For anyone who has logged significant time in one of the world’s larger cities—and especially one in Central or Latin America—Lima can feel downright familiar. That’s both the good news and bad news, depending on what you want. Peru as a whole may thrill with encounters with the exotic. Not so, Lima.
Your feel for real life Limeño living, optimally will start with taking a Metro into the downtown area during rush hour, though this is certainly not recommended for the claustrophobic. As sardine can public transport experiences go, this writer thinks this was the ultimate.
Other than the goose stepping guards doing a made-for-tourist spectacle outside the Governor’s Palace during the changing of the guard ceremony, you will find yourself sharing the colonial architecture lined streets mainly with non-tourists. True, a busker here or there reminds that your tourist dollars are keeping many Limeños afloat, but it’s mainly a scene of locals going about their business and day, or stopping by the public events in the Plaza de Armas--a large telecast of the Peru soccer team being received in Russia on the day we visited, being a good example.
And for those who go to Lima for non-stop culinary adventure, you’ll likely find most of your destination dining spots outside the downtown Lima Centro area. Lovers of cheap eats will find the US$3 lunch spots packed with local workers a true find.
Longer stays will allow visits to other great museums in Lima Centro that this one day pit-stop couldn’t take in. However, if your time budget is similarly making Lima more of a transport stop than a destination per se, Picture this Post’s Lima TOP Five Sights– in priority order- would be:
1) Museo Larco