The number one rule in Lima’s traffic is there is no rule. Peru and especially its capital Lima is the Wild West of South America. Latest when entering the suburbs before even reaching the city center you understand why…
Traffic in Lima
People are taking phone calls while driving, sending text messages, ignoring red traffic lights, buses and taxis are stopping without indication, trucks are passing over from left to right and right to left… Everything is allowed! Zero f**** given.
What a nightmare! The city reminds me more of a jungle where the survival of the fittest determine who reaches the final destination of the day.
I just parked Fury at Gildemeister, South Americas finest BMW dealer and am sitting relaxed in my free taxi ride back to Lima’s coolest neighborhood, Barranco.
Miraflores vs. Barranco – Where to stay in Lima
If there is one thing I enjoy while being in a large town then it is to stay in a Bohemian neighbourhood like Soho in New York, Vila Madalena in São Paulo, Palermo in Buenos Aires or in case of Lima, Barranco.
Basically, visitors are always fighting over two neighborhoods in Lima, Miraflores or Barranco.
I stayed two times already in Miraflores and I would recommend staying there if you have only limited time in Lima, a flight to catch in the early morning and need to safe time to get to the airport. Depending on the traffic, Miraflores is 30 – 60 minutes closer to Jorge Chávez International airport than Barranco. It is a quite modern neighborhood with well taken care alleys, luxury shopping, cinemas and fine dining. There is a large “plaza” and an ancient temple complex to visit, too.
El Doral Apart Hotel is a nice hotel with spacious apartments and super comfortable beds conveniently located in central Miraflores (only public parking).
On the contrary, Barranco is an authentic and lively neighborhood full of art galleries, theaters, markets, cafes and restaurants. I simply loved to stroll around the neighborhood with my camera and to have a coffee here and there. Additionally, The beach and the costa verde is just around the corner and a nice spot for watching surfers at sunset.
I stayed in La Villa di Ana and can recommend this place for its value for price, great location, spacious apartment, good wifi and privacy (only public parking).
Local vs. Fine Dining – Where to eat in Lima
Similar to Paris, it is almost impossible to give recommendations where to eat in Lima. From local fish restaurants to world’s best fine dining experiences, Lima has everything to offer a foodies heart desires.
399 San Martin Street, Miraflores, Lima, +51 (1)313 5100, www.maido.pe
The “World’s 50 Best Restaurants” awarded Maido with place no. 7 in 2018 and says “When Peru meets Japan on the plate, Nikkei is born – and chef Mitsuharu ‘Micha’ Tsumura is the Nikkei king. This translates to a welcoming spot where fresh fish and citrus-packed sauces reign supreme. No wonder it was voted The Best Restaurant in Latin America in 2017, knocking nearby Central from its three-year stint at No.1.”
You can’t leave Maido without having tried the Beef Short Rib 50 hours. It is not just a name but a statement! The meat is so tender that a fork cuts through it like butter. A dream!
- Get a seat at the Sushi bar and observe the Chef’s magic work.
- Make a reservation at least 6 weeks in advance.
Av. Pedro de Osma 301, Barranco, Lima, +51 1 242-8575, www.kjolle.com
Kjolle is my secret recommendation for Lima. It is only half price compared to “Maido” or “Central” and scores highest points for food ingredients and quality, innovation and service. The restaurant is led by award winning Peruvian Chef Pia León and only recently opened their doors to foodies. León and her team are not unknown in the gastronomy scene and cooked already for years in “Central”, which was for me the reason to give it a try.
If you like fish, you will love Paiche! A combination of yuca, fermented copoazu and sargassum. It is indeed a o(sa)rgas(su)m.
Parque Municipal Av, Pedro de Osma 105 – 107, Barranco 15063, +51 1 2479964, www.rustica.com.pe
This is the perfect place for first-time Peru visitors. Rustica offers a high quality all-you-can-eat buffet with all popular Peruvian dishes. Perfect for casual lunch or dining with friends.
Calle San Martin 595, Miraflores 15074, +51 1 4458078, www.puntoazulrestaurante.com
A great restaurant serving high quality Peruvian food. Leaves no wish unfulfilled!
Best bars in Lima
Calle San Martin 300, Miraflores 15074, +51 1 2424149, www.rafaelosterling.pe
Nice, tranquilo cocktail bar in an early republic style house of Rafael Oesterling, one of Peru’s leading chefs. Have a fantastic drink at the bar or enjoy another fine dining experience in the restaurant.
Av. San Martin 130. Barranco, 981044745, www.ayahuascarestobar.com
The Ayahuasca bar is personally my favourite. Come here to enjoy the amazing ambiente, great drinks and to watch beautiful people.