Exploring modern, vibrant Lima with Vipac Travel 

On a recent FAM trip, I travelled to Lima, Peru with Air Europa via Madrid. The flight went smoothly on their new Boeing 787 Dreamliner plane which involved an overnight flight from Madrid arriving in Lima at 5:45 in the morning. At the arrivals gate, I was greeted by my friendly guide Yolando, with a transfer from Vipac Travel’s privately owned vehicles. They have their own transport company to ensure they can manage the quality and standards, which were excellent.

Lima’s Cycling Tour

I had a few hours to relax at The Casa Andina Premium Hotel in Miraflores, which is a traditional Peruvian hotel and centrally located, I then headed out on a guided bike tour to explore the popular Miraflores and Barranco neighbourhoods. My guide Liz was helpful and made me feel relaxed about cycling in Lima. She took me along the city’s cycle paths to explore the El Parque Del Amor (Park of Love) which has spectacular panoramic views over the Pacific Ocean. In the park, there are lots of colourful mosaics similar to Parc Güell in Barcelona and it’s home to a famous statue called ‘Un Beso’ of an embracing couple kissing.

 Cycling on we ended up at J.F Kennedy Park, famous for being the ‘cat park’ because of the many stray cats living there. It’s named after J.F Kennedy because of the aid given to the Peruvian government in the 1960s when he was president.

 We went past colourful street art along the coast and then over The Bridge of Sighs in Barranco, considered the most bohemian and cultural neighbourhood in Lima and is home to some popular boutique hotels and shops. An ice-cream stop was included in Barranco which was a welcome break because Lima can be very humid. For active families or couples, it’s a fun tour to explore Lima for half a day. My guide was great at helping me understand the cycle path in Lima and didn’t go too fast which was a bonus.

 Lima’s Armano & Larco Museums 

After my bike tour, I refuelled with ceviche at the hip and fun food market Mercado 28 with Mariela from Vipac Travel. There were a variety of little food stalls which you could choose from serving Peruvian and international fare, and a bar serving Peru’s famous Pisco Sour cocktails.

In the afternoon I visited the Amano Textile Museum, which is internationally renowned for its diverse collection of archaeological material from pre-Columbian Peruvian cultures and the valuable contribution of Mr. Yoshitaro Amano to the protection of the world’s textile heritage. The museum is quite small but filled with colourful textiles and is a fascinating stop if your clients take an interest in art and history.

My second museum visit was to the Museo Larco. It is housed in an exquisite 18th-century vice-royal mansion, built over a 7th-century pre-Columbian pyramid and surrounded by beautiful gardens. The galleries exhibit the most magnificent gold and jewellery treasures from Ancient Peru, along with the renowned erotic collection.

Huaca Pucllana Restaurant in Miraflores, Lima

I enjoyed some delicious seafood at the famous Huaca Pucllana restaurant in the evening. The restaurant is in Miraflores, which is easy to travel to from Barranco if guests decide to book a hotel there. It’s a unique restaurant, due to its prime location next to an archaeological Incan pyramid built around 500 A.D. Lit up at night it looks magical, and the food is excellent with many flavoursome Peruvian dishes.

Some of Lima’s best hotels

 I visited the beautiful and popular Hotel B which is a Relais Chateaux property and rated highly by its guests. We enjoyed their cocktail-making class, where we made the traditional pisco sour and two other cocktails with their award-winning mixologist. Maria, the hotels manager, told us that the hotel will be adding several new rooms and a spa for guests to enjoy. In peak season the hotel gets very busy, therefore it’s wise to book in advance.

 I also met Patricio, the owner of Villa Barranco and had a tour of his hotel which is filled with amazing art and vintage furniture collected by his business partner. He showed us his bar, which is stocked with a wide selection of Peruvian piscos and wines. Vipac Travel said that these are two of the best options in the Barranco neighbourhood if your clients are looking for a smaller boutique hotel. Vipac also owns a hotel in Miraflores called Hotel Libre – a great option for clients with a mid-range budget.

If time permits, I recommend clients spend at least two nights in Lima to recover from jetlag, enjoy the different neighbourhoods, the museums and dine at the many world-class Peruvian restaurants.

For more information on what to do in Lima, contact Katrina: Katrina@americas.co.uk