Peru is one of the most colourful countries I have ever been too, with its endless market stalls, handmade crafts, jewelry and famous alpaca and llama wool which is used to made beautiful clothing its no wonder I call this my happy hippie place. As you walk through the markets you are struck with the wide arrange of colorful trinkets, crafts and souvenirs. Dream catches, bracelets, bags and beautiful handmade silver jewelry.
When I first touched down in Peru’s main capital – lima, like most of you will probably do, I was in awe with the amount of moderation in the city, not only is lima a huge place to visit, but also is home to so many different new and modern shopping malls, food stalls and hotels. But the best part is you can escape this hot tourist spot if you feel the need to experience the true Peruvian experience. Mariflores is the main tourist hotspot. This area is the more upper class part of town. Its safe, and really beautiful, you can find a range of local backpackers and pay less than $10 AUD a night, apparentness and hotels are also on every corner for a well price between $35-100 AUD. If you’re a solo traveller or couple looking to relax a littler more, I would strongly suggest Mairf,lore as it defiantly feels safer and more laid back.
If you happen to be extremely into the whole cultural experience, or travelling in a larger group and willing to see the outside parts of town then there are so super cheap and beautiful spots more inland off the coats. My only advice is in these areas is you will probably find more alarms going off, see more run down and dodgy building and you wouldn’t want to look like a tourist in these areas. So dress to fit in and I would highly recommend you know more than basic Spanish in these areas.
In lima you will find two main shopping malls, there a beautiful upper class (and super experience) shopping mall call “ “ this mall is beautiful and located right on a cliffs edge over looking the water and I would defiantly recommend going here for a lunch or dinner. They also have one of the best movie cinemas at this mall.
There is a larger mall around a 20 minutes drive (roughly 20 soles = around $10 AUD) from Mairfloes and I loved! This mall, defiantly a beautiful place to wonder around on a wet day or if you feel like reconnecting with your inner shopper (I may have gone a littler over crazy in H&M and needed to throw out clothing to make room for the new ones) this mall is massive and has everything!
Once you have had your shopping fix you can go and explore the local market places. You will find the best deals and souvenirs at a complex similar to a factory outlet like mall you may have at home where you can not only get rip off brand copies of shoes, bags and other stuff but you can find super cheap souvenirs. Its called “ “ now I didn’t venture to this place, although I desperately wanted too, I was informed it can be classified as unsafe for young solo travellers. Considering I was new to this whole solo traveller thing, I wanted to play it safe. BUT if you go with another person, or in a small group I was told you will be fine!
As we move more into the city town you will find a range of museums and historical monuments. For the price of around 20 soles (roughly $10 AUD) you can find the catacombs which are located In an old church with the bones of deceased people that where buried in the church. I totally didn’t think that I would see so many bones! But if you like that sort of thing, its defiantly interesting! You can’t take photos, but I was sneaky and hung back from the group and took a sneaky few!
Another activity is to walk through the city squares, you will see beautiful statues, and water features and can visit one of the many pubs and restaurants along the way. Make sure you try the local drink: Pisco sour! I had a yummy one that was nice and sweet and was amazing! Tasted like sherbet!
You will not only see bars offering pisco sour but you will also see a range of churro stalls – now if you don’t know what a churro is, Google it! They are amazing!!!! The ones in Peru are covered in sugar and have a Carmel infill – SO AMAZING!
For a finishing point when travelling through lima, make sure you try the local foods, which range from beans and rice (sound boring but tastes amazing! So many flavors) there’s also a creaming chicken dish, which is beautiful! Lima is a nice city to start off your travellers in peru, and if you can I would recommend between 2-5 days here. Have a look at the things you want to do and see, it’s a beautiful town and not only did I feel extremely safe, but I also really enjoyed the friendlies of the locals, everyone smiles and try’s to talk to you in peru (I cant speak any Spanish so I felt a bit rude at times) so if you can try to learn few phrases, it wont only make your life so much easier getting around, but will also add to your cultural experience!