Lima, Peru will excite your senses

After leaving Tarapoto, we headed back to Lima, the Peruvian capital, for several days of intense tasting. The Historic Centre of Lima is a UNESCO World Heritage site and was fascinating to explore. How I wish we’d had more time …

visiting lima peru

The base for our chocolate travel was the Casa Andina Select Miraflores, a new property of the Casa Andina brand most conveniently located in the trendy Miraflores district of Lima.


The friendly and helpful staff at the Casa Andina Select Miraflores made our stay in Lima fantastic.

I’d highly recommend this boutique hotel as it’s relatively small, has an abundantly helpful and cheery staff, a good breakfast buffet and is walking distance or a short cab ride from just about anything that might interest you.

We were fortunate to be under the wing of chocolatier and former pastry chef, Giovanna Maggiolo, a native Peruvian with amazing connections in the food industry. (We’ll talk more about Giovanna’s talent in the world of chocolate in a future post.)


Giovanna Maggiolo is a culinary expert in Lima and owner of Xocolatl chocolate shop.

Giovanna made sure we tasted every possible kind of Peruvian culinary delight, and even took us to a market where we could see all the produce and ingredients fresh from the farms and source. This post highlights some of the amazing restaurants we visited in Lima.

Be sure to visit one of Lima’s fresh markets

Fresh markets are often a highlight of my visit to any city, and the Surquillo market of Miraflores was no disappointment. I saw the largest pecans I’ve never seen in my life – at a full two inches long – and all kinds of local produce to get out taste buds pumping.


The fresh produce and seafood at Surquillo market in Lima is amazing.

A visit to Lima’s Love Park is a must

Another highlight of exploring Lima was our walk through El Parque del Amor (Love Park,) a seaside sculpture garden offering amazing views of the ocean, colourful mosaics and erotic art to tantalize your senses. As someone who lives on the Canadian prairies, being near the ocean always gets my heart pumping, and the cliffside views of the Pacific Ocean from Lover’s Park are forever engrained in my memory.


El Parque del Amor (aka Lover’s Park or Love Park) in Lima is breathtaking.

I’ve set the stage in this post for our culinary journey, which we’ll explore in detail in the next post. Please share your thoughts on Lima if you’ve visited this sensual city, and if you haven’t yet been … I hope I’ve enticed you to include it in your future plans.

Doreen Pendgracs

Known throughout the Web as the "Wizard of Words", I've been a freelance writer since 1993. I'm currently researching and writing volume II of "Chocolatour: A Quest for the World's Best Chocolate". Volume I was published in September, 2013.

83 Responses

  1. Marah Howles says:

    I want to fall in love with the place. I heard a lot about it and I am planning to visit soon with my family 🙂 ALiagas house, the oldest house in the americas is top of the list!

  2. minecraft games says:

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  3. It looks like it was extremely helpful to have a guide while you were in Lima! I feel like I would have been completely lost there. I’m sure it would’ve been enjoyable without a guide, but probably that much better with someone to show you around.

  4. Club Med Martinique says:

    I am not a big fan of sweets but hot molten lava cake is awesome because its not so sweet and the chocalate is moist and so good.

  5. Online Slideshows says:

    You have some really good ideas in this article. I am glad I read this. I agree with much of what you state in this article. Your information is thought-provoking, interesting and well-written.

  6. Jessica says:

    Following this journey with you has been extremely interesting for us, your readers. And thank you for including the pictures.

  7. Estela SIlva says:

    I would like to know Peru, Machu Pichu mainly, just photos I know, not the same, I hope God allows me someday

  8. Olivia014 says:

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  10. Timothy says:

    As a frequent traveler I would love to experience different places! Peru has been on my list for a long time and still haven’t visited it! Your experience was great and has convinced me to schedule a trip to this place.

    • Doreen says:

      Thanks for your comment, Timothy.

      Peru has garnered a lot of interest from readers of this blog. I was really happy to share the stories as I thoroughly enjoyed my visit there. Keep me posted on your travels, and please stay tuned to the blog. We have many more journeys to take!
      Doreen recently posted…cacao cuisine is king at Hotel Chocolat BoucanMy Profile

  11. Lee says:

    Hi Doreen
    We have wanted to go to Peru for a while now and I like reading about people’s experiences to get an idea to whether we put places on our to do list.
    I will admit that you have sold Lima to me.

    So for that thanks lee
    Lee recently posted…Bucket List IdeasMy Profile

    • Doreen says:

      Thanks for dropping by, Lee. I’m glad you found my posts about Peru interesting, and yes, Lima is definitely worth a visit.

  12. It is my pleasure to say you that all of your articles are amazing and I truly adore the way drafted each of the sentences. Your grammatical sense is simply outstanding. Carry on the good work.
    apartment finder recently posted…House For RentMy Profile

  13. Office for rent says:

    you will discover definitely many fantastic people to be, and plenty of apartment space leases you are able to investigate for any long term be. Lima is definitely a town well worth discovering in addition to enjoying.

  14. Al Biernot says:

    Hi Doreen,

    My wife is from Lima and I have visited there about nine to ten times, and I must say, each time I go the more I fall in love with the place. Also, each time we come back we always load up on the pure cacao for making hot chocolate when it gets cold here in the states. If you ever get the chance go to Cusco (Machu Picchu) and get a hot chocolate at the main market. It is to die for!!!

    • Doreen says:

      Thanks for your comment, Al.

      Yes, we had planned to get to Cusco, but there had been mud slides and heavy rain in the area and the roads were washed out. We couldn’t take a chance in getting delayed there as we had a week booked in Ecuador immediately following. Hopefully … next time!
      Doreen recently posted…Chocolatour goes Zen at Jade MountainMy Profile

  15. Elite Traveller says:

    Photographs are the best way to convey or tell anything about the particular place and people do like watching photographs rather than reading the whole article.Your idea is really great about photography for each day..Hope you do best in your work:)

  16. Rusty Johannsberg says:

    Though I was a little bit of late to comment on this post but I can’t express the feeling when I saw those El Parque del Amor. You are right that this place is breath taking.. I love ocean and this is exactly what I love to visit on our next summer vacation. Maybe not in Lima but I am pretty sure it will something like this… a beach…

  17. Nelieta says:

    I live in Argentina and haven`t been to Peru but believe me it is still on my list of places to visit. I love the photo of the market on your blog. Thank you for sharing.
    Nelieta recently posted…Reciprocity fee charged by ArgentinaMy Profile

    • Doreen says:

      Thanks for your comment, Nelieta.

      I have not yet been to Argentina, but it is definitely high on my list. I love Malbec wine, fine beef, the Argentine Tango, and I hear there is some good chocolate in Argentina as well. Hopefully, within the next year, you will find me there!

  18. Ashu says:

    I have been to Lima 5 years back. Just love that place . Its like the same as you described. and forgot to mention about Chocolates. Chocolates are just awesome 🙂
    Ashu recently posted…How to choose jeans for different body types (girls) !My Profile

  19. Sarafina says:

    Haven’t been to Lima but it sure looks beautiful.

    ps. The chocolate did get my attention though. I don’t have a sweet tooth but could not resist to leave a comment.

  20. apartment finder says:

    That is where you consider some positively enticing diamonds! In my modest idea, the globe has decidedly an excess of a fixation with Paris and disregards a percentage of the blatantly flabbergasting customary and culinary diamonds.

  21. Thanks for the guide on Peru. I am planning on visiting there after the new year. Although there are many guides available online, it is always better to learn from someone who has been there. I will definitely make a list of the places you suggested, they seem absolutely wonderful! Thanks for taking the time to write it all down and share with the rest of us. It will make my travels all that much better! I can’t wait, your pictures brought it all to life!

  22. Lima is an interesting city, that’s for sure. If you go again, one place to visit (especially if you like the Parque del Amor) is the Circuito Magico del Agua in the Parque de la Reserva. It’s one of the largest water fountain parks in the world — spectacular at night, with a good mix of pure fun and a hint of education.
    Tony Dunnell recently posted…Parque Kennedy in Miraflores, LimaMy Profile

    • Doreen says:

      Thanks so much for finding my blog, Tony, and for your comments.

      Yes, I’d love to return to Lima for a chocolate event in future. So much more to see, and I’ll definitely mark the Parque de la Reserva as a must-see for my next visit.

  23. Hi Doreen – two of my greatest loves – Travel and Chocolate – how can I resist ?
    keith jones recently posted…Le Creuset Enameled Cast-Iron 11-3/4-Inch Skillet with Iron Handle, CherryMy Profile

    • Doreen says:

      Thanks for visiting the blog, Keith. As you can see, chocolate travel is the priority on this blog, so do stay tuned! I invite you to subscribe so you don’t miss a beat. And if you’re interested, drop by the sister site at for articles on chocolate destinations and updates about the book.

  24. Paul says:

    Excellent post, After viewing your post, I am in love with Lima. 🙂
    I hope I can visit there once in my life. 🙂
    Do you know any good hotel where I can live in Lima ?

    Thank you

    • Doreen says:

      Hi Paul and thanks for visiting the blog.

      Sorry. I don’t know of any hotels were you can live. But there are certainly many great ones where you can stay, and lots of apartment rentals you can look into for a longterm stay. Lima is definitely a city worth exploring and enjoying.

  25. javier says:

    I loved the image of the sculpture park by the ocean, The sculpture garden looks amazing and the view is to die
    javier recently posted…MOTOR DE BUSQUEDA Y POSICIONAMIENTO WEBMy Profile

  26. Id love to visit Lima, it looks lovely. recently posted…COTTINGHAM VILLAGEMy Profile

    • Doreen says:

      Yes, Lima really is a lovely city. Something for everyone, as there is natural beauty, great food, shopping and culture, and terrific chocolate! Thanks for dropping into the blog.

  27. Hi Doreen thanks friend.

    I have never investigated chocolate making in South Africa. I just happen to know they do a great job in Franshhoek at a shop that we have bought from

    Have fun doing /chocolate research for the rest of your life/ It must be the ideal way 😉
    Johan Horak recently posted…Walking Cape Town – The Easy Fish Hoek To Muizenberg RouteMy Profile

    • Doreen says:

      Thanks for the link, Johan, and for subscribing to the blog. I hope you’ll enjoy the posts.

      I have a friend who frequently visits South Africa and has family there. I will ask her if she’s heard of Huguenot Chocolates. Africa will be covered in the 3rd edition of my book, so it may take me awhile to get there, but it will indeed happen. Ciao for now!

  28. Sounds to me that you are spoiled Doreen. Travel, writing and chocolates. One huge tasting trip. I hope Cape town is on your itinerary. We can take you to Franschhoek for wine and chocolates.

    Have fun Doreen.
    Johan Horak recently posted…Walking Cape Town – The Easy Fish Hoek To Muizenberg RouteMy Profile

    • Doreen says:

      Thanks for your comment, Johan, and for visiting the blog.

      Yes, I feel very privileged to have created this assignment for myself. It is indeed a “trip of a lifetime” that will likely take up most of the rest of my life as I continue to research the world of chocolate.

      I will indeed come to South Africa in the next 18 months, as Madagascar is one of the places on my bucket list for its nature, but also for its amazing cacao that is transformed into some of the tastiest chocolate in the world. No doubt you have an abundance of it in Cape Town. Would love to go to Franschhoek for wine and chocolates!

  29. Nice blog. I like those fruits, they look so fresh and delicious.
    Hotel Nazareth recently posted…Nazareth Hotel – Hotel Casa de MariaMy Profile

  30. Nice to see less popular destinations like Lima blogged about. Often these turn out to be real gems, especially for travelers seeking authentic experiences.

    • Doreen says:

      Thanks, and you’re so right! I love venturing off the beaten path and discovering the road less taken. That’s where you find some really interesting gems! In my humble opinion, the world has far too much of an obsession with Paris and overlooks some of the really amazing cultural and culinary gems – like Lima!

  31. grayspirit says:

    Haven’t been to Lima, although I spent about a year a little further north in Colombia. Peru is one of those places that I wish I had visited when I had the chance. Thanks for the post, not as good as being there in person, but I’m glad you made it there.
    grayspirit recently posted…Retirement and Expat Living in South AmericaMy Profile

    • Doreen says:

      Thanks very much for your comment, GraySpirit! Somehow I’d missed it, and only discovered it today. I’ve had a look at your site. It looks like you’ve got some very useful info for aging travellers who may wish to relocate. I’ve added your link as a resource on my travel list of favourites.

  32. I was tRying to say that your photos are excellent. They really make me feel I am there with you

    Paula Schuck recently posted…Last PD Day of the Year: Madagascar and Claritin PartyMy Profile

    • Doreen says:

      Thanks so much, Paula. Photography is a true love of mine, so including pics with my posts is a pleasure.

      I hope you’ll subscribe and stick around for the next post (which I hope to upload in a few hours.) Cheers!

  33. I love the sculpture in the park. So appropriate for the location.
    Jen Anderson recently posted…The Fucking LasagnaMy Profile

    • Doreen says:

      Isn’t it great, Jen? That park really is titillating! And so is all of Lima, from what I saw! Thanks for dropping into the blog.

  34. Bindhurani says:

    Love the statue at Lovers park. You are so fortunate to visit all these amazing places and discover the chocolate.
    Bindhurani recently posted…Necessary Craft Supplies and toolsMy Profile

    • Thanks so much, Bindhurani!

      Yes, I feel most fortunate to be combining my love and passion for writing, travel, chocolate and fascinating people in this project! Chocolatour is truly my life’s passion.

      I’m glad you’re enjoying the journey.

  35. Denise says:

    The El Parque del Amor is really a breathtaking sight! Thanks for sharing photos and interesting stories about your travels. Looking forward to your future posts, especially about Giovanna, i love chocolates!
    Denise recently posted…best photography lessonsMy Profile

    • Doreen says:

      Thanks for dropping into the blog, Denise. Yes, the Love Park in Lima is truly breathtaking! I’d love to go back! Do stay tuned for the next tasty post.

  36. Craig says:

    After reading this post, I had the desire to visit Lima. I hope I can be able to in the soonest possible time.
    Craig recently posted…learn and master dance dvd reviewsMy Profile

    • Doreen says:

      That’s fabulous, Craig! I’m glad I was able to inspire you.

      I hope you’ll visit the blog again soon and continue along on our journey of chocolate discovery.

  37. Following this journey with you has been extremely interesting for us, your readers. And thank you for including the pictures. We are living vicariously through you. I am so looking forward to your book. Chocolate has been very, very good to you!

    Kay in Hawaii

    • Doreen says:

      Thanks so much, Kay! Yes, chocolate has definitely bee good to and for me! I’m so glad you’re enjoying the journey with me. It’s great having you along for the ride, and with any luck … I’ll be eating chocolate with you sometime soon in Hawaii!

  38. Sam says:

    mmm, hope it’s all super tasty!
    Sam recently posted…English as Your First Language, Blessing or a Curse?My Profile

  39. Bethany Lee says:

    I had no clue Lima was such a beautiful place. I loved the image of the sculpture park by the ocean. And what an honor you were hosted by Giovanna. I can’t wait to see what comes next. 🙂

    • Doreen says:

      Right on, Bethany. Lima is definitely worth a visit if you’re interested in culinary travel. And the chocolate is AMAZING!

      Thanks for visiting the blog and joining us on the journey.

  40. Candy says:

    Thanks for a little vicarious traveling! I’ve never been to Peru and you are making it sound like a great destination.

  41. Doreen – your passion for your subject comes through in your photos and words – now Lima is my list too!

    • Doreen says:

      Thanks for joining us here, Melody. I think it’s your first time?

      I’m glad the passion comes thru, as I’m certainly passionate about chocolate, travel, fascinating people and culinary delights. Lima has some of the best – in all categories!

  42. Susan Cooper says:

    Lima looks like a delightful place to travel to. Any place that has pecans that size has got to be worthy of a visit. The sculpture garden looks amazing and the view is to die for. I love hearing about your travels. Thanks for sharing it all. :), Susan Cooper
    Susan Cooper recently posted…Liberty School Chardonnay 2009 – Central Coast: WineMy Profile

  43. Doreen says:

    Thanks, Sarah. I’m glad I’ve been able to share my enthusiasm for Lima with you. And yes, do stay tuned! Lots of tasty posts to come.

  44. Wow …Lima wasn’t on my list of places to visit, but it is now!! Look forward to hearing more about Giovanna in future posts!

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