Lima is more than just traffic and delicious food – it’s also been home to Peru’s best and brightest minds, and the country’s most beloved novelists and poets. The city has inspired writers like Nobel Prize winning novelist Mario Vargas Llosa and, if you know where to look, just might inspire you. Here is a literature lover’s guide to the City of Kings.
Vargas Llosa the legend’s stops
Mario Vargas Llosa is Peru’s greatest living writer and every travelers’ go-to novelist – you’ll see travelers from Lima to Cusco toting his works around. While Llosa lived in many different places in Peru, from Arequipa in the south to Piura in the north, Lima remains a great place to walk in the writer’s footsteps.
The famous hotel has served pisco sours to an American President, Walt Disney and the legendary writer Ernest Hemingway. Vargas Llosa could also be found putting down cocktails and talking with the international guests. It was the drinking place ofiInternational thinkers and their Peruvian counterparts.
This bar has served Peruvian writers for generations. It was the famous meeting place of Peru’s Hora Zero movement in the 70s and remains a home for Peruvian artists and political progressives. Vargas Llosa and recognized writers from the Hora Zero movement would be found talking over beers and cocktails.
In Lima’s historical center is Bar Cordano, a famous hangout for Lima’s literati – but it wasn’t just the home of Peruvian writers. International writers like American Beat poet Allen Ginsberg would always make Bar Cordano a must-visit.
The book stops
La Casa de Literatura
Lovers of letters must make this a stop in Lima, which can be found in the remodeled historical Desamparados Train Station building near the historical center in Peru, close to all the colonial buildings. Take a journey through the literary history of Peru and learn about some of Peru’s most esteemed writers. La Casa de Literatura aims to promote Peruvian literature and educate the public and their country’s best authors. Events are planned daily, so take a peek before you go.
Librería El Virrey
This spot is one of Lima’s best bookstores and best places to read a book. It’s a quaint bookstore with walls of options from Peruvian and international authors. There’s even a decent English selection and your best bet to find what you’re looking for in Peru. It’s in one of the best locations in Miraflores, centrally located and near cool bars and restaurants – buses heading to Miraflores always pass by too, making travel there real easy.
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