First….Lima was wonderful for running! The weather a perfect break from the previous hot and humid weeks. Northern California had become HOT before we left and we melted in the Northern Texas humidity. There was no break from the humidity in Costa Rica; Panama wasn’t any better weatherize. It was “wintertime” in Lima during our stay which translated to overcast mid-60’s skies. Maybe I will finally lose my runner’s tan!
We rented an apartment in Miraflores just across the street from the park system that hugs the cliffs for several miles. You could see the sidewalks, grass, park structures, and water from our apartment. Our first run (on arrival day) was an errand; run to the grocery store and walk back. Although this park is one of the highlights of Lima, parks seemed to appear throughout the city. The parks were all well maintained and surprisingly clean (for a city the size of Lima).
The parks along the cliffs just flow into one another (Parque del Armor, Parque Salazar, Parque Raimondi are just a few) for several miles. These parks are full of activities such as walking paths, bike paths, skate parks, dog runs, tennis/football/volleyball courts, fitness equipment, restaurants/cafes. Regardless of the hour, there were people (and dogs) scattered throughout either running, walking, rollerblading, biking, crossfit, yoga, or napping. I felt completely safe running by myself. The largest safety hazard was tripping over all the dogs running through the parks! We took the kids out one evening for an interval run/training session. We would run from one fitness station to the next. Each fitness station has 3-4 different exercise apparatus (pull-ups, captain’s chair, stationary bike, sit-up bars) and spaced about 0.5 mile apart. We would rotate through each core exercise a minute at a time for 4 minutes. E&S thought we were horrible parents at that point.
During the runs, I had ample people watching for entertainment (always so much fun) and didn’t even miss my headphones. The cliffside views were breathtaking and never grew old. When (and if) you were bored with the paths on top of the cliffs, you could take steps down to the water level and run beachside.
I had two favorite runs- one with a running tour and the last run with Stephen as we found ourselves in the next neighborhood, Barranco.
I found Lima Running Tours online and started corresponding with Erick for route preference about 10 days prior to arrival. I had originally requested the Miraflores Cliffside tour but once I discovered that area on my own, I changed the request to San Isidro Neighborhood. Our tour guide, Gianmarco, met us (Stephen and myself) right outside of our apartment. For the next seven miles, we toured the neighborhood running through various parks, historical landmarks, business districts, neighborhood streets, and even a market. We chatted about Peruvian history, customs, and life in Lima. The miles just flew by! Gianmarco kept our pace and provided plenty of breaks with picture stops. Erick later sent a strava link and photo collage of our run. Gianmarco’s gentle, “OK…let’s go!” still remains in my mind. I highly recommend this tour for anyone visiting Lima. We had an absolute blast and are looking forward to future running tours. The Garmin route for this run is the image at the top of this post.
On our last run in Lima, Stephen and I wanted to run along the waterfront. We wandered through the park and found stairs down. We then wandered along the water for a couple of miles. We eventually found stairs leading back up the cliffs but instead of rejoining the park, we entered the Barranco neighborhood. This area is known as the SoHo of Lima. Many of the Spanish colonial mansions have been converted in boutique hotels, galleries, and restaurants/cafes. We picked our way through the bohemian streets and fell upon an extension of the cliffside park to return to our apartment.
Although I didn’t explore all of Lima, I fell in love with Miraflores and San Isidro. The vitality of Miraflores was contagious. The parks called you to be outside. The pollution of the Lima seemed to disappear with the Oceanside breezes. We will return Lima.
After Lima, we headed to the Sacred Valley. Unfortunately there are no great runs to share. The combination of pollution + elevation + asthma was too much for my lungs. However, we managed some great explorations and one epic hike (future post).