We would like to give you some practical and tourist information:
PUCP is located on Avenida Universitaria, right near the intersection with Avenida Bolívar. Universitaria also intersects with La Marina and Venezuela. It is in the district of Pueblo Libre. If you end up living in Pueblo Libre, you will most likely be able to walk to campus in a reasonable amount of time (10-20 minutes). Other travel times will be dependent on where you live for the semester. A few points of reference: from Miraflores, 45 minutes to an hour in combi; from San Isidro, about 30 minutes in combi.
Depending on where you live in the city, there are different ways to get to the University. The cheapest and most efficient (although often plagued by traffic and delay due to many stops) is the combi bus system. The combis, or micros, are little public transportation buses, denoted by the colors, numbers, and main paraderos (bus stops) written on the side.
The easiest way to navigate the combi system is to realize that the cobrador (money collector) will usually announce the main streets on its route as it approaches the stop. Once you know where you need to get off, or if you need to go down another main street, the combi system will be a breeze. There are several main avenues that converge near the Católica and, depending on where you live, you will be able to take a combi down one of these main avenues. Other options of transportation within Lima are taxi, the “Metropolitano”, or the electric train. The “Metropolitano” is another bus system that is a bit faster as it primarily travels on the expressway, but it has a limited route. The electric train is a new system that is still being expanded.
Some classic Peruvian foods include ceviche (seafood topped in a lemon/ onion criolla sauce), papa a la huancaína (potatoes in a creamy yellow sauce made with cheese), lots of sandwiches (pulled chicken with crispy fries and ketchup/mayo/ají on
a bun) for a quick bite to eat from the street, etc. Chifa, or Peruvian Chinese food, is exactly what it sounds like: the Peruvian interpretation of Asian cuisine. Rice is a very prominent element in the Peruvian diet.
The meal system at PUCP can be a bit tricky at the beginning, so take notes! You will have to buy a lunch ticket in the morning before they sell out, which is usually around 11.30am. There are several options: básico (3.60 soles for a good portion of food that is usually some kind of meat and sauce with rice and a piece of bread), económico (1.50 soles for the same as básico without the meat and bread), and menú options, which vary from day to day but are more expensive (in the 7 soles range). There is also a vegetarian option that costs 3.60 soles as well but the tickets are only available starting at noon. If you do not get a ticket, don´t worry. There are several places to grab food on campus (including Dominos pizza and a French crepe place).
The best way to change your foreign money into Peruvian soles is to go to a “casa de cambio”. This is the most secure way to exchange your money. If you have an international debit card, you can also withdraw money from an ATM. There is a GlobalNet ATM on campus as well as a bank, BBVA Continental. It is possible to set up a bank account at this bank and deposit money there for easy withdrawal when you are on campus.
Lima is a large city and, while it may be easy to feel lost and overwhelmed, there is a plethora of activities, sights, and places to explore that range from cultural experiences to a vibrant nightlife. Regardless of what your interests may be, there is a lot to see and experience in Lima. Here we present you with some options:
The center of Lima is full of museums, churches, cathedrals, antique palaces, and other such cultural sites. To get a sense of the foundations of Lima, start at the classic Plaza de Armas, where you can witness the changing of the guard at the presidential palace. You can’t miss the Circuito Mágico del Agua in the Parque de la Reserva. This lovely park, best visited at night, is full of different colorfully displayed fountains including a few interactive ones.
If you are looking for an exciting nightlife and social scene, the Barranco district (located on the coast, just south of Miraflores) is full of energetic bars, clubs, frequent local concerts as well as the more relaxed café style hang out. During the day Barranco is also a nice place to visit, with a variety of places to eat and a great overlook of the Pacific Ocean.
An easy day trip that brings you to a whole different world of Lima. Take a boat ride around the Islas Palominas to see a variety of wildlife ranging from sea lions to penguins and dolphins.
If you are an Archeology junkie or even just interested in ancient civilizations, you must visit these ruins, which are said to be the most ancient in the Americas and are located only 200km out of Lima proper.
Another worthwhile day trip and archeological site, only 31 km east of the city.
Some great sites to see in the general PUCP vicinity include the Museo Larco and the Parque Zoológico, where you can admire ancient ceramics and wandering llamas (respectively).