A typical tourist will most likely spend their days wandering around Barranco, Miraflores, San Isidro and the cultural centre of Lima. They are great places, visually stunning and a reflection of how advanced Lima is. However, for the tourists who are eager to see the ‘authentic’ Lima, they crave more than just the pretty and ‘safe’ places. That is why I am creating a series called ‘Exploring the unexplored’ where I will be posting places, across the world, that are not necessarily represented in the travel magazines.
For my first article in the series, I will be exploring the area of San Juan de Lurigancho, in Lima, Peru. Now with a population that exceeds one million, San Juan de Lurigancho is bordered by the districts of Carabayllo and San Antonio, which is in the Huarochirí Province, north of Lima. It is one of the highest peaks and a place where your eyes will most certainly be in for a treat.
In order to get to this part of Lima, which is highly unexplored by the large majority of tourists which step foot in the city, you need to take transportation to get onto the following transportation, that will lead you up to the mountains. Firstly, you need to take a bus that will leave you by Real Plaza shopping mall, in Los Olivos, bordering Pro. Once you step foot onto the ground, keep walking until you pass a large market and spot some orange minibuses. It is roughly a ten minute walk. There will be many buses, so it should they should be easy to detect, as that is their main stop off point.
You pay 6 soles, equivalent to $1.80 and then you will embark on your hour-long journey through the mountains and to the final stop, in San Juan de Lurigancho. There is a change of bus at one stage, before arriving at the scenic part of the journey, but you will not pay any more money, as you have already paid your 6 soles.
Unfortunately, this journey is more of a scenic ride, as there is no opportunity to leave the bus at the peak. In order to get the most out of your journey, sit beside the bus driver. You will have the best view out of everyone and it is perfectly normal to sit next to him. It is usually only for residents, however, anybody can pay to take a trip on the bus. The easiest manner in order to return from San Juan de Lurigancho is to get off at the penultimate stop, which is called Santa Rosa. Tell the bus driver and he will let you know where that is. You will arrive at the metro station known as the ‘Estacion del tren electrico’. This metro line connects the large part of Lima, so heading back to your destination will be easy.
Visiting San Juan del Lurigancho was a very unique experience for me. Even after living in Lima for a year, three years ago, I had not explored Lima as in-depth as I currently am. I would say that I am definitely much more adventurous now and eager to see all the different districts that Lima has to offer. This place is great to visit if you are looking for a short day-trip within Lima. Not only will you manage to take great photos, but you will also see a very different and raw aspect of Peru’s thriving capital city of Lima.