A Day in Lima

LIFE

As we approach summer, vacay is on every one’s mind. Our very own Brand Ambassador Mila Hudson had the chance to travel to Lima recently. Lucky for us, she documented the journey so we can vicariously live through her – whether you have your next trip booked or not.

“I woke up with the sun. Our quaint little high rise apartment didn’t have air conditioning, so we were adjusting to the 88-degree heat whether we liked it or not. I rinsed off in the shower, and threw on a light dress.

We were located in the swanky, upscale Miraflores District of Lima, where parasailing, shopping, surfing, eating and drinking were the popular activities. Everything my roommate Makena and I needed was walking distance from the apartment, including the beach. At that particular moment I desperately needed caffeine. I stepped out into the sweltering 9am heat, and took in the striking road tucked between the hills on my right. It was the only road that allowed people to get to the beach on foot near Miraflores.

I turned towards the city center to my left, and went two blocks to Delicass, a coffee shop with amazingly hot, strong cappuccinos and friendly workers who didn’t mind my high school Spanish. If I was truly Peruvian, I would have started my morning with Coca Tea – a godsend of a drink made from Coca Leaves. The Peruvians have been treating these leaves as a cure-all since Inca times. It has insane nutritional value, so of course I wanted to bring the “divine plant” home. Sadly, US Customs would have none of that – add a bit of chemical X and 3 more letters, and the natural beauty of Coca becomes highly illegal.

Miraflores wakes up early.

When I walked to get coffee, I was greeted by dog-walkers, beeping cars, breakfast dates, families playing in the park, surfers in the water, adorable women selling bread from corner carts and other vendors selling popsicles, corn, Alfajores (a traditional South American cookie), and little trinkets.

Miraflores is different kind of city,

 where surfers meet businessmen and small-town suburban attitudes meets city life ambiance. The streets are welcoming, kind and colorful, and so are the people.

So what were we to do today?

Makena and I decided to check out Barranco, another of Lima’s 48 districts that was considerably bohemian and supposedly lots of fun. On the way there, I realized that any amount of research couldn’t quite explain the uniqueness of Lima.

The culture the Peruvians shared was complex and beautiful. The people in Lima were generous, proud, helpful and willing. They take life at a much slower pace, and they love to spend time with each other.

Our first stop in Barranco was Museo Pedro de Osma, an elegant old Peruvian mansion housing colonial artworks. We spent 10 Peruvian Sole ($3.08) to walk the gardens and see the art.

Next up was lunch. This is when Makena and I had a come to Jesus moment:

Peruvians know food.

They like their savory food seasoned and their sweets sweet, and four different sauces come with each meal. Everything is fresh, flavorful and wildly photogenic. We ate at Javier’s, a cliff side restaurant that practically monopolized the piece of Barranco’s coast we were on. We had ceviche – a Peruvian specialty – and piña coladas, with a side of breathtaking views.

The UV index was peaking at 11, so we were melting. The beach was a must. We hiked down to the black rock beach and “tanned.” (Roasted.) I think literal steam came from my body when my skin hit the ocean.

It was hot, but it was a lovely afternoon.

 We Ubered back to Miraflores for 7.60 Peruvian Sole (roughly $2.30), made dinner in the apartment, painted our nails, and got ready for the evening. I quickly fell in love with Lima at dusk. The sunsets are perfect…they’re the kind that make you think.

Next we opted for dessert at Las Palletas, a popsicle shop three blocks from the apartment. I mean… have you ever seen something so pretty? I had the mango sour, a local favorite that had creamy mango, lime pieces and orange juice. We ate the popsicles at Parque de Amor, an infamous spot overlooking the water. It’s gorgeous at night, with lights along the marble seats.

Right around now is when we silently agreed to eat our way through Peru.

Popsicles were only our second course, and next we walked to Tanta – a bar / restaurant where Makena and I declared we wanted to be regulars. The bartenders laughed at our return – we had sat in the same stools the night before.

The question was, how many times do we have to come here until we get a free drink?

 The drinks were handcrafted and homemade with natural ingredients. I ordered the greatest mojito ever created, Makena the chanchamayo punch.

Eventually, we were indeed regulars at Tanta, drinking often but eating there only once… I had the Paella Chola, a spicy rice dish with sausage and a medley of seafood, peppers, and lime juice squeezed on top. If I die young, bury me in that Paella.

We opted out of a fourth course, but we felt accomplished. And full. Lima had so much to offer, and the districts of Miraflores and Barranco only scratched the surface. We were optimistic, though. If we took on every day like we did this one, we’d get to experience much of this great city.

I was happy, excited and fueled by adventure.

This was the start of a truly memorable vacation.”

PHOTO & COPY CREDIT: MILA HUDSON