Where to stay in Lima

Where to stay in Lima, the foodie heaven of South America

If you’re looking for a travel destination in South America that has it all, you can’t go wrong with Peru. In case you’re unsure where to stay in Peru, Lima is a great choice. The rich culture and interesting history together with fun nightlife, parties, and most delicious food all await in this wonderful City of Kings. With more than 10 million residents, Lima is a huge place with a lot to explore. This is why we have decided to make things easier for you and round up the best Lima neighborhoods that will fit all your needs and desires.

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Transportation in Lima

Even though Lima doesn’t have a metro station, the transport between different city areas is made easy thanks to the well-connected bus system. El Metropolitano is the main bus line that gets the passengers from one district to another with almost no traffic jams or delays.

Five best neighborhoods to stay in Lima, Peru

As the second-largest city in the Americas, Lima has a lot to offer to its visitors. The city is divided into 43 districts, all of them very charming and interesting. When you’re looking where to stay in Lima, it’s easy to get confused and overwhelmed. We considered several factors to help you decide on the best neighborhood for you:

  1. The neighborhood vibe and atmosphere
  2. The cultural and historical value
  3. Fun and interesting things to see and do
  4. Safety of the neighborhood
  5. Cost of accommodation
  6. Ease of transportation
Best Neighborhoods to Stay in Lima, Peru
Miraflores For first-time visitors
Historic Center For a budget-friendly stay
Barranco For a cool atmosphere and great nightlife
San Isidro For high-class experience
Pueblo Libre For families/long-term stay

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Where to stay in Lima for the first time – Miraflores

Miraflores is one of the safest areas in Lima and known as the traveler’s hub. This is precisely why this is the ideal neighborhood when you’re looking where to stay in Lima on your first visit. Its coast location makes the whole area very popular. Coffee lovers will find their fair share of enjoyment here, for sure. Parque Kennedy, also known as Cat Park, is one of the biggest hotspots of the Miraflores neighborhood, not just because of its feline population but the many cool bars, restaurants, shops, and a movie theater around it.

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Where to go in Miraflores

For a first-time visit, Miraflores won’t leave you with a moment of time to feel bored.

  • Larcomar mall for a unique shopping experience
  • Ancient pyramid at Huaca Pucllana for some historical and cultural insight

Best for shopping fun: Larcomar

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If you’re looking for a place that can satisfy all of your shopping needs, make it a point to visit the Larcomar shopping mall. Aside from the actual shops, Larcomar will prove to be an unforgettable experience as it’s an open-air mall built into a cliff overlooking the sea. Don’t miss the chance to watch the sunset from the mall’s terrace.

Best for history buffs: Ancient pyramid at Huaca Pucllana

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The ancient pyramid at Huaca Pucllana is the only pre-Inca ruin that still stands in Lima, which is a sight to behold! It’s thought to have been an administrative and ceremonial center in ancient times and now stands as an important cultural and historical monument. You can take a walking tour, rest at Huaca Pucllana Restaurant, and check out the Larco Museum.

Where to stay in Miraflores

The average price per night of Airbnb accommodation in Miraflores is around $24. These are our favorites:

This lovely house for a very reasonable price

This beautifully decorated studio.

This gorgeous place with the view of the ocean.

Not what you’re looking for? Check out more options here.

Where to stay in Lima on a budget – Historic Center

Historic Center of Lima District is also known as El Centro, and it’s the center of the city with many architectural beauties such as Plaza de Armas, Government Palace, Convent of San Francisco, and so on. This entire district is a UNESCO Heritage Site. Not only is this an ideal neighborhood to stay for every history buff, but it’s also very budget-friendly, which is ideal for frugal travelers. Peruvian-Chinese buffets are the best for the ultimate palate satisfaction. Just keep in mind to stick to the main square and streets once night falls.

Image by Patricia van den Berg from Pixabay 

Where to go in Historic Center

The beauty and historical significance of Historic Centre buildings, architecture, and monuments won’t leave you indifferent.

  • Baroque-style churches and convents
  • Mansions that belonged to great people

Best for old-world enthusiasts: churches and convents

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The whole district is a huge historical and cultural treasure, but if you’re mostly interested in religious buildings and their breathtaking baroque-style architecture, make sure to visit Cathedral Basilica of Lima, Basilica and Convent of Santo Domingo, Archbishop’s Palace of Lima, and Basilica and Convent of Nuestra Senora de la Merced.

Best for people interested in olden lifestyle: glamorous mansions

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The glory of old times is not only apparent from important buildings but the actual homes that belonged to fabulous people. Check out mansions such as Casa Aliaga, Casa de Osambela, and Casa de la Riva to learn more about how they lived.

Where to stay in Historic Center

The average price of Airbnbs located in or near the Historic Center is $20 per night. These are our top picks:

This small and cozy budget option

This gorgeous traditional house.

This luxury option.

Not what you’re looking for? Check out more options here.

Where to stay in Lima, Peru for nightlife and boho vibe – Barranco

If you’re looking for the coolest place to stay in Lima, Barranco is your neighborhood! Not only is this the area where you want to go to party all night long, but it’s also a place with plenty of soul and strong bohemian spirit. Once a hotspot for artists, writers, and other creatives, Barranco will delight you with amazing music, cozy cafes, and incredible street art.

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Where to go in Barranco

There’s not a sliver of doubt that you’ll find great fun and inspiration in this charming Lima neighborhood.

  • Plaza de Armas for art lovers
  • Cozy cafes and boho bars

Best for people who appreciate street art: Plaza de Armas

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Plaza de Armas is located in the very center of Barranco. This is a great place to hang out with friends and meet new people. You’ll get a chance to see artists and painters at work, together with writers and musical performers. If you’re interested in modern art, you can also head to the Museum of Contemporary Art or enjoy fashion photographs in Mario Testino’s museum.

Best for foodies and party-goers: Tostaduria Bisetti and Ayahuasca

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Tostaduria Bisetti is the spot to go to if you want to taste the finest and most delicious white chocolate and passion fruit mousse pie topped off with a cup of slow-brew coffee. To continue with nighttime partying, head over to Ayahuasca for a cocktail (or more). This is a colonial mansion transformed into a boutique bar with amazing charm and a great vibe.

Where to stay in Barranco

The coolest neighborhood in Lima offers amazing Airbnb options for the average price of $40 per night. Just look at these lovely apartments:

This budget option with a pool

This mid-range apartment with a lovely patio

This sleek apartment for a high-end stay

Not what you’re looking for? Check out more options here.

Where to stay in Lima for a high-class experience – San Isidro

San Isidro is Lima’s elite neighborhood and financial center with plenty of fancy hotspots. Glamorous bars and restaurants, top-class golf courses, high-end shops, gorgeous parks, and amazing art galleries in San Isidro will let you taste the luxurious living.

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Where to go in San Isidro

This elite neighborhood can provide great fun even without a high price tag. 

  • Bosque del Olivar for nature lovers
  • Huaca Huallamarca and Huaca Santa Cruz for history buffs

Best for outdoor lovers: Bosque del Olivar

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Bosque del Olivar is a gorgeous park in San Isidro with olive trees dating back to the colonial era. Don’t miss your chance to take a stroll through this forest-like park and marvel at the scenery.

Best for people who appreciate history: Huaca Huallamarca and Huaca Santa Cruz

Image Source: rayoguzmanescritora

This archeological site features a pre-Columbian adobe pyramid and museum that’s definitely worth a look. You don’t even need a guide to enjoy a wholesome tour of the past times.

Where to stay in San Isidro

Even though San Isidro is the elite neighborhood in Lima, it’s possible to find Airbnbs for as low as $19, with an average price of $30 per night. Take a look at our favorites:

This cozy and budget-friendly studio

This mid-range apartment in a great location

This design luxury apartment

Not what you’re looking for? Check out more options here.

Where to stay in Lima long term – Pueblo Libre

International travelers looking where to stay in Peru for a longer period should definitely check out Lima’s neighborhood of Pueblo Libre. Pueblo Libre is rather similar to San Isidor, but not as expensive. This is a quiet, safe, and residential district with a slow-paced lifestyle, museums, and lovely parks, which makes Pueblo Libre ideal for a long-term stay or traveling with your family.

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Where to go in Pueblo Libre

Just because Pueblo Libre is a quiet and residential district doesn’t mean it doesn’t offer plenty of sightseeing opportunities.

  • Simon Bolivar’s mansion for history fans
  • Parque de las Leyendas for nature and animal lovers

Best for people eager to learn more about history: Simon Bolivar’s mansion

Simon Bolivar was a man who liberated a big part of South America. His colonial mansion in Pueblo Libre is now turned into the National Museum of Archaeology, Anthropology, and History of Peru.

Image Source: wikimedia commons

Best for outdoor and wildlife lovers: Parque de las Leyendas

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Parque de las Leyendas is a fairytale-like zoo park with amazing botanical gardens and more than 2000 animals. The zoo features 4 themes: Coast, Sierra, Jungle, and animals from abroad, which makes things infinitely more fun for both kids and adults.

Where to stay in Pueblo Libre

Pueblo Libre has great Airbnb options for a reasonable price, with $25 per night on average. These are our top picks:

This budget-friendly minimalist apartment

This modern mid-range apartment

This cozy apartment for a lux stay

 Not what you’re looking for? Check out more options here.

Where to stay in Cartagena

Where to stay in Cartagena from someone who has lived all over

Cartagena is a port city that lies on the Caribbean coast. With its tropical climate, stunning beaches, and marvelous architecture, this port city has been attracting more and more tourists every year. This city can also boast with its impressive and several centuries long history. Named after the Spanish city Cartagena, this charming city was founded in 1533. The city’s wall and fortress were selected as a World Heritage Site during the 80s.

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Five best neighborhoods to stay in Cartagena

Cartagena is divided into five distinct neighborhoods—Northern area, Downtown, San Diego, Getsemaní, and Bocagrande. Each of them has its own charm and appeal. 

Bocagrande Bocagrande literally means Big Mouth. It is best known for a large number of skyscrapers, in addition to it being the hot spot for tourists from all over the world.
Getsemaní This area was once unfortunately known for crime, however, it has completely changed in the past few years. Today this neighborhood is filled with street art, charming cafes, and beautifully colored buildings.
San Diego Not to be confused with the city of San Diego in California, this neighborhood was named after a local convent. Here you can pay a visit to the Santo Toribio Church, shops and restaurants.
Downtown The entrance to this area of Cartagena is through the marvelous and grand Puerta del Reloj, meaning Clock Gate. Here you can also see various styles of architecture and construction. 
Northern area The best thing about this neighborhood is that it is really close to the old part of town as well as the newer, modern part of town.

Where to stay in Cartagena for the first time — Bocagrande

Go and have a nice stroll through this area or head out to the beach for a fun and relaxing day. In this neighborhood, you have access to various beaches, malls, and restaurants which have helped this area earn a reputation among first-time visitors.

Things to see and do in Bocagrande

Swim in the beautiful and crystal-clear blue waters of the Caribbean Sea. Bask in the warm light of the Colombian sun and enjoy the gorgeous weather while relaxing on one of these beaches:

  • Playa De Bocagrande
  • Bocagrande Beaches
  • Costa del Sol
  • Capilla del Mar
  • Playa Ocean Tower

On the other hand, if you are not up for a day at the beach, you can go shopping in the Bocagrande Square Mall, as well as Centro Comercial Nao Shopping Center or head to the Parque Flanagan Amusement Park.

Bocagrande Square Mall

Shop until you drop in the numerous stores, grab something to eat at the food court, watch a film in the cinema or simply enjoy the view of the coastline.

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Centro Comercial Nao Shopping Center

A modern shopping center on multiple levels with an abundance of shops and restaurants, enough to satisfy the needs of every shopper.

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Parque Flanagan Amusement Park

Keeping small children entertained is always a challenge, especially when traveling, fortunately, Bocagrande can help you with this. There are various rides, attractions, and activities for kids in this vibrant and fun park. The kids are guaranteed to make some of the best memories and remember them for a very long time. From Monday to Thursday the park is open from 3 to 9:30 pm, and from Friday to Saturday and Sunday, it is open until 10 pm.

Image source: parqueflanagan

Where to stay in Bocagrande

The criteria used for selecting these particular accommodations were:

  1. Price
  2. Proximity
  3. Comfort

Affordable: a small, practical and modern apartment with a terrace.

Mid-range: a cozy apartment with an excellent view of the city.

Luxury: a condominium with a jacuzzi and a view of the beach.

For other options in this neighborhood check out Airbnb.

Where to stay in Cartagena — bohemian edition

This neighborhood dealt with a lot of crime in the past, thus resulting in a very bad reputation. Throughout the years though, Getsemaní rose from the ashes like a phoenix. Nowadays, you’ll only see locals and tourists alike strolling through the narrow streets, the walls filled with an abundance of street art and graffiti. 

Things to see and do in Getsemaní

Experience and soak in the art and bohemian vibe of this area by walking through it, sitting in coffee shops and local restaurants that sell delicious food.

Getsemaní Free Walking Tour

One of the best ways to get to know an area is with a guided tour. The English speaking guide can show you all the interesting sights and spots in Getsemaní, and in the process of doing so, you can learn about the story behind this incredible neighborhood in greater detail.

Image source: asiescartagena

Calle De La Sierpe

If you are an art enthusiast then you must visit Calle De La Sierpe. This is an iconic landmark filled with murals, street art, and graffiti. You are bound to have a brilliant experience viewing this breathtaking and awe-inspiring art.

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La Cocina de Pepina

Indulge yourself with some local food served at La Cocina de Pepina. This cozy and comfortable restaurant offers some really amazing and delicious food.

Image source: cesbustamante

Where to stay in Getsemaní

When searching for a place to stay you won’t face many difficulties. There are apartments, rooms or studios available for a low price but still provide all the comfort you need.

Affordable: the perk of this 1-bedroom, 1-bath private room is that you are really close to everything – restaurants, shops, and sightseeing spots.

Mid-range: a lively and brightly colored apartment in the heart of the area.

Luxury: a beautiful and spacious loft with a lot of natural light.

For additional options for places to stay in this area check out Airbnb.

Where to stay in Cartagena long term

For those looking to stay in Cartagena for an extended period of time, San Diego is the best place to do so. San Diego is a much more low-key neighborhood with an authentic Cartagena feel to it. Here you will be able to get a better understanding of Cartagenian and Colombian history. It will be your home away from home.

Things to see and do in San Diego

San Diego is far richer in terms of historical landmarks and sightseeing attractions. Like any other neighborhood, there are a lot of street vendors, restaurants, and shops.

The Walls of Cartagena

Probably the most iconic and well-known historical landmark in all of Cartagena. Obviously, it is a must-see.

Image source: kirk.wordie

Plaza de San Diego

This landmark comes to life during the night when street performers come out and raise the energy level. There are also a lot of small shops and restaurants. Plaza de San Diego is also a fantastic place for meeting and interacting with the local population, as well as potentially meeting other foreigners or people from your country.

Image source: felixverbel

Las Bovedas

Built in the 18th century, this incredible structure was initially intended to be used as a place to store ammunition and doubled as a prison, however, over time it turned into a large space for selling souvenir trinkets. Besides souvenirs, you can find a lot of other things — handcrafted items, jewelry, clothing, and so on.

Image source: thekendralarkin

Where to stay in San Diego

When deciding where to stay for a longer period of time it is important to look at the location of the place, how much it costs, as well as how noisy or quiet it is. Here is a selection of apartments based on the aforementioned criteria.

Affordable: studio in the Walled City:

Mid-range: an apartment in the center of the historic old town.

Luxury: a gorgeous condominium with a stunning courtyard.

For other options in this neighborhood check out Airbnb.

 

 

Where to stay in Cusco

Choosing where to stay in Cusco, the roof of the world

Looking for an Inca-worthy adventure? If that’s the case, Cusco in Peru is your ideal travel destination. At 3400 meters above the sea level, Cusco will get you closer to the breathtaking Machu Picchu. The former Inca capital (from 13th to 16th century), Cusco is now a tourist hotspot and a lovely historic town that will leave you awestruck. In order to help you get the most out of your incredible travel experience in Cusco, we have selected the best neighborhoods you can stay in and focus on your explorations.

Image by Jorge Candia from Pixabay 

Transportation in Cusco

Even though you won’t find an elaborate transportation system in Cusco, you’ll still find the transportation option quite effective. Not to mention that both the taxi and bus fares tend to be rather inexpensive. You can also utilize combis and colectivos that pick up passengers randomly by yelling the destination. Of course, you’ll get to experience the city’s true glory by walking. For tours and transfers, check out this website.

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Five best neighborhoods to stay in Cusco, Peru

The crown of the Southern Sierras mountain range, Cusco is one of the cities at the top of the world, and very often, at the top of every traveler’s bucket list. Even though it may not be the largest place in Peru, its tourist popularity is growing every year. The best neighborhoods we’ve chosen to aid your trip and adventure are all pretty close to each other, with the majority of main attractions. These are the factors we considered for our top picks:

  1. The vibe and atmosphere of the neighborhood
  2. Historical and cultural importance
  3. Fun and interesting things to see and do
  4. Neighborhood safety
  5. Ease of transport
  6. Cost of accommodation
Best neighborhoods to stay in Cusco, Peru
Historic Centre For a first-time visit
San Cristobal For a budget-friendly stay
Plaza de Armas For nightlife fun
San Blas For the cool and boho vibe
Lucrepata For families/long-term stay

Image by renzonapa from Pixabay 

Where to stay in Cusco, Peru for the first time – Historic Centre

Historic Centre is, as the name suggests, at the very heart of Cusco. It’s close to the Wanchaq Train Station and has everything you’d need within a walking distance. This is the ideal area of the city to get the best feel and view of the Inca empire remnants. With a bunch of museums and ancient sites, you’ll have your days planned out completely.

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Where to go in the Historic Centre

  • Enjoy yourself at the San Pedro market
  • Check out historical and cultural treasures

Best for foodies and shopping fun: San Pedro market

San Pedro market located in the Historic Centre will make your visit to Cusco more charming as this is the best place to get local goods. Foodies should definitely try out the local specialty roasted guinea pig. If you want to buy something for yourself as a keepsake, an Alpaca wool jumper is just the thing.

Image source: dreamsbacktotravel

Best for history buffs: Calle Hatunrumiyoc

Historic Centre has many fabulous and mysterious sites from ancient times to tickle your imagination. Check out Calle Hatunrumiyoc Inca walls and take the time to imagine what the stones were used for. Then head over to the Inca Sun temple, Qorikancha.

Image Source: oskarovay

Where to stay in Historic Centre

Airbnb accommodation in Cusco’s Historic Centre usually costs around $40 per night. These are our favorite options:

This cozy budget apartment

This fantastic mid-range loft

This amazing lux apartment

Check out more Airbnb options here.

Where to stay in Cusco on a budget – San Cristobal

A 25-minute walk away from the Wanchaq Train Station, San Cristobal is the hill neighborhood close to the Historic Centre. It’s great for everyone looking where to stay in Cusco, Peru on a budget. The views from the hill are amazing and allow you a clear sight of the ancient ruins. This is where the most famous Inca ruin, Sacsayhuaman, is located, and it’s free to enter before 7 am.

Image Source: fernando.teixeira_

Where to go in San Cristobal

  • Enjoy the nature and views
  • Wander ancient sites and churches

Best for outdoor lovers: Christo Blanco

If you want to witness some of the world’s most amazing views, head to the Christo Blanco statue of Jesus Christ at the very top of the hill. Many visitors don’t know about this, but the San Cristobel area also has a lovely little park great for relaxation and immersing yourself in natural beauty called Qolqanpata Historical Park.

Image Source: papayatogo

Best for history buffs: Sacsayhuaman

Sacsayhuaman is the most popular and well-known Inca ruin that’s free to explore before 7 am. Just behind it is the Planetarium, which will allow you to admire the clear night sky. You can also get a tour guide to show you around the San Cristobal church.

Image Source: turismoi.global

Where to stay in San Cristobal

There are many popular Airbnb options in this area with an average price of $25 per night. Check out our top picks:

This budget-friendly loft

This modern mid-range apartment

This stylish lux apartment

Check out more Airbnb options here.

Where to stay in Cusco for nightlife – Plaza de Armas

Plaza de Armas is essentially a part of Historic Center. This is a square at the heart of the tourist area in Cusco. Plaza de Armas is lined with bars, restaurants, and historical sites, which makes it ideal for both sightseeing during the day and partying at night. You’re bound to have some great fun with locals and other international travelers.

Image Source: machupicchu.guide

Where to go in Plaza de Armas

  • Visit a cathedral of Santo Domingo
  • Enjoy the atmosphere and drinks in many bars

Best for history buffs: Cathedral of Santo Domingo

Built in the 16th century, the Cathedral of Santo Domingo is one of the main historical and cultural attractions at Plaza de Armas. The building is beautiful, and you’ll get to marvel at the art too, not just the architecture.

Image Source: tanks_travels

Best for party-goers: Plaza de Armas bars

You can pick and choose where you want to have your next drink in Plaza de Armas. If you crave a refreshing pint of beer, head to Paddy’s Irish Pub. The place for funky shots is at the wall of La Chupeteria. Visit Mama Africa and Norton Rat’s Tavern for a great atmosphere, as well.

Image Source: parttimemuse

Where to stay in Plaza de Armas

There are several Airbnb options in the vicinity of Plaza de Armas at various price ranges, with the average price of $35 per night. These are our favorites:

This lovely budget apartment

This cozy mid-range apartment

This unique lux terrace house

Check out more Airbnb options here.

Where to stay in Cusco, Peru for bohemian vibe – San Blas

Slightly out of the city center is the coolest neighborhood in Cusco, San Blas. The area has a distinctive boho feel to it as well, which makes it an easy choice for where to stay in Cusco, Peru for the more alternative and edgier travelers. This is a great place to do your shopping as you have a great selection of boutiques and cheaper alternatives. You’ll also find amazing local artwork and quaint cafes for all you coffee lovers.

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Where to go in San Blas

  • Shop, eat, and taste coffee at local hotspots
  • Explore the gorgeous church called Iglesia de San Blas

Best for coffee lovers: Carmen Alto

At Carmen Alto, you’ll find plenty of cool coffee shops where you’ll be able to taste all of them and find your favorite. To keep your tummy happy amidst all the coffee tasting, head to the Pantastico bakery for some delicious snacks. Complete the experience by browsing the Andean markets.

Image Source: asiuloy

Best for fans of history and architecture: Iglesia de San Blas

Iglesia de San Blas was originally built in the 15th century in a distinctly Gothic style. Through years of updates and refurbishments, different styles were added, making this church a true sight to behold. Intricate wood pulpit carved in the Spanish Churrigueresque style adds a true Baroque feel.

Image Source: art__vampire

Where to stay in San Blas

Airbnb accommodation in San Blas area goes for around $40 per night. These are our top choices:

This budget apartment with a great view

This charming mid-range apartment

This lux suite with a garden

Check out more Airbnb options here.

Where to stay in Cusco long-term – Lucrepata

Close to the main center but still rather unknown to tourists is the Cusco’s neighborhood of Lucrepata. The transportation lines are great and the area is very peaceful, which makes it perfect for people interested in a long-term stay or those traveling with their families. You’ll still be close to San Blas and Plaza de Armas when you want to spice things up.

Image Source: midnightdave24

Where to go in Lucrepata

  • Explore the nature and wildlife of the area
  • Relax at the Massage and Healing Center Paramatma Yoga

Best for outdoor lovers: Rainbow Mountain

Rainbow Mountain is three hours away from Lucrepata and the trip will be worth it for everyone who appreciates natural beauty. You can also pay a visit to the Zoologico UNSAAC center where you’ll be able to see many wild animals.

Image Source: rainbowmountaintravels

Best for relaxation: Massage and Healing Center Paramatma Yoga

Massage and Healing Center Paramatma Yoga is one of the best places to get a massage and practice yoga in Cusco. If you’re already staying in Lucrepata, don’t miss the opportunity to get a rub-down and enjoy the benefits of professional healing work.

Image Source: dharmakarayoga

Where to stay in Lucrepata

Lucrepata has many rather affordable Airbnb options with an average price per night of around $27. Check out our top picks:

This modern budget option

This mid-range wellness studio

This beautiful lux apartment with a balcony

Check out more Airbnb options here.

Where to stay in Rio De Janeiro

Where to stay in Rio de Janeiro – The city of carnivals

Nicknamed the Marvellous City, Rio is the second-largest city in Brazil. Over the years, Rio de Janeiro gained a reputation among travelers and tourists, and as a result, it became one of the most popular and well-known tourist destinations in the world. It became such a popular tourist destination, in large part, thanks to the iconic statue of Christ – also known as Christ the Redeemer, the famous Carnival, the splendid beaches, and of course, football.

Image source: pedromagrod

5 best neighborhoods to stay in Rio de Janeiro

Rio is divided into four zones – North, South, West, and Central. The West Zone covers the most ground, around 50%, while the Central Zone is the smallest. Each of these zones is further subdivided into neighborhoods.  

Image source: wikipedia.org

Green represents the West Zone, blue the North Zone, red the Central Zone, and yellow the South Zone. 

These are our top 5 picks:

  1. Centro
  2. Lapa
  3. Flamengo
  4. Santa Teresa
  5. Copacabana

 

Centro  Despite being the financial heart of Rio, there are still plenty of things to see and do for those travelers who are on a budget. This neighborhood is located in the Central Zone.
Lapa This neighborhood is best known for its exciting nightlife and historic monuments. It is located in the South Zone.
Flamengo A more quiet and residential neighborhood, great for people looking to stay long-term. This area is located in the South Zone of the city.
Santa Teresa  Located in the Central Zone, Santa Teresa is a neighborhood that is known for its cultural life and bohemian vibe. This is where you are most likely to encounter artists and intellectuals.
Copacabana  Located in the South Zone of the city, this is one of the most famous neighborhoods in the world, known for its incredible beaches. This is an excellent spot for first-time visitors.

Getting around Rio

Traffic, like in almost any major city, can be an absolute nightmare and a great cause of stress which you do not need. The safest, easiest, and most convenient way to get around Rio is either by bus or metro.

Image source: wikitravel.org

Where to stay in Rio de Janeiro on a budget – The Centro

 

The Centro neighborhood is home to a number of museums, cultural and historic landmarks. As one of the most tourist-oriented neighborhoods, there are plenty of things to do and places to visit. Also, given its central position, it is really easy to get around on foot, and you have access to public transportation.

Things to see and do in Centro

Here are some of our suggestions: 

  • Visit the Imperial Palace Cultural Center
  • Visit the Royal Portuguese Cabinet of Reading
  • Visit the Museum of Art of Rio

Imperial Palace Cultural Center

Built in the 18th century, this incredible building once served as the Imperial Palace, but nowadays it is a cultural center. Visit this great historic building and learn about the history behind it and Brazil.

Image source: marcuselicius

Royal Portuguese Cabinet of Reading

Proclaimed as one of the most beautiful libraries in the world, the Royal Portuguese Cabinet of Reading is home to one of the largest collections of Portuguese literature. The interior of this building just might be one of the most breathtaking things you will ever get to witness.

Image source: gentlemen_wear_daily

Museum of Art of Rio

Feast your eyes with some interesting and inspiring art. They organize various exhibits throughout the whole year, so regardless of your time of visit you will always have something to see. Entrance is free on Tuesdays.

Image source: museudeartedorio

Where to stay in Centro

The Centro neighborhood offers a great number of affordable accommodations despite its central location, which is usually quite pricey. 

Here are some of our suggestions for affordable accommodation in Centro:

This cozy apartment is located near public transportation and shops.

This small studio is close to all the tourist attractions and transportation.

This apartment offers you a great view of the city.

For other options in this area check out Airbnb.

Where to stay in Rio for nightlife – Lapa

During the day, Lapa gives off the impression of a low-key, bohemian neighborhood with gorgeous street art, however, during the night it comes to life thanks to the many bars, pubs, and clubs that attract both locals and foreigners. In Lapa, you can also witness a lot of street parties with excellent music and a captivating atmosphere.

Things to see and do in Lapa

Here are some of our recommendations for a great night out:

  • Carioca da Gema
  • Boteco da Garrafa
  • Café Cultural Sacrilégio

Carioca da Gema

This bar offers you an authentic Brazilian experience. Enjoy a night out with live music and great drinks.

Image source: andersonsachetti88

Boteco da Garrafa

A renovated mansion that serves Brazilian food and a wide variety of drinks.

Image source: ronaldotoledo965

Café Cultural Sacrilégio

Dance samba with the locals accompanied by a live band in this fun and exciting bar.

Where to stay in Lapa

Most of the apartments in this area are quite small in size and have very vibrant decor. The apartments were chosen based on location, price, and convenience. On average, the price for a night is around $57.

Here are some of our suggestions:

Affordable: this apartment has a very homey feel to it. It’s also close to restaurants.

Mid-range: a bright and conveniently located apartment in the heart of Lapa.

Luxury: a large townhouse with breathtaking interior design, close to all the main tourist attractions.

Check out other options in Lapa on Airbnb.

Where to stay in Rio de Janeiro long term – Flamengo

Despite its location next to the sea, Flamengo doesn’t experience a large number of tourists like some other areas in Rio de Janeiro. This neighborhood is located a bit away from the city center but there are buses that connect to the other areas, as well as three subway stations: Flamengo, Largo do Machado and Catete. Some of the more popular landmarks include the Carmen Miranda Museum, Flamengo Park, and the Museum of Modern Art. You can also see the statue of Christ the Redeemer and the Sugarloaf Mountain.

Things to see and do in Flamengo

Here are some of our suggestions to do in this neighborhood:

  • Dine at Armazém do Chopp 
  • Visit Flamengo Park
  • Visit Oi Futuro

Armazém do Chopp

An authentic local restaurant that sells dishes from Brazilian and South American cuisine.

Image source: claramartha25

Flamengo Park

Flamengo Park is the largest park in Rio de Janeiro. Here you can skate, cycle, walk, play a variety of sports (football, basketball, volleyball, etc.), relax and unwind. You can also find restaurants, food stands, the Museum of Modern Art, the National Monument to the Dead of World War II, and a lot more. It is a great way to spend time outside.

Image source: viniciusportinari

Oi Futuro

Oi Futuro is a building that houses a cultural center, an innovation lab, and a museum of technology, all in one. This space is dedicated to creative minds who like to explore possibilities and learn new things.

Image source: lucianaadao

Where to stay in Flamengo

The average nightly price for an apartment is around $84. 

Here are some of our suggestions:

Affordable: this apartment might seem a little tight when it comes to space, but it is just 5 minutes away from the metro.

Mid-range: a modern apartment with a lot of charm; it is close to the metro and everything you might need.

Luxury: a vibrantly colored apartment with a balcony and vintage feel to it.

For other options in this area check out Airbnb.

Where to stay in Panama City

Where to stay in Panama City — Live like a local in the coolest neighborhoods in Panama

Founded in 1519, Panama City is the capital of Panama. Thanks to its long history, it has a number of historical and culturally significant landmarks, and even a whole district dedicated to those landmarks. One of the things most often associated with Panama is, of course, the Panama Canal. Thanks to its construction, Panama and Panama City were effectively put on the map and the Canal helped grow the economy, as well as help the city grow into the modern metropolis that it is today.

Image source: xavies35

5 best neighborhoods to stay in Panama City

Thanks to the blend of old and new, traditional and modern, Panama City can cater to anybody’s taste. The city is divided into a number of corregimientos which is a Spanish term for district subdivisions. Below we will present you with our top 5 picks for the best neighborhoods in Panama City.

  1. San Francisco
  2. El Cangrejo
  3. Costa Del Este
  4. Obarrio
  5. Casco Viejo

 

San Francisco Great for first-time visitors who wish to explore the charm of Panama. Some of the more prominent landmarks include Atlapa Convention Centre and Parque Omar. Overall, this neighborhood provides a great mix of opportunities for relaxing and having fun.
El Cangrejo El Cangrejo is known for its exotic and fun nightlife. There are a number of great bars, pubs, clubs, cafes, and restaurants in this area. Perfect for those who like to party and dance the night away.
Costa Del Este Costa Del Este is more of a luxurious neighborhood with high-end shops, fancy restaurants, and pricier accommodation. However, it is not as touristy as some other areas, thus it is more quiet and calm. 
Obarrio Obarrio is one of the most affordable neighborhoods in Panama City, which is great news for travelers on a budget. There are still plenty of things to do and places to see.
Casco Viejo Casco Viejo offers its visitors a blend of hip, traditional, modern, and historical. An excellent neighborhood for those who want to learn more about Panama City through its art, history, and culture.

Transportation in Panama City

Buses: an easy and affordable way of moving around the city. The majority of people in Panama commute by bus because it is cheap and they run often.

Taxis: are present throughout the entire city. They are yellow and don’t have any meters. You should keep this in mind when taking a taxi. Make sure to negotiate the fare with the driver before heading to your destination. On average, in Panama City, taxi fares are around 3 US dollars.

Where to stay in Panama City for the first time— San Francisco

A bustling and lively neighborhood with an abundance of options for entertainment, fun, and exploration of Panama City. An excellent place to come to if you are visiting Panama for the first time.

Things to see and do in San Francisco

These are some of our suggestions for activities and places to visit:

  • Atlapa Convention Centre
  • 5inco Cocina Urbana
  • Parque Omar

Atlapa Convention Centre

A convention center that has been opened for several decades. Frequently they host all kinds of events, concerts, sporting events, and other interesting and fun events.

Image source: iamyohany

5inco Cocina Urbana

A restaurant that offers a variety of cuisines, ideal for foodies.

Image source: 5incopanama

Parque Omar

An oasis in the middle of the busy and loud city. The park has trails for walking, exercising equipment, and playgrounds. A great place to rest and relax, and see some great murals.

Image source: run_mela_run

Where to stay in San Francisco

Here are some of our suggestions:

Affordable: an apartment close to markets, shops, and restaurants.

Mid-range: a modern apartment close to Parque Omar.

Luxury: a large and spacious apartment with a view of the city.

For other options in this area check out Airbnb.

Where to stay in Panama City for nightlife — El Cangrejo

El Cangrejo is one of the trendiest and most vibrant areas in all of Panama City. This neighborhood has everything, from low-key and chill coffee shops to colorful and exhilarating bars, clubs, and pubs. 

Things to see and do in El Cangrejo

Here are some of our recommendations for places to visit while in El Cangrejo. These places were selected based on the atmosphere and location.

Here are some of our picks:

  • Istmo Brew Pub
  • La Rana Dorada
  • El Chante Panama

Istmo Brew Pub

Head to this pub for a relaxing night out. Enjoy various types of beer and other alcoholic beverages. They also have a pool table so you can play a game with friends, or maybe have fun with the locals.

Image source: gpetersond

La Rana Dorada

This bar offers delicious food and great drinks along with a lively atmosphere.

Image source:  hreaper

El Chante Panama

This bar has a real local feel to it. Spend the night out drinking and having fun with the locals in an inviting and fun atmosphere.

Image source: pbeventspty

Where to stay in El Cangrejo

There are a number of affordable apartments for renting, with the average price per night being around $60. Most of them are concentrated in the heart of the area, in the vicinity of a lot of bars, pubs, clubs, and restaurants.

Affordable: a 1-bed, 1-bath apartment close to transportation and all the tourist attractions.

Mid-range: a fully furnished apartment in an excellent location.

Luxury: a lavish and luxurious apartment.

If you are interested in other options make sure to check out Airbnb.

Where to stay in Panama City long term — Costa Del Este

Over the last several years, Costa Del Este has become one of the favorite places among international expats. This area also has a large number of corporations. When it comes to buying property here it is a bit more expensive, however, renting a place offers a great deal for a decent sum of money. Thanks to the fact that this area is so well planned, you are able to get everywhere very easily. Costa Del Este is also close to Tocumen International Airport, which is a great bonus. In this area, you are also close to shops, malls, parks, entertainment, restaurants, and so on. 

Things to see and do in Costa Del Este

  • Go for a walk through Parque Costa del Este
  • Shop at Multiplaza Panamá
  • Dine at Noi Restaurante

Parque Costa del Este

Take a break in this oasis in the middle of a bustling city. Take in the beautiful scenery and unwind after a long day.

Image source: comoyoveoapanama

Multiplaza Panamá

From high-end to low-end shops, Multiplaza Panamá has something for everybody’s taste and wallet. It also has a variety of restaurants and well-known fast-food chains.

Image source: otto.alvarez.b

Noi Restaurante

This trendy restaurant serves dishes from a wide variety of cuisines, namely Argentine, Italian, and the Mediterranean. You can also find vegetarian, gluten-free, and vegan options.

Image source: restaurantenoi

Where to stay in Costa Del Este

Due to the increasing popularity of this area, it is getting slightly harder to find a place to stay, especially for a longer period of time. Depending on the time of the year, and the demand, the prices may go up or down. Obviously, living in the center is the most expensive option, and you are more likely to find more value for your money if you decide to move away from the center. 

Here are some of our suggestions:

Affordable: a spacious apartment in a great location.

Mid-range: a modern apartment with a view of the ocean.

Luxurious: this apartment is just 15 minutes away from the airport.

For other options in this area check out Airbnb.

Where to Stay in Oaxaca

Where to Stay in Oaxaca, Mexico – a city of fine cuisine and unusual festivities

Millions of tourists visit Mexico each year for its pristine beaches, crystal clear sea, culture, and history. While most of these visits are to its capital, Mexico City, or to summer resorts such as Cancun, or Cabo, this is far from what this splendid country has to offer. One of the lesser-known areas of Mexico, located in the southern part of the country is the state of Oaxaca (wah-hah-kah). 

This state is distinguished by its indigenous culture, unique and lively crafts and arts, traditional celebrations, and folklore, but most of all, by superb local cuisine and natural wonders. Its perfect location between Sierra Madre mountains and beaches provides some of the most astonishing landscapes and scenery for both locals and travelers to admire. 

Conscious of their colonial and cultural treasures, the government has been promoting eco-tourism with an aim to conserve their centuries-old legacy.

Image source: acawanderer

Five Best neighborhoods to stay in Oaxaca

The central place of this state occupies its capital, Oaxaca City, Oaxaca de Juárez or simply Oaxaca. This colonial city has developed into a cultural and historical hub of the area. As one of the rare cities in the world to contain examples of all the historical periods of their country such as pre-Hispanic, colonial, independent, and modern, the city along with the archeological location of Monte Albán has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. 

Thanks to its authenticity and avoiding mass tourism, Oaxaca is slowly becoming a favorite destination for locals and ex-pats searching for tranquility and abundance of activities and landmarks. 

Despite being a relatively small city, Oaxaca is divided into many neighborhoods which are at a walking distance from each other while some of them even merge at some point. Each district is unique in content and activities. 

But some of these neighborhoods are better than others. With so many options, it can be difficult to find the best area to stay in during your visit to this marvelous city. We have gathered some of the best areas for you and here is what we suggest:

  1. Centro
  2. Santo Domingo 
  3. El Llano 
  4. Jalatlaco
  5. La Noria

These are the top 5 neighborhoods to stay in Oaxaca and to help you even more with finding accommodation and securing a pleasurable stay in this city, here are the features of each neighborhood and for which activities they are ideal: 

Neighborhood

Ideal for: 

Why?

Centro

First-timers

Center of all landmarks and activities of the area

Santo Domingo

Nightlife

Energetic nightlife, restaurants, tavernas, and bars

El Llano

On a budget

Backpacker experience

Jalatlaco

Bohemians and ex-pats

The coolest place with a pleasant and relaxed atmosphere

La Noria

Long-term stay and families

Local experience, peaceful but with many attractions

Where to stay in Oaxaca for the first time – Centro

In most of the cities around the world, the majority of attractions are usually located in its central area, and Oaxaca isn’t any different. Centro, or Center, is the very heart of the city. As such, it is the most congested neighborhood in Oaxaca. Not only does it have many cultural and historical landmarks, but it also provides numerous shopping, dining, and entertainment options. 

In addition, it is well connected with surrounding neighborhoods which you can explore even on foot, as well as with other cities in the state. As a result, it is the ideal place for the first visit to this colorful city since its colonial architecture and cobblestone streets are truly something special and unique.  Image source: tomomiyoshim

Things to see and do in Centro

As the central neighborhood of Oaxaca, there is plenty to see and do here. Inquire about the incredibly rich culture and history of this area, participate in some of the craft workshops, and make unique and memorable souvenirs to remind you of Oaxaca. 

Here are our recommendations: 

  • Monte Alban 
  • Museo de Los Pintores Oaxaqueños
  • MACO
  • Casa de la Ciudad
  • Zocalo

Monte Alban 

Take a short walk to the nearby Santa Cruz municipality and take a tour around one of the largest pre-Columbian archeological sites declared UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. 

Image source: indsay_caron

Museo de Los Pintores Oaxaqueños

If you are an art lover, then you will know to appreciate and admire the collection of contemporary art presented in this museum.

Image source: arianereine

MACO

Museum of Contemporary Art of Oaxaca or MACO is another place worth visiting and acquainting yourself with some of the exquisite art pieces of some of the most renowned Oaxacan artists. 

Image source: jose_keyblade

Casa de la Ciudad 

A place where most activities in Oaxaca take place, this community center seems like a great place not only to admire the exhibited pieces but also to engage in some interesting and creative workshops. 

Image source: worldbikeforum

Zocolo

Zocolo is the main town square where both international and domestic travelers like to gather especially during the night as it serves as the meeting point. 

Image source: majo_sal

Where to stay in Centro

Since this neighborhood is the hub of Oaxaca, it is tourist-friendly in the sense that it offers a wide range of accommodation options to suit every taste. Despite being the heart and soul of the city, in comparison to other travel destinations, it is quite affordable. The average price in Airbnbs is $41 per night. Our top picks are:

Affordable option – This private room with an incredible view

Moderate option – This apartment in the historical part of the town

Luxury option – This green loft in the city center of Oaxaca

Find more Airbnbs in Centro here

Where to stay in Oaxaca for nightlife – Santo Domingo

North of the city center within walking distance, Santo Domingo is located. This peculiar and vivid neighborhood is most famous for its energetic and vibrant nightlife. With so many restaurants, tavernas, and bars, it is the favorite area not only for parties but also for trying out some of the most delicious local dishes and drinks such as diverse moles, which is a type of a sauce, chapulines, spicy fried grasshoppers, or tasting the local drink, mezcal, and many more. 

Image source: axelmalohdz

Things to see and do in Santo Domingo

This neighborhood has an interesting combination of clubs and bars, colorful colonial architecture, and historical heritage. Check out our must-see places in Santo Domingo:

  • Templo de Santo Domingo de Guzmán
  • La Mezcaloteca
  • El Cortijo Mezcaleria
  • Oaxaca Brewing Company
  • Los Danzantes

Templo de Santo Domingo de Guzmán

This temple with impressive architecture and art is the most iconic landmark of this neighborhood. 

Image source:

La Mezcaloteca

As a part of the local experience, you should visit La Mezcaloteca and learn everything about the local drink mezcal. Don’t worry, tasting is included!

Image source: renebeckhansen

El Cortijo Mezcaleria

This is a great place to stop by and try different blends of mezcal. Polite and kind staff will assist you in buying the most suitable blend for you. 

Image source: jony137b

Oaxaca Brewing Company

Oaxaca is famous in this area of Mexico for many distilleries and small brewing companies. Stop by this one and try some of the unique craft beers. 

Image source: oaxacabrewingco

Los Danzantes

Los Danzantes is the perfect restaurant to try some of the rich and delicious Oaxacan food. If you decide to visit this place, make reservations in advance as it is quite a popular place. 

Image source: danzantesoaxaca

Image source: louise_rothschild

Where to stay in Santo Domingo 

This area tends to become quite busy especially during the night so make sure to seek accommodation in some quieter parts of the street if you decide on this neighborhood as your base. The average nightly price in Airbnbs is $39. We recommend:

Affordable optionThis nice house in a quiet area

Moderate optionThis room in a hostel 

Luxury optionThis small but luxurious house 

For more Airbnbs in Santo Domingo click here.