"Soy Ronald Elward, escritor e investigador holandés, y llegué al Perú en 2008. Aquí encontré una Lima con una sorprendente arquitectura y una historia de más de 4.000 años de civilización, desconocida por muchos. Es como si fuera una ciudad escondida y la mejor manera de descubrirla es caminando. El resultado de esta fascinación fue la creación de 17 rutas para caminar, cada una investigada en detalle, y que ninguna otra empresa ofrece. Así que si lo que busca es una experiencia diferente, tendré mucho gusto en compartir esta Lima que para mí es, sin lugar a dudas, el secreto mejor guardado de América Latina".

Ronald Recommends


Until the 1960-ies the Jiron de la Unión in the Historic Centre of Lima was the main high street with fancy jewellery shops, tearooms, café´s, where Limeños went for a stroll, to see and to be seen. That is now something of the past. Jirón de la Unión is still very popular and you see that it has been once sophisticated, but you don´t have to go there for finding something special as a souvenir or representative for the country.

The fancy shops have moved to San Isidro, especially Av. Libertadores and Av. Conquistadores and the streets connecting them. This area is also close to the beautiful El Olivar, the former olive grove of the hacienda of the Counts of San Isidro. It has been urbanized, but luckily still lots of green and olive trees remain. A very nice corner can be found in Miguel Dasso with several coffeeshops and a papershop (Walk 7, San Isidro).

Nowadays Limeños shop in shopping centres. The more luxurious ones are Larcomar in Miraflores, Jockey Plaza in Surco and La Molina Plaza in La Molina. The Larcomar one caters mainly for tourists (it is even the second touristic destination of Peru after Machu Picchu), the others for the local public. It is the same type of shops you find everywhere in the world. Personally and from a more anthropological point of view I like Megaplaza Norte in Independencia. This is the largest of four new shopping centres in the former shantytowns in northern Lima (Walk 10 Los Olivos). Great to see how the people there have improved their lives. Logical that they now want Adidas, Nike and Pierre Cardin. Can you imagine living without?

Coffee and pastry
Peruvian coffee has become more widely known, especially the organic ones. Café Tunki for instance, which is produced by only one farmer in the department of Puno, received awards in the USA. You can have a coffee Tunki in downtown Lima in Lima Café, Jr. Cailloma 552 (close to walk 1 and walk 2). An espresso costs S/. 5. Organic coffee from Oxapampa is sold in the Café Dédalo, Ca. Diagonal in Miraflores 378 (walk 8 Miraflores)
Normal Peruvian coffee is served in Il Cappuccino (included in the Culinary Walk Miraflores/Surquillo). In Dulcería San Martin, Av. San Martín 988 (walk 2), you can have a traditional Peruvian coffee with a piece of the best turrón de Doña Pepa, a traditional Peruvian pastry, very sweet, but very tasty.

Handicraft and contemporary design
There is a very large 'Indian Market' in Miraflores, between Av. Ricardo Palma and Av. Petit Thouars. Here you find hundred of shops. It is a bit much of the same, but with some dedicated browsing you´ll bound to find good souvenirs. The handicrafts tend to be more mass produced, but some shops sell their own handwork.
High quality handicrafts you´ll find in Las Pallas, Jirón Cajamarca 212 in Barranco. Located in an old style house. Owner Mari Solari will gladly show you her personal collection as well.
Barranco is also the place to shop for more contemporary Peruvian design: Dedalo Arte y Artesania, Av. Sáenz Peña 295, with a very nice cafetaria in the patio, and  Centro Colich, Jirón Colina 110. All Barranco shops are passed by in Walk 9 Barranco.