Lima Travel Guide Review
By Russell Sabo
I had the opportunity to read a review copy of the Lima Travel Guide from the perspective of someone who’s planning to travel to Cusco and Lima within the next 6 months (as of this writing). I’d seen Lima before from the window of a plane landing at Jorge Chavez International Airport in the neighboring town of Callao, but I was just passing through on my way to Chiclayo, Peru to visit a friend. The next morning when my flight took off for Chiclayo, I got my first glimpse of Lima in the daylight and thought briefly of how big it was before the clouds hid it all from view. Then, during my visit, my friend and I started discussing going to see Cusco and Lima.
Since then, I’ve looked through some of the travel guides and watched videos on Youtube (Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations” and “Parts Unknown” are very good) trying to get a better idea of what I want to see and experience on my next trip to Peru. Travel websites gave me a good idea of the basics, but for the most part I felt like their articles were too short and seemed to be pushing me through to the next level of an affiliate marketing sales funnel.
Because of that, when I got the opportunity to review a pre-release version of the Lima Travel Guide, I jumped on it. And it’s a good thing too. Upon receiving the book and reading through it, I have to say that it’s the best single source of information about Lima that I’ve been able to find. The book is 153 pages long and full of useful information. Other books I’ve found about Peru give Lima perhaps 20 pages at best. I did manage to find a travel guide to Lima that had 60 pages but it was a little off-balanced as far as the amount of Lima’s history that was told versus which places to visit. Knowing the history of a place is definitely important; I’ve found that out by experience, but there is such a thing as too much.
About the Lima Travel Guide
A little about the book itself. It comes in PDF format and it’s arranged very well. The Table of Contents is easy to use and you can click on any item to go to whatever section of the book that you want to. Also, the pictures in the book are top-notch. As someone who likes to take photos, I found myself staring at the pictures in the book and wishing that I had the patience to set up my camera correctly so I could take similar photos.
As far as what I said about balance before, the Lima Travel Guide struck a perfect balance between telling the history of a place and what I can expect to experience. I was interested in reading about each section, and as a result, I will be able to create an awesome list of places that I want to see when I visit Lima. The authors, Colin Post and David Lee, definitely have a good “feel” about which information to include and how much of it should be included.
The Lima Travel Guide is divided into four sections: Preparation, Orientation, Recreation, and Beyond Lima.
The Preparation section tell you everything that you need to know before you visit Lima, from what kind of weather to expect to safety tips.
- What to expect from the weather
- What to wear
- Festivals and Events
- Tourist Visas, requirements for entry, and overstaying your Visa
- Money, ATMs, paying for purchases, tipping
- How much can you expect to pay for things (Perfect for creating a trip budget)
- Your electronic devices, voltage, internet & Wi-fi, and cell phones
- Vaccines, drinking water
- A list of good hospitals and clinics
- Which pharmacies to visit if you need to
- Dangers (from earthquakes to types of crime to watch out for)
- Taxis (negotiating prices and safety)
- Safety tips and what to do if confronted
I especially liked the safety tips. Make sure you follow the rules about the taxis. Two months after my visit to Chiclayo, two of my friends who live there were robbed. They hailed a taxi from the street and once they got in, the driver flashed a gun at them and took them to a place where other men were waiting. Once they got out, the men demanded their money and valuables. One of my friends had nothing of value on her so the men left her alone, but my other friend didn’t want to give up her money (it was money to be sent to her boss from her company’s customers) and as a result, the men beat her up and took everything she had. She had to be taken to the hospital. She was lucky because the men could have done much worse to her than what they had done. So in reading the section about safety tips, I was in full agreement with everything written there.
The Orientation section is about how to get around, points of interest in each district, and where to stay.
- Transportation: arriving to the city by plane or bus
- Transportation: getting around the city by taxi, combi, bus, and metro rail
- A list of districts and points of interest in each of them
- A list of districts to avoid if you don’t like taking risks – Dangerous Districts
- A list of good hostels and their prices
- A list of good hotels and their prices
- How to rent a room or apartment
If you’re learning Spanish, this is where you’re going to use it, especially if you’re going on a solo trip. A lot of hotels and hostels will have at least one English-speaking person behind the counter, but once you walk out of that hotel, you’re on your own. Taking a taxi suddenly becomes a bit more challenging, even if you know just a little Spanish. But if you’re going to Spanish-speaking countries by yourself, then a little bit of adventure is right up your alley. For me, I travel to meet people and get to know the country, so I normally have somebody with me to help out with transportation and other things, unless I decide I need something from the store later at night. Then I’ll go out by myself and get some Spanish practice.
The Recreation section makes up the bulk of the book and it tells you everything you need to know to have fun in Lima, from parks to nightlife to museums to awesome restaurants; it’s all here.
- Museums to visit
- Top 10 things to do in Lima
- Walking tour (and history) of Downtown Lima
- Walking tour of Miraflores
- Walking tour of Barranco
- Magic Water Circuit – imagine the fountains at the Bellagio in Las Vegas
- Huaca Pucllana
- Lima bicycle tour
- Gastronomy – what to eat in Lima
- Restaurants – where to eat in Lima and their price ranges
- Nightlife – types of bars and clubs
- A list of bars and clubs by district
- The best and most popular parks and plazas
I had read extensively about all of the good food in Peru and after a taste of the food in Chiclayo, I’m really looking forward to tasting all of the food in Lima. So the gastronomy section and the list of restaurants is very appreciated. If you don’t know anything about the food of Peru, you need to get this book. Many people go to Lima specifically to try all of the different types of foods that they’ve never seen before. Because of the many climates in Peru, there is a wide variety of foods to choose from, whether you like coastal foods such as fish, mountain foods like potatoes and alpaca, or jungle foods like exotic fruits. You can visit all of those places specifically to try their foods, or you can visit Lima where everything can be found.
The Beyond Lima section is what you need to read if you’re planning on venturing out of Lima.
- 3 of the best beaches just outside Lima
- Cusco and Machu Picchu – Top 5 things to do
- Where to eat in Cusco
- Arequipa – Top 5 things to do
- Where and what to eat in Arequipa
- Huaraz and the Cordillera Blanca – Top 5 things to do
- Where to eat in Huaraz
I was happy to see the section about Cusco since I’m also planning on going there during my next visit. Since the Lima Travel Guide is about Lima, the section about Cusco and Machu Picchu is small, but I found that it had enough information to plan a decent itinerary for my visit there. I’m assuming an average visit to Cusco and Machu Picchu is between 4 – 6 days if you’re not taking the Inca Trail; add on another 4 days if you are taking the Inca Trail. Because Cusco is mainly a tourist city, I’m expecting that most of my budgeted money is going to be spent there.
For anybody who’s planning a trip to Lima, the Lima Travel Guide is THE book you need to plan out your itinerary and is extremely helpful for planning your budget. You could easily spend a few weeks seeing everything in this book if you take the time to properly appreciate everything (No running in the museums!). For myself, this is the book I’ll use to plan my trip.
About the Authors
The authors of this book, Colin Post and David Lee, are influential in the little bit of travelling I have already done. I had made my first out-of-the-country trip to Barranquilla, Colombia where I had also visited Cartagena and Santa Marta, and upon returning home, I wanted to discover more about Colombia. Upon searching the internet for more information, I stumbled across both Colin Post’s blog, Expat-Chronicles.com and David Lee’s blog, Medellín Living. Thanks mostly to David Lee, I had a very good idea of what to expect for my next trip when I travelled to Medellín, Colombia.
After reading more of Colin’s blog and learning more about the food, places to visit, and the women there, I developed an interest in Peru. After some time, I decided upon Chiclayo, having developed a friendship with a woman I had met online. And from there, my love affair with South America started to take hold. Now I want to see it all. Goodbye bank account!
To purchase the Lima Travel Guide (Kindle Edition), the link is just below. I hope this has helped you to make your decision to get this book.
To further support Colin Post’s and David Lee’s next ventures, make sure you check out their other sites:
- Expat-Chronicles.com – Colin’s blog about life in Latin America
- Peruvian Naturals – Herbal Supplements store
- Expat-Chronicles Facebook page
- Medellín Living – David’s blog about life in Medellín
- Go Backpacking – David’s blog about ‘Round the World Travelling
- Medellín Travel Guide – Go here to purchase David’s book!
- Travel Blog Success – David’s online course for writing a successful travel blog
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