Posted by: Jessie Kwak | September 4, 2009

Why on earth would you spend nine days in Lima?

It was obvious that the driver who picked us up from the airport was used to tourists.  He spoke slowly and clearly in Spanish, pointing out different landmarks and helping us orient ourselves to the city.  He’s from the area, so I thought I’d ask him what we should do with our time in Lima.  I told him that we’d be here nine days.

He shot me an odd look.  “Well, in two days you can come to know Lima very well,” he said.  He described a schedule that sounded like it was lifted straight from a guidebook itinerary, then said that with all that extra time we could leave Lima and draw out our trip to Cuzco.  Why would anyone want to spend nine days in Lima?

Well, I’ll do my best to document just how one spends nine days in a massive, crazy, dirty metropolis of 8 million people.


Day 1:

Yesterday (Thursday Sept. 3) we saw absolutely nothing turistic whatsoever.  Instead, we wandered the streets of Miraflores and San Isidro for hours in search of train tickets, circus tickets, and fútbol tickets.  We got the first two, but were thwarted in our attempt to secure the last.  We got lost in the aisles of three major supermarket chains, scoped out the dingy interiors of a handful of backpacker hostels, wandered through pheremone-drenched cliffside “makeout parks,” and were almost hit by more cars than I have ever been almost hit by in my life.*  All in all, a good day.

We ate tasty cheap Chinese food and bad cheap pizza, drank good Peruvian wine and truly horrible Italian wine.  We went searching for a fountain we’d seen at a distance, and ended up in the completely opposite direction, in a long narrow park that ran along the cliffs that overlook the Pacific Ocean.  One section of the park was ringed by a gently undulating mosaic bench that was adorned with snippets of love poetry, romantic images, and lock-lipped couples at discrete intervals.  On a pedestal in the center, two giant cement lovers embraced.

Later in our wanderings we came across a giant mall set into the cliffside beneath our feet, a Bellevue Square on steroids, complete with expensive clothing shops, an arcade, a Chili’s, a Tony Roma’s, and several high end restaurants whose patios jutted out from the cliff, leaving their diners suspended 300 feet above the breakers.


Today we hope to complete our quest for Peruvian fútbol.  Peru is playing Uruguay in a World Cup elimination match at 3pm, and if we can’t find tickets through the normal route (the local grocery store, oddly), we’ll just go to the stadium and look for scalpers.  Maybe eventually we’ll get around to seeing the tourist things….

Why would you not spend nine days in Lima?

*I can’t vouch for Rob, though.  He’s probably been almost hit by many more cars.



  1. Glad we can follow you kids. Sounds like you had a great wedding and you are having a marvelous honeymoon…..

  2. You made it to Peru! Awsesome. Consider your blog bookmarked.

    PS-If you want non-Incan lost cities adventures, check out the Moche and the Chimu of Northern Peru. The Moche worshipped the lobster and the Chimu literally made gay pottery.

  3. ¡Ustedes fueron al partido de fútbol! ¡Que bueno!

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