In Lima, with no flight until tomorrow? You´re in luck, near Lima there are some beautiful beaches. In this post, Christelle won’t let you miss out on any of them.
Another great idea to explore Lima, is to enjoy its beaches. Believe me, it’s worth it. Summer is from March-April. So before heading out to explore ancient Peru, take a tour of the nearby beaches.
Lima, with a beach view
For those who don´t have enough time to get out of Lima, in the bohemian heart of the capital, there is a hidden hotel that has a relaxed, beachy atmosphere and beautiful view of the beach. It’s called Second Home. It was the home of the sculptor Victor Delfin. His works are distributed throughout the house, giving this residence his artistic signature. There is a beautiful and tranquil garden and a beautiful view of the Pacific Ocean. You can swim in the pool or, if you dare, go down the Bajada de Baños to get to the beach and take a Paddle Yoga session at Los Yuyos beach next to the Club de La Marina.
Surfing and good waves in San Bartolo, just an hour away
In the summer, Lima´s coast is full of people who come to enjoy the sea and rent beach houses throughout the season. You can also come for just a few days, come during weekdays, it´s much quieter. The nearest beaches are accessible by public transport (1hr in taxi-100 soles plus tolls. 1hr30 by bus- 4 soles, from the Atocongo bus stop. The busses are beige and brown and say San Bartolo). San Bartolo is a town, that in addition to its beach, offers friendly hotels like the Casa Hotel Kauhuhu, restaurants with various prices and a small market. If you feel like surfing, eating fresh ceviche and experiencing something totally different from Lima, this beach is for you.
Beaches seen on postcards, Paracas, 4 hours away
If you are looking for beaches with beautiful landscapes, the closest beaches to Lima, to leave you fascinated by their beauty are those of the Paracas National Reserve. To visit them, take a bus to the town of Paracas. And from there, take a tour to the Reserve. One tour is a guided visit to the Ballestas Islands to see Humboldt penguins, sea lions and dozens of seabirds. Another tour is to the Paracas National Reserve with beaches seen in movies. SERNANP charges an entrance fee to the Reserve, 10 soles. It is located behind a desert and to really enjoy it, it’s best to rent a car. The mini-van tour lasts around three hours and includes the Mirador near the stone Cathedral (which was unfortunately damaged after the earthquake in 2007). Another option is to go by bike, but it’s a 15-20 mile trail and the sun is quite strong (South American’s Secrets, southamericanssecrets.com, 956 481 002). Or to take your time, a taxi can take you around (Lagunillas-La Mina Service for 90 soles, round trip). Be sure to walk the Playa Roja, eat ceviche at Tía Fela by Lagunillas beach and enjoy the clear, tranquil water of La Mina to bathe in. The day I went, a dolphin celebrated with us just a few meters from the edge. It is best to spend a night in Paracas or camp on the beach, if you have a vehicle. In 2 days / 1 night you will have the full experience and you will even have time to take a dune buggy tour through the sand dunes at Huacachina. The Santa Maria Hotel is a nice place, 170 soles for a double bed, breakfast and a tour of the Ballestas Islands or of the Paracas Reserve.
To the north, natural beaches in Huara
The northern beaches are less crowded and not so well known. It is worth making a stop at, if you happen to be on your way to the archaeological site of Caral, the oldest city in America. At Km 177, find the Albufera de Medio Mundo, an area with simple bungalows and camping grounds. The surprise? You will be on the edge of a wetland among the reeds, with a giant mirror of water, a variety of migratory birds and steps from Los Viños beach. A double room costs from 85-120 soles, camping space 15 soles. There, you have to rent a private vehicle. Around 100 USD for two days.