We began and ended our trip in Lima. We were there overnight one night before going to Puno and Lake Titicaca and again one night before our North Coast extension. Because our flights mostly arrived at late evening or night, we did not get to see much of the city. We stayed in the suburb of Miraflores at the Hotel Antara. It offered high quality service and very spacious rooms with lots of hot water and even a Jacuzzi. It was convenient to shopping and there was a 24 hour supermarket right on the corner.
One of the first things we noticed as Cesar, our Explorandes representative in Lima, and the driver took us to the hotel our first night in Peru was that driving is an adventure in and of itself; fast and furious! Cesar did an excellent job for us; he was always there with a driver and a van to pick us up from an incoming flight and he got us out of the hectic Lima airport safely and on time.
We had one full day in Miraflores at the end of our trip. Here's a picture of Gobind taken on our last day:
Miraflores means look at the flowers or view of the flowers. Cesar said that the city is alive with flowers in the Peruvian coastal summer (our wintertime.) It was foggy and it rained a little while we were there. But it wasn't especially cold.
On our last day in Peru we did get to tour the Museo de la Nacion. Be sure to include this on your trip. It is an excellent museum if you are interested in pre-Columbian history and archeology. It has a rather draconian architecture; our guide pointed out that it had once been the Ministry of Fisheries. Anyhow it has an excellent collection of archeological treasures and exhibits.
Finally, since our flight didn't leave until 11 PM, we had time to do some shopping. Cesar showed us the Mall (yes it is just like one here but more local goods and stores) and the main handicrafts markets in Miraflores. On our own explorations we found a wonderful little shop, the Agua y Tierra, that sells Shipibo pottery and handicrafts. The address is: Av. Diez 298 Canseco, Miraflores. See the Travel Tips page for some more ideas on shopping.
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