JOIN ME IN AN INTERVIEW WITH JULIAN ALEJANDRO ARRIETA RODRIGUEZ FROM LIMA, PERÚ !
Julian Alejandro Arrieta Rodriguez comes from the gastronomic capital of South America, Lima, Perú. He is a gastronomy and hospitality management student. He loves traveling and discovering the culture and wonders of his country; and roam the world each time he can.
Which is the best month to visit Lima and why?
I believe its always a good time of the year to come to Lima, as the weather here is mild and easy to handle; however, if you plan (and I am sure you do) to discover the other wonderful regions of Perú, then you need to keep in mind that our country is extremely diverse, having a different number of amazing landscapes to see, through a different number of geographic conditions that will have as well different types of weather; but to make all of this much easier for you to understand , it comes down to 3 general regions:
The Coast Region: In the central coast we can find Lima!, the weather is pretty mild and easy to handle, humid and foggy during winter (June-September), with temperatures between 16-20 degrees C; summer gets sunny, hot and humid(December-March), with temperatures going from 25-35 degrees! , so it is always possible to do all kind of activities in Lima all year long.
On the other hand, the north coast of Perú is warm all year long, with a short rainy season during November and December. Anywhere in the coast, you can enjoy of the freshest seafood , paired up by a subtle Pisco Sours meanwhile enjoying the fall of the sun into the ocean. One more thing to add up, if you are or want to get into surfing or water sports, our coast has got great conditions for practicing them, as well as unique beach spots where world competitions take place. Surf’s up!
The Andean Region: The cities in these region are all along the Andes mountains, filled up with an extraordinary number of natural life and landscapes, this region has 2 notorious seasons along the year; summer time goes from April to October, with sunny days , cold nights and soft rains, it is the best tie of the year to visit it; meanwhile winter time goes from November to March, with more rainy days, although during the day it can get as hot as 24 degrees, the temperature at night can go down to -3! But fear nothing! Our incredible wide gastronomy counts with a huge number of different kinds of soups, chupes, lawas, creams, espesados y aguaditos that will keep you warm during your stay.
The Jungle Region: Our jungle regions is the biggest one of them all; characterized by its vast vegetation and wildlife; although it is always warm and rainy during the year, the seasons can be divided in three; from May to October it is known as the dry season, best time for tourists as rains arent so strong; the other two are rainy and very rainy season (funny right?), despite of this, the weather is less hot and it is still completely possible to travel around.
Which is the most convenient and favoured transport of Lima?
Lima is a big city, and as well a very crowded one. One of the best means of transportation which is heavily used by the locals is the Metropolitano, which is a Bus rapid system that serves in Lima, and it goes all along through the Via Expresa (highway), roaming around different districts of the city, including the most touristic ones, and easily bringing you close to different historic places, such as El Centro de Lima (lima Downtown).
It has a very accessible price, costing 5 soles the access card, and 2.50 soles a ride (1 US$=2.27 soles). It works from 6 am to 10 pm during the week, and it has different routes that are shown at each station.
Which are the top 3 must visit places in Lima?
Coming to Lima means coming to a melting pot of cultures through history and time; a must to do here is to visit “El Centro histórico de Lima”, declared as patrimony of humanity by Unesco in 1988. It is the heart of the city where you can find beautiful buildings that take you back to colonial times, as Lima used to be the city of the Kings from Spain. Its beautiful and interesting history and architecture will be shown to you through the churches, monuments, main squares and much more! In addition, you can make a gastronomic tour , or buy some funny souvenirs and cheap clothing in China Town.
Getting to know the Callao is something not a lot of tourist do, because of the fear of crime and danger that had been stereotyped from this district; however, in the last couple of years, a new artistic movement has brought more life to this wonderful port, making it a must see in Lima; and how could you miss out on the balconies, the art expositions, the architecture and the historic Fortress of Real Felipe, the which survived wars and pirates attacks through history.
Barranco, even the very mention of it makes me feel calm, thinking about the square “San Francisco”, the streets filled up with families and street artists. Street food steaming and blending their aromas through the air, making me crave a dish of “Picarones” while walking down the “Puente de los Suspiros” and enjoying the bohemian essence that is impregnated through its houses, its museums and its history.
It is a beautiful place where you can enjoy some of the best bars and restaurants in Lima, whether you want to appreciate a promenade around the pier to watch the sunset; or celebrate life meanwhile enjoying the vibe in one of its bars, while drinking a fresh, sweet, strong and remarkably smooth Pisco Sour.
What are the best day trips for nature, culture and history from Lima? Do you recommend any local tour operators who can help the visitors arrange so ?
There are plenty of touristic activities that can fit each person’s expectation; whether you want to do a historical tour around the “Centro de Lima”; visit the pre-Incan ruins of Pachacamac and learn about their culture; or maybe you would like to do adventure sports in Cañete , the south of Lima, where you can pass through the farm fields and villages, an unique opportunity for a closer encounter with local rural life and superb beauty scenery, delicious food, fresh fruits, homemade wine and pisco.
There exists a number of touristic activities as well that take at least a couple of days, but it is definitely worth the time, as Lima counts with amazing natural attractions such as “Rupac”, “Marchauasi”, “Lomas de Lachay”, and so on. I suggest you to check out the web page www.ytuqueplanes.com in order to get info about the many places and tours to do in Lima, and in Peru, as it counts with very punctual and clear information about the different kind of activities that will perfectly match your expectations, whether it is adventure, nature, history, culture, relaxation, festivities or community tourism.
Which is the most celebrated holiday in Lima?
That day would have to be the 28th of July, Independence Day; where everybody celebrates the country by doing parades, cultural activities, gastronomic fairs, and different festivities all around Perú. At “El Parque de la Exposición”, located in the Downtown of Lima, there are shows and events during these dates.
Which is the most happening area in Lima and why? Would you suggest any bar or restaurant in particular ?
Miraflores, Parque Kennedy; this is an area where you can find yourself very comfortable during your stay in Lima; it keeps everybody entertained by the variety of options that one can find.
When talking about art, you can enjoy beautiful paintings and portraits that the artists work on in the park, or go to the art salon “Luis Miró Quesada”.
Enjoy delicious street food that offer typical desserts and sandwiches from Perú, as “mazamorra morada” or a “butifarra”, or if you prefer, you can try go to any of the many restaurants that are around the park, or at “La Calle de las Pizzas”, which is a street filled up with bars and restaurant; wander around the pier of Miraflores for enjoying the Sunset.
Or visit the mall “Larcomar” and do some shopping or sightseeing, it has a nice view from the top.
Where to head for affordable shopping?
Between the different streets from “El Centro de Lima”, people can find different kinds of shops offering different kinds of products such as clothing, souvenirs, electronics, etc. with many comfortable prices; weather you are looking for luxury, then you can wander around the shopping center “Larcomar”, located in Miraflores district where you can find a good number of exclusive brands and shops.
The most common souvenir acquired by the tourists, and a very good one as well are the clothing made of alpaca or vicuña wool, with different designs and colors that the textile artisans work with.
What is the most loved local food, savory and sweet of Lima? Do you suggest a place to try it?
In Lima, and in Perú, food is a big deal, as we count with an infinite variety of dishes that are a result of our rich land, cultural mixture, history and traditions. Being in Lima, means being in the gastronomic capital of Latin América, as you will find the greatest food in here. Now that I have already built up some expectations, some tasty tasty options for you to enjoy are “El Ceviche” , it isn’t only the representative dish of Lima, but of Peru itself, a simple yet magnificent combination of fish, lime juice, onion and ají limo makes it a must that has to be tried; “Causa Limeña”, with yellow potato, yellow chilli , lime; having a crab pulp filling, and a dressing on top, it is indeed a very tasty option; “Los Picarones” are one very traditional dessert of lima, made with a dough of Peruvian pumpkin and sweet potato, covered by a “chancaca” dressing, it is a mouthwatering dessert to everybody. I could go on and on with the options to try, but mentioned ones are very good to star with. When looking for a good place to eat, then I suggest going to the restaurant “La Isolina” in Barranco, where they serve high quality next level creole food; or if you want something more casual, then you can walk around the city and find plenty of delicious options around with no problem at all.
One very important point to add is that during the month of September, in Lima it is celebrated “Mistura” for a period of 2 weeks, it is South America´s biggest food event, and it takes place in Lima which draws thousands of visitors every year, were they can find an immense variety of gastronomic options to try on, coming from all the parts from Peru, with a culinary legacy that has come through history filled with traditions, culinary fusion, native ingredients and an outstanding flavor.
Do you recommend any walking tours or travel photography tours in Lima to the visitors?
There are plenty of free walking tours around the city, and touristic agencies that can provide with very useful information about the activities that can be done in Lima, and they can show you or provide information about hidden gems in the city worth visiting.