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Where to Go, What to Do in Peru

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Sunday, September 6, 2009

GETTING THERE

Connecting flights from Washington to Lima start at $320 round trip. To access the South Coast, take the Pan-American Highway south from Lima. We took buses (slow, but cheap and reliable) to major crossroads along the highway, then hired drivers for side excursions.

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WHERE TO STAY

La Castellana Hotel, Grimaldo del Solar 222, Miraflores, 011-51-1-444-3530, http://www.castellanahotel.com/english. Adequate rooms, with full bath and cable TV but little natural light. Also features a nice courtyard for breakfast. Doubles from $73 per night.

Hotel Antigua Miraflores, Avenida Grau 350, Miraflores, 011-51-1-241-6116, http://www.peru-hotels-inns.com. A converted colonial mansion with beautiful art, pleasant sitting areas and a fair trade shop in the lobby. Doubles from $90.

Rio Alto, Carretera Canete, Kilometer 38.5, Lunahuana, 011-51-1-284-1125, http://www.rioaltohotel.com. The hotel, set on a hill above the Rio Canete, has a bright indoor restaurant, a lovely courtyard with a shaded dining area and a pool. Doubles from about $40.

El Mirador, Carretera Paracas, Kilometer 20, Paracas, 011-51-56-545-086, http://www.elmiradorhotel.com. A good jumping-off spot for a tour of Islas Ballestas and Paracas National Reserve. Doubles from $53, including breakfast.

WHERE TO EAT

Malabar, Camino Real 101, San Isidro, Lima, 011-51-1-440-5200. Inventive use of Amazonian roots, herbs and vegetables; delicate batters; fresh seafood; and dipping sauces. Malabar also has one of the nicest bars in Lima. Entrees from about $18.

L'Eau Vive, Ucayali 370, Lima, 011-51-1-427-5612. The high-end restaurant, set in a converted colonial mansion, offers a daily three-course lunch menu for about $12.

El 21, Playa La Herradura. This restaurant, on the southern edge of Lima, prepares great ceviche and choros (mussels with traditional Peruvian salsa). Lunch from about $10, including beers.

Melchorita, Jr. Grau 150, Lunahuana, 011-51-1-284-1356. This unassuming-looking thatch restaurant serves up huge crawfish from the Rio Canete. Entrees from about $6.


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