- Security is still a concern in Lima, although I didn't see anything bad happening on the street during the 2 days of my trip. Almost everybody recommended not to go walking to the street after 5pm. However, the exception is Miraflores and San Isidro which are the safest areas of town. I didn't find the central part of Lima dangerous at evening, and saw lots of people on the street. But the later it gets, the riskier it gets.
- For transportation, the hotel taxi/limo is probably the safest thing. However, it can be $10-$15 (USD) more expensive. I used Taxi Green , just call them on the phone or hire them at the airport. This is a very reputable company, and the few times I called they have been on time, including requesting airport pick up when I arrived to Lima, and transfer back to airport at 4am when I left. They have the option of a car or a VAN . Van is more expensive but holds a lot more cargo and passengers of course.
I wouldn't recommend taking a cab on the street, unless somebody is very familiar with Lima.
Sheraton Lima Hotel
Very nice 5 start hotel, right on the old part of central Lima (safe area until later at night). The building has a unique architecture, as it used to be a prison at some point.
The service is excellent; hotel personnel is very friendly and helpful.
The hotel offers a great breakfast, at strangely, a great price of about 36 soles. The breakfast is very complete, during the weekend they even offered Lomo Saltado , which doesn't cost less than 70 doles in a good restaurant.
I don't recall the name of the food in the picture above, but it was something very good similar to cheese sticks.
The hotel has a couple of ATM machines, one accepting international debit cards. Transaction cost is 14 soles ( almost 5 USD at the time of the trip ). It is convenient, not cheap. However, I don't expect anything to be cheap at a 5 star hotel..
The hotel offers FREE shuttle service to Miraflores, running every 2 hours.
The hotel amenities are very complete. A few I remember:
- Free internet in lobby
- Paid internet in room
- free water bottles
- safe box in room
- videt in restroom... awesome!
- Something missing is the coffee maker; it isn't available.
Also, when I checked in, they gave a voucher for one free coffee or soda per day, and one free Pisco Sour... pretty cool.
The hotel also accepts SPG points as payment for some services. I'm not sure whether this applies to all Sheraton or just for a few ones:
Parque de las Aguas
If you're lucky to be when the park opens in the evening, go and visit it. The park is very unique with beautiful water fountains. At night, there is a film projection using the water of the largest fountain as a screen.
Inside the park it felt very safe and there is many security personnel. However, I was still paying attention for pick pockets. Lots of people, it's a family environment.
The ticket to the park was 8 soles ($3), very well worth of it.
Tour of Lima
At the hotel, I signed up for a half a day tour, that starts on Miraflores, drives through this part of town, then San Isidro, and finally goes into central Lima where they make a walking tour on the old part of town.
The cost is $33 (one can pay it at the hotel, or later with credit card on the tour bus). It is really worth of it. The tour guide is very knowledgeable of Lima and speaks English and Spanish very well.
One of the tour highlights is the Monastery of San Francisco, a very old dominican building with catacombs. Pictures aren't allowed inside the monastery. The catacombs are very unique, as they were built in the church basement and are full of bones of people that passed away hundred of years ago.
Monastery San Francisco
When the tour ends, they can leave you at the hotel, at a very famous seafood restaurant in Miraflores, or at the unique shopping mall Larcomar, built on the cliff with ocean view.
Old Part of Lima (Lima Central)
|General San Martin, Peru's first liberator|
On the tour bus, by Plaza San Martín
Plaza de Armas
Change of guard at the Presidential Palace
|Justice Palace (Palacio de Justicia)|
Here lies a very old pyramid named Huaca Puclllana. It has been under restoration for more than 30 years, and only photo shots from the outside can be taken ( no entrance fee :-)
This pyramid is much older than the Incas, from about 200 AC.
Larcomar, shopping mall with ocean view