Central Coast (Peru)
Central Coast is a region of Peru.
- Lima - the capital of the country and the associated city of Callao
- Ica - a city in the desert
Throughout the year Lima tends to be in the mid 60's to mid 70's (F) with minimal to no rain and relatively high humidity (80-85%). Foggy during dry season (May-September). Overall, Peru's arid locations have very predictable weather, differing only by the changing position of the few clouds in that are in the sky.
Language seems to not be much of an issue in Lima. If you're going to a tourist location, than it is very likely that there will be both English and Spanish speakers there. Ordering at restaurants is never a problem: Even if there are only Spanish speakers available to take your order, you can at least point at the menu.
Aeropuerto Internacional Jorge Chávez (IATA:LIM) is the main gateway to Lima and all of Peru. All other Peru airports can be accessed by taking smaller planes from Jorge Chávez Airport.
One may navigate the streets of Lima by car, taxi, bus, or rickshaw-like motorcycle taxis. Lima's only city controlled transportation is a set of bus lines to travel on the highways, these travel almost solely within the city. All other modes of transportation are minimally regulated and provide little guarantee of safety.
Roads in this region are under constant construction and are not necessarily organized in a block structure, thus they are challenging to navigate.
Driving is to be avoided if possible, due to traffic congestion, poor parking options, overly aggressive drivers, complexity of navigation. As an alternative, taxis or hotel shuttles are the best option. Before you arrive in Lima make sure to contact or research whether your hotel has a shuttle from the airport or if the have a good recommendation for a specific taxi service. There are a few taxis that are relatively cheap and very safe, although it is best to take taxis only by recommendation from someone you trust.
High traffic congestion and aggressive drivers tend to be the result of the method of communication with other cars that most drivers operate by. Communication between drivers in Peru is generally done through eye contact with each other driver and frequent use of each persons car horn. The result can be seen at most traffic lights and intersections, where four lanes of traffic seem to be marked on the pavement, while in fact there are five or six lanes with many vehicles crossing between lanes in no organized fashion. Intersections with traffic lights may also have a traffic cop's stand, if the stand is in use, the cops may in may cases disregard the traffic lights and direct cars to move accordingly.
Be weary of pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists. In many cases they completely disobey traffic rules and/or squeeze between vehicles to the point where it is challenging to see them. In general, one should not expect traffic to yield to pedestrians.
- Park of the Reserve is one of the most advertised tourist locations for international and Peruvian visitors alike. The park is located in downtown Lima and, for a small admittance fee, one can enter to see a couple dozen fountains, the colorful lights that shine upon them, and the well cared for grounds that they reside wthin. Over the course of a day multiple fountain shows occur on the largest fountain in the park, a beautiful display of water and light combined to tell the story of Peruvian culture.
- The Plaza de Armas' provides a wonderful display of Spanish influence architecture in the historical center of Lima. Many buildings in the area can be toured, with or without a guide. At the head of the plaza sits the Palacio de Gobierno, the palace of the Peruvian President. The Catedral de Lima also neighbors the plaza, an intriguing tour of the building is recommended by many travel books and will provide an insightful look into the Spanish past of Peru.
Peruvian tap water is not considered safe for drinking for either visitors or residents, and can likely cause dysentery. Do not ingest anything that was made with tap water unless it was thoroughly boiled. Be wary of anything that may still be wet or was washed with tap water: e.g., raw vegetables and salads. Something to consider is that many places will serve salads with lemon since the acids in lemon tend to neutralize the dysentery causing bacteria, although this is not a guarantee.