Walking the streets of Lima felt comfortable, almost familiar.
San Antonio Abad
San Antonio Abad is within comfortable walking distance of most sites in Miraflores. The rooms, though dated in their decor, were very clean with comfortable beds. We had two rooms, one facing a street (Rm210, traffic was not an issue) and the other (Rm205) on the inner courtyard. Pickup at the airport included as was a buffet breakfast. There was an umbrella-table in the courtyard and we used it for “picnic” dinners and evening card games. Recommended.
Booked online through San Antonio Abad website. Received confirmation/deposit voucher via email. No problems.
INFORMATION IN LIMA
For touring historic Lima: Self directed with pre-arrival input by guide book Rough Guides.
FOOD & DRINK IN LIMA
BREAKFAST at the hotel was in a cheerful room overlooking the courtyard. Buffet offered a variety of items and eggs were cooked to order.
Lucky for us, we “found” this lovely old bar just at the time we needed a little refreshment (it was only later we saw mention of it in a guide book). It has stood at 2020 Jiron Ancash (on the corner of Jiron Carabaya by the railway station) since around 1905 when it was established by Italian immigrants. Over the years, being in the political heart of Lima, it has been a popular meeting place for travellers, politicians, bureaucrats and even presidents. Today the bar is owned and operated by the people who work there. Our waiter had been working there since he was sixteen years old … that was forty years ago. The place isn’t as crowded as it once was … other than for the loyal locals and some tour groups glimpsing in the door or grabbing a quick drink. This is a place in which one should linger, order a beer and a simple, fresh made ham sandwich (cut to order) and gaze at well polished history. If ever back in Lima, it is a place we would seek out. Highly recommended.
PLACES TO GO IN LIMA
There are lots of places to see in Lima and guide books will be able to help you make selections. There are lots of churches and museums, if that is on your to-do-list. We selected one …
Museum Convento de San Francisco: (no inside photography allowed). Only guided tours allowed. Impressive is the library; though not big by today’s standards it was the center of studies for the Franciscans in Lima and contains over 25,000 books and some rare tomes including the first dictionary published by the Real Spanish Academia. Furniture and art are also part of the Convent’s collection. We visited the catacombs which were rediscovered in 1943. An estimated 25,000 bodies were placed here until a cemetery was opened outside the city in 1808. The crypts, built of bricks and mortar, have withstood numerous earthquakes and open pits show thousands of skulls and bones some of which are displayed in arrangements.
Walking the streets: Streets are not simply a means of getting from here to there; for us it is a joy to be part of a street scene where women shop, school children in uniform walk in long lines and say “hello” in English as they pass, business men rush, lovers walk hand-in-hand and neighbours hang out windows visiting. To be close to people doing what they do in their own community is one of the reasons we like to travel.
Balconies: While walking, we had an opportunity to get up close and personal with Lima’s architecture which has been recognized by UNESCO and the historic centre is now a World Heritage Site. Punctuating its colonial mansions are approximately 1600 balconies built similar to those in southern Spain. These windowed balconies permitted the ladies of Lima’s high society to observe what occurred in the streets without having to go outside. In an effort to conserve the balconies Lima has invited individuals, companies and countries to adopt a balcony in order to maintain them.
GETTING AROUND MIRAFLORES
Arrived in Lima with Continental Airlines.
Left Miraflores/Lima by Cruz del Sur bus to Nazca.
Miraflores is located approximately 5km from the historic centre of Lima. A taxi will cost about $5-6 USD. Confirm price before getting in. Hotels often have preferred, reliable taxi drivers for only a slightly higher cost.
TAXI BY THE HOUR:
The hotel arranged a taxi which we could rent for $15 USD per hour.