Our guide gave us a short talk on cultural differences to keep us out of trouble because he had seen us waving the wrong way. Waving hello or goodbye is done from side to side with an open palm. Moving the hand up and down from the wrist means “I have something for you.” Depending on circumstances, it could disappoint a child or seem to be an “invitation” to a man.
The “thumbs up” signal is OK, but making a circle of thumb and forefinger is an offensive gesture
The Polvos Azules "Shopping Center" (Blue Powders), on the Via Expresa (Paseo de la Republica) where it begins from Lima center, close to Plaza Grau.
A huge building, covers a whole block at least, where EVERYTHING is sold. Cheap. Noisy. Also hundreds of stalls that sell (pirated!) cd's and dvd's of all genres and styles. Mind the import-regulations of your home country though!
It is safe but beware pickpockets, as everywhere.
Every taxi driver knows where it is. From Miraflores expect to pay around 8-10 soles.
Info January 2009.
The best way to travel to Lima...
The best way to travel to Lima is by plane and also is the best way to leave the city if you don't like it!
The best way to get around is to find a friend and ask him to take a Lima tour, the second chance is to pick a Taxi from the various taxi companies arround.
Peruvians love their sweets, which was great for me. While walking in downtown Lima, near the main square, I pointed out slices of lemon meringue pies in a store window. It was the tallest meringue I had ever seen. I stood there in awe while Luis made his way to the door; he doesn't like to window shop for food. The pictures are of the lemon meringue pie and a cake that is a signature treat of the country. Delicious.
local tours/excursion by the council of Miraflores
In the centre of Parque Kennedy, next to the church, is an information booth of the Ayuntamiento de Miraflores (city council). (See picture). They have some very nice, and many not-touristic, excursions. They organise, for instance, an excursion to the presidential palace in the centre of Lima, (half day, take your passport!), a day-excursion to Chincha (the town, an old hacienda, lunch and a visit to a pisco factory), beach trips and much more. There is also a double-decked bus doing a one-hour tour of Miraflores and a morning tour to Pachacamac ruins. (The other excursions are in normal, comfortable buses). Their program changes every month so check with them when you're there. They also have a website, and look for Cultura y Turismo, click on turismo, visitas turisticas.
Very nice and cheap and very good. It helps when you speak some Spanish though. Nevertheless it is really worthwhile to go with them. Well organised, on-time and very friendly. Few foreign tourists take their excellent tours. Really recommended!
Info January 2009