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The Urbanist's Lima

Year-round surfing, archaeological ruins, tsukiji-fresh seafood.


Surfing off the coast of Miraflores.  

Fueled by multibillion-dollar mining projects in the Andes, the Peruvian economy is on fire despite years of corrupt-government rule and domestic terrorism. While millions still live in pueblos jovenes, or shantytowns, and Lima’s crime rate remains one of the highest in Latin America, there is a manifest desire to improve Limeño life, from cleaning up the coastline to resurrecting the historic Teatro Municipal de Lima. Taking his cues from Brazil’s Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, new president Ollanta Humala, a former military leader elected in mid-2011, has not been the Chávez disciple some feared he would be. In fact, things are grand. Peru’s projected growth rate is one of the fastest in Latin America, and its 8-million-plus capital is benefitting from myriad construction projects, including two much-needed mass-transit systems, flashy new malls servicing the once nonexistent middle class, and an exploding real-estate sector. And dios mio the food. Many say Copenhagen is the world’s next great food city, but why not Lima? Tasting menus at top restaurants cost half as much as they do in New York, and Lima boasts one of the world’s most innovative mixology scenes. The city’s not always pretty, but, like its nearly year-round dreary mist, or garua, Lima seeps into your bones.


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