We spent the past week and half in Lima at an amazing AirBnB located in the bohemian district of Barranco. We splurged a bit, but it was so nice to have a beautiful apartment where only the doorman knew how infrequently we actually left. We needed time to catch up on some R&R after two months of city hopping since it can be exhausting changing locations so frequently.
Our second day in Lima we managed to leave the apartment by 3 pm and explore Barranco. After some delicious ceviche at Canta Rana, we stumbled upon Barranco Beer Company. Our favorite from their tasting flight was the seasonal farmhouse. In Miraflores, the (very) upscale touristy part of town, we went to Barbarian and Nuevo Mundo, an awesome little bar with twelve beers on tap. The barleywine was surprisingly our top pick here - although it tasted more like a stong ale, which might be why we liked it so much. We also had an awesome IPA from Sacred Valley Brewing Company, which is currently winning best IPA of the trip. Another beer bar we found was Cañas y Tapas. Most of their stock was bottled beers - including a ton from Peru - but they also had beers like Old Speckled Hen, Delirium, and La Chouffe on tap. We stuck with the Peruvian beers since we can find the other ones when we get to Europe. Speaking of European style beers, we also went to Brewpub Wicks in Barranco, a British-style pub that brews a few of their own beers and serves them on cask! This was super exciting because while we usually don’t find craft beer on tap, we definitely haven’t seen any cask ales in South America. We had their bitter and their stout, which is definitely one of the best dark beers we’ve had this trip!
Don’t worry mom and dad - we did more than just sample beer! One day we left our apartment at the crack of noon to tour the Huaca Pucllana ruins from the Lima culture, a pre-Incan society that lived here from around 100 AD to 600 AD. The Lima people worshiped the sea (unlike the Incas who worshiped the sun), and sharks are depicted on a lot their artwork. The ruins also include a pyramid where religious ceremonies would have been performed. Some of the ceremonies involved human sacrifices to ask the gods to restore order (these people were also affected by El Niño just like the cultures we saw in Trujillo. After the Lima people, the Waris (another pre-Incan society) took over the site and used it as a cemetery.
On our last trip to Lima, we had wanted to do a cooking class or food tour but couldn’t fit it into our schedule. This time around we found Peruvian Cooking Classes, and we were pumped to learn how to make ceviche! We also learned how to make other things, but let’s be honest - we’ve wanted to make ceviche at home but were too scared since “cooking” fish with lime juice seems like an easy way to get sick. The class started with a tour of the market, then we went back to Chef Hector’s house and put together a three course meal paired with pisco sours. It was so good! Laura’s favorite was ceviche, and Vesper’s was Huancaina sauce, a yummy spicy creamy cheesy sauce from the dish Papa a la Huancaina, a potato dish from the Andes.
Since we were in Lima over Easter weekend, Friday was a holiday for many people and a lot of museums and restaurants were closed. We went to the beach that day, and it was insanely busy. There was no way to get to the water without walking over someone’s towel or ducking under an umbrella. You also couldn’t avoid all the sand being thrown around as kids and parents dug holes and built sandcastles. We only actually waded in the water since it was pretty cold, but it was cool to see where all the locals were hanging out and enjoying their day off.
Despite being in Lima over Easter, we were surprised at the lack of religious celebrations. We had been expecting big religious parades or parties in the square or something, but we learned many locals leave the city for the holiday so it was remarkably quiet. Or maybe we looked in the wrong places and just missed it - Lima is a huge city!
Although we didn’t do too many touristy things, we felt like we experienced the city on a more local level. We cooked almost all of our meals using local produce, made a few friends, and explored areas we wouldn’t have found had we only been here a few days. We are relaxed and ready for another few whirlwind weeks as we head to southern Peru and then off to Bolivia!