An executive’s guide to Peru's capital.
BY LISA K. WING
Latin Trade Magazine
Insights and advice from Andrea Bertone, president of Duke Energy International; Rodolfo A. Baquerizo, director of Paz Centenario Global; and Manuel Sanchez Alvarez, M-I Swaco-Schlumberger’s senior counsel global.
What do you like most about traveling to Lima?
Andrea Bertone: I like the people and the food. It’s a vibrant city with a mix of modern and historical components; great shopping, art, restaurants and historical sites to visit.
Rodolfo Baquerizo: Peru is growing at a strong rate with legal certainty. This translates into some of the best business conditions in South America. On a personal note, Peru offers the most amazing tourist destinations, fantastic hotels, and probably the best cuisine in the region.
Manuel Sanchez: The affinity with the culture, visiting my friends and their families, the colors of the buildings, the mornings in San Isidro during my morning run around the golf course, the service at the Country Club Hotel (and its good taste and decoration), the elegant Peruvian women, the good food, the spirit of the whole nation, and the Pacific coastline.
What do you like least?
Bertone: The airport is not customer friendly and the traffic is scary.
Baquerizo: I have visited Peru extensively over the last seven years, and it only gets better and better. If I could change anything, however, it would probably be traffic, which gets really bad during rush hour. It can take you more than half an hour to get from major hotels in San Isidro and Miraflores to San Isidro’s Business District. So make sure to plan ahead when driving to a meeting. On a business note, I wish there was more land suited for development with access to water. Lima is the second largest city in the world built on a desert, after Cairo!
Sanchez: The farewells—every time I leave Peru it hurts a little bit. Sometimes traffic can be overwhelming, but nothing too crazy.
What are your preferred hotels when on business?
Bertone: The JW Marriott is comfortable and has shopping within walking distance. I also like the Country Club for its historical charm. I’m looking forward to staying at the Westin, which I understand is fantastic.
Baquerizo: For business, our executives prefer the Novotel in San Isidro.
Sanchez: By far, the Country Club. However, the Miraflores Park is a good second option.
What restaurants do you recommend?
Bertone: My favorite is Pescados Capitales for lunch. I also like Lima 27, Symposium and Central.
Baquerizo: There are so many! My personal favorites are La Gloria, Rafael, La Mar and Central.
Sanchez: La Gloria and Astrid & Gastón.
What practical advice would you give to someone who is visiting Lima for the first time on business?
Bertone: Allow plenty of time to get from the airport to the hotel or your meeting. Get a local driver that understands the dynamics of the traffic. Don’t forget that the locals take the time to have lunch and enjoy the experience.
Baquerizo: Beware or you will fall in love with Peru! You will definitely want to return soon: the food is fantastic and the people are kind and helpful. Never turn down a business meeting in Peru — and don’t forget to present your stamped passport at your hotel to receive the exemption from VAT, which is close to 20 percent.
Sanchez: Lima is a formal city. The business community appreciates when you dress well and arrive on time to any scheduled appointment. Breakfasts can be a good opportunity to discuss business. Lunch and dinners tend to be more relaxed and reserved for a casual exchange of ideas of the different cultures of the countries of guests around the table. Peruvian women are competitive and professional; however, they appreciate good manners from a gentleman.
Take care of the check if possible, but if the host or hostess insists on paying, be gracious and do not argue about it and simply offer to get the next one.
Peruvians will appreciate if you learn a little bit about their music and culture and make a genuine effort to ask questions and details about their country. And never, ever say or imply that Pisco is not from Peru. Pisco is Peruvian and will always be from Peru.
This article originally appeared in the November/December issue of Latin Trade magazine.
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