For many, Lima is simply a stopover city on the way to see Machu Picchu or the Peruvian countryside. But dig a little deeper and it can be a very interesting city in itself. Below are 7 traveller tips for visiting Lima.
1. Lima is BIG
Lima has a population approaching 10 million people, and is the 5th largest city in Latin America (larger than Rio de Janeiro). It is by far the largest city in Peru. Approximately one third of the country´s population lives in Lima. But don´t be overwhelmed, start in the Miraflores district and take it from there.
2. Limeños are very proud of their food
You will most likely enjoy Lima´s culinary delights. In order to make friends, be sure to tell the locals that their food is fantastic. They are extremely proud of their food and love to hear that it is the best in South America – many people think it is!
3. Taxis are cheap, but take care
Taxis are an extremely cheap way to get around the city. The fare should be negotiated with the driver before entering the cab – the first price offered will rarely be a fair one! However, Lima´s taxis are not well regulated, if at all. Many locals will simply put a “TAXI” sticker on their windshield to earn some extra soles in the evenings. For safety reasons, these vehicles should be avoided. Look for a taxi from an agency, with the company´s phone number displayed on the car´s exterior.
4. There is more to the city than Miraflores
Most tourists tend to gravitate towards the Miraflores district. While it is probably the best place to stay in the city, don´t limit yourself to this neighborhood. For nightlife, cafes, and culture, check out the nearby Barranco district. For impressive government buildings and plazas, take a look at the Historic Centre of Lima. For shopping, take a short taxi ride to the Jockey Plaza complex.
5. Lima means "Lemon" in English!
That´s right, you are visiting the city of Lemon.
6. In winter, locals refer to the city as "Grey Lima"
In summertime, Lima is hot and sunny with blue skies. During the winter months however, we see why the locals refer to the city as “Lima gris”, or Grey Lima. Temperatures are relatively cool, and the sky remains dull and grey throughout. Lima can be extremely humid. That said, it never properly rains in the city. The occasional misty rain is the wettest you are likely to get.
7. Limeños love their football
Like anywhere in South America, the locals are crazy about football (soccer). The two biggest clubs in the city are Allianza Lima and Universitario, commonly referred to as La U. Don´t miss the chance to see a local derby match, but preferably from a safe distance. Passions run high amongst rival supporters!