Travel Postcard: 48 hours in Lima, Peru

Fri Feb 24, 2012 5:02am EST
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By Caroline Stauffer and Terry Wade

LIMA (Reuters) - Got 48 hours to explore Lima? Long considered just a stopover on the way to the famous Inca ruins at Machu Picchu, Lima has emerged as a destination spot of its own in recent years and boasts the best cuisine in Latin America.

Reuters correspondents with local knowledge help visitors get the most from a weekend visit in the Peruvian capital:


5 p.m. - Gear up for your stay with a cup of Peruvian coffee, brewed extra-strong, at Cafe Haiti (160 Avenida Diagonal, Miraflores). It overlooks Kennedy Park smack in the center of Miraflores madness. People watch as you sip your drink and ponder the cafe's slogan, printed on purple coasters: "Business and Love".

7 p.m. - Get shopping. In Lima, traditional Andean art mixes readily with a thriving contemporary art and design scene. Skip the ubiquitous tourist kitsch and head to INDIGO Gallery (El Bosque 260 San Isidro This spacious store spans both sides of the street and features home accents and textiles, including alpaca. It's also a good place to buy jewelry in a top global gold and silver producer.

9 p.m. - Dine at Malabar (Av. Camino Real 101), widely regarded as one of Lima's best restaurants. Inconspicuous on the outside, its food is the attraction and stands out for featuring ingredients from the Amazon. For a splurge, tease your taste buds with the four-course seasonal prix fixe menu. Presentation is key in Peru, and colorful combinations of fish and fruit will not fail to delight.


6 a.m. - Surf's up! If you are an energetic early bird, stroll down the cobblestone walkway of the Bajada Balta to the beach. Rent a surfboard and wetsuit to insulate yourself from the chilly Pacific Ocean. Brave the consistently good waves that offer some of the best surfing of any big city. Ignore the people who say the water is polluted. If you're not up for exercising stroll over to the Bio-Feria, an organic farmer's market in front of the Parque Reducto in Miraflores.   Continued...