Lima Layover: Ceviche in Miraflores & Museo Larco in Pueblo Libre

by Chris on January 17, 2011

Known for its ceviche, Lima has become the center of a new gastronomic scene. We check out La Mar.

El Parque del Amor, Miraflores, Lima, Peru

After spending a long morning touring the Lima’s colonial center, we moved on to Miraflores – the city’s wealthy suburb on the Pacific Ocean – for lunch. I knew I wanted ceviche, Lima’s premier dish. But first, Roberto took us to El Parque del Amour (Love Park), dominated by El Beso.

El Beso, Parque del Amour, Miraflores, Lima, Peru

The statue, by Victor Delfin, is meant to be a take on Rodin’s famed Kiss statue – only this couple have Peruvian features.

El Parque del Amor, Miraflores, Lima, Peru

Surrounding the statue are mosaic walls with phrases of love worked into the design. The park opened on Valentine’s Day in 1993 and it’s become a romantic place for couples to watch the sunset.

Parasailing, Miraflores, Lima, Peru

On a nearby hill, paragliders were jumping off a cliff and sailing over the Pacific Ocean.

Surfers in Miraflores, Lima, Peru

And below, surfers were giving the waves a shot.

Pisco sour at La Mar, Miraflores, Lima, Peru

By this point, we were starved. Lima has been receiving quite a lot of press these days for its culinary scene, mostly based in Miraflores. We settled down for pisco sours and ceviche at La Mar, a modern cevicheria owned by Peruvian celebrity chef Gaston Acurio (he has outposts in Panama, Bogota, Sao Paulo and even San Francisco).  Open aired and full of trendy folks just coming from the beach, La Mar was a hopping place. We sat at the bar and nursed our drinks before a table opened up.

Plantain chips at La Mar, Miraflores, Lima, Peru

Our meal started with plantain chips and a trio of dipping sauces…

Ceviche at La Mar, Miraflores, Lima, Peru

…and continued with a plate of tuna sashimi…

Ceviche at La Mar, Miraflores, Lima, Peru

And culminated in the delicious ceviche sampler. The fish you see in the picture are placed on top of different Peruvian potatoes.

Museo Larco, Pueblo Libre, Lima, Peru

After lunch, our guide Roberto took us to Museo Larco, a private museum that’s home to one of the most important collections of pre-Columbian art and archeological artifacts in the world.

Museo Larco, Pueblo Libre, Lima, Peru

The collection, which contains about 45,000 pieces, began as the personal hobby of Rafael Larco Herrera in 1925 and was continued by his son, agricultural engineer Rafael Larco Hoyle. In addition to the formal display in the museum, there’s thousands of pieces of pre-Columbian pottery catalogued in floor-to-ceiling glass cases. Seen all at once, it’s a little overwhelming.

Museo Larco, Pueblo Libre, Lima, Peru

Lima has plenty of stray dogs running around, but few cats. Roberto told me that Peruvians don’t like having cats as pets, which is why I enjoyed seeing these jaguar pieces in the display cases.

Museo Larco, Pueblo Libre, Lima, Peru

The Larco Museum itself has pre-Columbian objects and artifacts beyond pottery, including tools and jewelry. Most of the displays have English translations, so you can tour it without a guide.

Museo Larco, Pueblo Libre, Lima, Peru

Some of the pieces were quite graphic. The box above shows a priest preparing a human sacrifice for the Gods. The Larco Museum also has one of the world’s top collections of pre-Columbian erotic pottery. The pieces are fairly explicit so make sure you’re at a safe computer (preferably not at work) when you take a peek.

Thanks to LAN Airlines for sponsoring my trip.

| Chris Gray Faust is a veteran journalist, travel expert, social media butterfly - and editrix of this site. Like what you read? Check out her writing, editing and social media services.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Worldtraveller2 January 28, 2011 at 10:06 pm

We are a dive family, so we went to El Kapallaq Restaurant in Mira Flores, we were lucky enought to mewt diver/chef/owner Luis Cordero of the restaurant. Definetly a highlight of the trip for a DIVE family and it was excellent local food!

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Chris January 30, 2011 at 10:03 pm

That sounds like a great recommendation! I’m tentatively planning on spending some time in Peru next year, so I’ll have to keep this tip in mind.

Where is your favorite dive site?

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bob fischer April 26, 2011 at 9:26 am

the best restaurant in all of lima is Manolo’s on larco. the sandwiches are works of towering pieces of art, they taste amazing, and the price is fabulous.

I loved the erotic pottery collection in the larco museum. it was extraordinary. also, with a friend from lima my partner and i travelled up the moutain to the giant electrically lit cross for an amazing 360 degree view of the city. It’s also a tour of the flavellas of lima, the poorest section of lima as you wid up the very scary road to the top with the perviuans. there are no tourists up there. the tour buses don’t go there

try it!

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Edwin December 29, 2011 at 7:45 am

Before or during your trip to Peru, you could contact iPeru, the National Tourism Board. They usually have offices close to the Main Squares (Plaza de Armas) or airports at the main citis. You could contact them this governemt service to iperu@promperu.gob.pe; iperuiquitos@promperu.gob.pe or to their 24-hour phone (+51 1) 574-8000 or http://www.peru.travel.

They will give you official, updated and reliable information on the tourist hotspots and off the beaten routes, as well as a list of registered accommodations and travel agencies, safety sugestions, and so on; always free or charge and without advertisements. Also, they give free assistance for procedures or complaints.

Remember visit Iquitos and the Amazon river and rainforest. Arequipa and the deepest world’s canyons (Cotahuasi and Colca) at Arequipa is the source of the Amazon river. Huaraz and the tallest mountains in Peru. Lima and Caral, the oldest civilization in the Americas. Ica and the Nazca lines. Trujillo and the world’s largest citadel made in adobo bricks. Chiclayo and a lot of pyramids. Tumbes and the mangroves forest. Chachapoyas and a lot of pre-incan mommies and buildings, as well as the tallest waterfall in Peru and the third tallest in the world: The Gocta. Puno and the Titicaca lake where the Uros lives. Cusco and Machupicchu and the precolumbian customs. Try cebiche, lomo saltado, juane, tacacho, aji de gallina, anticuchos, etc. Peru have a new dish and flavour in every corner. A lot to do in this country.

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