Hilary Bradt, founder of Bradt Travel Guides, reflects on the pros, cons and ultimate ambiguity surrounding cultural tourism.Read more...
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Combining South American and Spanish influences, grime and glitz, Lima is as fresh and sharp as the ceviche and pisco sours for which it is famous.
For much of the year sea smog, known as garúa, shrouds Lima and the city looks washed out and monochrome. Combine this with years of negative reports and a reputation for being shabby, unsafe or simply boring, and it’s no wonder the alluring former capital of Spanish South America, degenerated into little more than a stepping stone on the way to Machu Picchu.
Lima, however, has another side; it is, in fact, one of South America’s most underrated capitals and the ideal introduction to what you’ll discover elsewhere in Peru. The oldest city in the Americas, it has world-class cuisine, architecture dating back over five centuries, well laid out museums, an eclectic and multi-cultural vibe, and an irresistible energy. All of this puts it on a par with cities on the continent commonly considered far hipper and more happening. Combining South American and Spanish influences, grime and glitz, Lima is as fresh and sharp as the ceviche and pisco sours for which it’s famous.