A Semester Abroad in Lima, Peru
Description of Lima Peru
The capital of Peru, Lima, is located in a valley overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The city is known for its great cuisines and is crowned as the Gastronomical Capital of the Americas.
Not only does the city offer great beauty, it has also become a popular destination to study abroad. The proportion of students in Lima is significantly higher than other cities. With delicious Ceviche, great hikes to the Andes and the famous Machu Picchu, Lima is definitely a city to seriously consider to study abroad at.
The climate of Lima
Lima is located within the valleys of the Chillón, Rímac and Lurín rivers next to the Pacific Ocean. The city is located just below the equator and has a relatively mild temperature. The cool waters of the ocean lower the temperature of the city. Temperatures in Lima are on average 20 degrees, including night temperatures. Where many countries in Latin America do not know ‘winter’, Lima does. However, the temperatures in winter are still between 12 and 19 degrees Celsius.
When you’re in Lima, you have the option to discover the whole of Peru, as Lima is located on the middle of the coastline. The beauty of the country’s nature is in its diversity. Lima offers three types of landscapes: rainforests, coast and desert, and a mountain landscape. These three vary greatly within its rainfall, temperature and humidity.
The people in Lima
Peruvians mainly consist of Mestizos and Amerindians. A Mestizo is a descent from Amerindians and Europeans. Traditionally, Mestizos were limited to ancestry from Amerindians and Europeans only, but nowadays also mixes from Amerindians and other ethnic backgrounds (like Asian, Middle Eastern and African) are called Mestizos.
Amerindians is the second largest group in Peru. These are the indigenous people. Not even a couple of decennia ago, these people used to speak their own language as their mother tongue. Due to more people moving to the cities, indigenous languages were replaced by more commonly used languages like Spanish and English.
Peruvian people are seen as very polite and respectful. For that reason, it is a definite no-go to just take photos of people without asking, since they have this more polite attitude. Many western countries also have a low-context culture. This might conflict in Peru. Peruvians like it if you take the time to explain your point, instead of being very direct.
Best tourist spots in Lima
The city of Lima knows many different historical places you can visit. Most of it you’ll find on Plaza Mayor. The city was built around this square, which is the historical hart of Lima.
If the square is not enough cultural sightseeing for you, you can visit one of the many cathedrals and churches that are in Lima. Famous ones are Cathedral of Lima, Iglesia La Merced and Iglesia Virgen Milagrosa.
If you’re keen on leaving the city, you probably want to visit Machu Picchu. Machu Picchu is one of the most famous touristic sites worldwide. The history of the town is what makes it special. When the Spaniards arrived in Peru, they destroyed everything except for Machu Picchu. This town that is located on top of a mountain was never found by the Spaniards and thus not destroyed.
After the Spaniards conquered Peru, the inhabitants of Machu Picchu left their city. The mystery behind the function of the city and the fact that it is hard to reach is what makes it so appealing to tourists.
The cost of living for a student abroad in Lima
The cost of living in Lima is on average much cheaper than in most countries in Europe.
Basic lunch menu with a drink 4.53 EUR
Big Mac Meal 4.19 EUR
Basic dinner for two 16 EUR
Housing in Lima:
Single student room 200-400 EUR
Internet 8Mbps 26 EUR
1 pair of jeans 38 EUR
1 pair of sport shoes 63 EUR
1 liter of gas 0.95 EUR
Monthly ticket public transport 28 EUR
8km taxi trip 14 EUR
2 tickets to the movies 9 EUR
1 beer in neighbourhood pub (0.5L) 3.63 EUR
The local food in Lima
The Peruvian kitchen is becoming more and more known worldwide. The diverse landscape causes Peru to have a great diversity in the type of crops. Multiple types of potatoes grow natively in the Andes mountains, different varieties of Quinoa grow in Peru and many different types of fruits and vegetables can grow on the beautiful landscape of Peru.
One of the most famous dish of Peru is Ceviche. Despite many other countries claiming it is their national dish, the Peruvians started making this dish. The dish traditionally contains five ingredients: lemon marinated sea bass, (a lot of) onion, salt and chiles. The fish is served cold and gives a fresh and spicy bite.
Interdum et malesuada fames