Last month I headed to Peru to celebrate my friend, Sarah’s birthday! It was my second time in this beautiful country-- I had traveled to Peru with Sarah about 10 years before, and I was so excited to head back and spend time with her and her lovely Peruvian family!
Lima is a beautiful city with so many different neighborhoods. For most of my trip, I stayed in the trendy Miraflores neighborhood. For part of my trip I stayed with my friend’s family in the non-touristy, Brera. I also got to visit La Victoria, Surquillo, El Centro, Barranca, and Pueblo Libre.
WHERE TO STAY
Hotel de Autor is an amazing gem of a hotel nestled in the beautiful Miraflores neighborhood. There are actually two hotels, Autor i and Autor ii. I had the pleasure of staying at Autor ii, located along the boardwalk!
There are 5 rooms in the hotel, each with their own private bathroom (with amazing shower pressure, international outlets, and a hairdryer). The rooms have wifi, TVs, and air conditioning, which comes in handy with the warm and humid climate in Peru.
The staff is super friendly and attentive. They have an option for breakfast, but even though I didn’t opt for that, they made me hot tea and oatmeal one day as I was waiting for my friends to come pick me up for lunch! How sweet is that?
The area is safe and it’s only a short walk from Parque del Amor and Parque Kennedy, an area with cute cafes, restaurants, and bars. If you don’t want to walk, there are lots of Ubers that can take you around the area! I wouldn’t suggest cabs unless you’re with the locals.
I would definitely recommend staying at this chic hotel next time you’re in Peru. Check out some of the photos of the interior below!
WHERE TO EXPLORE
• Punta Hermosa beach – This beach isn’t touristy yet—although it might be the new Tulum or Costa Rica in a few years! You can get lunch nearby at an authentic restaurant, and there is even a new organic-food lunch spot! The waves are nice and there is an island off the coast that you can explore.
• Museo Larco – Surrounded by flowers and potted succulents, this was the most beautiful museum I’ve seen! I loved the vibe, and also learned a lot about the history of the different indigenous tribes of Peru. They have a gorgeous restaurant in the museum as well, that I’m saving for my next visit!
• Parque del Amor – This was the cutest park! It’s located on the edge of Miraflores, looking over the ocean! The park is full of colorful statues and mosaics with writings about love.
• Alianza vs. Universitario – Soccer is big in Peru! We were going to go to a game, but it didn’t end up working out- darn! Next time for sure! Universitario or “La U” is the more bougie team, and Alianza is the team for the “barrio”—it’s the same in Recife, there always seems to be teams for each socioeconomic group.
• Ica – Ica is known for a few things! Paracas is the “Galapagos” of Peru, with manatees, turtles, birds, and dolphins! Further south is Huacachina, which is an oasis where you can go sandboarding and ride ATVs!
• Machu Picchu – On my first trip to Peru, I traveled to Cusco and visited the incredible Machu Picchu! It’s one of the 7 wonders of the world, and truly is a magnificent site to see. I would recommend taking the time to visit and even sign up for a tour.
• El Centro – In the city center, there are lots of cool sites to see. Of course there is the Catedral, the catacombs museum, and the government buildings, but what’s even more fun to see is the chocolate museum (ChocoMuseo) and Pisco Sour museum! They are right next door to each other!
WHEN YOU'RE HUNGRY
My favorite thing to do when I'm in a new country is to try the cuisine! Our first stop when we got off the plane was to head to my friend’s home to eat some homemade chicken noodle soup—they make the best soup!
Peru may be known for their cuey (guinea pig) and ceviche, but my favorite meals there were the guisos (stewed meat served over rice), their milanesas (breaded chicken), and their lomo saltado (beef).
Like churros? They had the most delicious churros in Lima! With dulce de leche, vanilla, or chocolate filling! I couldn't decide which one I liked best!
I met my friend, Andrea, who is working with artisans in Peru, at the cutest bakery/coffee shop! It was called “El Pan de La Chola” and you NEED to go here if you’re in Lima. They have delicious green juices, and yummy sandwiches on fresh baked bread. They also have wifi :) Always a win for me!
This sandwich place called La Lucha Sungucheria was awesome. When you’re craving a good sandwich and fries (and fresh juice if you like), go to this place! It’s a chain now so there are lots of them around Lima.
Lima is also known for its Chinese food called “chifa”—I ordered the chicken fried rice called “chaufa” and loved it! It seemed like the best chinese places were in the Surquillo neighborhood fyi!
THINGS TO BRING
Like most places I've been visiting lately, I was super happy that I brought sunscreen with a high SPF. My faves are the Juice Beauty or Bare Republic by Coola all natural sunscreens. You will also be so happy to bring a hat or two.
What else? Bring your bathing suit, some sundresses, rompers, flip flops, and comfortable walking shoes for exploring the city! I loved wearing my chambray button down-- it was perfect for layering and still light and airy on a hot day.
If you end up going to Machu Picchu, bring some hiking boots (If you plan on climbing Wayna Picchu). It's also helpful to bring layers if you go to Cusco or Lake Titicaca because of the high elevation and thus, the colder weather.
As for on the plane, bring some essential oils, and a journal to maintain self care when away. Bring a refillable water bottle (I love my BKR one) so that you can stay hydrated while exploring!
What are you most excited about when visiting Peru?