“I am not the same having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world”
-Mary Anne Radmacher
Most newlyweds look forward to a honeymoon full of relaxation and pampering, however we decided, long before we were even engaged, that those things could wait until we are retired. For our honeymoon we wanted to experience and explore a new country and our decision to go to Peru was a simple one, after learning about the country’s engaging history and diverse ecological regions. We had the honeymoon planned even before the wedding.
After a seven-hour layover in Miami International Airport we landed in Lima, Peru’s thriving capital city, bright and early in the morning. We grabbed a cab to our hotel, and got ripped off because we paid with American money, as a fellow traveler had instructed us to do. We learned our lesson the hard way, to always pay in local currency. The Bayview Hotel is in the district of Miraflores and was a good value for the cost. The highlight of the hotel is its proximity to shopping, restaurants and the coast, namely the cliff-side, open-air Larcomar Shopping Centre. After dropping off our bags at the hotel, we strapped on our day packs and ventured into Lima, on foot. We didn’t make it far before we stumbled upon Huaca Puclanna, an immense clay pyramid, made by the Wari people sometime between 500 AD-900 AD. Intrigued by the magnitude of the structure, we stuck around for a tour. We learned about how the pyramid was built, the Wari culture and the fact that animals and children were sacrificed there as gifts to the gods. Our visit to this site to learn about this ancient Peruvian civilization was a great precursor to our hike of the Inca Trail, which would teach us about the history of the Incas, who came after the Waris.
Aside from taking in the historical sites in Lima, we enjoyed exploring the many districts of the city, one of our favorites being the seaside borough of Barranco. This artsy area, which is made up of beachy cafes, ornate architecture and the most beautiful graffiti in the city, is also home to one of the longest stretches of sand beach in Lima. The jam packed and colorful beach was alive with both travelers and locals enjoying the sun and sea. In the water were swimmers and surfers and in the air were parasailers who jumped from the cliffs above. Many food vendors could be found weaving through umbrellas and towels, selling sandwiches, ceviche and, our personal favorite, churros.
Our final night in Lima was December 31st, New Years Eve! We decided to spend the night at Tanta, an outdoor bar overlooking the South Pacific Ocean. The day previous we had made friends with a bartender there and she promised to save us a few spots at the bar if we came back for NYE. We rang in 2015 the Peruvian way, with pisco sours, the infamous cocktail of the country, and a trip to Bembos, the largest fast food chain of the land. We made our way back to our hotel that night sure that we were starting off the year ahead the best way possible, together and on a new adventure!