Centro Lima: A Lot More Fun Than Expected

Plaza de Armas

Coming into Lima we were not sure what to expect.  There have been a few big cities in South America that we have really liked, but a lot of the time they are just BIG CITIES and full of trash and smog and grumpy people.  I tried to come into Lima with an open mind but deep down I expected the city of 7.5 million to drive me nuts.  However, after our bus dropped us off and we took a friendly taxi to our hostel and we sat trying to grasp the history, culture, architecture….  I soon realized that my idea of what we would find in Lima was very, very wrong.


The downtown was clean, with tons of shops, restaurants, bars, and people everywhere.  All of the buildings were colorful and old but not built crazy tall like in New York City.  And best of all, the people were friendly and helpful and seemed generally happy.

Lima is full of color

We spent three days in central Lima wandering, watching, learning.  It was nice to be in such a walkable city, with something new and entertaining on every corner.  We made friends, enjoyed the fast internet, ate good food and lots of cheap soft serve ice cream.  Life was good.

Plaza San Martín

The Spanish conquistadors hired a local artist and asked for a "llama" crown to be placed on the woman's head. They meant a crown of flames but didn't think about the Spanish word's double meaning. Hence, the llama crown.

Every Sunday there are big shows with traditional music and dancing.  It was nice to be entertained without Soles falling out of our pockets.  These guys wore very colorful clothes and danced a fast and chaotic jig.

Traditional dancer

After three nights in central Lima, we found a barrio near the beach where the more bohemian folks hang out.  However, we did have enough time for one last ice cream cone.