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The Peruvian capital is home to unique, fragrant cuisine and a rich and vibrant multicultural community. Michael Raffael discovers Latin America’s hot young upstart

Travel Time 12hrs 30min

Why go?

Lima is a city whose collective tummy rumbles, so make like the locals and  ll your boots. Ceviche is the Peruvian national dish and something of an obsession – so much so that there’s even a national day (28 June) to celebrate the cured raw fish plate. In the bustling Surquillo 1 and 2 food markets, they’ll set you back just a few soles. There’s no need to pack an umbrella when visiting – it’s of cially the world’s second-driest capital and this month welcomes temperate climes that make it ideal for exploring. Follow the fragrant scents downtown, where hawkers major in anticuchos (ox heart kebabs) and there are more than 4,000 Chifa (Peruvian- Chinese) eateries to discover. Order the classic aeropuerto, which combines fried rice with salted noodles and pork spare ribs and crackling roasted in a sealed box topped with hot coals.

What to do

The ‘City of Kings’ is one of contrast, a sprawling metropolis skirted by the sea and dotted with colonial architecture pre-Columbian temples and skyscrapers. Rubbing shoulders with the locals doesn’t cost a cent, there are so many padding the colourful streets that they don’t even notice tourists. At Parque Central JFK in upmarket Mira ores, mass public aerobics classes mix samba with salsa while the beach at Chorrillos doubles as a picnic hot spot and musicians play to a packed Plaza Mayor. You’re also likely to stumble across at least one procession.

Where to stay

The international piles – Hilton, Marriott and Belmond – are all located in Mira ores. Atemporal 00 51 1 700 5106, http://www.atemporal.pe is a tiny dot on the hotel landscape and is unique. It’s a nine-room mock-Tudor ‘innlet’, where personal service starts with Ricardo meeting you at the entrance with a cocktail. Show up in the afternoon and there are cakes and  nger sandwiches waiting in the library. A Mini will shuttle you around Mira ores and Barranco at no charge and guests get a 4G hotspot for mobiles so they can contact reception from anywhere in the city. Hotel B 00 51 1 206 0800, http://www.hotelb.pe is in the hip Barranco district. It houses a unique art collection and the cool and sexy rooms that open on to a private lounge seem divorced from the bustle of the city outside. Historic Country Club Lima Hotel 00 511 611 9000, http://www.hotelcountry.com in the upscale area of San Isidro combines classic elegance with modern comfort. Its 83 rooms feature palatial bathrooms and up-to-date amenities such as iPod docks and  at-screen TVs.

Where to eat and drink

You’ll find nine of the world’s top 50 Latin American restaurants here. However, they aren’t all cooking the novoandian (new Andean) cuisine that first put Lima on the map. Astrid y Gastón 00 51 1 442 2777, http://www.astridygaston.com acts as the culinary  agship. Its owner, Gastón Acurio, fronts several restaurants across town. La Mar 00 51 1 421 3365, http://www.lamarcebicheria.com is one of them, packing in the middle classes who sip on pisco sours and craft beer while waiting for a seat. Fish of every shape and size arrive in simple barbecued or complex presentations but portions are gargantuan. For exquisite cooking, Fiesta Chiclayo Gourmet 00 51 1 242 9009, delivers the flavours of northern Peru. Héctor Solís, the owner, is a self-taught cook with his own farm who buys direct from shermen. Isolina 00 51 1 247 5075 is pure colonial Peru. Its seco (dark short-rib stew) is rich and large enough for two. Compartir (sharing) dishes served on enamel plates are an ideal way to sample its specials. Central 00 51 1 242 8515, http://www.centralrestaurante.... is full of surprises. Expect dishes with names such as River Cotton, Spiders on a Rock, Jungle Scales and Marine Soil. Chef Virgílio Martinez scours his homeland for edible ingredients then invents ways to show them off. He’s moving his HQ in Mira ores to a new home in Barranco later this year.

Time running out?

Grab a beer at BarBarian off Parque Central. Artisan beers are big because wine is expensive.


Travel Information

Travel Information

Currency is the Peruvian sol. Time is five hours behind GMT. Flight time is approximately 12. 5 hours from London. The cost to carbon-offset is £20. 92. For more details visit http://www.climatecare.org

Getting There

British Airways flies daily from London Gatwick to Lima Jorge Chávez International Airport. http://www.britishairways.com.

LATAM also operates flights from London Gatwick. http://www.latam.com


Peru Tourism Bureau provides comprehensive travel information to help plan your trip to Lima. http://www.Peru.Travel

Average daily temperatures and rainfall

Min Temp131415151312121212121213
Max Temp262626252321202020212224

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