Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Payment For Rental

You can pay through Paypal Payment System. I do not see any of your information. PayPal handles all the information. I only see what was paid and from Whom.

If you have a PayPal account, you will have an option to use those funds. I prefer you use funds from your Paypal Account because Paypal does not charge any fees. If you use the credit card option, then I must pay the credit card fee.

After selecting "Buy Now" button, type in the rental amount requested and click on "Add"...this will update the amount being paid. Then, Select the option, PayPal, or credit card.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

On Money, Shopping, Tipping...

Store/Office Hours
Most stores are open M-S, 10.00 to 20.00 hrs. Department stores like Ripley, Saga, and other main stores also open on Sundays. Some small business or specialties stores close for a couple of hours at lunch time.

Bank hours vary depending on the season. Most banks are open M-Sat., 9.00-18.00 hours (better get used to military time).

Most museums are open M-Sat., 9:00-18:00 hrs. Some close at lunch time.

Prices in stores as fixed but you can "regatear" (bargain) in open markets and handicrafts stores.

The national currency is the Nuevo Sol (S/.), comes in bills and coins. Do not get fooled by the size of the coins, a 5 soles (size of an American quarter) can get you a sandwich or a nice ice-cream. The Sol is divided in 100 cents and the coins are of 1, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents and 1, 2 and 5 soles. Bills are in denominations of 10, 20, 50 and 100 soles. Be aware of counterfeited money.

Even though major credit cards are accepted in most hotels, restaurants and stores, always bring some cash with you. If you are going to pay with a credit card, expect to be asked for your passport, and don't get mad or argue, because this is just the way it is. Personally, I do not recommend traveler's cheques, as in Europe, they are just a pain. You can pay in US$ dollars in most places according to the daily exchange rate; you will receive your change, if any, in Peruvian money.

Currency Exchange Rate
You can exchange money with the "cambistas", who are registered exchange agents, and can be found in the main streets of Miraflores. We recommend you go to a bank or currency exchange place. Hotel charge high commissions.

Major credit cards accepted in most businesses: Visa, Master Card, Diners and American Express.

Tip: We usually bring some cash with us, and change on a daily basis because the exchange rate varies from day to day (at this posting the ER was 3.10 soles/1 dollar). But we mainly use our credit and debit cards. There are ATMs all over the place and you have the option of making your withdrawals in Soles or US$.

- Country Code Peru: 011-51 (if dialing from USA)

- City Code Lima: 1

To make long distance calls, you could buy pre-paid cards. We offer our guests two "pay as you go" cell phones, that can be charged at the Vivanda Supermarket. No pesky PIN needed.

There are tons of Internet cafés or "Cafés cibernéticos". There is one across Vivanda, a block away. You can check your emails for 1h/1US$. We offer Internet connection at the apartment.

Airport - Miraflores: Usually 40.00 soles (around 15 bucks).
Around town: 5.00 - 15.00 soles, depending on distance.

We offer our guests transport services to/from the airport. Our driver is a serious and trustful person. You can also make direct arrangements with him if you need transportation in Lima.


There is a 18% VAT added to all purchases and services, it is already included in the price (unlike the States).

It does not matter how many countries I have visited, I always have problem with how much is acceptable. By rule of thumb: 8% - 12% is acceptable in most restaurants, I leave more if it is a nice place and service has been good. Porters/Bell boys: US$1 per bag. I always tip taxi drivers, it's a hard job. Tourist guides and drivers: 5 to 10 soles per day.

USA, Canada and UK citizens only need a valid passport and a round trip ticket for a 60 days tourist visa. Other nationalities check requirements.

Documents: We recommend to make a couple of copies of your main documents, in case something happens, it is always easier to get a duplicate that way. Some people carry around a legalized copy of the passport with them and leave the original in the safe (yes, we have a safe at the apartment).

Tip: Always carry around a card/paper with the apartment address and main point of reference: Jose Galvez 651, Miraflores, across from the Canadian Embassy, Block 6 of Pardo Avenue.

Tourist Information in Miraflores:
Oficina Turística Municipal de Miraflores (San Martín 537, Miraflores, Tel. 447-9539 444-3915) Open M-F 8:30-5.

There are tourist information booths in the main parks and areas of Miraflores. There is also a double decker bus tour. Lots of fun! The bus departs daily from the Kennedy Park (six blocks from the apartment).

Most airlines offices are in Av. Pardo, two blocks from the apartment.

Airport: The airport is a good 30 min. ride from Miraflores. Jorge Chávez (Tel. 01/452-3135), You can check flight info in the airport web page. Please be aware that you will be required to pay a departure tax for domestic and international flights. The departure tax for international flights is US$30.00 a person (the only airline that includes the tax in the fare is American Airlines, that I know of) . So save some money.

Customs/Immigration: You will get in line to go through immigration first, don't complain if the line is long. Miami Zoo (oops, Airport) is worst, keep that in mind. Believe me, and nobody likes nagging tourists. Do not lose the white card, since it's your visa, and you are supposed to return it at your departure. The same safety travel procedures apply. Once you go through immigration, pick up your suitcases, check not only on the carousel but also around it, before you go running to report that they are missing. There are free luggage carts (unlike Chicago). After you collect your luggage, get in line to clear customs. You have to press a bottom, red light, too bad, you have to open your bags (no big deal). Green light, go ahead, and enjoy your trip.

Do NOT bring in or back any illegal substances. Jails in Peru are not pretty. Everyday they catch people trying to smuggle drugs out of Peru. You have been warned, and NO, we will not help you.

Electricity: 220 V, 60 Hz. You don't need a transformer for your laptop.

Bring a wall adaptor, we have a couple at the apartment.

General Information

Miraflores is located in the province of Lima, on the Southern coastline of the city, about 20 miles (8.5 Km) from Plaza de Armas in Lima downtown.

To the North are the districts of Surquillo and San Isidro, to the South the district of Barranco, to the East the districts of Surquillo and Surco, and to the West the Pacific Ocean.

Lima is 79 m.s.n.m.


The average temperature in Lima's coastal area is 18 °C (64,4°F). During the Summer months the highest temperature reaches 30°C (86°F), and in the Winter months the lowest temperature is 12°C (53.6°F) , but due to the high humidity (dampness), it feels colder.

The climate in Lima is dry, with very little rain (garúa) from April to December.


Lima, as well as the rest of the coastal region, have four seasons: Summer, Fall, Winter, and Spring, but these are mild and not extreme.

Annual Average Temperature

  • Summer: January-March: 21 - 29 °C (70 - 84 °F).
  • Fall: April-June: 17 - 27 °C (63 - 81 °F).
  • Winter: July-September: 15 - 19 °C (59 - 66 °F).
  • Spring: October-December: 16 - 24 °C (61 - 75 °F).

Weather Tips:

  • December-April, sunny and warm
  • Highest temperatures are registered in February
  • Sunny, humid and hot days
  • If you are visiting Lima during these months bring light clothes.
  • May-September, gray skies, foggy days, specially near the Ocean. Very damp.
  • Lowest temperatures are register on June, July.
  • September, October and May, have mild temperatures, between 23 -17°C.
  • June to August, cloudy, sprinkles and light cold
  • If you are visiting Lima during these months bring sweaters and/or a light wool jacket. You can always buy our beautiful alpaca knit wear.

According the 2007 Census, Miraflores has a population of 84,454, plus a floating population of approximately 300,000 people.

With an area of 9,62 square Km, Miraflores is divided in a 817 block grid.

Miraflores is a touristic center as well as a vibrant, commercial, cultural and ecological city.

On to the Upper Floor...

TV/Family Room
This is our favorite room in the condo. Here we relax, read, watch TV., yes! we have cable, so you can enjoy most of the American shows, Sport channels and some programming even in French, Italian, and German. For your viewing pleasure, we also have some DVDs you can watch in your lazy hours. The Sound System is a DVD/MP3/FM-AM radio and a Karaoke machine!!!! you can sing along with your favorite oldies and top 40 songs. Check the DVD and the list of songs available, and sing your heart out. Didn't make it to American Idol, don't worry, be happy! But if you are too loud, the neighbors will let you know!

Adjacent to the Family Room there is another full bath and on the other side the laundry room with a full size washer and dryer. The washer if very simple to use just put your clothes in, press "fuzzy", wait until the smart machine gauges the weight of the load and determines the water level by itself, pour your soap and close the lid, and voila! Explanation needed because we have had guests calling us to Chicago wondering how the appliances work. FYI, we do keep copy of the Instruction Manuals in the kitchen.

On the second level you will also find what we like to call the "game room". We have a Foosball table, books and board games plus a pull out sofa bed.

Bet our daughter is going to hate us for this one, but we wanted to give you a better idea of the room. Great place to lock the boyfriend at night!

La Terraza
And now our real most favorite area in the Condo, the one we specially miss during those cold, windy, snowy Chicago days; while the limenos are enjoying 90 degree weather! Here we sunbathe, sip wine, enjoy sunsets and views of the city, or just hang out . Oops, did I forget the gas grill, just got it in December, the hubby insisted on buying a gas one, good call, since coal is a mess. If you want really good chorizos, go to Vivanda, a great grocery store two blocks away.

Our son flipping some chorizos and burgers last December (Grill man not included).

Check out these views from the Terrace. So you are not disappointed, remember that Winter time in the Southern Hemisphere is your Summer time in the States and Europe, so don't expect sunny days and clear skies during May, June, July. Your best bet is during December, January, February, March and April.

Sunsets and Pisco sours, What a great match!

Like paragliding? For the adventurous ones and young at heart. The take off/landing pad is only flour blocks away. Look for certified instructors, registered with the Miraflores city hall. You could fly over the coast on a 15 min. ride at US$45 a pop. Almost did it but chickened out at the last minute! Looks great and apparently it's lots of fun!

Other views from the Terraza:

Miraflores by night (on New Year's Eve)

Miraflores in Winter and Canadian Embassy plus surrounding buildings.

We continue on the main floor...

Master Bedroom: Spacious and bright bedroom with a full size bed, closet, 21-inches TV. set and DVD and a full bath.

Master Bath

Second Bedroom:
A full size bed, closet and computer desk.

Third Bedroom: With an XL twin and closet.

Hallway/shared bathroom

Welcome to Our Place

Hola and welcome to our blog. It is an attempt to provide you with information on our vacation rental located in Miraflores, Lima, Peru. Here you will find a description and pictures of our place and also general information about the area and neighborhood. We will be posting tips and do's and don'ts to make your trip and stay in Peru more enjoyable.

Our apartment is conveniently located in a residential area of Miraflores, across from the Canadian Embassy, near banks, supermarkets, pharmacies, numerous restaurants and all kinds of businesses and service providers.

It is a three-bedroom condominium on the 11th floor. Being a duplex, on the main level you will find the living and dinning room, balcony, kitchen, three bedrooms (master bedroom with bath) and another full bath. On the upper level, there is a TV/Family room, the laundry area with washer and dryer, another full bath, a game room and the terrace with beautiful views of the city and the ocean. The terrace is our favorite place to relax, BBQ, watch the sunset over conversation and a glass of wine and enjoy the company of friends.

Here are pics of the main floor:
Comfortable and well appointed living/dining room and a balcony.

Fully equipped eat-in kitchen with brand new appliances: stove, hood, refrigerator, microwave oven. You can enjoy your take out meals or cook your favorite dishes. We provide dishes, glasses and silver ware enough for six people. You will also find all kinds of kitchen gadgets and small appliances such as coffee maker, juice extractor, blender, rice cooker and pots and pans.

Next post: Bedrooms and Baths...pics and description. Check it out!