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June 30, 2010 10:31:13 | in General

Top 10 places to meet expats in Lima, Peru

Are you a newcomer to Lima, Peru and looking to meet other foreigners -- and not just travelers and passer-bys? Here is the top ten places to meet expats in Lima.

If you are a seasoned expat or a Peruvian in Lima, chime in below with a comment.

10 Larcomar

This architecturally award-winning shopping and entertainment mall has been attracting foreigners since it was built in 1998. Larcomar offers an excellent view of the sea, a great place to find uniquely Peruvian souvenirs (see article on stuffed animal llamas) and the latest fashion trends. For nightlife, Larcomar is home of exclusive bars and discos where foreigners and Limeños party until the wee hours of the morning. 

Chile's Parque Arauco acquires Larcomar shopping center

9 Peru's jails and prisons

If looking to find a group of foreigners gathered in Peru, look no further than the prison system. Currently there are more than 1,000 foreigners in prisons such as Castro Castro, Lurigancho, Sarita Colonia and Santa Monica, the women's prison . More than 90 percent are awaiting trials for drug charges. Many appreciate visitors and if interested most local embassies have lists of their citizens who are incarcerated.

(Photo of cell in Sarita Colonia by Jasper Bloemendal)


Brit man found not guilty of drug charges
US citizen Lori Berenson released from jail in Peru

8 Jorge Chavez airport

OK, this one is obvious. More than 100,000 foreigners a month make their way through the Jorge Chavez airport, Peru's main international airport and link to important tourist and business hubs like Cusco, Iquitos, Arequipa and Trujillo. So, enjoy the shops and restaurants in the newly renovated airport (see below) and look out for interesting contacts.

Lima airport chosen as the best in South America
Travelers vote Lima airport lounge world's best    

7 English and Irish Pubs

You are guaranteed to find foreigners over beers and darts at two pubs in Miraflores: Murphy's Irish Pub (Shell 627, 242-1212) and The Old Pub, also called Pub Inglés (last place on Calle de las Pizzas, Pizza Street, off Parque Kennedy).

RELATED: List of bars in Lima

6 Cultural centers

Lima has several cultural institutions that serve as great places to meet people during gatherings like art exhibits, plays and film showings. Here are the leading ones:

ICPNA: The Instituto Cultural Peruano Norteamericano has top art exhibits and live music (an international dance program ends this weekend). See their program here.
Centro Cultural Británico shows some of Lima's best theater. Check's event calendar for plays, or see their schedule here (in Spanish).
Centro Cultural PUCP is the cultural center for the Universidad Católica. Located in San Isidro, it has foreign film screenings, a gallery and plays.

Others include: Alianza Francesa, Peruvian Japanese Cultural Center.
See a complete list with contact information.

5 English-language churches

Lima's two most popular churches for the expat community are: Anglican Cathedral of the Good Shepherd (Av. Santa Cruz 491, Miraflores, Lima, 422-3936) and Union Church (located at Av. Angamos Oeste 1155, Miraflores, 441-1472).

RELATED: Finding community through church in Lima, Peru

(Correction: Union Church is a nondemoninational Christian church. It was previously referred to as Catholic.) 

4 Óvalo Gutierrez

One American expat in Lima loves the entertainment on this traffic circle so much he fondly calls it "The OG." Óvalo Gutierrez (see map) has a four-story cinema, money changers, TGI Fridays, Starbucks and other shops and restaurants that lure foreigners.

RELATED: See current movies in Lima.

3 The Corner Sports Bar & Grille

The Corner has cable sports networks showing U.S. sports all the time. It turns into a rowdy spot during American football season: shouting loudly at the screen is correct etiquette. INFO: The Corner, Av. Larco 1207, Miraflores, 444-0220.


The Corner, a review.

2 ACAP social events

The American and Canadian Association of Peru has social nights and monthly excursions -- perfect mixers for newcomers to Lima. Despite the group's name, which it's had since founded in 1917, you can participate in its events if you're not American or Canadian.

(Photo: ACAP Social Night in March at Picas bar)

Keep updated about social nights and other gatherings at's event calendar and the ACAP Social Night Facebook page.

1 Vivanda

Do you know how some men in the U.S. go to Whole Foods to meet women? You could do the same thing to meet expats in Vivanda, the upscale food market in Lima (which looks quite similar to a Whole Foods).

Number one place to meet expats, you question? Yes. That many foreigners shop at Vivanda, especially at the branch on Jose Pardo in Miraflores (shown here). Now, go bump into some with your shopping cart and make friends.

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# Jair Zuta La Rosa says :
30 June, 2010 [ 03:33 ]
It is really shameful that the Lima Hash House Harriers is not in this list. The Lima HHH -whose motto is "the drinking club with a running problem"- is one of the best ways expats can meet other expats. If you don't know about it...What's the HHH? Is an international group of non-competitive running, social and drinking clubs. An event organized by a club is known as a Hash or Hash Run, with participants calling themselves Hashers. It was founded in 1938 in Kuala Lumpur by British expats and now there are more than 1,700 chapters spanning all seven continents, and one of them is the Lima HHH.
# Janice Murphy says :
30 June, 2010 [ 04:46 ]
The Union Church is a Christian church, but it's not a Catholic church.
# Martin H says :
2 July, 2010 [ 08:40 ]
Expats and visitors should know that the Lima HHH used to be a "running club with a drinking problem". In my opinion, in recent years it has become "a walking club with an eating problem".
# Peter \'Pete the Beat\' Schneider says :
4 July, 2010 [ 01:41 ]
You missed out the oldest and longest running English Pub in Miraflores, which used to belong to Mike (current owner of The Old Pub):

THE BRENCHLEY ARMS, Calle Atahualpa 174, Miraflores
(between the first and second block of Av. Pardo, behind Saga Falavella)
# jay says :
27 September, 2010 [ 06:00 ]
there is also, which is a social networking website for expatriates.
# Pablo Valqui says :
23 February, 2011 [ 03:14 ]
There is an international group of expats, that are organized in over 200 cities in the world. There is supposedly a group in Lima as well, but I have not been able to confirm this. The group organizes through the page

Here in Houston its expats and locals with international roots and international branches.
24 February, 2011 [ 09:15 ]
# Ewan Parry says :
26 February, 2011 [ 12:08 ]
Don't forget Lima Cricket Club. Guests are welcome on Sundays to watch a game of cricket during the summer.
Also if your into soccer the Kiteflyers have games most weekends.
# Amanda Wassermann (from South Africa) says :
11 July, 2011 [ 12:26 ]
I am relocating to Lima for a few months / years. Would like to connect with South Africans if possible. thanks. Amanda
# Marie Meyer says :
11 July, 2011 [ 02:46 ]
Contact me Amanda!  Our South African group are about 15 families strong.  Best, Marie

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