July is still affected by several riots, manifestations, strikes, disorder… originated by teachers from public schools and also from doctors from public hospitals… Demands and complaints are valid for those who feel that the government is not supporting them nor fullfilling their promises.

These events are not new. Every year or every other year we experience this. In Peru we are not yet realizing how important are the teachers for a good education or the doctors for healthy children and population.  And we, the people working in tourism, have to deal every year in changing programs, re-organizing itineraries, deleting everything to arrange it all again… not to tell all the costs involved in the destructions that these people are originating.

There are travellers with very good mood about changes and who have the positive energy in just saying that it is part of the adventure; but of course, some of the travellers feel the discomfort of awaking earlier to go the train station before the protestants block the roads and rails.  Different moods can be felt after waiting for more than 5 hours at a station to try catch the train if these people allow it. Guides and those facing the trip arrangements have to deal with very positive attitude and compensate in unimaginable ways….
After working in tourism for more than 20 years, this is so familiar to me… and to tell the truth, I have seen much more travellers with good attitude than those complaining. I would not like to send a message that we will like to continue in this unfairness.  Every citizen in each region should know and realise what is best for their community and I am pretty sure, they know that while they are demanding something, they are damaging their own community.  Peru is a country that is still developing in several ways.  We all hope that for good, the circumstances improve.
For those planning a trip to Peru, be prepared in experiencing a strike, or some time waiting, or some last minute change, or walk during a couple of miles from airport to your hotel.  Our tip: bring with you your flexibility and adventurous part : )  Just a thing that should be clear, here you are safe.  Either your trip to Peru with or without changes in your itinerary, you will feel the Peru flavour.

 

Thank you for considering a visit to one of the most important capital cities in South America, and the entrance to several great destinations in Peru. If you are stopping in Lima, give it a chance.  Probably you have received several mixed thoughts.  Of course, my point of view will go along the positive side.  Please, visit Lima, and your reply after it, will be “Thank you for your advice”.

 

I am sure, that if you are on a cultural trip to experience the Andean world, the ancient civilizations, the wonders of the jungle, and history of this land, you may not be thinking in Lima. Sure, Lima is nothing related to this. It is a big city where you might experience a chaotic traffic and big buildings as any modern city.

But what makes it special?  Why should I bother visiting Lima?  My best recommendation is to visit Lima when you just arrived the country. It is a great introduction to the Peruvian society, economic growth, cultural quirks and multiculturalism.  From here, and after understanding a bit of this, you can move on.

 

Now, in order not to make it larger for the answer… Allow at least 4 hours to enter the city if you are making a connection. Come on! Don’t stay at the airport!  Make it worthwhile either visiting the Historic Area which is protected and declared a World Heritage by UNESCO or one of its museums, either the Larco Museum or the National Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.   If you have 6 hours… mix the Historic Centre and one museum…. Hey! Allow a full day and stay in a wonderful hotel in the area of Miraflores, overlooking the Pacific Ocean, and enjoy the Peruvian gastronomy, mixing your visits to the Historic area, a museum and one of the 200 Pre-Hispanic archaeological sites in the city! Pyramids of more than 2,000 years next to the modern apartments.

Of course not, a full day is not enough.  Stay two nights and enjoy the Bohemian district of Barranco where you can visit one of the best coffee laboratories to try the exclusive Peruvian coffee and more, learn how to prepare handcrafted bread.  Peru is proud to have several bread types which are pleasures for the senses.  So, my general recommendation, stay at least two full days to explore this city which is mixed with ancient heritage, traditions, good food, and experiences that will enhance your visit to Peru.

 

 
In Lima we have the honor of having the 5th, 8th and 33th best restaurants in the world.  Should we really have to book one of these to enjoy the great food we offer?

I talk constantly with travelers around the world that visit Lima and book one of these restaurants and I have mixed feedback: half say they where superb and spectacular, 25% of them say it was just fine and 25% rated them as really bad. I consider that a lot of that has to do with their expectations… as if you are aware you are visiting such a high recognized place, then, it should be an amazing experience in food and service.

Please, be aware that all Peruvian chefs have access to all the natural wonders of ingredients we can count on to cook delicious meals without the need of presenting them in a gourmet style.  There are several places in Lima, without need to be in a list, where yo can just stop by and enjoy. A usual tip: check if there are busy tables, an easy proof that it is a good place.

The market is a location where you can get to know the flavours of the several endemic fruits we produce, and to taste them in its natural phase, is wonderful. In Miraflores, if your hotel is around, I suggest: El Pez On and El Punto Azul for seafood and good ceviches. For creole food, I suggest: Las Brujas de Cachiche and Rincon Chami. For sushi and Peruvian-Japanese: Edo Sushi Bar; for Peruvian-Chinese:  Wa Lok… for Peruvian sandwiches and natural juices: La Lucha (in Larcomar and Parque Kennedy in Miraflores)…  if you need more recommendations.. list can be unlimited… explore the city and follow your instinct…

On the other side, if you would like to enjoy the gourmet restaurants in the list, please, book them in advance (month early to your visit). I have visited them as well, and I cannot deny the experience and proposal of each chef was really creative, innovative, elegant, delicious, and wonderful. I am sure I can give more adjectives if I would have more vocabulary.

Bon appetite!

You should proof yourself.  Is not only that its top restaurant, Central, has been in the last 3 years within the World 50 Best Restaurants; this year, Maido, in the 8th; and Astrid & Gaston in the 33rd place… but you can also go to any recommended restaurant in Lima and you can still have a great experience in your lunch or dinner, or, even in your breakfast at your hotel.
How, in the last years (about 10?), we have grown so far? Our food was not discovered? It seemed to. Peruvians are happy to thank Mr. Gaston Acurio for this achievements, as he was the leader of this movements when he moved to Paris to have culinary studies at Le Cordon Bleu. Once back, he developed the Peruvian ingredients with all new tendencies and glamour to offer the Peruvian dishes at a higher level. More chefs of course learnt and were involved after that.
Another big social movement involved in this culinary and restaurant stuff was all the process in having our ingredients grown in remote areas to arrive in a restaurant in the capital of Peru, Lima.  Peru is a very diverse country with difficult geography making transportation and logistics a big issue. All the farmers and workers involved in this chain were now moved to the big scene, and not behind… That also made all the population to move eyes and see the whole activity, acknowledging that there are several personalities in the process.
If you do not get a table confirmed at Central Restaurant, do not be dissapointed!  Lima and in general all the cities and towns in Peru have plenty of top qualified restaurants that I am sure you will be more than satisfied.  We are the mentors not only in Lima, but in all Peru, as we have visited most of the restaurants and hidden places to suggest the best.  As we are pretty sure that Lima is one of the best Food Cities in the World, we offer the travelers experiences including visit of markets, visit of towns to taste local deserts and traditional recipes, encounters with chefs, and getting to know more why Peruvian food is every day more and more recognised. 
 
I live in Lima and cannot stop trying different restaurants and new options to always suggest my guests, this includes a good coffee shop (the best ones are those offering grains brought from the Central and Northern cloudforest of Peru, areas like Cajamarca and Amazonas), the best cevicherias (for sea food), the best sushi bars (Lima is known as the best city to have sushi in South America), the best place to have a traditional Peruvian restaurant (with fried sweet potatoe, tamales, deep fried pork, etc), and so, on, I will not stop..
 
If you don’t like museums, archaeological sites, historic sites, cultural exhibitions, historic heritage, ocean views, architecture… you can still visit Lima for several days to enjoy its food!
It is hard to believe and painful to know how thousands had lost all their properties and hard work of years in just minutes.  The whole country has been alert to watch the news every day.  The constant dramatic scenes of severe flooding affecting people, roads, communities, crops, constructions, bridges and so on were part of our days almost during three weeks.  The Peruvian government, big enterprises, international cooperation, governments from around the world, small companies, families, and just every single person are still sending help. Under a hashtag originated by the government #unasolafuerza or “One United Force” we were all posting and commenting the events, the help, the actions taken, the forecast of possible future rains, etc.  The idea was to direct all the help under one big organisation managed by the government.  Under my impression a good work, with some flaws of course, but the private companies and organisations have been there supporting other areas and communities where help was not arriving.