CulturallyOurs Explore Lima Peru With A Local

Explore Lima Peru With A Local

CulturallyOurs Explore Lima Peru With A Local

In Season 03 of CulturallyOurs which showcased Lifestyle and People around the world, we started a series called letters from a locals all around the world as they take us along a virtual journey of their city, village or hometown. This is a way for us to get to know one another on a personal level without any ‘must see‘ lists or ‘Top 10‘ activities. Getting a local’s point of view is a fantastic way to get a glimpse into the lives of the people of a place, city or country.

Today we explore the city of Lima with Maggie O’Reilly, a past podcast guest to share a little bit about her adopted country Peru!CulturallyOurs Explore Lima Peru With A Local - Local ColorsFrom Maggie,

When your Peruvian husband has all of his extended family still living in Peru, particularly Lima, you realize that after a few visits, you have seen and done all the main tourist attractions.  I can remember when I first went to Peru with my husband, I had a long list of restaurants to try, museums to visit and plazas I wanted to walk around.  We arrived in Lima for the first time and we came to a screeching halt – literally!  In Lima, you’re either going to drive at the pace of a turtle with back to back traffic or you will feel like you’re on a rollercoaster ride while people swerve either which way ignoring traffic stops.   Buckle up, because you are in for an experience like no other!  A trip that could typically take 30-45 minutes in the United States can easily take 1.5 hours in Peru, simply because of road rules being ignored, combi buses weaving in and out of traffic and lots of pedestrians on the streets selling you a wide selection of items from dish towels to ice cold bottled water.CulturallyOurs Explore Lima Peru With A Local - Local ColorsEither way, my love for Latin America, in particular Peru, keeps me coming back each time with an open heart ready to explore.  I am always eager to return to Peru to continue to learn about the country where my husband grew up.  Furthermore, much of the inspiration behind MAYTA Collection comes from my travels in Peru.  Don’t get me wrong, seeing and doing touristy things in a city like Lima is not a bad thing, in fact if you are going to spend a day or two in Lima, I suggest you tick off some of the “must see” places to give yourself a well rounded perspective of Lima.  But as I do in many of my travel adventures around the globe, I enjoy heading down the road less traveled so that I can capture that unique memory for my mental travel journal and have it as a keepsake for future stories to share.

Local Cuisine and Local Flavors Of Lima

Now you cannot talk about Lima without discussing the flavorful dishes that are offered through the streets of Lima.  You could easily spend a week in Lima traveling through all the neighborhoods and experiencing highly rated restaurants, small family owned restaurants and simple street food stands.  Lima is home to some incredible chefs and the local ingredients that Peru has to offer allow for creative dishes with unexpected flavors using resources from the coast, jungle and mountains.CulturallyOurs Explore Lima Peru With A Local - Local Cuisine CevicheOne of my favorite places to eat when I am visiting Lima is the Restaurant Universidad Agraria, located right before the main entrance of the Universidad Nacional Agraria in the La Molina neighborhood.  While there are plenty of other restaurants in Lima that sell this typical fried pork (Chicharron) sandwich topped with fried sweet potato slices and salsa criolla, (red onion soaked in salt, lime juice and a touch of spicy rocoto pepper), the restaurant offers a culturally rich Peruvian experience.  What I enjoy most about this restaurant is the open air style of seating with large wooden tables scattered around.  The relaxing atmosphere can make you feel like you’re on a farm, which can be a nice alternative to the hustle and bustle of Lima city life. Aside from the chicharron sandwich, the restaurant also provides the opportunity to try a variety of Peruvian meats like pachamanca or cuy (guinea pig).  After eating, our family walked around the small farmers market within the grounds. It’s a great way to spend a weekend morning.CulturallyOurs Explore Lima Peru With A Local - Local Cuisine Local FlavorsCulturallyOurs Explore Lima Peru With A Local - Pan con Chicharron sandwhich{Photo from Pinterest}

Things To Do In Lima

Another favorite activity that we enjoy is exploring the city by foot with self-guided walking tours.  Not only are they free, but these tours are a unique way to explore the city on foot, get some exercise and avoid the Lima traffic.

One of my favorite self-guided walks begins in the Barranco neighborhood and ends at the Lancomar shopping area along the Costa Verde malecón called Circuito de Playas.  I recommend walking around Barranco first to see all the colorful street murals and architecture.  This leisurely walk takes on average 45 minutes and is a great solution to get some exercise and fresh air.  The walk is a low to moderate difficulty level if you are considering doing it with your family.  If you have children, remember to bring a stroller and be prepared to maneuver up and down some stairs now and then. Nothing too complicated, but as a mom, I always like to know if I can bring a stroller and move around.  The last time I did the walk was with my 85 year old father in law, so in my opinion, everyone, young or elderly can enjoy the self guided tour.   As you finish the walking tour, you will arrive at Lancomar, which is an outdoor shopping center situated in the Miraflores neighborhood.  Feel free to sit down in one of the many open air restaurants or cafes to have a typical Peruvian meal with an Inca Cola.  Lancomar is also a nice area to look over the cliffs on the Costa Verde and watch the surfers ride the waves on the Pacific Ocean.  If you’re curious about additional self guided walking tours, we have used this website as a resource here.CulturallyOurs Explore Lima Peru With A Local - Local Colors And ArtMy hope is that if you ever have the chance to visit Peru, you can make time to explore beyond the popular destinations and take the road less traveled.  I have met so many creative and interesting people along the way who have taught me something special about travel.  I always pick up little tips and tricks to bring back and apply that cultural knowledge to business, MAYTA Collection.

{ Words and photos by Maggie O’Reilly; Website: Mayta Collection; Instagram: @maytacollection}

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