It is without a doubt that Lima, Peru’s capital has many things to offer: history, culture, style, and food. This beautiful city has many things for tourists to do, for example, breath-taking beach walks, hikes, excursions, mountain climbing, jungle excursions, and many more.
Here are the 10 things you should know prior to your trip to Lima.
- Cash is King, Preferably in Small Bills
It is normal for travelers in less trafficked parts of the world to often find businesses that won’t accept Visa or MasterCard. Most Peruvians prefer their soles (the local currency being nuevo sol) in small denominations. A fifty (approximately $20) is OK, but denominations of twenty and below are better to enable merchants make change. That noted, ensure that your foreign currency is in good shape, as many hotels and merchants will refuse overly worn or torn bills.
- Eat Locally
While it may seem easier to get your fresh groceries from Wong or Metro, Peru’s large chains of supermarkets, it is best to buy them from local mercados when possible. In this manner, you’re assisting local families, and you can directly see where your money is going. In addition, they are cheaper than the giant supermarkets.
- Ceviche for Lunch
Peru has a wide range of seafood options with ceviche being the most popular dish, a must-try for any traveler. To enjoy Lima’s freshest seafood like a local, have it for lunch, just after the morning’s catch gets unloaded at the restaurants. In Lima, globally famed La Mar is an outstanding place to try it.
- Don’t Expect Things to be Done Promptly
Life is a bit slower here. Peru will undoubtedly be a change for you if you like a fast-moving lifestyle. From working with other Peruvians to ordering food, expect things to be done slowly. When you go to Lima, life is generally slow and moving deeper into the jungle and further north, things get even slower.
- Know your Seasons
Lima’s climate features a dry season, which starts in April and ends in October, and a rainy season that runs the remaining part of the year. The rainy season doesn’t rain all day, but heavy rainfall is experienced for an hour or two daily. The dry season has no rain at all. However, it is more appealing to tourists, which translates to more crowds and increased lodging prices in many places around Lima.
- Bathroom Etiquette
Toilet papers are dumped NOT the toilet but in the trash. This might feel a bit unpleasing, but it is better than having to clean up after clogging the toilet. This is because Peru’s pipes are tiny hence a lot of things can’t pass through.
- Traveling Around Lima
Flights are readily available around Peru; however, most of the flights take place in and out of Lima. To get around Lima, you can use taxis, cars, buses, or Kombis. Kombis are small buses that carry many people at lower prices. You can also opt to ride a bike alongside many other Peruvian motorists.
- There Is More to Peru than the Incas
Majority of tourists come to Peru to see Machu Picchu or other ruins of the Incas. The Incas history is incredible, but Peru has a history that goes deeper than the Incas. If you want a refreshing walk outside the city, a visit to Lomas de Lachay, a national reserve in the Lima area with beautiful flora and fauna will do the trick.
- Try Some Coca Leaves
Yes, coca leaves form part of the active ingredients in cocaine production, but no, they are not the same! Coca leaves usually contain alkaloid cocaine of less than 1%, and the feeling you get is similar to that of a nice cup of coffee. These leaves have been chewed for centuries by indigenous people in Peru and are known to suppress hunger and fatigue while at the same time reduces altitude sickness. While taking a challenging hike, don’t shy away from some coca leaves that your guide may offer you.
10. It is Accepted to Bargain
This may not work in certain situations, for example, don’t bargain your museum fee or restaurant bill. However, in many souvenir shops or open-air markets, it is totally acceptable and expected. As a traveler, vendors will typically start you at a higher price hoping you will pay without bargaining. Don’t fall for it. You will be surprised to get 50% off some quoted prices.
Source: Antony K.
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