Location, location, location – the Rosa Nautica has it in spades. Perhaps there are restaurants serving better food in Lima. But nowhere else comes close as a culinary event. At the end of a long pier that juts out into the Pacific Ocean, waves crashing around its pillars, the Rosa Nautica is the ultimate in sea-view dining experiences. And the food ... incredibly fresh seafood, sinful desserts ... all washed down with Pisco Sours. Many on a traveller’s budge will balk at the prices, but by the standards of most cities it is incredibly reasonable. Take one look at where you’re sitting...
Not one for the claustrophobic or faint of heart, a walk through the narrow, eerie catacombs deep in the belly of the San Francisco Monastery is hard to forget. They were once used as a cemetery for the city, and subterranean pits still contain the skulls and bones of about 200,000 people. If being underground in low tunnels in a city known for seismic activity with enough bones to make a reasonable-sized dinosaur is not your thing, there’s plenty to see at street level too.
The yellow Moorish-influenced church photographs well, and the mosaic-lined courtyards and an old library Dan Brown would feel at home in make a guided tour worthwhile. But it’s the oppressive nature of the catacombs that sticks in your mind after you leave. Be warned.
Address: Plaza de San Francisco (between Lampa and Ancash), a short walk from the Plaza Mayor; tel: 51 1 427 1381; guides in English and Spanish
Sitting on the Plaza Mayor in Lima’s Old Town, the cathedral is impressive from the outside and interesting within. Here you can see the mausoleum that contains the bones of the original conquistador and founder of the city, Francisco Pizarro, along with a huge, heroic mosaic depicting him in messianic terms. The exquisitely carved choir and general opulence do jar in such a poor country. A relic of Spanish legacy that may not be politically correct, the cathedral shows how it used to be.
Plaza Mayor, Historic Centre, Lima
Life in Lima exists because of and for the ocean. Limeños are ever so aware of the importance of the Pacific Ocean in their lives. Seafood, therefore, is the most important of the many bonds than bring us and the sea together.
Take your time. Don't jump to it right away. Put aside a whole afternoon to sample (unfortunately only a fraction of) our seafood. Head out to a cevichería around lunch. Order a few dishes to share with your party; this is the best way.
Some of the dishes you might want to taste:
Ceviche - white fish cooked in lime juice (the acid cooks it) with corn and sweet potato on the side and onions. There are mixed ceviches, octopus ceviche, langostine ceviche, etc.
Tiradito - ceviche with no onions.
Chicharron (of fish or calamari) - deep fried usually surved with yuca and tartar sauce.
Causa rellena (with tuna, crab, langostines) -a pionono made of yellow potato mash and avocado filling.
Jalea -huge mixture of chicharron.
Choros a la chalaca - muscles with corn, onion and chili sauce (granted they don't look good but are delicious).
Conchitas a la parmesana -scallops on their shells oven cooked with cheese and butter (and a pinch of lime juice); amazing!
Arroz con Mariscos - this is the most crucial test for any cevicheria. If they do a good 'Arroz con Mariscales' then then you are bound to get a great taste of Peruvian seafood. This is rice with seafood. Give it a try!
Each place will have its own version of each one of these dishes. And if you go elsewhere in the coast you'll get the local variations as well.
Just ask for a good cebicheria.
Quite a few in Chorrillos; El segundo Muelle is a good one; there is a new place in La Mar in Miraflores; anotherone just opposite where they only sell Causas (brilliant!); La Rana Verde in El Callao is one of the very best.
Barranco is the artists’ quarter of Lima, made up of narrow cobbled streets under the shade of some of the oldest residents of Lima. Most of the backpacker bars can be found in and around the Parque Central. The Boulevar' is lined with small pubs and bars where you can enjoy a beer and listen to some live music.
There is also beautiful cathedral and countless art galleries.
Go for a walk and catch a glimpse of a Lima long gone, but still alive.
Barranco is to the south of Miraflores and north of Chorrillos. Get there via el Zanjon or head south through via Larco Mar or the coast highway. It's lively any time of day, but don't miss it on a Saturday night.
La costa Verde (the Green Coast) is the name given to the clifts and beaches from La Punta to the North and la Herradura to the South of the Bay of Lima.
Most people come to Peru thinking about the Andes and forget that the country has a large coast-line. Most of Lima is, in fact, made up of small sea-side towns that were incorporated to the metropolis as it grew (visit Miraflores, Barranco, Chorrillos, Magdalena del Mar, La Punta).
La Costa Verde is full of beaches for everyone in any group. There is excellent Surfing on the Miraflores part of the coast! Or just spend a few minutes or hours every day watching the sun set in the Pacific Ocean, behind the San Lorenzo Island.
Just head West on Salaverry, Larco, or Arequipa Avenues; or look at the map -you wont miss it: its the big Ocean to the left.
Founded in 1926, the Larco Museum showcases remarkable chronological galleries providing an excellent overview on 3000 years of development of Peruvian pre-Columbian history.
Located in a unique vice-royal mansion of the 18th century built over a 7th century pre-Columbian pyramid, is surrounded by beautiful gardens.
Features the finest gold and silver collection from Ancient Peru and the famous erotic archaeological collection, one of the most visited Peruvian tourist attractions.
For an unforgettable experience, Larco is one of the few museums in the world where visitors can also choose to enter the storage area with its 45.000 classified archaeological objects.
Its masterpieces are considered worldwide icons of Pre-Columbian art, after being exhibited in the world's leading museums.
Taxi - 15 minutes from Miraflores, San Isidro or Lima's International Airport.
M - S 09:00 - 18:00 (daily including holidays)
Av. Bolívar 1515 Pueblo Libre
Tel/fax 461 1312 / 461 1835
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