Shopping Lima Peru , Polvos Azules

polvos azules

Tourists should check out the Pulvos Azules shopping center in Lima, Peru.  Close to Downtown and the bus stations off of the highway.

There are many places to find clothes to buy in Lima Peru.  Pulvos Azules is a great place to shop for a bargain and find many name brand items for purchase.

Pulvos Azules offers lots of shopping options for visitors as well as locals.  Moved years ago from the now chabucka area Pulvos Azules is made up of hundreds of small vendor booths like you see all over Gamarra.  Nike Shoes , Fake Rolex? They got it.  Video Games and a video game playing area where you can battle friends and make new ones as well.  Although shopping in Peru is what most people come for.

 

Looking for DVD s for your trip they have them all here.  If you see one you like ask the vendor to play it for you and they will be glad to show you the quality.  Its like the peruvian version of Netflix.  Actually I know of several DVD markets around lima and this one is ok.  The best I just cannot give out as it is way better than the rest and as a Traveler I must keep some things for myself.

All different types of Jeans , Pants , Tops , Shirts , Polos , Sweatshirts , Shoes , and accessories are available for purchase.  Lots of brands mostly name brand whether they are real or not I am uncertain but the prices are more than right.  Although better deals are had in Gamarra Market this is the place for the higher quality items.

Changing currency is possible with the guys in the yellow vests.  Imagine that.  Its the norm.

Top 10 Things to do Peru

10.  Eat Cuy Picante.  Try the woodsmoked spicy classic of Peru.

9. Visit the Natural Springs of Curawasi in the Apurimac Valley.  Float the Apurimac River via Canoe or Kayak.

8.  Visit the Cebicherias and Disco Tech’s of the Lima Metro area or catch a soccer game.

7.  Visit

Saksaywaman

Located Just a 5 minute taxi ride from the Plaza de Armas in Cusco, Peru.  This National Historic site represents the remaining Inca City which was not destroyed by the Spanish invasion.  There are tours and a ticket counter is at the entrance.  Be wary of locals selling fake passes near the ticket building.  Horse stables are nearby and locals are known for vending fine alpaca hats scarves and blankets off the road past the ticket booth. About $20 Admission estimate take nuevo soles.

6.  Visit

Plaza De Armas, Lima Peru.

Here you will find the main Cathedral which is very exquisite but I have only seen it open once during serveral weddings held at once.  It is the finest in the country although I do believe the cusco ones are older.  The Pizza place is a great place for food as is the Chabuca Market just to the South West of the Presidential Palace.  The square had lots of food and Jiron is full of shops, from plaza vea to tipitop.  There are  2 movie theaters a norky’s, although Campestra is close by and the best in Peru.  Plaza St. Martin is good for travel agencies with airline deals as well as a great place to change your dough.

5.  Visit the beaches of the SUR or El Norte.

4. Visit Cusco and all Inca Heritage Museaums.

3.  See the Nazca Line Ancient Unknown Peruvian Archeological landmarks.

2.  See the RainForest.

1.  Visit Machu Picchu.

Don’t forget to get souvenirs of alpaca hats and other artisan gifts in markets around lima and cusco.  Email for Direct Sales.  We Currently have gift items available on ebay as well.

Catacombs Convento de San Francisco Lima Peru

Located a few short blocks from the Plaza de Armas or Plaza Mayor Lima Center is the Convento de San Francisco which houses the largest catacombs in Peru.

The Convent is located about a five minute walk from the plaza de armas and is a fantastic attraction. The tour only costs about 10 soles each from what I recall and includes a complete tour of the convent as well as the catacombs below. A word of warning: as usual I recommend taking the spanish version of the tour is you have someone in your group which can assist you. Our kids took the spanish tour and it was twice as long and much more complete spending alot more time in the underground catacomb chambers.

They heard many secretes about the underground passages and alot more history including a tour of the library and upper level of the convent. The english tour was also informative and definitely a worthwhile visit.

Taking Pictures inside is not permitted. Please observe this rule as people remains are present.

FOREX Peru : Best Places to Exchange Foreign Currency Peru

Back for a quick update, busy with work.

When traveling abroad tourists always want to get the most bang for their buck.  When traveling in Peru it is important to know the do’s and dont’s of money exchange.  In Lima the airport has various atm’s and a money exchange on the lower floor just before you exit near the coffee stand.  It’s okay to change some dollars for soles here but the rate is usually a few points off the prime rate.

I normally change just outside the center of lima in one of the places the guys in the vests go to do their own changes.  I won’t tell where my spot is because I don’t want every gringo out of san anton showing their touron self there but I will suggest a few good alternatives that bring close to prime rates.

First, dont do it at any of the hotels or eateries as you will get screwed on the rate.

Rule #1 look for the guy in the neon yellow vest, normally sitting atop a bar stool on busy street corners.  The proper way to ask is, “quanto es el cambio por favor” or “quanto es el dolar” last extended stay was normally 2.85 but I was able to change for 2.92 at my un named establishment.  It was a little out of the way but a big safe place none the less.  Normally in Mira Flores one pays a higher rate somewhere in the 2.80 all the way down to 2.70 in the wee hours of the morning.

Rule #2 DOS, you guessed it don’t change your money at night on the street.  It is hard enough making sure you have gotten all of your bills let alone checking that they are legit in the dark street lights.  I rarely change large amounts at night but have in Mira Flores near the McDonalds but not too late.  It was around 11 PM local when I did it there a few times and needless to say I got screwed on the rate but if you are out for the party then you have no choice.

#3 always check around.  During the day time it is not uncommon to see several neon clad money changers on a street corner.  In plaza de armas try the guys in front of bembos.  There is also a reliable place a few doors down on the side of the pizza place but watch out as he tried to give me a fazool last time and I told hime to give me a new bill.  It was a fake 100 sole not you could tell because the foil wasnt glittery.  Be careful out there and its best to use the guys in the jackets they are most reliable.

Gamara: Check close to the food court near the main entrance by Pizza Hut.

Mira Flores:  ATM’s McDonalds Building by movie theater, Exchanger’s just outside

Ave Abancay:  Near the Judicial look for the lady singing on her karioke machine and ask around.  ATM’s and 2 good exchanges

Chabuka:  Here you will need to go back to Plaza De Armas and try Bembo for the ATM or the Bank down by the shops on the pedestrian mall.

Cusco : Plaza de Armas is the best place here plenty of ATM’s and you’ll want to go inside one of the shops around the square to exhange money look for Dollar Euro signs in yellow. If you can’t find one just ask someone. They are in most of the places in the square like the internet cafe’s.

Most Bank ATM’s will give out dollars or soles.  I always get dollars and change my money as needed.  There are usually plenty of neon vested fellows to help.  They should all have a calculator you can use if you need too.  Good luck and stay safe and smart.

Mahalo

Peru’s Obsession with Plastic Bags

The Most intriguing thing I have experienced in Peru was being handed my gaseosa ie my soft drink or soda in a clear plastic baggie knotted at the top.  During my travels I have found it very intriguing how Peruvian’s use plastic baggies for nearly everything.  They use them for nearly everything.  I suspect this is normal for most undeveloped countries as they are a cheap means of packaging.

I have to admit it is a little strange I have to say as I know they have styro foam containers at the chifa restaurants and at most of the pollo braserias for take out meals.  But when I go to the market for a meal to go they always pack my drink or beverage in a clear plastic baggie knotted at the top.  I have to say the only place I have actually drank them is from the Pizza Palace in Lima Center after walking home.

Its just different but for me I prefer a paper cup…..Usually I would prefer an ice chilled glass beer stein however!

An interesting note is that when I go to the market now I usually get the drink while I am waiting for my food but they usually put an extra bagged drink in with my order anyway…..bagged drinks hmmmmmmmmmm…..I thought this would be a funny post for tonight…

 

Cheers!

 

Bembos Peru’s Best Burger Joint

Bembos
Bembos Huachana Hamburger

Bembos

Everyone who visits Peru should stop for a quick meal at Bembos!  It is Peru’s version of McDonald’s only a million times better.  I stop in here a few times a week, normally after tying on a hard one in the Sabor Peruana V.I.P. until 4 AM.  In Miraflores you will find Bembos across Parque Kennedy from the calle de las pizzas.

The food is made to order and tastes much better than any American Fast Food Joint.  My Favorite is the Huachana Cheeseburger Combo with a ton of Aji sauce on the side and all over the burger.  The aji sauce is fantastic and I wish I knew how to make it.  The papa fritas are great and it is more like a better version of Burger King than anything else I have seen.

You can try Bembos in Lima or Cusco in the plaza de armas and in other locations around the country.  Stop in and give Bembos a try.

Chau!

Gamara : Where to buy Clothes in Lima Peru

gamarra

If cheap bargains are what you seek when shopping for clothes then you might want to check out the Gamara in Lima Peru.  The Gamara is a 30 square block complex closed to traffic which is home to Lima’s fashion District.  This is where most of the garments are made and sold.  Here you will find everything from shoes to swimsuits and everything in between.

The Gamara is about a 10 minute taxi ride from the Plaza de Armas (s./5 fare).  You will have to pay an extra sole if you dont want to walk a block to the gates, recommended if you are without local guide.

This place really reminds me of New York City.  Upon entering the gates you will find tall buildings stuffed full of little boutiques or stalls filled to the brim with all sorts of clothing and accessories.  Most of the clothes are made here in the upper levels above the stores.  You will find anything from knockoff Lacoste Polos and Ed Hardy T-Shirts for about (s./20) to Brazilian style womens jeans ( the kind that ride up the butt crack of your girl friend) for upto s./80 depending on the brand.  But most of the clothes are super cheap.

Different buildings usually house different kinds of attire, so don’t be affraid to shop around.  A good area is near the Rocky’s Polloeria on the main drag.  Be aware of street salesmen as you will be offered Lacoste Polos every 20 feet or so.  Don’t settle on the first offer unless you know its bottom dollar.

If you are buying 3 or more of anything you should expect a hefty discount if you are good at bartering.  Larger quantities equal larger discounting.  Many of the stores make there own clothing and you will find lots of different brands which are usually created by the proprietors.  I usually just look for leather shoes and jeans for my wife, but there is plenty to choose from.

Chau!

Cheapest Machu Pichu Tour

The cheapest way to get a guided tour of machu pichu is to get several prices from different tour operators.  I suggest you begin by inquiring at your hostel or hotel as most will try to push you on there tour which is usually more expensive.  Please remember that you can stay in Aguas Calientes overnight but beware of the alien mosquitos and bring plenty of deet.  Accomidation in Aguas Calientes is cheap to more expensive depending on what you find.  Once again check around before you decide which one is right for you.

After getting an idea of the cost at your hostel or hotel I suggest walking around the plaza de armas and inquiring at a few of the tour operators around the square.  I found the cheapest deal just past the McDonalds and it was a great deal.  You just have to check a few different places and then at each one just tell them what you have already been offered it is that simple and most speack english so dont worry.  Cusco is really laid back and dont be afraid to go after a bargain.

Chou

Cruz del sur VS. Excluciva CIVA

Exclusiva Civa wins this one hands down folks and fellow travellers.  All I have to say is you can take the bus between Lima and Mancora 16hrs. 2 ways.

Exclusiva aka Civa bus lines is my top rated means of travel in Peru.  They offer brand new mercedes motor coaches with plush leather seats with private area and 3 times the room of any other bus line in peru.  The tickets are only $10 usd more for this service compared to the nasty economy seating provided by cruz del sur aka curse del sur.  Civa gets my only 5 star bus line rating.

Cruz del Sur is the worst bus line I have ever taken and let me just say that the even tried to rip me off at the ticket counter.  I tried them once and will never go back.  I wouldnt have even tried had the Civa bus been booked solid.  I took the terrible ride from Mancora back to Lima a few months ago which you can read about in a previous post here at mochileros peru.  Cruz del sur gets a rating of Zero.  Terrible exprience I wish I could forget.