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Lima (LIM) Stopover Tips

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Please continue any discussion about Jorge Chávez International Airport (LIM) in Lima, Peru in this thread. :)

Here you can discuss things like:
  • How to get from the airport to the city
  • Things to do (both near the airport and in the city)
  • Where to stay/hotel recommendations (both near the airport and in the city)
  • LIM airport lounges (or lack of at the moment, it would seem!)
  • Airport facilities such as luggage storage and showers
  • Any other destination-specific tips or "hidden gems" you've discovered that could be useful for someone stopping over
Do you have a great tip that other travellers might find useful when stopping over in Lima? Add your suggestions to this thread, and your advice could make it into an AFF Stopover Guide article!

Update: Read the AFF guide here - The Ultimate Lima Stopover Guide
 
Last edited:

Boca68

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OK, Jorge Chavez International (LIM).
Well, it's a very simple airport compared to most. But with many quirks. But nothing the average traveller can't handle, I feel.

First off, Arrivals. Couldn't be easier. It's straightforward. For Australians, no visa required. You can stay up 180 days in a calendar year. Usually they will ask you at immigration how long you intend to stay, depending on that they will give you 30, 60 or up to 90 days maximum on arrival. Business visas are relatively easy to acquire. International transfer is just before you arrive at the immigration desks on your right hand side. When you arrive at immigration, they tend to direct foreigners to the left, Peruvians to the right. Keep your passport in your pocket and have a look, because you can go either way. If the right side is quiet, go there. They will not re-direct you. A handy tip I've learnt.

After exiting immigration, which is usually very quick unless you arrive early AM (6am-8am) or late PM (10pm-12am) when the European and US inbounds tend to arrive, you will enter the baggage claim area. 5 carousels. It can be very slow at times, but priority baggage delivery is quite good. Luggage desk is on the far wall near carousel 4 I think. There are now two money exchanges. Before only one with terrible rates , hopefully a bit of competition will improve that. I usually just change $50usd. There are thousands of cambios (money exchanges) in the city, often with much better rates. And you can use USD at major supermarkets and major chain stores at quite good rates also. You will get your change in soles. All cards are accepted, even AMEX. ATM's are everywhere. Even tap and go has started recently. Apple pay and Android pay are just now starting to appear.

Only one customs form to potentially fill in before arrival nowadays. Use to be 3, then 2, now only 1 and then only if you have something to declare. If you have nothing to declare, don't bother filling in the form. Just follow the green signs out.

Once out you will see the official Taxi desks and the Airport Express Bus desk. The Airport Express bus is ok from what I've heard. It goes to Miraflores area, the usual foreigner haunt. But slowly people are moving to other more interesting areas of the city. So it may not be convenient for all. But its cheap. Official Taxis to Miraflores , San Isidro, are about ~$25-30 AUD (60-80 Soles) and are perfectly fine. Don't, I repeat don't go outside and get a taxi from the 100's of drivers waiting. You will very likely get harrassed and ripped off! The 'official' lanyards they wear are nothing more than costumes.

They are not unsafe , but they will wait all day to get one foreigner to pay 200 soles to go to Miraflores and they don't need to do anything else. If you don't have an organised ride, I recommend Taxi Beat. Download it from apple or google play, can get a taxi at a good price and safely. Uber is another option also. It's best if you have a Peruvian Sim card for those, but an Australian phone will work, just watch your data roaming, ok. Taxis in Peru , you usually negotiate the fare before you go. Remember though you will have to pay the drivers parking fee , usually about 5 - 10 soles ($2-4 aud) . Uber and Taxi Beat are a good way around this if your spanish is not good.

Now, the drive into the city. What can I say. Lima has possibly the worst traffic and roads to and from any airport I know. It's shocking. Later I will do a departure post. The entrance to Jorge Chavez is downright dangerous. But that is another story. If you in the bus or the taxi, put your seat belt on and be prepared to wait. And you will get to hear the Peruvian National Anthem.... Honk! Honk! Beeeeep! Beep! Beeeeeeep!!! But, once you get out of Callao, which is the city you actually arrive in, not Lima, and into the city proper, it will improve.

Ok, I will follow up with a departures post later. And most likely have to tinker with this one because i missed something.

Departures
The first thing you need to know about LIM departures is just getting there safely. The entrance round-about is just nuts. A major international airport and you have to cross 4 lanes of merging traffic in 50 metres to access the entrance. Thankfully its not at break neck speed. But always entertaining

When you arrive there is a universal check in area for passengers only. It covers domestic and International. Except if you have One World or Latam status. Then you can go to the southern end , near international arrivals, outside the main check in area, for preferente check in. Be aware, they only have three desks there and if busy, it might actually be quicker to go around the corner and check in normally were they have 50 desks!

After check in, you go upstairs via escalator for both domestic and international. There is a food court area and shopping area. The usual over priced airport stores. Domestic and international departures and security are accessed by the same point. But international goes left, domestic goes right. It's basically the same hall. Security is very fast, go left for international and right for domestic.

Immigration is fast and no hassle. There is now a lounge for One World elites. after a long time of no lounge at all. It's called Hanaq. Relatively basic, quite large and often busy. Before One World and Star Alliance had separate lounges, but for the time being they share the same. Drink selection is poor and food selection is average. Seating is functional only. WiFi is ok. Often queues to get in.

To get to the airport, again I recommend uber or taxi beat. From Miraflores or San Isidro its a good hour in traffic. Peak times closer to 2 hours. Just be aware of that when planning your departure. Lima and its traffic is dreadful, but an accident can make it impossible. Always give yourself an extra 30 minutes.
I know I've missed heaps, but if anyone needs something or to ask a question about Lima, only to happy to help.
Later I will add a post about the city itself. I know I bag it, but it does have many great things going for it. You just have to dig deep :)
 
Last edited:

opusman

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We found Uber was great in Peru, because the taxis don't have meters and all have to be "negotiated" - whereas with Uber you know how much it will cost up front (and it's usually dirt cheap!).
 

RooFlyer

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Can you say where the ATM(s) is when you come out of international arrivals at the airport, Boca68? (Assuming there is one nearby.)
 

Boca68

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Can you say where the ATM(s) is when you come out of international arrivals at the airport, Boca68? (Assuming there is one nearby.)
There is one close by. Upon exiting the immigration/customs area. You will see to the right the exit and car park area, if you go to the left, you will see a set of escalators. To the right of the escalators you will see the new LATAM preferente check in area, to the left of that you find an atm. Also you can go up the escalator and follow around to the right, after a while you will see a Starbucks (go figure!) there are more atms there as well.
 

Milboo

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I can recommend the JW Marriott at Miraflores - had a very pleasant few nights here.

We used the hotel car to get across town, and then to the airport. Was not cheap but convenient.

Other tips
- Dinner at Central is certainly a once in a life time experience
- Manalo in Miraflores is THE place for churros
- Parque Kennedy is a quirky little park with a large cat population that locals go and hang out with.

I can’t offer any tips into LIM airport - we arrived in from Guayaquil and departed to Cusco (and then transitted back through to SCL) but I really can’t recall anything about the place. I think all the airports blurred together in that trip!
 

Boca68

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I can recommend the JW Marriott at Miraflores - had a very pleasant few nights here.

We used the hotel car to get across town, and then to the airport. Was not cheap but convenient.

Other tips
- Dinner at Central is certainly a once in a life time experience
- Manalo in Miraflores is THE place for churros
- Parque Kennedy is a quirky little park with a large cat population that locals go and hang out with.

I can’t offer any tips into LIM airport - we arrived in from Guayaquil and departed to Cusco (and then transitted back through to SCL) but I really can’t recall anything about the place. I think all the airports blurred together in that trip!

Agree with Central. Maido is better IMHO. But both are worht it for the experience. Try Kjolle, a new restaurant by the Central family, right next door. Manolo yes!! :p

And Parque Kennedy doesn't have that many cats anymore. The city is finally de-sexing and there are a few, but not the hundreds there was a few years ago.
 

opusman

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There are now two money exchanges. Before only one with terrible rates , hopefully a bit of competition will improve that. I usually just change $50usd
We got given a counterfeit 100 SOL note (which are apparently rife) from one of the exchange booths at the airport. I would stick to ATMs if we went again.
 

ozguytim

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I recently returned from a trip to South America visiting Peru (Lima, Cusco, Machu Picchu and Puno) and Colombia (Bogota).

Hopefully these tips help:

How to get from the airport to the city
-I used Uber. I did not have data roaming activated but there is free WiFi throughout the airport so was able to book an Uber using the airport Wifi. The driver met me at the designated pickup. Felt completely safe
-Was no problem taking Uber back to the airport for an early morning flight to Cusco (no shortage of Uber drivers at 5AM)

Things to do
-Museo Larco is a beautiful museum with a restaurant/cafe set in the lush gardens
-Visited Larcomar shopping centre for the view but the majority of shops there are American brands that can be found in most cities.
Kuna and Sol are famous for genuine alpaca garments.
-Huaca Pucllana is also worth seeing - guided tours only (last about an hour, very informative).
-Museo MATE to view the spectacular photographic collection by Mario Testino (down the road from Central restaurant).

Where to stay/hotel recommendations
-Stayed at a boutique hotel in Miraflores called Atemporal. Highly recommend it - friendly service, relaxing and cosy ambience, charming decor and styling. Delicious breakfast, afternoon tea/cookies and evening wine included.

Any other destination-specific tips or "hidden gems" you've discovered that could be useful for someone stopping over
-I bought a data SIM from the Claro shop in Miraflores (bring your passport with you). Extremely affordable - 20 soles for 1GB which was more than adequate.
-I made an October reservation for Central restaurant in July, easily done online. Between 2 of us we spent about 630AUD - including 2 cocktails and a bottle of wine. It was a wonderful experience in a beautiful, spacious and light filled setting. However the food was more 'creative' than tasty/delicious in my opinion. Dehydration and foam techniques featured heavily. I wouldn't go again, but I am glad I had the experience.
-I ate Chifa (Peruvian chinese) cuisine at Madam Tusan. Let's just say we are spoilt for Chinese cuisine options here in Australia. I left quite disappointed - maybe the first giveaway it was going to be a disappointment was that there were no chopsticks ?? Bland, bland, bland.
-Used Uber to get around. Very easy.
 

Boca68

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I recently returned from a trip to South America visiting Peru (Lima, Cusco, Machu Picchu and Puno) and Colombia (Bogota).

Hopefully these tips help:

How to get from the airport to the city
-I used Uber. I did not have data roaming activated but there is free WiFi throughout the airport so was able to book an Uber using the airport Wifi. The driver met me at the designated pickup. Felt completely safe
-Was no problem taking Uber back to the airport for an early morning flight to Cusco (no shortage of Uber drivers at 5AM)

Things to do
-Museo Larco is a beautiful museum with a restaurant/cafe set in the lush gardens
-Visited Larcomar shopping centre for the view but the majority of shops there are American brands that can be found in most cities.
Kuna and Sol are famous for genuine alpaca garments.
-Huaca Pucllana is also worth seeing - guided tours only (last about an hour, very informative).
-Museo MATE to view the spectacular photographic collection by Mario Testino (down the road from Central restaurant).

Where to stay/hotel recommendations
-Stayed at a boutique hotel in Miraflores called Atemporal. Highly recommend it - friendly service, relaxing and cosy ambience, charming decor and styling. Delicious breakfast, afternoon tea/cookies and evening wine included.

Any other destination-specific tips or "hidden gems" you've discovered that could be useful for someone stopping over
-I bought a data SIM from the Claro shop in Miraflores (bring your passport with you). Extremely affordable - 20 soles for 1GB which was more than adequate.
-I made an October reservation for Central restaurant in July, easily done online. Between 2 of us we spent about 630AUD - including 2 cocktails and a bottle of wine. It was a wonderful experience in a beautiful, spacious and light filled setting. However the food was more 'creative' than tasty/delicious in my opinion. Dehydration and foam techniques featured heavily. I wouldn't go again, but I am glad I had the experience.
-I ate Chifa (Peruvian chinese) cuisine at Madam Tusan. Let's just say we are spoilt for Chinese cuisine options here in Australia. I left quite disappointed - maybe the first giveaway it was going to be a disappointment was that there were no chopsticks ?? Bland, bland, bland.
-Used Uber to get around. Very easy.
Great post @ozguytim .

Museo Larco and Museo MATE, I would second both those. The Testino exhibit which is semi-permanent, is fantastic at MATE.

Highly recommend also..
For art lovers MALI, (Museum of Art Lima) MALI - Museo de Arte de Lima Has some brilliant exhibits, ever changing. As a plus the gardens are very pretty and serene.
For history and archaeology lovers, can't go past Pachacamac Pachacamac . Now when I went, at first I thought its just a freaking desert. But listen and learn and you will see how incredible this place was and is. More important to Peruvian history than just about anywhere in Peru.
For modern art and theatre lovers, The Gran Teatro Nacional, Gran Teatro Nacional is wonderful. Always some interesting and often free or very cheap performances happening. A quite striking building, especially at night.
And the Museo D' Oro Museo Oro del Perú está en construcción is spectacular , almost as good as Bogotas' (edit: site seems to be under construction atm? Hopefully up soon)
And one out of left field. Museo del Ejercito Contemperao Chavin de Huantar. Museo del Ejercito Contemporaneo Chavin de Huantar (Lima): 2018 All You Need to Know Before You Go (with PHOTOS)

I'm sure many know of the Japanese Embassy siege in Lima 1997, many don't. But this is the Marine Corps replica building, which they actually built to train for it. It's weird and its actually inside a Military base near Chorillos, southern suburb of Lima, close to Barranco. It's the weirdest place I've been. Mostly because of no signs, just guys in full fatigues with M-16's and gun range just over the hill. And this musuem is there, out of nowhere. Very interesting. Just be prepared for a "should I be here" kind of experience. Don't worry its ok, just be sure to bring some ID, you will require it to enter the base.

I will add more. Get a mod soon to merge my posts into one, I think. I have a couple more planned
 
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Boca68

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Just an update on lounges at LIM. New LATAM/OW lounge called Sumaq. It is third party operated, but LATAM have access. Very large, adequate food, even at almost midnight when we visited. The previous Sumaq lounge is right next door.
Overall it's ok. lots of charging points, TV's, business centre, good food selection. As an aside, we were travelling as a group of 3, only one guest of course. I asked about allowing access for the 3rd person, cheekily. Was told it was $120USD for 3 hours. :oops: Thankfully they happily waited in the concourse. BY comparsion we again asked at SCL at the lovely VIP lounge there, I got told its usually $40USD access, no time limit, but as its quiet, go on in! ;)
 

V Singh

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Spent transit time at Sumaq Lounge @ LIM recently. Comfortable and convenient. Lots of food items and soft drinks but only one alcoholic drink
 

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