As old as Lima itself is Casa de Aliaga, a 480-year-old mansion located in the heart of El Centro, the capital city’s historic district. Casa de Aliaga’s story started when Spanish conquistador Don Francisco Pizarro established Lima as Peru’s capital city on Jan. 18, 1535. Because friends make the best neighbors, Pizarro gave the piece of land adjacent to the Plaza de Armas to his ally Jerónimo de Aliaga.
Photo: Lorena Flores Aguero
Lima can be a crazily hectic, incredibly busy city. When I want to reconnect with nature and have a few moments of peace, I head to the Pacific. For some reason, the sea always brings me solace.
One of my favorite times to head there is just before dusk, when the ocean and the sun meet briefly to steal away a goodnight kiss.
The way the sun sets the sky ablaze in fiery reds and oranges really is unparalleled. While you can catch this Pacific sunset anywhere along the 1,400 miles (2,250 km) of Peru’s pristine coastline, there’s something really special about Lima’s.
Photo: McKay Savage
Between shuttling from the plane to your hotel suite to the boardroom, more often than not, business travel is anything but a vacation. No matter how exotic the location, for businessmen and women, trips abroad often consist of back-to-back meetings sandwiched in between long flights.
To break up the monotony and even get inspired, it’s important to stretch your legs, get a little fresh air and take in the culture of the places you are visiting.
If you are coming to Peru for a business trip, chances are you will be stationed in the capital, Lima. This sprawling metropolis of nine million inhabitants provides the perfect opportunity to experience the city a few hours at a time.
Peru Pro Tip: Check out our guide to the Peruvian Power Lunch for tips on how to have a successful and memorable business lunch.
Photo: Ken Bosma
In order to really take in everything Machu Picchu and the surrounding Cusco region have to offer – their Andean peaks, Inca ruins and seemingly endless adventure – you’d have to spend weeks in the area. While experiencing the ins and outs of the region is worth it, the truth is, most vacationers don’t have that kind of time. The good news is, a trip to Machu Picchu doesn’t have to be all or nothing. If you are just passing through Peru on a business trip or a long layover, you can make it to Machu Picchu and back to Lima for your flight home in less time than it’ll take you to binge watch the first two seasons of “Friends.”
Note: LAN has flexible flight times that can suit even the tightest of vacation plans. This is a mock itinerary meant to show you that Machu Picchu is a possible feat even on the shortest of time budgets. Feel free to copy it and change the times and activities to suit your needs.
Photo: Troy Tolley, RPP and Toshiyuki IMAI (left to right)
Argentina and Chile are world-renowned for their wine. In Brazil cachaça, made from sugarcane, is king. For Colombia, the liquor of choice is an anise-flavored aguardiente. And in Peru, our national trago is a grape-derived brandy called pisco.
Peruvians often add a little local flair to traditional cocktails by holding the rum (in say a mojito) or forgoing the tequila (in a margarita), opting instead for a pour of pisco. And while this Peruvianizes just about any drink, it’s not nearly as authentic as one of Peru’s favorite cocktails, the chilcano.
There are few reasons I would ever post a photo of myself in a bikini … on the internet … for all the world to see. After all, the internet is forever and I’m not sure I want the anthropologists of 3014 seeing my bum. That said, I can name a few reasons and proof that I shredded waves in the Pacific Ocean is one of them.
Photo: Ryan Hyde
For the last 20 years, nearly 200 heads of state have met annually to discuss how climate change is impacting the world in which we live. This year, the Conference of the Parties (COP) joined together for 12 days in Lima, Peru to hash out how participating countries can reduce their greenhouse emissions.
The COP20 conference just came to an end and it got me thinking – what ways can each of us pitch in? While there are measures each of us can take at home, there are also steps we can take while we are on the road.
New Year’s Eve is quickly approaching, which means if you’re coming to Peru for the festivities, you should start making plans for how you’ll say goodbye to 2014 and ring in 2015 now.
The epicenters for New Year’s Eve celebrations in Peru are Lima and Cusco, though parties and festivals go down in every city throughout the Andean nation. For a no-frills celebration, reach out to your hostel or hotel to ask what it has planned. Depending on the property, you can expect everything from a simple champagne toast at midnight to a raging party that continues into the wee hours of the morning.
If hitting the bars and clubs is more your thing, keep reading.
Photo: Casa Cor Peru
The seashell-colored house sits on Calle Cajamarca in Barranco, one of Lima, Peru’s most fashionable locales. A neighborhood fixture since 1917, it’s not hard to look at the 12,000-square-foot mansion and imagine the roaring 20s. If these walls could talk, I’m sure they’d tell of elegant women clad in flapper dresses attending glamorous galas and puffing smoke in dimly lit hallways until the wee hours of the morning. Despite its regal appearance today, however, Palacete Sousa, as it is named, is the house that almost wasn’t. Enter Casa Cor.
Alakazam, alakazoo, witches roam the streets of Lima, Peru.
With Halloween just around the corner, I decided to head to Lima’s Mercado de las Brujas, or Witches’ Market. While these witches don’t wear pointed hats or fly on broomsticks, they do cook up powerful potions and folk remedies said to cure everything from a hangover to a broken heart.
America’s love affair with watching grown men pummel each other as they outrun their opponents while carrying a prolate spheroid a few dozen yards is still an alien concept in much of the world. Peru is no different. Here fútbol is king; football, not so much. But for the sports fans to whom Sundays are sacred, their dedication to the football doesn’t go on vacation — even when they find themselves in a foreign country.
“Perdoname,” I said, interrupting a shopkeeper organizing miniature versions of Machu Picchu. “Tiene La Ultima Cena con el cuy.” He didn’t, so, I exited what must’ve been the twentieth store I asked, sighing, “Oh well. On to the 21st.”
I did finally hunt down the Cusqueñan version of the Last Supper painting my mother requested and now has framed in her living room, but it wasn’t without my fair share of begging, asking, demanding, searching and, of course, haggling.
Photo: Mark Fischer
Between the expansive coastal desert, the snowcapped mountains that stretch towards the sky and the verdant forests that make up the Amazon jungle, Peru is one of the most visually interesting countries in Latin America. Alongside its diverse landscape and culture is an equally varied climate.
All of this can make packing for an adventure in Peru a bit tricky. But fear not; there is an art to making sure all the essentials make it in your suitcase, while still leaving space for the knickknacks you collect along your journey.
Peru may not have a spot in the world’s biggest soccer tournament, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a stake in the games. Sports fanatics from around the world – be they born and bred locals, relocated expats or travelers just passing through – are aligning themselves with countries like this is a no-holds barred game of Risk. Whether they’re gunning for the host country’s canary yellow and green or just in it because of bets on who will take a bite out of the competition, people in Peru are pledging allegiance and cheering their hearts out for El Mundial.
National Vegetarian Week just ended, and what better way to commemorate eating green than with a vegetarian guide to Peru. I became a strict vegetarian two decades ago and when I moved to Peru, finding food to suit my lifestyle was among my concerns. Vegetarians fit in surprisingly well in a culture that loves all things beef, chicken and sea food.
A knickknack for grandma; a t-shirt for dad; a handful of key chains for the coworkers; and of course a bounty for yourself. Shopping is one of many vacation pastimes, but when in Lima there’s no reasoan to limit it solely to souvenir shops or the Inka Market. Sometimes, venturing beyond the obvious places can mean finding a unique treasure that has more meaning and a better back story than Peruvian-themed shot glasses or woven llama magnets.
The Spanish may have been the first to emigrate to Peru, but they certainly weren’t the last. Perhaps it’s the eternal spring along the coast, or maybe its the rich history and culture that draw the international crowd. Whatever it is, people from all over the globe have been leaving their native lands and calling Peru home for more than half a millennium and with each group comes their traditions, their culture and, of course, their food.
Photo: Diego Escalante Urrelo
Revelers around the world celebrating the Chinese New Year recently rang in the Year of the Horse and among them were Peruvians, many of whom have ties to the Asian nation. One might not think of the Chinese having an influence on a culture half a world away, but in Peru, Chinese traditions touch many parts of everyday life, with perhaps the most popular being food.
The Park of the Reserve, located in downtown Lima, became an important tourism attraction after the municipal government transformed it into a colorful experience of water and lights. There are 13 fountains in the park and the largest one is called Magic Fountain. With its 80 m in height it is also considered the “World’s largest fountain complex in a public park” by the Guinness Book Of World Records.
Photo: William Reed Business Media
The folks behind The World’s 50 Best Restaurants – an annual snapshot of the world’s best restaurants based on a taste buds of internationally recognized food experts – created a Latin American spin off which includes South America, Central America and the Caribbean region. This year, the ceremony took place in Lima. The excitement was even greater when they announced 1st place. The prestigious title went to the famous Peruvian restaurant Astrid & Gastón.
I feel my city is getting more and more exciting each year. Now that winter has arrived and people can’t admit the summer party is over, bars start opening their doors, some for the very first time.
Check out the hottest new bars and some that have already become classics in the city of kings:
The coast, the mountains and the jungle make Peru one of Mother Nature’s most impressive playgrounds and for the extreme sports junkies of the world, this vast and varied landscape is the ideal launchpad for a range adrenaline inducing adventures.
Did you know that Lima hosts the largest gastronomy fair in South America called Mistura? Last September this iconic event attracted half a million visitors and this year they are expecting around one million!
This 10-day fiesta welcomes cooks, bakers, street food vendors, sweet vendors, restaurants, culinary institutes, patrons, and many more.
Photo: Karina Dávila
If you are a nature lover and would like to observe some of the most amazing marine fauna, head to northern Peru. There you will be able to relax and recharge your batteries to continue the journey.
Los Organos, located around 1200 km north of Lima, has a heavenly beach where you can surf and try local sea food. From August to October you can see Humpback Whales (Megaptera novaeangliae), which arrive in Peruvian waters for breeding and calving.
Photo: Thomas S.
Peruvian Pisco Sour is a national cocktail that you must try as soon as you arrive to Peru. It has become a welcome drink of our country. If you want a taste, you can also try a shot of its base liquor Quebranta Pisco.
What is the history behind this Peruvian grape-based liquor?
Photo: La Bodega Verde
Lima is a huge city with a population of almost 9 million “Limeños”. As in any big city there are interesting things happening all around. But where to go if you have a free day? Don’t worry, I will give you recommendations on culture, gastronomy, and nature that you can enjoy walking or by bike.