Posted on Thursday, March 10, 2016
Lima is one of the most interesting and diverse cities in Peru, let alone the world. Lima being so modern filled with skyscrapers, fine museums, beautiful parks, and world-class dining is also where you’ll see thousands of years of untouched history within steps of one of those modern skyscrapers. A trip to Peru without visiting the UNESCO World Heritage Sight of Cuzco, once the capital of the Incan Empire and Machu Picchu, the Sacred Valley of the Incas would easily be a wasted trip. However, when visiting Peru whether it’s on one of the many escorted tours available through Globus, Trafalgar, or Tauck, Lima is where you would start your adventure. The metropolitan city of almost 8.5 million people has plenty of shopping areas including posh malls and designer boutiques for you to shop till your heart’s content. Lima is also the only place you can say has beaches, is outlined by desert, and is shouting distance from the Andes Mountains.
Due to where Lima is situated, which is above the Pacific Ocean and surrounded by desert, Lima’s climate can be fairly mild with temperatures barely reaching the mid-eighties during the summer months of December, January, February, and March. As for most of the year, the temperature rarely climbs above seventy degrees. The or La Garua, which is warm winds that interacts with the cool Pacific Ocean waters is a natural phenomenon that pierces Lima every year from June thru November. During this time, the streets are wet, cars utilize their wipers see clearly, and the sun is blocked leaving the conditions grey and chilly.
The best time to travel to Lima are during the months of December, January, February, March, and April, which makes up Lima’s summer months. The sunsets are spectacular during this time of year, filled with beautiful hues of orange, pink, and red; the locals have termed these sunsets as “Cielo de Brujas” translated “Sky of Witches”. There are two transitional months in the year that bring in climate extremes and they are May and November. Summer months are filled with heat and humidity, so it’s best to wear cotton. The winters are not only cold, but also wet, especially during the months of June and November when La Garua appears.
Jorge Chavez International Airport (Airport Code: LIM) is the main airport in Lima with flights from the United States, within South America, and Europe arriving and departing daily. If you’re hailing from the US, airlines like American, Delta, and Jetblue arrive from cities such as Atlanta (Delta), Fort Lauderdale (Jetblue), Miami and Dallas (America). If you hail from Europe, airlines like Air France, Iberia, and KLM arrive from cities such as Amsterdam (KLM), Madrid (Iberia), and Paris (Air France). If you’re from Canada, Air Canada arrives from Toronto daily.
There are lots to do and see in Lima. The architecture at the Iglesia y Convento de San Francisco is magnificent and a must see, especially at night when the façade lights up while the fountain is running. Surfing is also a big pastime between December and May. There are different spots offering diverse levels beginning with Punta Rocas, which is where most of the championship surf meets take place. Punta Rocas is for more advanced surfers, but there are other spots like La Pampilla, Makaha, and Rodondo. If you are more of an intermediate surfer, don’t fret as there’s La Herradura and Señoritas. Mountain Biking is also very popular, especially in the Lima Highlands. Don’t be fooled, it is difficult terrain and best to be taken on during the months of May and October. Even though La Garua is active during this time, it’s only just above the city and not in the higher parts. On the subject of La Garua, one of the best places to visit during this phenomenon is Loma de Lachay, which is located just sixty-five miles north of Lima. Loma de Lachay is a national reserve and during the months of La Garua, the landscape turns emerald by La Garua mist. It’s a must see!