What’s So Special About Lima?

By Danny Gibbons, ISA Lima Academic Coordinator

One of the most interesting things about living in Lima is that it’s next to the ocean. You don’t find many cities with over 9 million people sitting next to the sea! This offers innumerable possibilities: sports, walks, food and incredible views.

Getting used to the weather here can be a challenge. The particular geography of Lima and the Peru coast make it very different from many other countries or even other coastal cities in the world. Don’t forget that Lima is one of the largest desert cities in the world. Be prepared for all kinds of weather, trust me!

On any given day you decide to take a walk around San Isidro, you may turn a corner and oh, what is that sandy-colored construction? Well, it’s a pre-Incan archaeological site in the middle of one of the most affluent areas in Lima! And it is not the only one. You can find archaeological sites in many areas of the city – Miraflores, Magdalena and Pueblo Libre. Remnants of the Pre-Incan, Incan, Colonial, and Republican stages of Peruvian history are everywhere – you just need to open your eyes and do a little research about the site you just found!

For many years, limeños did not really realize that we live in a city with over five thousand years of history. Little by little, we are embracing this and we love it!

Football/Soccer fan? Lima has a lot of opportunities for you. Volleyball fan? Yes, please. Swimmer? Not so easy, but yes… Rugby player? We have that too. Ocean lover or Surfer? Try an affordable surfing class or explore the many beaches available in and near Lima and along the Peruvian Coast! There is something for everyone in Lima. If you like walking, there are several parks and bike lanes that double as jogging, cycling, skating and walking areas.
Keep your eyes open and you will find one of these!

And you may even have a chance to… fly! Why not take in a bird’s eye view of the city by paragliding along the coast?

Access to international cinema is another benefit of living in Lima. Two weeks ago I decided to catch up on movies. I saw three movies in two days–two American movies and an Italian movie. If you prefer live theater, you will be happy to know that Lima’s theater scene has been growing in the last few years and there are new plays opening almost every week! If you are not very confident in your Spanish, you can start with a children’s play. It’s fun!

Museums? Lima offers a wide variety!

Do you like street art? Barranco is the place to go!

Additionally, there are plenty of music events throughout in the city, no matter what kind of music you like. Some of them are free, too!

Lima is large city, so there can be traffic at times. Public transport isn’t the best in the world, but it’s not impossible either. It can be a challenge, but if you have a good sense of humor and stick to reliable bus lines, you will master it! The ISA Lima team will gladly support you in this endeavor. We will start your stay in Lima with a transport activity and, believe us, you will be grateful for that!

To do all these kinds of activities, you must keep yourself well fed. Peruvian homestay moms will make sure you try many different kinds of Peruvian food. When you want to have a meal with friends or celebrate a special occasion, there are plenty of possibilities! ISA also incorporates a food experience with activities and excursions.

Did I mention coffee? I love coffee and in Peru we have so many microclimates that depending on where the coffee comes from, it can be super different and always tasty! You can find great coffee shops in several parts of the city and they also offer sandwiches, wraps and sweet treats! Some of the shops also have several varieties of tea, too.

Finally, this is a necessary topic. Sometimes a big city can be overwhelming and, again, the weather here is so different. In the middle of winter, there are weeks when we barely see the sun. Do not despair! Just a few hours south, north or east of the city you can find smaller towns to enjoy a calm weekend and, depending on where you go, a sunny day!

Learn More About Study Abroad Programs in Lima.

Author: International Studies Abroad (ISA)

Since 1987, International Studies Abroad (ISA) has provided college students in the United States and Canada the opportunity to explore the world. ISA offers a wide variety of study abroad programs at accredited schools and universities in 73 program locations throughout the world.

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