Peru’s capital is more than just a stopover en-route to Cusco or Arequipa. Lima’s star has risen and this city sparkles. Where else can you stroll along dramatic ocean-front boulevards and dine on world-class cuisine? Where else can you find edgy bohemian creativity among an ancient and ornate aesthetic? There’s so many things to do in Lima. Begin with Miraflores Park, A Belmond Hotel.
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Anyone who doubts the divinity of this dish need only take a seat at Pescados Capitales. The gorgeous coastal views on the short drive from the hotel set the scene splendidly. This is the place for ceviche.
Adventurous gastronomes may also enjoy Costanera 700—a Peruvian and Japanese fusion restaurant closer to home. This place has been a staple in the Miraflores dining scene for over 40 years. Their take on Peru’s national dish is to dine for.
Now you have a taste for the city, head to the colonial core to walk off lunch. The eye-catching architecture demands closer inspection and you’ll notice new details every time you look. The Church of San Francisco stands out for its canary yellow façade. Nearby you’ll also find Casa de Aliaga—the city’s oldest colonial mansion. Don’t forget to pause at the Mercado Inca for beautiful, handcrafted souvenirs.
Mario Testino has, of course, made a mark on his home city. The iconic photographer launched the Asociación Mario Testino (MATE) in 2012 to raise the profile of Peruvian artists. The gallery is both a centre for education and a platform for local creatives. There are many museums and galleries worth exploring in Lima, but this is not to be missed. You’ll also find prints from Mario’s own collection, so you can nod to Naomi and Kate on your way past.
The Ballestas Islands lie just off the coast of Paracas. Not only are they home to spectacular marine life, but you’ll also find one of Peru’s legendary geoglyphs carved into the rock. The three-pronged ‘Candelabra’ covers an area of 120m and can be seen from across the water. Set off from Miraflores Park on a guided tour and explore the stunning National Reserve. Then tuck into a sumptuous seafood lunch overlooking the ocean.
Surquillo market is in the neighbouring district just a short distance from the hotel. This is the perfect place to observe everyday Lima. Fresh produce towers towards the ceiling, while smiling vendors invite you to browse. If you enjoy authentic cooking, join our expert guide at the market to pick your favourite produce. Then head back to the hotel to cook-up a storm with our chef. You’ll have the opportunity to dine on your creation in Tragaluz after your class. There’s nothing quite like recreating your favourite new dishes at home.
No visit to Lima is complete without a stroll along the Malecón, a six-mile garden walkway on the coast. Sunset is the time to go. Take your sweet time as you make your way among hand-holding young lovers, city-slickers and mamas with strollers. The vibe is leisurely, the views are soothing and the ocean-breeze is refreshingly cool.
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