There are three main areas in which to stay. Most travellers on a budget end up in Lima Centro, in one of the traditional gringo dives around the Plaza Mayor or the San Francisco church. These are mainly old buildings and tend to be full of backpackers, but they aren’t necessarily the best choices in the old centre, even in their price range, as most of them are poorly maintained. If you can spend a little bit more and opt for mid-range, you’ll find some interesting old buildings bursting with atmosphere and style. If you’re into nightlife and want to stay somewhere with a downtown feel, with access to the sea, opt for a hotel further out of the city in Miraflores, which is still close to the seafront as well as home to most of Lima’s nightlife, culture and shops. However, most hostels here start at around S/50 per person, and quite a few hotels go above S/350. The trendy ocean-clifftop suburb of Barranco is increasingly the place of choice for the younger traveller. Apart from the artists’-quarter vibe and the clubs and restaurants, though, the area has little to offer in the way of sights. Other suburban options include San Isidro, mainly residential but close to some of the main bus terminals; and San Miguel, a mostly rather down-at heel suburb, close to the clifftop and extending from Miraflores towards La Perla and Callao.

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