We ended up having one full day in the Peruvian capital of Lima. I know, I know...pretty bad. I didn't mean to shortchange it (truly) but when planning my Peru itinerary, I knew that I didn't want to scrimp on time in either the Sacred Valley or Cusco, so that left Lima. In order to maximize our time in the capital city, I decided to do something I rarely ever do in major cities, which was hire a private driver/guide. Although I normally am quite comfortable with navigating a foreign city on my own, with having limited time I did not want to spend a single moment of it having to consult maps, ask someone for directions etc. Also, even though Lima is a major metropolis, its only public transportation is buses.
Where did I dine at my first week back after returning from Peru? Why a Peruvian restaurant of course. Although each and every one of my trips abroad has always included some fantastic meals, it had been a while since I had visited a country where I truly just ADORED the cuisine. Sadly, the more upscale Peruvian restaurant that I got to dine at two times in a month has long since been closed and apparently there was another Peruvian restaurant in Pittsburgh's downtown that also closed last year before I could get a chance to eat there. Thankfully though, one Peruvian restaurant remains, Chicken Latino, which is located in the Strip District.
When it came time to book a hotel in the Peruvian capital, I knew that while I would by no means want to go "cheap" per se, I also didn't want to spend a small fortune. Originally I had planned to cash in the many Marriott Rewards points we had accumulated for the JW Marriott in Lima, a hotel that is considered to be one of the best in ALL of Latin America. Unfortunately, I guess I waited too long in trying to book (I tried doing this about 4 months before our trip) and all rewards points rooms were sold out for the night I needed. I (briefly) considered spending the $330 USD to stay there anyway but deep down it just didn't seem worth it. So I cast my lot with the Casa Andina Private Collection Miraflores.