I thought I had one full day to enjoy the craziness of Lima, but it turned out that I only had 4 hours to wander around. Whaatttt!!!??? :(. I arrived at Jorge Chávez International Airport around 4:00 pm and my hotel is located in Miraflores, an upmarket beachfront suburb of Lima. It was already dark but I was grateful that the other Jeff came along with me to explore the city. Since we only had limited time, we decided to just go to Plaza de Armas and Magic Circuit Water Park.
Lima is the capital of Peru. Practically at sea level, it is home to more than a quarter of Peruvians and the country’s largest city by far.The historic center of the city was declared a world Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1988 due to its large number of historical buildings dating from the Spanish colonial era.
Taxis in Lima don’t run on meters, so you need to haggle the price for the cab fare. Surprisingly, the taxi that we rode had free wifi but I didn’t bother to use it since I was busy looking through the streets of the city. Lima reminds me so much of Manila, except that the former is much cleaner. The traffic was crawling. Street vendors were everywhere, they weaved through the traffic selling different goods. Also, Peruvians drive like maniacs, even worse than Filipinos. (I think). Haha! The horn is used more than the brake and vehicles are dented like bumper cars. Thank God I’m used to Filipino drivers, otherwise I would have a heart attack. 😛 I was sitting on the front seat and I would unconsciously step my foot on my imaginary brake pedal. Haha! They were just blazing fast!
After battling an hour of traffic, we finally arrived at Plaza de Armas. The receptionist of the hotel had warned us about pickpockets on this area, so I was a bit cautious. I didn’t have high expectations for the Plaza since almost every town of Peru has one. However, I was pleasantly surprised by Lima’s Plaza de Armas. It is surrounded by gorgeous yellow buildings with a beautifully ornate iron fountain in the center of the square. We walked around the entire square snapping photos. You could see Lima’s former wealth visible in the old portion of the city. Many of the buildings have been renovated due to the numerous earthquakes but they still have the features of the Spanish colonial period. In Plaza de Armas (also called Plaza Mayor), many colonial buildings like the Presidential Palace and Lima Cathedral could also be found.
After a few minutes of walking through the Plaza, we were ready for another mind-blowing taxi adventure again. 😛 We went to the Magic Water Circuit Park, a water park with thirteen impressive fountains. It has been recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest water fountain park in the world. We wandered around enjoying all the beautiful and colorful water fountains. I actually walked through one tunnel fountain and I was totally impressed. The main highlight of the park was the fountain show. It had an amazing laser light choreographed into music and projected on to the mist of the main fountains. It was pretty good, though I like the one in Disneyland more. At one point of the show, they had images of Peruvian couples dancing as the fountain spurted up cascading to the rhythm of their traditional music.
The night ended after we ate at some local restaurant in Miraflores. I ordered a seafood plate which is one of the best meals that I had the entire trip. It was my last night in Peru and I had early flight to catch the next day. Before arriving in Peru, I had no expectations but at the end of this trip I could say that Peru is one amazing country filled with some of the kindest people in the world. This was my first travel to South America alone and I loved everything about it. I met some awesome people and I had a wonderful time.
Adios Amigos! 🙂