Firsthand tips for visiting Peru’s capital.
Insights and advice from Andrea Bertone, president of Duke Energy International; Rodolfo A. Baquerizo, director of Paz Centenario Global; and Manuel Sanchez Alvarez, M-I Swaco-Schlumberger’s senior counsel global.
Latin Trade: What do you like most about traveling to Lima?
Andrea Bertone: I like the people and the food. It’s a vibrant city with a mix of modern and historical components; great shopping, art, restaurants and historical sites to visit.
Rodolfo Baquerizo: Peru is growing at a strong rate with legal certainty. This translates into some of the best business conditions in South America. On a personal note, Peru offers the most amazing tourist destinations, fantastic hotels, and probably the best cuisine in the region.
Manuel Sanchez: The affinity with the culture, visiting my friends and their families, the colors of the buildings, the mornings in San Isidro during my morning run around the golf course, the service at the Country Club Hotel (and its good taste and decoration), the elegant Peruvian women, the good food, the spirit of the whole nation, and the Pacific coastline.
LT: What do you like least?
Bertone: The airport is not customer friendly and the traffic is scary.
Baquerizo: I have visited Peru extensively over the last seven years, and it only gets better and better. If I could change anything, however, it would probably be traffic, which gets really bad during rush hour. It can take you more than half an hour to get from major hotels in San Isidro and Miraflores to San Isidro’s Business District. So make sure to plan ahead when driving to a meeting. On a business note, I wish there was more land suited for development with access to water. Lima is the second largest city in the world built on a desert, after Cairo!
Sanchez: The farewells—every time I leave Peru it hurts a little bit. Sometimes traffic can be overwhelming, but nothing too crazy.
LT: What are your preferred hotels when on business?
Bertone: The JW Marriott is comfortable and has shopping within walking distance. I also like the Country Club for its historical charm. I’m looking forward to staying at the Westin, which I understand is fantastic.
Baquerizo: For business, our executives prefer the Novotel in San Isidro.
Sanchez: By far, the Country Club. However, the Miraflores Park is a good second option.
LT: What restaurants do you recommend?
Bertone: My favorite is Pescados Capitales for lunch. I also like Lima 27, Symposium and Central.
Baquerizo: There are so many! My personal favorites are La Gloria, Rafael, La Mar and Central.
Sanchez: La Gloria and Astrid & Gastón.
LT: What practical advice would you give to someone who is visiting Lima for the first time on business?
Bertone: Allow plenty of time to get from the airport to the hotel or your meeting. Get a local driver that understands the dynamics of the traffic. Don’t forget that the locals take the time to have lunch and enjoy the experience.
Baquerizo: Beware or you will fall in love with Peru! You will definitely want to return soon: the food is fantastic and the people are kind and helpful. Never turn down a business meeting in Peru — and don’t forget to present your stamped passport at your hotel to receive the exemption from VAT, which is close to 20 percent.
Sanchez: Lima is a formal city. The business community appreciates when you dress well and arrive on time to any scheduled appointment. Breakfasts can be a good opportunity to discuss business. Lunch and dinners tend to be more relaxed and reserved for a casual exchange of ideas of the different cultures of the countries of guests around the table. Peruvian women are competitive and professional; however, they appreciate good manners from a gentleman.
Take care of the check if possible, but if the host or hostess insists on paying, be gracious and do not argue about it and simply offer to get the next one.
Peruvians will appreciate if you learn a little bit about their music and culture and make a genuine effort to ask questions and details about their country. And never, ever say or imply that Pisco is not from Peru. Pisco is Peruvian and will always be from Peru.
Ask the Concierge
The Westin Lima Hotel & Convention Center was inaugurated in May, the first Westin property to open in South America. The 29-story tower has 301 guest rooms and the largest meeting and convention facilities in all of Peru. Concierge Angela Ayala offers her tips for making the most out of a trip to the capital city.
What restaurant would you recommend for a professional lunch or dinner?
Central Restaurante serves innovative fusion cuisine. The Cebicheria El Mercado is a top choice for seafood. Panchita, part of chef Gastón Acurio’s culinary empire, specializes in criollo dishes. Rafael is housed in colonial mansion. La Gloria is a classic for formal dining.
I have 24 hours in Lima. What itinerary would you recommend?
Begin with breakfast at the hotel. Spend the morning sightseeing in Lima’s historic downtown, visiting the Cathedral, the Presidential Palace and the convent of Santo Domingo. After lunch, stroll around the Barranco district, with its leafy streets and plazas and refurbished colonial and 19th century homes.
Be sure to experience the grandeur of ancient culture at La Huaca Pucllana, the pyramid located in modern-day Miraflores. In the evening, take in the traditional dance show at La Dama Juana restaurant (CTE Larco Mar local 301, Miraflores; tel. 51-1-447-3686).
Can you suggest one or two places to shop?
The Centro Comercial Larcomar, built into cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean, combines stores, restaurants, a movie theater and other entertainment options with spectacular views. The Mercado Indio, on Avenida Petit Thours, features about 100 stands with traditional handicrafts, jewelry, textiles and more.
What are the must-buys?
A bottle of Pisco; a scarf made from alpaca fleece; and a book on Peruvian gastronomy.
What safety measures do you recommend?
Always use taxis operated by a registered company. Change money at the hotel. Do not walk alone in deserted areas.
I have many meetings in the city. What is the best way to get around?
Hire a hotel driver to take you.
What is the appropriate amount to tip a taxi or other driver and in restaurants?
Normally, about 10 percent of the check.
LT Guide: Lima
WHERE TO STAY
Sheraton Lima Hotel & Convention Center
Paseo de la Republica 170
Tel: (511) 315-5000
Casa Andina Private Collection – Miraflores
Avenida La Paz 463
Tel. (51-1) 213-9739
Crowne Plaza Hotel Lima
Av. Benavides 300
Tel: (51-1) 610-0700
Doubletree El Pardo
Tel.: (51-1) 617-1000
JW Marriott Hotel Lima
Malecon de la Reserva 615
Tel: (51-1) 217-7000
Miraflores Park Hotel by Orient-Express
Av. Malecón de la Reserva 1035, Tel.: (51-1) 610-4000
Radisson Hotel Decapolis Miraflores
Avenida 28 De Julio 151
Tel: (511) 625-1200
Country Club Lima Hotel
Los Eucaliptos 590
Tel: (51-1) 611-9000
DUO Hotel Boutique
Valle Riestra 576
Tel: (51-1) 628-3245
Hotel Atton San Isidro
Av. Jorge Basadre 595
Tel: (51-1) 208-1200
Av. Salaverry, 2599
Tel.: (51-1) 411-9000
Victor Andrés Belaunde 198
Tel.: (51-1) 315-9999
Radisson Hotel San Isidro
Av. Las Palmeras 240
Tel: (51-1) 422-3887
Sonesta Hotel El Olivar
Pancho Fierro 194
Tel: (51-1) 712-6000
Via Central 150
Tel: (51-1) 421-4400
Westin Lima Hotel and Convention Center
Calle Las Begonias 450
Tel: (51-1) 201-5000
WHERE TO DINE
Astrid & Gastón
Calle Cantuarias 175
Tel. (51-1) 242-5387
Calle Santa Isabel 376
Tel. (51-1) 242-8515
Cebicheria El Mercado
Hipolito Unanue 203
Tel. (51-1) 221-1322
Tel. (51-1) 446-6504
Av. Dos de Mayo 298
Tel. (51-1) 242-59577
Avenida La Mar 1337
Tel. (51-1) 421-8808
San Martin 300
Tel. (51-1) 242-4149
Calle Santa Luisa 29
Tel. (51-1) 422-8915
Santa Luisa 122
Tel. (51-1) 221-3397
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