We wanted to appreciate Lima more, so Fernando found on Trip Advisor a private walking tour called Peruvian Local Friend. It is a small and growing business, and we like supporting those ;).
Via email, we communicated a list of things we wanted to learn and experience. We pretty much got to do evening we wanted in a five hour walking tour.
Sandra and Alonso meet us at our hotel in Miraflores.
The first thing on our list was visiting a local mercado, and learn about local Peruvian produce and foods. Sandra likes to cook and this comes through as she comfortably describes the various fruits, chilies and other foods such as intestines, meat products, and typical preparations. It was great! It’s a bit intimidating going to these sorts of places and extremely nice having a friend take you.
Then we walked through a handicraft market and learned about some local crafts.
We walked through the Miraflores neighborhood and learned about that, as well as the adjacent upscale San Isidro neighborhood. We heard about Peru and Lima’s history, politics, current events, real estate and their booming economy.
We went by the ruins, Huaca Pucllana of the Lima Culture, a pre-Incan civilization. Lima has two ancient ruin sites inside the city, and probably more to be discovered.
We even took the (very) local bus together (which we wouldn’t know how or have courage to) together. It was only S/.1 or 38¢ each. We learned that on Sundays, even in this metropolis, they close major boulevard of Arequipa for biking! An influence of Columbia’s Ciclovia.
One of our desired to-do’s was to eat at a local/non-touristy restaurant with a menu (menu of the day) for lunch. We wanted to eat where the locals eat. Sandra took us to a great place where you could get an appetizer of the day, entree of the day, and drink for S/.8.50 – wow! Just under $3.25 each for a home cooked meal! Fernando had these wonton wrappers with a bit of cream cheese and Coca Cola cooked Chicken with rice. I had a local version of minestrone soup and pork with garbanzo beans and rice. Lunch came with starfruit juice, yum. We were really full! It’s so nice to have locals take you around. Best meal for the best price so far. We were the only foreigners in there – cheap and good, our favorite type of cuisine.
After lunch we took a stroll that turned into quite a walk even for Fernando. We walked from Miraflores to the next neighborhood of Barranco, walking and chatting. We learned that Miraflores used to have lots of old beautiful homes that have been demo-ed for high rise residential. Alternatively, Barranco has historic preservation and it’s much quieter and has historic homes.
We parted ways after the tour at the El Metropolitano (rapid bus transit system with dedicated lane, S/.2 but need to buy a refillable card for S/.4.5) and all took the bus home.