About Zoe S
Lives in Vendee, France
Since Feb 2009
25-34 year old female
I'm a freelance travel writer and guidebook updater for the Rough Guides, who splits her time between London and rural France, but am happiest when I'm on the road. I've spent a lot of time traveling in Turkey - in particular, Goreme & Cappadocia, Istanbul and Antalya - while writing and updating for the Rough Guide to Turkey and the Rough Guide to Istanbul, as well as writing for Turkish newspaper Today’s Zaman and blogging about Turkey for World Nomads. Traveling for me is about the journey- about venturing into the unknown, connecting with locals and experiencing everything a destination has to offer. I'm passionate about sustainable and eco-friendly travel, and am most inspired by natural landscapes, often choosing to explore on foot, by bike or on horseback. I’ve spent years backpacking solo and traveling on a budget, but as a guidebook writer, I also get the unique opportunity to try hotels, restaurants and tours aimed at all budgets and travel styles.
Landmarks & points of interest
Churches & cathedrals
Architectural buildings, Religious sites, Historic sites, Libraries, Caverns & caves, Landmarks & points of interest
Landmarks & points of interest
Government buildings, Parks
Ancient ruins, Historic sites
Piers & boardwalks
Monuments & statues, Parks, Landmarks & points of interest, Lookouts
At the heart of the UNESCO-listed historic center of Lima, the Plaza de Armas (Plaza Mayor) is the obvious starting point for walking tours of the city. Check out the grand Presidential Palace, the City Hall and the Palace of the Union, as well as the striking central fountain, or stop for breakfast at one of the cafes facing the square.
The exquisite Cathedral of Lima never fails to impress and visitors can marvel over the intricate mosaics, pay their respects at Francisco Pizarro's (the founder of Lima) tomb and visit the on-site Museum of Colonial Art.
As well as being a striking example of Lima's colonial architecture, tours of the San Francisco church allow visitors to explore the eerie catacombs that lie beneath the church.
The towering statue of National hero Jose de San Martin dominates Plaza San Martin, but the busy square is also home to notable buildings like the Colón Theater, the Hotel Bolivar and the Giacoletti buildings. Grab a takeaway coffee and settle on the grass to watch the world go by.
Head to the pretty Parque de la Reserva at sunset, where the top attraction is the Magic Water Circuit, the world’s largest fountain complex. The dazzling display of lights, music and water includes the towering Magic Fountain, a 35-meter long water tunnel and a pyramid fountain.
Among the most famous of Lima’s huacas (prehistoric burial sites), Huaca Pucllana dates back to 500 AD and remains remarkably preserved. Visitors can climb the 22-meter pyramid, made out of hand-sculpted adobe bricks, as well as visit the on-site museum.
My favorite spot in Lima is walking along the Miraflores Boardwalk, looking out over the rugged coastal cliffs and watching the paragliders soaring over the coast. Hire a bike to cycle along the promenade or just stroll its length, stopping for ice cream at one of the cafes along the way.
Located along the Miraflores coast, the Parque del Amor – the 'Love Park' – is Lima's coolest park, with its quirky mosaic sea walls, towering palm trees and colorful flower beds. The eye-catching centerpiece of the park is Victor Delfín’s evocative statue ‘El Beso’ (‘The Kiss’)
Get a feel for modern-day Peru at the super-stylish Larcomar shopping mall, perched on the sea cliffs of Miraflores. Along with dozens of designer boutiques and clothing shops, there's a huge open-air food court full of restaurants, bars and cafes, a cinema, an amusement arcade and a bowling alley.
Adding a contemporary twist to classic Peruvian dishes, this swish eatery is one of Lima's best. Try the traditional ceviche (raw fish with lemon), Huancaína gnocchi and picarones (fried doughnuts).
If you only visit one of Lima's museums, make it this one, where the huge collection includes ceramics, gold and silver artefacts and mummies dating back to prehistoric times. Even the building is impressive – a grand 18th-century colonial mansion surrounded by flower gardens.
Whether you want to pick up some unusual souvenirs, try local foods or invest in quality alpaca goods, you'll find everything imaginable at the bustling Indian Market, so give yourself lots of time for browsing.
Lima's most bohemian district offers a welcome change of pace to the busy city center, with its eccentric street art, distinctive colonial architecture and flower-filled parks. Spend some time wandering around the many art galleries, clothing and crafts shops, bars and cafes.
Locally born and now globally famous, Mario Testino is the subject of this small but stylish art museum, featuring an impressive collection of his most captivating celebrity portraits, as well as photographs of traditional Peruvian dress.
You can’t pay a visit to Barranco without walking along the iconic Bridge of Sighs (Puente de los Suspiros), the district’s most distinctive landmark. Watch the sunset from the bridge, then head down to the Bajada de los Baños below, where you’ll find many of the neighborhood's best bars, restaurants and music venues.