When your BFF who lives thousands of miles away invites you to meet her in a culinary Mecca just a few hours from your place, you say yes. Which is how Rodolfo and I found ourselves headed to Lima for a weekend of gastronomic indulgence in wonderful company.
Lima isn’t my favorite city – I’ve seen the sights, and the constant grey skies get me down (see also: Bogotá). In this case, however, that was a plus because it meant we were happy to tag along on whatever touristy activities S. and B. wanted to hit without worrying about fitting in any must-sees of our own. And when your itinerary includes a leisurely stroll along the coast of ritzy Miraflores, it’s hard to complain about the planning.
Most of our sightseeing, however, was focused on the past. While the Incas are the most famous ancient Peruvian society – it’s kind of hard to top Machu Picchu – they aren’t the only one who’ve left their mark. The Lima culture built huacas, ceremonial sites that once were cultural centerpieces but now feel incongruous next to modern apartment buildings.
We went to two huacas, Huaca Hullamarca and Huaca Pucllana. The former was, frankly, not that interesting. It’s smaller and didn’t offer a ton of information, although we did get a good laugh out of the doll/mummy hybrids scattered around to illustrate how people might have used the different spaces.
Huaca Pucllana offered guided tours, which is helpful to add a bit of context when all you’re actually looking at is a pile of grey bricks. Plus they had a garden with plants that would have been grown and animals that would have been kept back then, so that’s an automatic win in my book.
Of course, ancient sites means ancient artifacts. Next stop: Museo Larco, home to one of the most famous collections of Pre-Columbian art in the world. Get ready for pottery porn.