31 July 2018

Miraflores, Lima

I'm casting my mind back to last spring for the final post about our trip to Peru, when we travelled from Lima to Lake Titicaca, Puno, Cusco, Machu Picchu, the Sacred Valley, Puerto Maldonado, and back to Lima.  It was - like all our long-haul trips - a jam-packed itinerary with lots of 6am starts, hotels and internal flights.  Our penultimate stop was two days in the Peruvian Amazon, which was unlike anything I'd experienced before: spotting wild animals, sleeping in a rustic wooden lodge in the jungle, hiking through the humid rainforest and being bitten alive by mosquitoes.  It was a fantastic, unique experience (apart from the bites), but I was also glad to return to city life...  For our last three days, we continued exploring the capital, staying in the colourful, coastal district of Miraflores.

Fashion blogger Emma Louise Layla in Lima, Peru - travel blog

The food scene in Peru is off the scale.  Thanks to its diverse climate and geography, everything grows there, and we ate so many incredible things - from potatoes dipped in clay from a llama farmer in the Altiplano to tasting menus at one of the world's 50 best restaurants.  After landing back in Lima, we headed to the hotel, showered, dressed up in something which wasn't mozzie spray-drenched hiking gear, and went out for pisco sours before an excellent dinner at Rafael.

Bougainvillea in Lima, Peru - travel blog

Cycling through Miraflores in Lima, Peru - travel blog

Biblioteca, Barranco, Lima, Peru - travel blog

The next day, we hired bikes - my favourite way to discover new places (my favourite mode of transport full stop) - from the friendly dudes at Lima Bike Rental for a morning of exploring, stopping by the pre-Incan pyramid Huaca Pucllana and for seafood at La Rosa Náutica on the pier, and an afternoon cruising the coastline and the charming streets of the artsy Barranco district, including Peru's very own Bridge of Sighs, the Park of Love with its landscaped gardens, colourful mosaic tiles and Victor Delfin's kissing sculpture, and pottered around the cliffside Larcomar before sunset drinks.

Hibiscus flowers in Miraflores, Lima, Peru - travel blog

Colourful Miraflores Street in Lima, Peru - travel blog

Bikes in Lima, Peru - travel blog

On our second day, we hopped in an Uber to the Callao port and got on a small boat for the rather turbulent voyage to the Palomino Islands, to spot Humboldt penguins and snorkel with playful, noisy sea lions.  I'd never had sea sickness before - other than one nauseous afternoon docked for lunch in the Solent whilst doing my Competent Crew course, which was so mild I thought I was pretty much immune - but ooh let me tell me you, I am not.  I didn't feel too bad on the outbound trip - certainly better than the poor girl being sick, and the other poor girl who spent the next four hours in the foetal position - but after swimming in the cold water and getting back onto the boat, shivering and slowly bobbing through massive waves back to shore, I felt pretty horrendous.  It was still an ace experience and I'd do it again, but with lots of motion sickness medication.

Swimming with sea lions in Palomino Islands, Lima, Peru - travel blog

Palms and colourful windows in Miraflores in Lima, Peru - travel blog

Blue building in Barranco, Miraflores in Lima, Peru - travel blog

On our last day, we went back to see more of the historical centre and its eclectic mix of architecture, from the beautiful baroque Torre Tagle Palace to the grand Basilica Cathedral, San Francisco church and the Government Palace, complete with ceremonial marching band and hundreds of encircling birds.  Visitors often only briefly stay in Lima en route to Machu Picchu or on a whistle-stop tour of South America, but I'd recommend staying for a couple of days as there's plenty to see, plenty to do and plenty to eat.  Te veo pronto, Péru!


Miraflores rooftops in Lima, Peru - travel blog

Bougainvillea flowers in Lima, Peru - travel blog

Cycling around in Lima, Peru - travel blog

Penguins in Palomino Islands, Lima, Peru - travel blog

Colourful street art Miraflores in Lima, Peru - travel blog

Lighthouse at Miraflores in Lima, Peru - travel blog

Pink hibiscus in Lima, Peru - travel blog

Style blogger Emma Louise Layla in Lima, Peru - travel blog

Yellow wooden balcony in Lima, Peru - travel blog

Courtyard garden in Lima, Peru - travel blog

Flowers at Miraflores in Lima, Peru - travel blog

Blogger Emma Louise Layla at La Rosa Nautica in Lima, Peru - travel blog

Cocktails in Lima, Peru - travel blog

Palomino Islands, Lima, Peru - travel blog

Cycling in Miraflores in Lima, Peru - travel blog

Church in Lima, Peru - travel blog

Pink flowers in Lima, Peru - travel blog

Street life in Lima, Peru - travel blog

Edificio Weise in Lima, Peru - travel blog

Pucara bull in Lima Peru - travel blog

La Rosa Nautica in Lima, Peru - travel blog
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