Latin America Adventure – third stop, Lima

After the Singular, we stayed overnight at a small hotel ‘Hotel Ilaia’ in Punta Arenas as our flight was for a 6am departure. It’s run by a mother and daughter team  – extremely hospitable and the hotel is located near the downtown area, which is 30 mins from the airport.  Sadly, we arrived at 9pm so we quickly got ready to rest for a 4.30am start the next day. They don’t speak much English so a few handy words in Spanish is highly recommended to arrange a taxi and to pay to pay the taxi CASH so make sure you keep some spare pesos! We needed to make this overnight stay because The Singular located in Puerto Natales – which was still another 2 hours away from the airport at Punta Arenas….. Once you are in Chile, you realise people drive great distances all the time (2-4hrs one way easily).. it’s the norm.  Having lived in Singapore for over 3 years… 4hours gets you to KL!

We flew out from Punta Arenas at 6am to Lima, Peru. We were planning to fly over to Lake Titicaca via the airport at Juliaca. And the rule is that you have to fly through capital cities when coming from another country in South America…. … thus, do build this into your itinerary for time consideration… you do end up staying a night here and there invariably. Our first impression of Lima is that  it’s definitely not as ‘safe’ as our little cocoon in the Patagonian region of Chile.  Lima is a big city with lots of immigrants and you can sense it the moment you land. Most local’s have their luggage cling wrapped, presumably to guard against theft and smuggling. You need to screen your luggage to exit the airport – each one of us had to which you can imagine, caused a big delay in leaving the airport….  not really well streamlined.

We bee lined ourselves to the taxi limo queue to arrange for a drop off to the Boutique Hotel ‘Second Home‘  run by Lillian Delphin. It’s in an arts district of Lima and we reckoned it would take us 40 minutes to get there. Our taxi driver got lost!!! … and we ended up arriving at our destination after over an hour. Needless to say, Mr K was not a happy bunny… but still. we’d rather be IN the cab than out of the cab. We drove through some rather dodgy looking neighbourhood, lots of incompletely construction and derelict homes…. most of the shops, if not all the shops had metal bars on the doors and windows.

Realisation – Boom… we are back to the big cities… certainly a far cry from Patagonia where we saw only a handful of people on a daily basis…..nature vs. urban jungle.

To be fair, we’ve read a lot about Lima and it’s art scene so we were looking forward to it. After we checked in, we walked around our neighbourhood which was a pleasant up and coming art area, lots of galleries, small boutique shops and quite a lot of American influence… we even saw a cupcake shop next to a … Taco shop haha.   The particular hotel we are staying is run by the daughter of a famous Peruvian sculptor Delphin. She’s extremely well learned and educated. We enjoyed our breakfast encounter with her and told her a little bit about Singapore… she was a thin lady, with dark attractive eyes…. a arty type, almost French looking but Peruvian of course. The hotel is actually the grounds for a museum by day, with huge sculptures scattered in the balcony, gardens and all four corners of the home. It’s truly spectacular and a sight to be behold.

If you ever get to visit Lima, stay in the art district and say hello to Lillian for us – not too many make it there from Singapore 🙂

Second Home Lima

Second Home Lima