Peru Country Manager Daniel Salazar writes about a BBC article that highlights Lima as the most underrated city in South America. With its world renowned gastronomy, ethnic diversity, and gorgeous sites, Lima is a fascinating city. Read on for more details about what you, too, can discover while on a service program in Lima.
By Daniel Salazar, Peru Country Manager
When you get tired of American media, at least you can always go back to good old BBC News. And you can know that if their travel experts recommend visiting Lima, there must be a pretty good reason for that. In my opinion, there are many. Just like The Telegraph, Forbes, and many others, the BBC featured Lima in their travel section as “South America’s Most Underrated City?,” outlining the many features that make Lima such an awesome city to visit. We have talked about the wonders of Peru and Lima in the past, but the British News Broadcaster just gives our claims more Ethos. For starters, let’s consider the story’s headline: “It has more restaurants listed in the San Pellegrino World 50 list than any city outside of Tokyo – and that includes Paris, London, and New York.”
“It has more restaurants listed in the San Pellegrino World 50 list than any city outside of Tokyo – and that includes Paris, London, and New York.”– Lindsey Galloway – BBC
We have mentioned the wonders of Peruvian cuisine before. But it’s true! We LITERALLY have the best restaurants in the world, and the food is amazing pretty much everywhere in Lima. As the BBC article mentions; “You simply won’t eat better seafood anywhere.” When you participate in a service program in Peru, you have the chance to go the world’s best restaurants as well as to eat from the cooking of the people in our partner communities. (Some volunteers have said that the latter was even better than the former, but that’s for you to decide!) In Ancón, the fishing town where volunteers stay, you will have access to fresh and delicious Peruvian seafood.
Part of Lima’s appeal lies in its sheer size. Lima is the world’s third largest desert city and the second most populated city in South America with 12 million people. Lima is the capital, most important city, and heart of Peru, housing more than a third of the population of the whole country. This population is mostly mestizos, but with large numbers of indigenous Peruvian, European Peruvians, and Asians (especially Chinese and Japanese). This ethnic mix also translated to a mixture of cuisines, which explains the origin of a lot of Peruvian dishes and is part of the reason behind their rich flavor.
“You simply won’t eat better seafood anywhere.”– Lindsey Galloway – BBC
Another feature that makes Peruvian food so tasty is its location. Right on the Pacific Ocean, Lima enjoys a wonderful sea view and abundance of seafood. And although it’s a desert city, the vast Peruvian jungle and the valleys formed by the Andes provide all sorts of fruits, grains, vegetables, and spices. Lima’s location also explains two of the favorite past-times of limeños (demonym for Lima): going to the beach and surfing. In fact, as part of our service program it is common that we help Sagrada Familia children’s home take children to the beach in the summer for a day of fun.
Lima is divided into districts, 43 in total. Ancón is one of them, but there are many other really cool districts to explore. The BBC article also highlights Lima’s affordability, destinations close to Lima, and some cool districts in Lima like Miraflores (most touristic district in Lima), Barranco (a bohemian district volunteers love to visit), and La Molina (where we actually have a wonderful project teaching English to low-income college students and faculty). We suggest you take advantage of your time in Lima and visit some of these districts during your free time on the weekend.
For amazing food, awesome sites to visit, and the chance to serve and learn from struggling communities: sign up for a service program in Lima!