Return from Cusco to Lima

Our journey through South America has already come to an end, but Lima has still had a lot of surprises and flavors ahead of us.


After a few days in Cusco, visiting Machu Picchu and the Mountain of Seven Colors, it was time to gather slowly to Polish. We still have 2 days left in Lima, from which we had a scheduled flight to Polish via Madrid.

In order not to beat a few hours by buses through the mountains, deserts and crowded stations, we returned from Cusco on a domestic flight. The standard resembles a combination of PKP and Ryanair, but there is nothing to attach to. We quickly got to Lima where a hotel was already waiting for us.

Fake taxi

Unfortunately, after leaving the plane, we realized that companies that offer transport from the airport greet us with equal 60 soles for the course (where for domestic flights, on the windows, the rate of 40 soles applies).

For this reason, we tried to bargain a bit to get something on the transport. Immediately, taxi drivers began to shine us with their licenses at the terminal and warn us about the evil lurking before entering. There we met even more taxi drivers who do not jump on us immediately after collecting luggage, but the rates also keep rigid.

It was enough that we asked one group if they would take us for 30 soles and there were already a few volunteers who kept the rate of 40 soles per ride anyway. In the end, there was one who wanted to, just he wasn’t wearing any document, but he assured us that he had it in the car, so we went to check it out. The driver went to pay for parking for 5 soles and led us to his car. I think he was coloring a bit, because it wasn’t a taxi, so we asked for a license, and he as if nothing, shows us his driver’s license and identity document. So we ask further about the right to transport people – then he pulls out the documents to the car. Defeat. We said goodbye to him, because we do not know if it is not a scam and whether he will not kidnap us somewhere. It is a pity only this five for parking. His loss, he could not dim that he is a taxi driver.

Taxi racer

We went looking for another driver and found a volunteer with a license who agreed to 35 (five ahead). In the parking lot, it turned out again that his car was not a taxi, but we did not want to look any further, because it seemed fine. However, just in case, we drove with navigation, if it turned out that he wanted to take us away. I sat in the back to catch him from behind, so in case.

After his style and speed of driving, we found that he just likes the boy to and earn extra money at the same time. Or he had worked on a taxi before, but they kicked him out for dangerous driving, and he left his license. It doesn’t matter. He drove us expressly to our hostel and by the way we arranged with him to take us back to the airport, because it was clear that we would not be late with him.

Street art

After unpacking our belongings and refreshing ourselves, we went to the hipster district of Barranco, which the artists supposedly liked. This can be seen especially when visiting the bridge of sighs, where there are a lot of paintings on the walls. There is also a big ant and a lot of souvenir sellers. Here is a little different atmosphere than on the stalls with all this souvenir szajs, where the ladies offer 10 gold beer openers for 15-20 salts.

In Barranco we will meet overjoyed “artists” who offer a lot of handmade souvenirs – necklaces, strings, etc. Handicrafts. They sit on the sun, listen to music and braid colorful wristbands.

Restaurante Javier

There are also many places where you can drink a beer or eat something. One of such places is the Javier restaurant, which by the way has one of the best views of the ocean. I, having no idea about the names of the dishes, ordered the first dish from the shore, which should have meat, I was not disappointed. The waiter just asked how it should be fried and a few minutes later a big, medium-fried steak on chips with a delicious salad appeared on my table. Revelation!

The girls ordered pasta and something else, but they were not as satisfied as I was. It is worth shooting in the dark and trying what fate will bring.

After such a dinner, we went to bask a little more on the beach, where you could buy a small beer from a beach retailer. The view of Lima, which floats just above the ocean, is something I have not seen before. I really like the prospect of such a large city by the water, which stretches beyond the horizon.

Warmed up, we went deep into the city to feel its atmosphere better and maybe discover something that tourists find difficult to see. And with the rest – see for yourself.

Hostal Gemina – there is no madness

Returning to the hostel, we wondered what the author meant by putting an English-style telephone booth in Peru. It surprised us a little, but it was harder to bear the idea of breakfast.

A piece of cake

I ate in different places, but I do not remember such a breakfast. I come in the morning, when there is no one to get the best on the plate, and behind the counter the lady asks only – coffee or tea – I choose tea. Then he brings it along with juice, two buns, a cube of butter and a portion of jam. Just breakfast of champions. Sitting like this, I did not meet anyone else, so I think other guests had already tasted this feast before and now they were eating out. After all, fresh buns, so that it was not that I just cling.

The first rule on the road – no rules

If you think that it is hard to drive in Poland, I invite you to Peru. In my life, I would not take a rental car there, because I would die of a heart attack. First of all, signaling cannot be trusted at intersections. The horn is used there more than turn signals, and the belts are conventional. Cars go where there is a place and, interestingly, they do not break every now and then, although a lot of cars on the streets are battered.

Lima city centre to explore

On the second day we took a taxi to the city center, which is about 11 km away from Barranco, the center may be very touristy, but it is worth visiting because of the beautiful architecture.

The main square in Lima – Plaza de Armas

On the main square of Lima we saw a lot of magnificent buildings from the period of the city’s formation. We have there a cathedral with the Bishop’s Palace, a town hall and a Government Palace. We found one of the most interesting attractions that takes place there at noon – the changing of the guard. This is a very large and spectacular undertaking, because guards appear on the square who, marching evenly, to the rhythm of music, are preparing to change the guard. During this event, we also had a small concert and a lot of different passages between the guards (after a few dozen minutes we started to get bored).

The changing of the guard in front of the palace lasts a long time. In the full midday sun, we had to stand behind the barriers, the road and the fence where the soldiers were standing. We were several dozen meters away from the whole ceremony.

Interestingly, the whole square is equally strongly surrounded by the police and, of course, cut off from car traffic.

The next day in the evening, we also came across a lot of confusion on the same square, which the day before was besieged by tourists. This time surrounded by police cars and fenced off by barriers. In this way, the government did not want to allow riots in the square, where (as it turned out) bribery was proven to the president of Peru and the inhabitants were outraged by this. They wanted the president to resign.

Jirón de la Unión – colonial architecture

From Plaza De Armas we set off along the tourist street Jirón de la Unión, where we met a lot of beautifully decorated facades of colonial buildings. We liked the big wooden balconies the most, which were also a lot in Cusco.

Museum of Coins

It is also worth visiting the central bank museum, where apart from old coins, you can see and learn something interesting. After the coins and banknotes, you can see how Peruvians had to deal with the drastically changing value of money.

In the basement of the museum you can see a lot of excavations from the Inca era, which you want to see. Not like most of these types of attractions in museums. On the floor above, we could admire Peruvian works of art.

Although I was most amused by the sight of a cantor man, of which there are a lot in Peru. You can quickly exchange dollars for salts, without waiting in line at the bank.

The usual colorful streets of Lima

In Peru, even the best driver can be shocked by what is happening there on the streets. In Lima it is no different. Some roads have 4 lanes each, and cars jump on them at will. There are also big roundabouts, where cars are constantly driving, everyone is honking and no one is knocking. Although it may be that we simply did not come across such a situation, and on the streets we saw more or less battered cars.

At some intersections you could meet a gentleman who directs traffic. It wasn’t a policeman with a lollipop standing in the middle whistling, it was a booth that looked a bit like an ice cream stand in the middle of an intersection.

On the way from Cusco to Tęczowa Góra we also met someone like that, only he worked there as a traffic light. They have a view of the narrow streets and change the signs to allow, or not, to go.

Old cars

Among the cars, I was impressed by two types of cars. and pearls. There were more shrots, but I was in a severe shock that some cars drive on the streets and no one will take care of them. Battered, scratched, sometimes incomplete old. In Poland, they would not allow most of them to move, and drivers would be deprived of their driving licenses.

There may not have been so many gems, but every now and then I met some beautiful classic of American motoring, who delighted with his appearance and sound. At one point, I just wanted to buy one and send it to Polish to enjoy it. Once I had a similar car from the States, which I could not afford at that time, because its technical condition was tragic, and I have not yet passed the right – the old Honda Prelude of the first generation from 1980. Maybe someday.

The best restaurant to eat guinea pig

In order not to spoil this experience, we decided to pay a little more, but to be sure that we will eat the best guinea pig you can. We went to the Panchita restaurant – considered one of the two best in Lima.

To begin with, we chose a set of appetizers and wine to drink. As it turned out, the appetizers themselves make a sensation. Maybe it was the magic of the place, but I’ve never eaten such good potatoes, let alone the rest of the dishes.

We left the pig for later and we were constantly wondering if we could eat it at all. After the photos on the Internet, I expected a gutted animal with a baked skin. It turned out, however, that our pig will not look us in the eyes before we eat it. The meat was prepared in 4 pieces – a’la thighs and wings in breadcrumbs. The comparison was quite accurate, because it turned out that even in taste it was similar to chicken. The pigs are small, so we ate it quickly.


Eventually, we had to go back. To sweeten the sweetener, we have to spend some of the salt that we have left from the trip on duty-free. We continued to Go to Madrid, but due to the March frosts, we sat for a few hours at the airport, instead of beating the metro. We are back in Polish.

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Fotograf eventowy - Marcin Krokowski