Help us party down on New Years Eve, Lima style.
December 15, 2009 11:10 AM   Subscribe

Seeking Peru-philes to make some recommendations as to what to do on New Years Eve in Lima or surrounds.

Mr. Tahl and I will be rolling into Lima at 6 in the morning on New Years Eve day (December 30th). Usually when I fly into a new country, I like to take the first bus out of town and wing it in terms of destination and accommodations.

Since this will be New Years, though, I was wondering if anyone who is familiar with Lima and surrounds can tell me the following --

1) If we're into having a nice meal, maybe something exotic, and then chilling on a hotel or hostel rooftop to while away New Years Eve, is there somewhere in Lima you'd recommend? Either a specific place, or a neighborhood. We'd also enjoy some bar time after dinner, but would like to keep it close to wherever we're staying.

2) If we want to head south or east a couple hours by bus upon arrival, is there a town that you'd recommend the same for? Do you think buses will be moving and not full on December 30 in the morning?

3) What about the frequency and business of the buses on New Years Day -- will we be essentially stranded wherever we spend New Years Eve?

Basically we're into enjoying ourselves, but I'm not going to wander around an unfamiliar capital city in the middle of the night on New Years, just like I wouldn't in L.A. or Minneapolis. So I'm hoping for a little guidance or suggestion on how we might make the most of New Years Eve, either in Lima or within a bus ride south or west, while staying safe and local to our accommodations. We're planning on commencing the Gringo trail thereafter.

Thanks, MeFites~
posted by letahl to Travel & Transportation around Lima, Peru (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Sorry, December 31st. I said the rhyme wrong when I was checking the date.
posted by letahl at 11:11 AM on December 15, 2009

Aw, I get to Lima on January 4. Too bad!
posted by ChuraChura at 3:34 PM on December 15, 2009


Lima girl speaking here.

Buses...sure. I would first tell you that Lima is a huge city (8 million people) and there are buses absolutely everywhere, every day, every 5 minutes, and on New Year it may not be so often, but you'll just have to wait for probably 10 or 15 minutes and pay about a dollar (double the usual fare) There are no bus stops at all (you see the bus you want? hail it, pray that it stops without killing you and jump on it. Approach the front door a couple of blocks before your stop and yell EN LA ESQUINA BAJA! (I'm getting off at the corner!) and that's about it. Pretty informal business.)
Now, if you want to get out of town, you would first hav to chose a destnation. Lima is surrounded by the desert and everything (except for the beach) is sort of far. Now, for New Year most people go to the beach (it's tradition), and hotels have huge dinner parties that last until the morning and include breakfast. To take a bus out of town, go to either of these companies: Cruz del Sur or OrmeƱo. The other buses are completely unreliable and you may use them at your own risk (of being mugged, of being stranded, or a million horrible things, the recommended ones charge double, but they are completely reliable.) You can visit the websites and pay for your tickets in advance there.

Now, for a nice meal at a hostel you can go grand or backpacker. For backpacker budget I recommend anything in the district of Barranco, to which you can take a taxi cab for a small fare. Wikitravel has a lot of recommendations on hotels, hostels and restaurants, and you just have to call or write in order to know what the deal will be on New YEar (check out the list of hotels and restaurants in the wiki). You will probably need a reservation (I'm 99% sure), since the city is so big, and New Year is such a huge deal.

HEading south could be a good idea, but it's potentially complicated. The beaches are south and there are loads of clubs, but again, you shouldn't just go and see what happens, if you want to have an actual dinner. If you don't mind spending NY on the street (with a whole bunch of people, I have actually done it, it's cheap and fun) then by all means go to the beach and just wait to see what happens. beaches recommended: San Bartolo, Santa Maria, and most of all ASIA. it's the best place to be. Asia has the best bars, the best parties, but it can be pricey, and you'll probably hav to make a big effort to find a place to stay. Do not take a taxi to any of the beaches, they'll tell you they can go there, but they will charge you an arm and a leg. Go for the private bus companies that I recommended before, or find a tour bus that goes to the beach. You will hav to pay in advance, or things could get expensive (or unavailable)

Lima will very likely be dead the day after NYE, it will be national hang over day.

I wouldn't recommend going out of town, Lima is pretty much isolated from the rest of te country, and getting out on holidays may have complications (I.e. drunk drivers) and could be a bad idea. If I were you, I would look for something nice int he city, like a party, have fun until dawn and then go back to my hotel, safe and sound.
posted by Tarumba at 4:08 PM on December 15, 2009

Another thing. Peru is awesome and Peruvian people are great, but beware of being alone. The situation of two tourists on an adventure in the city is a HUGE red flag, and criminals will fly to you like bees to honey. Specially on holidays. Try to be in groups (a tour bus or regular bus should be preferred to a taxi, specially when you do not know the route - the taxi drivers are well know for driving people to their cronies and then mugging them) Also, try to stick to other tourists that are knowledgeable, or at least that will protect you -or translate for you- should anything happen. Lima is, above all, a city, and I'm sure you are familiar with city folk. do not socialize too much with people who are trying to be your friends. they are very likely trying to be friends of your money, or trying to flirt with a foreigner. you know, don't do anything irrational and you'll be OK. In fact, be a little suspicious and everything will be fine.
Once out of the city everything should be way more relaxed. I swear to God, the last time I got mugged it was because I was hanging out with my foreign husband, and they thought I was a foreigner, too!

good luck!

PS Practise your bargaining.
posted by Tarumba at 4:19 PM on December 15, 2009

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