Lima, Peru | Wednesday, May 22, 2013 06:39 am | | |
As far as this person is concerned, touring Lima by bike is one of the best activities available here. I have been asked to do some follow-up articles about touring other areas of Lima to the one that was published a couple of weeks ago here in “Living in Peru.” In this article I will cover biking from Miraflores to Lima Central. Although this tour is longer than the one I did from Miraflores through Barranco to Chorrillos and back, in many ways it was easier.
When I booked this tour I thought that the tour operators would cart us downtown, let us out and the tour would start there. Boy was I wrong on that one. The Tour started at the office in Miraflores and we rode the bikes all the way to Lima Center through all the neighborhoods. Jose also explained to me that we would be taking different streets than normal due to the Security for APEC and because President Bush was having lunch at the Presidential Palace, we would not see the Central Square of Lima. Having already been there on my last visit to Lima this did not bother me at all. For those reading the article, this is a must stop if you are in Lima. The Presidential Palace, the Cathedral and historic buildings surrounding the main Plaza are beautiful. You also need to make sure you are there at noon on the dot to see the changing of the guard.
Now, I have to fully admit that I am not the most in shape guy but I did not have a problem doing this tour at all. Even though they told me it was a slightly uphill ride, I could not tell it. I think this one is easily as good as the Bay Tour from Miraflores to Chorrillos and depending on what your interests are it might even be better. We rode through Miraflores into San Isidro, passing the Huaca Pucllana and stopping at the Parque El Olivar with its Olive trees that were grown from seedlings brought from Spain in the 1560s. This is a beautiful park with a nice pond and fountain and is what remains of an old plantation. We also stopped at an archaeological site in San Isidro called Huaca Huallamarca that predated the Pucllana site by several centuries. It was remarkable although it is a reconstructed site. It is worth climbing the ramp to the top platform where the views are amazing. Also, on the way up you can actually see the work in progress that the archaeologists are doing. There is a nice museum attached to the complex which shows the work of the archaeologists on this site. The exhibit contains pieces of pottery, statuary and cloth found during excavations of the site. There is also a mummy on display that was found in one of the burial chambers.
From there we rode through several other neighborhoods; Lince, Jesus Maria and Santa Beatriz before reaching Lima Center. Most of the ride was down Salaverry Avenue, which has a central esplanade with a sidewalk made especially for Bike traffic. There were several large Parks that we passed through. Of interest was one park built to celebrate 100 years of independence. Each of the ethnic peoples of Peru donated and built an area there. For example the Japanese built a Japanese Garden, The French built a little Palace, plus lots more. It was very beautiful. One park that I thought would be interesting (but we did not stop there) was a place that had a “miniature Lima” built in it with all the important monuments in miniature. By Lima I mean all the areas of Lima (Barranco, San Isidro, Surco, Chorillos, etc.). A long wall of beautiful tiled murals was also on this route. They were made to celebrate the Pope’s visit to Peru and each of the areas of Peru had a mural designed representing their lands and people.
Reaching the downtown area, the nice Esplanade ended and we were at the mercy of traffic. Due to the APEC and the fact that it was Sunday, the traffic was very very light and it was a breeze maneuvering the streets. Jose had added some stops to offset the fact that we could not go to the Central Plaza. A few of these were the Plaza San Martin where Jose gave the history of some of the buildings on the Plaza like the Hotel Bolivar and the Teatro Colon, the churches of San Francisco and its convent, San Pedro with its controversial three doors and San Agustin with its magnificently detailed façade. We also stopped at the historical homes of Palacio de Torre Tagle and Casa Riva Agüero with their exquisite balconies and the Casa de Goyeneche and its beautiful atrium. Stops were also made at the Palace of Justice, the Lima and Italian Art Museums and the Rimac building. I will tell you that Jose has a remarkable amount of historical and casual information on this city. In talking with him I most certainly agreed on one very important point. That is if you are coming to Peru, you need to spend more than just a day in Lima on your way to somewhere else. There is so much of Historical and archaeological interest here, not to mention the vibrant night life.
The tour ended at the Hotel Bolivar where we had a couple of Pisco Sours. The ones served here are the best I have had in Peru to date. The building and its interior are magnificent but the Hotel has fallen on hard times and they have lost their 5 star rating and now it is just a 3 star. Anyway, it is said that Ava Gardner stayed at the Hotel and went to the bar. She had three Grande Pisco Sours and left without any effect, there are those who say it was more. So she is a legend here at this Hotel. Also, the Rolling Stones were thrown out of the Hotel for being too rowdy. If you like, the Presidential suite is only $120 US per night. Their regular rooms are only $60 and they are beautiful. Most people taking this tour take the option to remain downtown and tour the area on foot, looking for bargains and a nice place to eat.
If you are a biking enthusiast you can of course do this route and see the sites on your own. But you would miss hearing all the wonderful details and historical facts imparted by Jose on this great tour. I learned so much from this tour about Lima Center that I was able to take friends from the United States who visited me after this and share that knowledge with them as we walked around those same areas. They were quite impressed. Below is the information for contacting Bike Tours of Lima if you are interested in using them:
BIKE TOURS OF LIMA
To learn more about Rodney, you can read his bio at the end of this article!
Given the choking air pollution, even worse than Mexico City, I don't see how anyone can ride a bike for an extended period of time in Lima. Or find it enjoyable given Lima's dismal air quality.# Raul says :
You are really pathetic David N, you are really a strange kind of joke that stalks this page for an agressive and irrelevant comment# Rocio A. says :
Of course there is a lot of pollution in Lima, because of that it's vital to promote activities like biking to avoid the use of those old buses that are around Lima.# Ame says :
# German Larrain says :
With such beatiful journals with such great pictures, why the nasty comments? I'm sorry but I don't get it.
Thanks again Rodney and Jose.
I recognized the sites, but I am pretty much a tourist in Lima Center, but let me tell you I have taken pictures of the balcony from the inside
Although I stay at my mom's about six blocks from the Huaca Pucllana, I just visited it last year, for the first time and I was very impressed. I had been to the restaurant but not seen the ruins before.
I just registered in your site, thanks again.
Please do not take David N's comment serious. It is very common for people of our country to be jealous of our neighbor of the north.# Mia says :
Lima is a wonderful city, with lots of life. It was the capital of the Viceroyalty of Peru and all cities in South America wish they can have the tremendous amount of historical places.
The people in Lima are warm and always willing to give a hand. They are the bon vivant of Latin America - great food, beautiful women, wonderful pisco sours and fantastic night life.
Enjoy Lima and Peru.
# Rob says :
David, how you ever been in Mexico City?
Let me tell you that my nose was bleeding and my eyes were so red for the pollution in that city, you can not compare Lima with Mexico City.
Besides, my husband and I were in Lima in December and part of January...and let me tell you that my husband loved it! He is german and he travelled to different countries in Europe, and his concept about Peru is very high, he never thought that Lima was so nice. People are so warm and friendly...and the food exquisite! We love surfing and we had a great time surfing in south of Lima. In fact, we are going back there next year for three weeks with some other friends that also love the outdoors. So give me a break! You do not need to be so nasty and say all those negative comments...I am sorry for you, there is no doubt that you are a negative person unable to enjoy and appreciate the beauty of life.
Lima is beautiful and fun! Change your pesimistic attitude and you will be able to appreciate the magic of Lima or any other place in the world.
I haven't been to Mexico City, but you don't have to look further than PUCP to find confirmation of the surprising but sad fact that the air pollution is worse in Lima. (Check their Climate Change page: http://www.pucp.edu.pe/climadecambios/)# Tom frannot says :
That said, it wouldn't put me off cycling, thanks for pointing out some good traffic free routes (it's the taxis / combis that really scare me!) Now I just need a bike...
HELLO FRIENDS# Janko Jankovic says :
IN PUNO THERE ARE A NEW OPTION EN THE LAKE TITIKAKA PERU TOURS IN KAYAK, THE TRAVEL AGENCIA TITIKAKA ADVENTURES OFERT DIFERENT TOURS IN THE LAKE TITIKAKA, THE TOURS IS VERY NICE, CAN YOU SEE THE WEB SIDE: www.inakayaktours.com email firstname.lastname@example.org the manager is: Hernan is very friendly.
I don't know but I think that Europe is the best. Good museums,fun,food,night life.# Anne B says :
I was in this Cities : http://traveler2009.freehostia.com
# Biil O says :
I will be travelling to Peru next week to do a 2 week tour of the country (yeah the Gringo Trail!!!). It's my first visit and I was browsing the internet for some info and came across this site. I've been reading some of your articles and also followed the link to your own personal blog. Loved your accounts of getting settled in Lima, your observations and the photos.
I think I will have a free day in Lima at the end of my trip and I will definitely bear in mind the bike tours.
Thanks for the lovely articles - keep it up!!!
Santiago, Chile has the worse air pollution in South America. A pity about their people too. Their neighboring countries can't stand them.# Rosabella says :
This tour looks interesting although I have to clarify a few points:# Agustin Palacios says :
1. Huaca Huallamarca and Huaca Pucllana were built and used at roughly the same time, during the time the society known as the Lima (roughly between the years 100 and 650 AD) flourished in the valleys of Rimac and Lurin.
2. What park was built to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Independence? Considering the route you described, it might have been El Parque de la Reserva (opened 1929) or El Campo de Marte (where the "miniature Lima" exhibition is located. This used to be the site of the old Jockey Club until 1938, when it moved to San Felipe, and then it was converted to a park).
I live in Tokyo and lived in Mexico City also, I have no idea about the reasons why David N make such nasty comments...Mexico City is a 100% worse polluted than Lima and my eyes were extremely irritated and red not only because of biking, but just WALKING!!!! That is why I never went back.
I think that people should be serious when making comments, trying to be objective and with a real knowledge of everything. If some people do not like Peru they should start saying that so readers will know why they act or think the way they do.
BTW even Tokyo is a very clean and safe city (cameras are all around)but I DO NOT enjoy biking as I do in Lima, I miss it A LOT!!!