Other than meandering through the streets lined with colourful buildings, swimming in the ocean and eating to your heart’s content, there are copious amounts of active things to do when you visit Lima. In addition to our City Guide on where to Eat, Sleep & Spa in Lima, our guest blogger Claire Mans shares with us how to get active when visiting the city of Kings.
This is one of the best ways we have found to explore a city and one I’d definitely recommend. Even with the crazy Lima traffic and drivers, we felt safe for most of the ride due to the occasional bike lanes as well as sticking to the quieter back roads. Our guide Claudia was extremely knowledgeable of the roads and areas we visited and Lima also has a fairly good circuit of cycle paths. I would highly recommend exploring the city by bike with a guide though. We signed up for the Bohemian bike tour through Miraflores and Barranco. Although the bikes we used are slightly heavier than what I am used to riding back at home they were still comfortable and easy to ride.
We had a quick briefing before we left and then headed off stopping everyone 10 minutes or so at a point of interest. Places include Kennedy Park where approximately 80 (very healthy looking) stray cats have lived for 20 years and are fed and looked after by local residents. Continuing through Miraflores we headed towards the beach where we learnt about the history of surfing in Lima, where the first Peruvian settlers since ancient times tried to ride the waves for fish and in more recent times the world of surfing has seen Peru produce World Champions. From here the route takes you along the cliff top to Barranco, with beautiful sea views all the way. The district of Barranco is home to some beautifully preserved historical buildings which are still very much intact. In Barranco we took a pit stop at one of the few remaining bodega bars, where we tried a local snack before heading back to Miraflores. The tour company also offers running tours however the cycling was a perfect way to explore the city.
On the weekends the parks along the cliff and boardwalk of Miraflores and Barranco are full with sports enthusiasts, going for long runs along the cliff tops, circuit training with friends and personal trainers, roller blading, cycling and Tai Chi. I enjoyed a few lovely runs along here during our stay and the view definitely beats that of a treadmill.
For you yogis out there, there are a couple of nice options to get your Zen on in Lima. The luxury Zest Spa at the Belmond Miraflores, offers a refreshing space with a long list of spa treatments using indigenous products from Peru and the Amazon. However for a touch of yoga, they offer a different approach, with stretching, jogging yoga and meditation in one-hour sessions. It’s advisable to book ahead for this experience.
Thai Massage Lima (Sentidos Thai), offers thai massage as well as private yoga classes, in a peaceful, light and airy space in the heart of Miraflores. You can choose from a private Hatha yoga classes as well as group/team building workshops.
Lima Yoga has various studios dotted around the city therefore you’re bound to find a time and place that will suit your schedule. With numerous classes on offer suitable for beginners up to expert yogis, you can choose from 9 different styles of class.
Everyday you will seen hundreds of surfers take to the water to catch the waves of the Pacific coast. Although we didn’t get a chance to try the surf spots in Lima, we were told by locals that Lima is one of the best places to learn. The city does experience big waves however there are certain points along the coast where the waves are more suitable for beginners. Eternal Wave Peru offers surf lessons and surf trips at affordable prices and can be found on the beaches of Costa Verde.
Last but not least, the Peruvian Cooking Classes with Chef Hector were one of the best things we did in Lima. The day started with a trip to a local Peruvian market to pick up our ingredients for a day of cooking where Hector taught us about the different Peruvian foods. There were fruits and vegetables Hector showed us that I’d never heard of (as a bit of a health addict I was surprised!), and at the fish market stand he also told us when in Lima not to buy fish on a Monday. Many of the fishermen get drunk on a Sunday and therefore the fish available on a Monday will not be fresh. Luckily for us, it was a Thursday so our Ceviche was nice and fresh.
Hector takes his cooking classes in an outdoor kitchen at his home. We loved this concept particularly as it gave us a chance to enjoy as much of the sunshine as possible. As we went through our ingredients and menu, Hector explained that we will be making three dishes, crab causa rellana, ceviche and aji de gallina. Making (and eating) the ceviche was my favourite bit, probably as this is one of my favourite dishes. Hector was great at guiding us through the preparation process and also taught us some new techniques for preparing the food.
Scattered throughout the lesson, with expert timing, Hector took our attention away from the food and towards a table neatly displaying the ingredients to Pisco Sours. We made two during the day, original and passion fruit, both delicious!
The experience finished with us sat around Hector’s dining table, enjoying amazingly tasty dishes that were previously beyond our capability, discussing international cuisine from a clearly talented and passionate chef. All in all a great day and a highly recommended way to spend an afternoon.
Whether it’s a bohemian bike tours or a jogging yoga experience, there is much to see, do and taste when visiting the capital of Peru.
Have you been to Lima? Do you have any other tips?