We stayed for three nights after arriving from the US. On previous trips, we have tended to stay overnight, shop, and head north out of town. This time, we’ve had some free time while waiting for people to get back to us, and we’ve done a little bit of walking around the neighborhood.
Miraflores, the area where we stay in Lima, has undergone tremendous changes over the past twenty years. Large family homes, or casonas, were the principal houses. Some of these were turned into small hotels, like the Senorial, where we stay, then adjacent houses were added. Next, old houses were knocked down to make space for six-eight story apartment buildings. Along the cliffs by the sea, fifteen stories has become common, while the old casonas are largely gone. There is more housing, and there are more hotels, but the graceful curves of creative architecture are also gone. We saw a doorway to nowhere that turns out to be the entrance to an older house now surrounded by a mature garden.
(L-R) Sunset in Lima, doorway to nowhere, saffron finch
One of Lima’s great achievements of the past twenty years is the extension of the shore at the base of the cliffs into the sea to create space for a highway and a coastline park. Surfers occupy the waters off Miraflores, and there are miles of parks and playing fields extending along the edge of the city. Pedestrian bridges descend from the cliffs and over the highway, and there is parking. It’s a project worthy of Robert Moses, reshaper of New York, and we often wonder how it came about in a city composed of 50 districts with competing agendas.
(L-R) Pier with restaurant La Rosa Nautica, waves and surfers, surfers closeup
We did not visit any museums or famous sites in Lima, but we did have some excellent meals. We always like Punta Azul, a seafood restaurant on Cantuarias in Miraflores. Their tiradito is delicious (Raw fish, like ceviche). We had three sauces, purple olive, rocoto (chili), and Parmesan, and there are other options. Their risotto Punta Azul with squid ink, was also delicious. The restaurant is always crowded at lunch time, but not usually at dinner. At one pm, there was a long line, but at 7 pm, we had our choice of tables.
The next night we tried for sushi, but after being seated and ignored for ten minutes we left, uncertain of where to go next. Fortunately, we looked at Amore, next door, and gave it a try. This restaurant is a block from the N end of Parque Kennedy, just around the side of the Saga Falabella department store. We shared pasta with oxtail ragout, and “drunken” arroz con pato (duck fried rice with duck leg cooked in beer), both very good. Lima is full of good restaurants.
Covid infections are fewer in Peru than the US, and more people wear masks on the street. Masks are required at most indoor localities, restaurants, stores, even the markets. Lots of people are on the streets.
The next day, we slipped back into our regular mold, visited the Surquillo market, where we buy Uruguayan parmesan cheese (excellent!), nuts, and spices. Flags are for sale everywhere. Fiestas Patrias, the national day of Peru, is July 28, and municipalities can require homeowners to display the flag. We went on to the supermarket, then headed for Barranca, where our flag is up for the next couple of weeks.
For a different view: I have followed the blog of a Canadian couple, Les Voyages de Suzanne & Pierre for several years. They travel widely and they take sublime photos. In June 2022, they visited Peru, and I have been enjoying their take on Lima and the other places they visited. I urge you to take a look at their blog for another perspective.