Our last couple days in Lima were spent in the tourist district of Miraflores, and in the historic downtown area. We moved from our AirBNB in Magadalena Del Mar to a small hostel on a side street in a residential area. It was the first time our family had ever stayed in a hostel, and we all enjoyed the experience. We met several other travelers from different parts of the world and enjoyed getting to know them and their travel experiences. Our hostel mates were a wealth of knowledge on local travel and the surrounding area. It was nice to go back to the hostel at the end of the day and see friendly, familiar faces.
I have to admit when we first crossed over the invisible line between the district of Magdelena del Mar into Miraflores, in a blink of an eye, we were in a different world. Miraflores very much has a South Beach, Miami feel to it. Condo buildings, walking boulevards, high end shops, parks and cafes over looking the Pacific Ocean. We visited the high end Larcomar Mall build into the side of the cliff facing the Pacific Ocean. Much of our time was spent walking the streets and enjoying the parks and beautiful surroundings. Sydney’s favourite part of Miraflores was Parque Kennedy. A busy central park that is home to a hundred or more cats. A small group of residents catch the cats, have them spayed or neutered, and vaccinate them. There is also an adoption area set up in the square.
Historical Downtown Lima
A couple miles away from Miraflores is the historical downtown Lima. A beautiful main square called Plaza des Armas, it is surrounded by 17th and 18th century buildings and churches. The area is known for the over 1500 balconies that overlook the square and the streets around it. There is a lengthy pedestrian walk filled with stores, and restaurants that you can spend the day walking around. The highlight of our visit downtown was the Convento de San Francisco. The stunning church complex was consecrated in 1673, has a library straight out of Harry Potter and catacombs that were discovered in 1943 with over 25000 bodies that were laid to rest. The S.10 tour which was given in English, allowed us to explore most of the large monastery. Photographs are not allowed to be taken within the walls of the church, so we have none to share with you, but is a must see on any trip to Lima.
Next stop on our adventure is the Paracas, a beach town on the shores of Peru. The “Poor Man’s Galapagos” gave us stunning views of the uninhabited Islas Ballestas and a chance to view sea-lions, penguins, and even a couple dolphins.
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