Off to Lima!

December 10, 2009
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Spend an extra day in LimaIE Creative Services Editor Emily Harley spent Thanksgiving on our Amazon River tour! Now she shares thoughts on this unique small-ship adventure aboard La Amatista.

Let me first start by saying, you absolutely MUST fly in to Lima a day early to give yourself time to recover from late flights and to have a day to absorb the parks, architecture and food (yum!). And all of that can be done within a few blocks of the Swissôtel!

Thursday passed in a blur of travel — Birmingham to Houston to Lima — a door to door travel day of more than 12 hours. I was thrilled to arrive in Lima, and see Omar just outside of customs with an International Expeditions sign and big smile. After meeting my mom, who came in on a different flight, it was off to the Swissôtel for a comfortable bed and hot shower.

Perhaps the bed was too comfortable…I slept right through breakfast!

Pre-Columbian Huaca HuallamarcaDespite Lima’s reputation for overcast skies, Friday in the city was gorgeous, and we took full advantage of the weather. The San Isidro area of Lima, where we stayed, is very walker-friendly, so our day was spent strolling the streets between parks and pre-Inca temples.

Writer’s Sidebar: Lima doesn’t believe in traffic signals…keep that in mind if you ever find yourself at a crosswalk at the corner of Aves. Jorge Basadre and Sauces waiting for a signal. My advice; take a deep breath and GO!Spend an extra day in LimaIE Creative Services Editor Emily Harley spent Thanksgiving on our Amazon River tour! Now she shares thoughts on this unique small-ship adventure aboard La Amatista.

Let me first start by saying, you absolutely MUST fly in to Lima a day early to give yourself time to recover from late flights and to have a day to absorb the parks, architecture and food (yum!). And all of that can be done within a few blocks of the Swissôtel!

Thursday passed in a blur of travel — Birmingham to Houston to Lima — a door to door travel day of more than 12 hours. I was thrilled to arrive in Lima, and see Omar just outside of customs with an International Expeditions sign and big smile. After meeting my mom, who came in on a different flight, it was off to the Swissôtel for a comfortable bed and hot shower.

Perhaps the bed was too comfortable…I slept right through breakfast!

Pre-Columbian Huaca HuallamarcaDespite Lima’s reputation for overcast skies, Friday in the city was gorgeous, and we took full advantage of the weather. The San Isidro area of Lima, where we stayed, is very walker-friendly, so our day was spent strolling the streets between parks and pre-Inca temples.

Writer’s Sidebar: Lima doesn’t believe in traffic signals…keep that in mind if you ever find yourself at a crosswalk at the corner of Aves. Jorge Basadre and Sauces waiting for a signal. My advice; take a deep breath and GO!

Just two blocks from our hotel is the Huaca Huallamarca, a pre-Inca tomb where more than 50 mummies were found. A small on-site museum houses one mummy, pottery and musical instruments that were unearthed at the site. And while the restored Huaca Huallamarca and the Swissotelpyramid is striking by itself, the most arresting part of this archaeological site is the stark contrast of Huallamarca with its surroundings. Lima has been built around dozens of similar temples, and the incongruous image of a pyramid dating from the 6th century surrounded by new construction and high-rises defines the city in my mind.

NEXT INSTALLMENT: Lunch at Gaston Acurio's Tanta! (so good it deserves its own blog post) and relaxing with the locals in Parque el Olivar.

Read Previous Blog Post or See Video of Emily's Amazon Tour