Cusco) by bus, I recommend the PERU HOP company.

This company avoids the dangerous Andes road and goes south to link Lima and Cusco. What’s more, it is very flexible as you can get off the bus at the major sites of interests on the way (Chincha, Paracas, Huacachina, Nazca, Arequipa, Puno) and get back in whenever you want.

Unfortunately we did not have time to go by bus but I hope to be able to test this company some day. Check out theit website here.

Continue reading

  • Next stop: the summary of this adventure across the Andes. Click here to read the article.
  • All articles about this country: click here to see all articles about Peru.
  • All articles about this trip: click here to read see all articles about this backpacking trip across the Andes (Chile – Bolivia – Peru)
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