Hotel Review: The Dazzler Lima
+ Nice hotel
+ Includes breakfast and wifi
+ English speaking staff that is very helpful when needing directions, taxis, etc.
+ Walking distance from Kennedy Park
+ Two blocks from a market, made it easy to stock the room with bottled water and snacks
+ They offered us a welcome drink on the patio bar, we choose a passion fruit pisco sour
Driving in Lima: taxis are extremely cheap in all of Peru and we didn’t find a need to rent a car, however, rush hour traffic is very crazy so prepare yourself for a bumpy ride. In fact lane lines are really just a minor suggestion in Lima and it’s likely you’ll have multiple cars trying to squeeze into tight spaces. I would have been extremely uncomfortable driving in this mess. Not to mention every car was a stick shift. No thanks.
Crossing the road is also an adventure. Make sure to look both ways at all times. It really is like playing a game of frogger.
If you’re planning on taking a taxi everywhere, Lima does have Uber. We found that our Uber drivers tended to be younger in age and better at speaking English. Also we liked the option to track their location and see a price (avoiding the negotiation portion).
Things to do in Lima:
Kennedy Park – this is a great park if you’re just looking to check out a city square. It is surrounded by a number of restaurant including some American options too (Starbucks, Subway, and KFC). There are also many street cats that live in this park.
La Rosa Nautica – this restaurant is all the way out on the pier over the Southern Pacific Ocean ask for Guillermo as he is very knowledgeable and speaks great English, he even lived in Florida for 10 years. Order a double pisco sour and the chiveche. At home I NEVER order any type of seafood, but you can’t travel to a new country and not try the local cuisine. In Lima you’ve got to try the chiveche, in fact go for the chiveche trio and work your way from the tiger milk, to the cilantro, and finally the chili flakes. I do have admit, it was pretty tasty.
If you like surfing you’ll find many surf board rentals and even surf lessons available at this beach area. The beach is all rocks though so we didn’t hangout too long.
Catacombs at the Church de San Francisco – this church is located in the Plaza de Armas. When you walk in you’ll pay a small admittance fee of 3 sol and they’ll ask you to wait in the lobby. Your admittance fee includes a small tour that lasts approximately 45min. This is because you are not able to wonder the catacombs alone. The beginning of the tour is a through the church and the library. After that your guide will take you underground into the catacombs. They have skulls and bones on display and you’ll learn about the history of how they hurried bodies below the church.
Dunkin’ Donuts – when in doubt, find a Dunkin’ Donuts, buy a donut for 1.5 sol and get the wifi password.
T’anta Restaurant – next to Dunkin’ Donuts we found this place and had a quick bite while waiting for our Uber. The food was great, and the square area it is located in is very charming and quiet.
Houlihan’s Irish Bar & Restaurant – Lima is known to be a bit of a party city, we found a street with a few bars and decided to stop in. Here the wait staffed seemed to be very turned off by our English speaking. We met two locals who tried to order us drinks twice and the staff never brought them. They told us things move slower for English speakers. Eventually we got a drink and left.
Afterwards we walked back to Kennedy Square and decided to hit the first bar we saw with loud music. We stopped by two karaoke bars but they wanted a 30 sol cover charge per person. The third bar we found had disco lights and loud music, when we walked to the door a guy stopped us and told us we didn’t want to go in there. It was a strip club.
Eventually we walked down a side street and found a bar with no cover. It was everything you’d except from a disco except the crowd seemed very young and drinks were expensive. My suggestion is to find a bar and pay the cover to enjoy a better location and better crowd.