Thanks to all on the forum who responded to my request for suggestions for a “Town near Lima for a 4 day visit”. We decided on Lunahuana and our visit is complete. Lunahuana was the perfect choice for rest and relaxation.
We took a private taxi from the Ibis Larco in Miraflores. The taxi was from TaxiDirecto. The car was new and clean. The driver each way was the safest, most professional driver I have ever had. The leisurely drive from Miraflores to Lunahuana took exactly 3 hours with a short fuel/bano stop and a longer policia stop. The trip from Lunahuana to the LIM airport took 3 hrs. & 45 minutes without the police stop. The drive was unremarkable until after we left Canete. We saw a lot of agriculture and after entering the canyon the scenery was beautiful.
Lunahuana was clean and picturesque with lots of flowers and blooming trees and shrubs.The people were friendly.
We stayed at the Hotel Villasol which was about a 15 minute leisurely walk from the town center Plaza de Armas. Each morning we had breakfast at the hotel and then walked to the plaza where we would sit and people watch and then wander the streets. We would eat lunch in town and then return to the hotel. We would repeat again in the late afternoon for dinner.
There are many restaurants in Lunahuana, most of them on av. Grau which runs from the main road to the plaza. Looking at the restaurants on TA you would not think the town had many but there are many that are not listed. There is a food glossary in the Lonely Planet Peru guidebook which was a great help because it is specifically about Peruvian food terms. I found that many food terms were very different from other Latin America countries. Food and service was excellent at all the restaurants we tried. The waiters/waitresses were very patient with our poor Spanish. The menu was similar at all the restaurants and most of them offered cuy. Beer was cheap at 6 soles for a large bottle. Each restaurant offered only one brand of beer but it was all good except at Hotel Villasol which had only Heineken.
It was low season (August) when we were there but there were still many tourists. Most tourists seemed to be Peruvian and they all spoke Spanish. Several times a day, a bus or van would stop at the plaza and unload tourists. They would take pictures, wander around a few minutes and then leave. There were several 4 wheeler rental places and several places that conducted river rafting trips.
We met only one English speaker in Lunahuana. He was Eduardo the owner of the Pisco Pollo Restaurant right on the plaza. He also runs a tour service. He was our go to person for anything we wanted to know. He serves an excellent dish of roasted chicken which has been marinated in pisco. He also has an excellent chupe de camarrones.
Lunahuana met all our needs and expectations. However, there was no ATM. There was one bank where you could quickly and easily change money. There was no town market and no supermarket, only small tiendas offering drinks and snacks.