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WWanderer Jun 19th, 2016 09:09 AM

Time in Lima, then Guayaquil, Manta
 
We'll be getting off a cruise ship in Lima next February. We have a half day of touring prior to disembarking, then we want to spend 2-3 days in Lima. Thinking Miraflores, or some have suggested Barranco. So, I'd appreciate opinions or recommendations.

And then there's the food. We will be just off a luxury cruise so we will probably not need too many haute gastronomy delights. But I'm reading about how great the food is in Lima, so I'd love recommendations about food.

Sights as well, and do you think two or three days is better?

We will be proceeding on to fly to Guayaquil in Ecuador. I've been told that there's not much to see there (we will have spent the day there on the cruise touring flower growers.) But if it warrants a day or two, please let me know. I can see that there's the Malecon, historic districts, a history park...?

We'll then be either renting a car and driving to Manta, or taking a shuttle bus that seems to operate mostly for ex-pats. We're going to spend about a week in Manta, staying with friends and seeing the sights. Any of your faves there would also be appreciated, although our friends know their way around very well.

Then we will drive back to Guayaquil and stay in an airport hotel the night before our flight back home, which in this case is Tampa.

The reason we're doing it this way, rather than flying to Manta through Quito, is to avoid high altitude. That's also why we're not hanging around Peru to see the highlands--high altitude is out of the equation, and you can't fly into Manta except from Quito. Too bad, but that's just the way it is.

So, any suggestions appreciated. I'm fairly close to booking the flight from Gauyaquil to Tampa, so I have to decide about the Lima stay as well.

crellston Jun 23rd, 2016 07:43 AM

3 days in Lima would be better. I prefer Barranco to Miraflores, both are pleasant but Barranco has more of a villagey, bohemian feel to it. Both have great restaurants from cheapies to high end. If you like seafood then Punta Azul in Miraflores is a good bet. A reliable, choice in Barranco is Canta Rana or, for great steak and cocktails try La Cuadra de Salvador.

Miraflores and Barranco are adjacent barrios so you can walk or taxi from one to the other pretty quickly.

Didn't like Guayacil much and see little point in spending anything but the bare minimum of time there. We have stayed in Lima a few times at various places in Barranco and Miraflores and are back there in August and, at mlgb's suggestion, will stay at http://3bhostal.com . There are plenty of other choices in all ranges.

VANCOUVERJASR Jun 23rd, 2016 08:08 AM

Lima is much more than miraflores and barranco I highly suggest look for another extra options cause you will know those two towns in one day and you will spend time in lima 2 or 3 as you said. Go to LIMA down town, San Isidro, The water Park (its a must) this is located at theDown town. etc.and much more. Good luck

FranknSense Jun 24th, 2016 12:38 PM

Central Restaurant is booked months in advance, so make a reservation now for FEB. Its out of this world and will blow away any meal on a cruiseship. On the bargain side, Alfresco is my favorite

WWanderer Jul 11th, 2016 05:47 AM

Thanks guys, for all the suggestions. I will look at Barranco as well as Miraflores. And we certainly won't just stay around our hotel, but will do the downtown. Waterpark? Not our thing unless I don't understand what it is.

I'm at the moment considering adding a 4-5 day Amazon river cruise to the mix, so schedule in Lima is not yet set. So much to think about, and I'm still planning our time in Rome and Florence this fall.

traveltalk2 Jul 11th, 2016 11:56 AM

Just wanted to let you know that the "water park" mentioned could be the water fountain park in Lima. We visited this park the last time we were in Lima. It was very beautiful at night with water fountains, lights, and music.

amy_torres_sd Jul 11th, 2016 01:44 PM

We just got back from Lima and Guayaquil (among other destinations.) We had only a 23 hour layover and went on the Lima Gourmet Company day tour which was fabulous... highly recommended (and sets the bar for future food tours.) Our Guayaquil stop was at the end of our trip and instead of venturing forth from our room at the Hotel Continental, we wallowed in Wifi and room service for the afternoon.

dwdvagamundo Jul 15th, 2016 11:18 AM

I prefer Barranco too. There is or worse a really good, basic inexpensive seafood restaurant in Surco (next to Barranco) called El Acquario. $20 easily fed two hungry adults and two hungry children.

dwdvagamundo Jul 15th, 2016 11:18 AM

Oops--"is or was".

WWanderer Jul 27th, 2016 08:48 AM

Thanks for info on the waterpark. Do you suggest hiring private guides for a day, or maybe two days in Lima? We did this in Rio (with friends) and found it very effective. It'll just be the two of us, but I wondered if logistically it would make sense.

Going to look at hotels in Barranco now...

WWanderer Jul 27th, 2016 09:06 AM

Any specific recommendations of hotels in Barranco or Miraflores? What price range can I look at for a reasonable level of comfort, A/C, nice neighbourhood, but not luxury. I'm seeing prices all over the places: >$500 a night, but then some in the $100 range.

Like "Tierra Viva Miraflores Larco", which has good reviews on TA. It's kind of between the two districts, ore like Leuro. Looking at Tripadvisor, there seem to be very few mid-range hotels in Barranco. Hostels and B&B's, one very expensive hotel, but nothing much in between.

Thanks for your help. Just getting back to planning this trip, after mulling the Amazon side-trip and deciding to forego, after a Delfin boat was robbed a couple of weeks ago.

mlgb Jul 27th, 2016 09:30 AM

Important to know the difference between hostAl and hostEl. A hostAl is a small inn or hotel, not a youth hostel with shared rooms.

As far as B&B, that definition may also be all over the place, since many if most hotels, inns and private homes include breakfast. I think the equivalent term for B&B used in Peru compared to the US would be "Guest House".

My go-to is 3B. They have smallish, modern rooms in a great Barranco location. Breakfast made to order and included. Exceptional, English-speaking staff.

Another option in Barranco is Second Home Peru. It's more like what you expect for a B*B, a converted home of the artist Victor Delfin. If you like art, especially modern Picasso-style, you might want to look at that. The location is a bit more out of walking distance, the rooms are all different. There are a variety of room types, some with a coastal view.

For traditional hotels, there probably aren't any in Barranco (that's part of the charm). In Miraflores, I've been looking at the new Ibis in Miraflores for a possible stay. I would also look at Terra Viva and one of the Casa Andina hotels. Haven't stayed at any of them.

WWanderer Jul 27th, 2016 10:06 AM

Or should we splurge and do something like the Marriott, Hilton or Dazzler? Don't mind a splurge from time to time. Just not a $500 splurge like the Hotel B!

WWanderer Jul 27th, 2016 10:20 AM

Okay, I found this one in Barranco:

Casa Falleri Hotel Boutique, Av Grau 720

This looks like the kind of place we like. Anybody stayed there?

crellston Jul 27th, 2016 10:40 AM

I much prefer Barranco to Miraflores, although the Marriott is in a great location opposite Larcomar and does a fantastic Sunday buffet lunch.

I have not stayed in Casa Falleri but know it's location which is ok but could be a bit noisy. That said it does seem to have massive rooms and is about the same price as 3B where we are staying in a few weeks ( at mlgb's suggestion!)

HotelB is a wonderful place and worth popping in for a drink but not for staying at $500 pn!

Mlgb re the Ibis. We had a look back in May as we are Accor members with points to use. A good location, close to the Marriott but way overpriced for an Ibisunless you can get it on sale - if you join their club there is a sale on at the moment.

mlgb Jul 27th, 2016 10:50 AM

I think that's a new hotel. My main concern would be that Av Grau is the main drag for all traffic going into Lima from the districts to the south, including the main bus routes.

I would not expect the hotel to have A/C, and in February it can be hot and muggy. You would probably have to open the windows, making it even noisier.

mlgb Jul 27th, 2016 10:55 AM

Hi crellston, I see we had the same thoughts.

I'm starting at 3B for three nights when I arrive. Also thought about Airbnb but didn't want to deal with key pickup at 1 am or later, flight delays, etc.

I may switch to Ibis or Airbnb at the end of my trip. I should probably hold Ibis now and then decide.

Are you off to Bogota yet?

WWanderer Jul 27th, 2016 11:45 AM

Casa Falleri claims to have AC.

We don't mind a bit of bustle. Would like a hotel with at least a bar in it. 3B sounds a bit out of the way to me, although it sounds nice.

The Ibis looks a bit bare bones to me. Not interested in AirBnB.

How about the location of the Tierra Viva Miraflores Larco? Calle Bolivar 176-180.

WWanderer Jul 27th, 2016 12:09 PM

And how about the location of these places:

Radisson Hotel Isidro, Av Las Palmeras 240 (noisy street?)

Radisson Hotel Decapolis Miraflores, Avenida 28 de Julio 151 (beach, but far from district centre?)

We would like to be able to walk to restaurants around the hotel, and feel safe. Interesting neighbourhoods are good!

crellston Jul 27th, 2016 01:36 PM

I would forget about San Isidro. Tierra Viva seems a little in no mans land in Miraflores. Rad Decapolis seems like a pretty good location in between the malecon and Parque Kennedy.

The choice for most come down to Barranco or Miraflores. I prefer the villagey, bohemian feel of the former. It is quite compact and very safe. We spent a month in an apartment there, wandered the streets at night and felt perfectly safe even late at night. The absence of a bar in your accommodation there should be too much of a problem as Barranco has tons of great bars all in a compact area. 3B is actually in a pretty good location. 5 mins walk to the central square. I also has one of my fav. restaurants right opposite. There are lots of great restaurants within walking distance.

Miraflores is much, much larger but has the bigger, more traditional hotels. Anywhere around Larcomar or Parque Kennedy would be my choice. From the Larcomar centre it is only 15 mins walking or 5 in a taxi to Barranco. Again Miraflores has restaurants aplenty. Unless you really like walking I think a taxi may be easier.

Mlgb - in VDL until the weekend then Mongui for a few days then Bogota (staying at the Ibis! Hope it's better than the Ibis in Medellin which was hopeless!

mlgb Jul 27th, 2016 02:50 PM

3B isn't isolated or out of the way. It's half a block to Grau. Restaurants/cafes/wine bars across the street, around the block, down the corner. Two blocks to Hotel B and Dedalo. Yes, the rooms are simple, modern and there isn't an onsite bar (thank goodness). I think Second Home Peru is a little isolated.

If the Casa Falleri has A/C, I might consider it. It would be close to Ayahuasca Restobar (which is also walkable from 3B).

I just am not a big fan of Miraflores, as crellson suggests it comes down to 'vibe', there are a lot of casino hotels, more vehicle traffic, more ugly highrise offices and apartment blocks (although unfortunately Barranco is also going that way). Honestly, if I were going to stay at a 'corporate' hotel I would stay at the Sheraton which is walking distance to downtown/plaza. You'd be using a taxi if you went out a night, or they offer a free shuttle to Larcomar and nearby restaurants.

Google Maps, surprisingly has a Street View function that works in Lima. I highly recommend that to get an idea of the ambience of the blocks around the hotel (eg Terra Viva has none). But I don't think Terra Viva is any worse than Decopalis, if anything you might be closer to some tourist shopping and restaurants.

Re the "beach" comment...Peru has the cold Humboldt current. Lima isn't really a "beach resort" although it's good for surfing. The city is on a bluff overlooking the Pacific ocean. You can get a nice view by walking along the bluffs, or from the Larcomar Mall. There are a number of restaurants that have ocean views, also, including several not far from in Barranco (but always use a taxi to go down the bluff and back up, unless you are carrying nothing valuable).

crellston, is your favorite restaurant "La Cuadra de Salvador"? I've wanted to peak inside there forever. Also across the street for a snack, I like Sofa Cafe and of course Monstruos for the late-night turkey sandwich when walking back from the Metropolitano stop.


http://ayahuascarestobar.com/

mlgb Jul 27th, 2016 02:57 PM

crellston, hope you are using up those Ibis points.

If the Bogota Ibis isn't to your liking, there several reasonably priced hotels similar to Ibis at the end of Park Virrey. I stayed at B3 Virrey.

crellston Jul 28th, 2016 04:47 AM

Thanks mlgb - the reason I am using the ibis in Bogota is that I get bonus point for 3 nts stay before August in an Accor. Planning to use the points on a blowout on a Sofitel somewhere next year!

La Cuadra de Salvador is indeed the one I was referring to exceptional steaks but they do other stuff as well. The beef was the equal of any in Argentina, Uruaguay, US, Australia. They also have a great bar - the Chiclanos were a new experience for me - Pisco, lime and ginger ale. They also provided free tasters of the vast array of Piscos they have. Great at the time but definitely noticed it the next morning!

At the other end of the scale there was a nice little place that did a tasty menu del dia for 8 soles. I think it was called the social club ( or something similar ). Anyway it was on Grau on the opposit side to the hotel mention above.

mlgb Jul 28th, 2016 07:30 AM

Thanks for the tips~

mlgb Jul 28th, 2016 07:35 AM

Also the taxi quote I got from 3B is for $25 for a regular taxi from the airport. Taxidatum is $20.

WWanderer Jul 28th, 2016 07:14 PM

Mlgb, the beach doesn't concern me, as far as swimming or sunning. I was just thinking about the view and proximity to the ocean in general.

I'll spend some time looking at Streetview, thanks. So far nothing has really "popped out" at me.

WWanderer Jul 31st, 2016 01:43 PM

Okay, so I booked the Tierra Viva just to start with, but I can change my mind if something wonderful presents itself.

If we were going to do one day-trip from Lima, what should it be? Like ancient sites, fishing villages, wildlife, everything, but we aren't into long hikes or climbs.

And we will probably be looking for at least one day with either a private guide or a small group to tour parts of Lima as well, so suggestions happily accepted.

mlgb Jul 31st, 2016 03:30 PM

The two worthwhile tours I've done were to Caral and to Paracas/Ballestas.

But they are both very long days (Caral is probably 12 hours total, the other may even be more and you leave even earlier).

I've been to Pachacamac but it wasn't my favorite.

If you want to see an adobe pyramid there is one in Lima, the Huaca Pucllana. There's a decent restaurant there also.

One day, I'd suggest visiting that, the Museo Rafael Larco, and if possible the amazing Amano. It's open Tuesday thru Sunday, 10 to 5. Haven't been since it's been remodeled but I plan to go back. http://eng.museoamano.org/amano/ Looks like you now pay a group rate for tours.

Another day I'd go downtown, that could keep you busy for a full day. Try the website Lima Easy for ideas on what you'd like to see. There are a few interesting churches that are different than the usual, and more museums. You can include a visit to the central market there also.

There are now also cooking/gourmet tours.

In Barranco the museum MATE and some of the galleries such as Dedalo, Lucia de la Puente (next to Hotel B) and Las Pallas. Barranco is also a good place for looking at murals.

WWanderer Aug 1st, 2016 08:10 AM

Do you think we need a guide for downtown, or just take a cab and wander? I had already bookmarked Lima Easy so I'll go back now and study it, thanks.

crellston Aug 1st, 2016 10:59 AM

I think you will be fine wandering downtown without a guide. It does pay to mark on a map the sights you want to see - the main ones are all fairly close together. Worth making sure you are in the main plaza before midday so you can watch the changing of the guard.

mlgb Aug 1st, 2016 11:35 AM

I don't think a guide is 100% necessary. But Lima is a bit like Los Angeles and can be overwhelming, until you've been there a few times like me and crellston! So even a few hours having a guided tour just pointing out some of the main sights and a little history might add to your visit. Then you could spend the rest of the time on your own.

I've notice there is now a tip-based tour of Lima, as well as Barranco. Haven't done it, but it might be worth researching. You could try it, and if you don't think it's good, you can break off part way through once you're downtown.

http://www.fwtperu.com/fwt-lima.html

Some locations such as San Francisco monastery offer guided tours in English.

WWanderer Aug 1st, 2016 01:16 PM

Looking more in Baranco, at B&B's, how about this one:

Second Home Peru (http://secondhomeperu.com/, but it doesn't have AC it seems)

mlgb Aug 1st, 2016 04:12 PM

I mentioned that one up-thread. (July 27).

mlgb Aug 2nd, 2016 09:09 AM

I was about to book my airport transfers for Lima with taxidatum and noticed they are also offering driving tour services, so you may want to ask them for a quote. Their prices are fair IMO. You can probably also arrange a taxi tour through your hotels.

I used them last year when I had a Lima layover, and they were very good. I think I had Leo the owner as my driver, although he didn't tell me that at the time, I saw his photo later on Tripadvisor.

www.taxidatum.com

WWanderer Aug 3rd, 2016 08:38 AM

Right, thanks mlgb. I guess we could hire them to pick us up at the port, with our luggage, and give us a tour before dropping us at our hotel. Good idea.

WWanderer Aug 6th, 2016 09:03 AM

Has anyone done the Palomino Island boat tour? Sounds great, considering we're not doing the Galapagos.

mlgb Aug 6th, 2016 02:10 PM

No, I haven't, sorry. But did you say you were getting off a cruise ship? If so, I am not sure why you would do that for a "land" day!

crellston Aug 12th, 2016 12:22 PM

Mlgb - just checked into 3B Barranco. Excellent!! Thanks for the recommendation.

mlgb Aug 12th, 2016 12:43 PM

So glad it's satisfactory, my reputation is intact. The best staff & service makes up for slightly small rooms. One tip for noise mitigation is to close the bathroom doors/windows at night.

WWanderer Aug 13th, 2016 02:26 PM

I will look again at 3B, I promise. Sounds great! Mlgb, not sure what you mean about the "land" day. But as it turns out, there's no way to do the Palomino thing when we get off the ship. The luggage would pose difficulties.

We will probably try to find a driver who can take us on a bit of a tour on the way to the hotel. They usually kick everyone off the ship by 9 a.m., so we have the day to get our bearings.


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