Should I go to Lima Peru?
March 28, 2008 2:22 PM   Subscribe

Should I go to Barranco, Lima, Peru? If so, what should I do there at the end of April?

Skip to the mean if you don't want all my gibberish ramblings.

I need a vacation. In my previous AskMe post, I asked for suggestions for warm and hot places to go. The majority suggested Vegas and Cuba. Vegas doesn't appeal and Cuba seems to really only be cheap if you're traveling in pairs. When I try to fly for one, the single supplement adds 50% to the cost.

So, I did a search for a few vacation rental places and found this place in Barranco, Lima, Peru, which I can rent for a whole week for $300 to $400.

But I know jackshit about Peru (or Cuba, for that matter, though I've obviously seen it in a gazillion movies).

The woman who owns the properties in Peru actually called me on her dime to talk about the place, but she's obviously biased. It did sound very nice and up my alley. She did mention that it's very busy around there right now and that that's not the norm. She said this was because of Apec, though that apparently doesn't happen till November so I'm a little baffled.


I mainly want to get away from the distractions of Toronto (as well as the weather). I need some peace and quiet (though not constant) to finish a personal project by May 1.

Though the above is my main reason for going, I of course would like to do some fun things while on vacation. What would you suggest for that specific area and timeframe?

Some things that may affect your answer: I'm vegetarian. I don't drive.
posted by dobbs to Travel & Transportation around Lima, Peru (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Mean = meat. ha.
posted by dobbs at 2:40 PM on March 28, 2008

Well I've been to Lima for work a while back, and it is an interesting place for a short trip, but sort of non-descript. Miraflores, and Barranco is where the rich Peruvians go to stay away from downtown. If I were well-to-do and lived in the greater Lima metro area, I'd live in Barranco, but there really isn't much to do there. My office was in San Ysidro, another wealthy section.

You'd likely have to drive, and Miraflores is IIRC not within walking distance of Barranco, and I think the public transport system of Lima is confusing. There is a decent gold and anthropology muesum downtown, and the colonial downtown is interesting.

Lima never rains, but is almost always foggy. Not really very hot though despite its location - something about the cold pacific makes for bizarre climate. If you want Cuba-style tropical *hot*, I don't think you're gonna get it there. Especially in April.
posted by xetere at 3:07 PM on March 28, 2008

Thanks, xetere. When I typed warm and hot, I meant warm and cheap. Did you find it safe there, walking around at night, etc?
posted by dobbs at 3:15 PM on March 28, 2008

Have you been to Peru before? Miraflores and Barranco are nice, but just very yuppie beachy city areas. It's light years from the rest of Peru. I know you want to finish a project, but having just been in Peru in January, if you just go to Barranco, you're missing it ...(whiny voice).

Also being a vegetarian will be a trial, unless you eat fish, because the fish is quite nice in Lima and it's a meat heavy cuisine otherwise.

But if you're not dissuaded, there are nice parks in Miraflores, and hang gliding. There are also some beach towns south of the city. The one I went to was private, so I don't know how they usually are.
posted by sweetkid at 3:54 PM on March 28, 2008

I spent 4 months in Peru as a vegetarian, though mostly in the highlands. Compared to Cusco or some of the small villages, I found Lima to be no problem food wise because there was a much larger variety of restaurants. Like sweetkid mentioned, you can get some really nice fish in dishes called ceviche. If you're doing any of your own cooking while you're there, Lima has plenty of large grocery stores (Wong is a big chain) where you can get lots of veggie friendly food.
posted by summit at 8:28 PM on March 28, 2008

If you haven't totally given up the Cuba idea yet:
Where's the "Cuba is cheap only in pairs" idea come from? The all-inclusives? Really if you want to enjoy Cuba and still feel relaxed, find a casa particular and use it as your home-base, and skip the all-inclusives. Even if they wanted a 50% supplement, your cost might be upped to, what, $30/night?

Peru I don't know, but from what of South America I do know (all on the east side), and what friends tell me of Lima, even Havana is a slow-poke city lifestyle compared to them. If you want more relaxing, you can still go to the beach for the day, or take an internal flight (fast and easy) or bus (slow and cheap) to hit some of the other nice and lesser-touristed cities, where life is even slower.

I never ever felt unsafe walking around in Cuba even in lower-income neighborhoods or late at night, even when alone or in small groups (I'm a rather short girl, and so were my companions).

Everywhere in Cuba I went, people were incredibly friendly and open. Despite some of the challenges of daily life there, people were, in general, quite content. I can't say that about everwhere I've been (e.g. Paraguay!).
posted by whatzit at 8:33 PM on March 28, 2008 [1 favorite]

The best thing to do is go to Cuzco. You could spend a week there, Machu Piccu is a must-see (of course) and if you like to hike you could several days there alone hiking the Inca trails. There are also other beautiful inca ruins. Vegetarian fare shouldnt be too much of an issue.

Also learn how to haggle
posted by damn dirty ape at 8:37 PM on March 28, 2008

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