The time to leave Colombia fell upon us, and despite being super sad to leave, we were madly excited to reach Peru. We promised ourselves a week without touching alcohol, so the week ahead was filled with loads of activities, treks, and amazing food. To get to Lima from Medellín we took a night bus to Bogota and caught a flight from there. We rocked up at Pariwana hostel in Miraflores half dead from a weeks partying in Colombia, having done surprisingly little research about Lima itself. We were so pleasantly surprised, it was really civilised and buzzing with life from the minute we got there.
On day one we did the free walking tour organised by Lima by Walking. We thought it'd be a good start due to our sheer lack of knowledge about where we were. It was pretty interesting and only a couple of hours long, and we also managed to time it seeing the changing of the guards outside the president's pad! The tour took us around the main square, the centre and to the favela-like area called Rimac. We were pleasantly surprised at the grandeur of the main square, the buildings are incredible looking old style buildings, despite the fact that they have all been built in the last 100 years. The only old thing that remains is the fountain in the middle which was built in 1651. The local alcohol is called 'Pisco', and on national Pisco day around ten years ago, the president ordered the fountain to be filled with Pisco for the day! Pretty jokes. At the end of the tour they offered us a tiny taste, and it was actually really yummy in the cocktails. We also visited the Museo de la Gastronomía which was the most beautiful pale pink colour. Food wise Lima has a lot of influence from other cultures, even a lot of European influence.
The rest of the day was spent haggling around the markets, which we absolutely LOVED. The jumpers are all made from alpaca, and they have so much silver jewellery and mad patterned materials for sale. The markets are all over the centre so definitely worth a visit for the afternoon. The locals here are amazing! They are the kindest, most friendly people who take genuine interest in tourists and loved attempting their best English with us (though that didn't get very far!)
On our second day we hit up Barranco, which had been described to us by locals as the 'hipster' area. To get there from Miraflores is only a 30 min walk, so we took the scenic route and walked along the road by the beach. In Barranco there's lots of little coffee shops and loads of cool street art. El Puente de los Suspiros is a little bridge with huge murals inside and out. Whilst here we grabbed an ice cream from Blu Gelatería as it had been recommended to us, and it was incredible! Definitely worth the visit.
We only spent two days here before getting the night bus to Huaraz ready for another trek, so didn't get much time to scope out the where to eats... However we did go to one restaurant called Mamma Lena which was down a cute little fairy-lit cobbled street, and the food was insane! Italian style, super fresh and affordable. After the first two days we got the impression that Peru was pretty cheap, probably the cheapest place we've visited so far. Uber's cost next to nothing, and if not there's an amazing bus and tram service that connects the whole city.