Lima Travel Guide: Top 44 Things to Do, See & Eat in Lima, Peru

Welcome to Lima, the vibrant capital city of Peru that beautifully blends the rich tapestry of its colonial past with the dynamic energy of the present. Nestled on the rugged Pacific coast and blessed with a captivating history, a thriving culinary scene, and warm-hearted locals, Lima promises an experience that will tantalize all your senses.

Geography and Climate

Lima stretches across a desert plain between the Pacific Ocean and the foothills of the Andes. As a result of the cold Humboldt Current and the Andean mountain range, Lima experiences a unique coastal desert climate. The city is often enveloped in a cool mist, known as “garúa,” particularly during winter months (June to September). While it seldom rains heavily, the misty drizzle gives the city a mysterious charm. Summers (December to March) are warmer, with clear skies and pleasant sea breezes.

Historical Significance

The City of Kings, as Lima was once known, was established in 1535 by the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro. However, its history traces back thousands of years to ancient civilizations, such as the Lima culture, the Wari empire, and the Ichma. The Historic Centre of Lima, a UNESCO World Heritage site, boasts an incredible array of colonial-era architecture, from the majestic Lima Cathedral to the Government Palace.


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Culinary Delights

Lima is undeniably the gastronomic capital of South America. In recent years, it has garnered international acclaim with several of its restaurants ranked among the world’s best. Dive into its culinary scene with ceviche – fresh fish marinated in tangy lime juice, or indulge in lomo saltado – a flavorful stir-fry that marries Peruvian ingredients with Asian techniques. The city’s coastline also ensures an abundant supply of fresh seafood. And don’t forget to wash it down with a refreshing Pisco Sour, the national drink of Peru.

Cultural Mosaic

Lima’s diverse population is a blend of indigenous, mestizo, European, African, and Asian influences, making it a true cultural melting pot. This rich heritage is palpable in the city’s festivals, music, dance, and art. The Afro-Peruvian rhythms of the cajón, the graceful moves of the Marinera, and the colorful festivals like Inti Raymi are just a few examples of Lima’s cultural vibrancy.

Modern Attractions and Nightlife

Beyond its historic and cultural landmarks, Lima also boasts modern shopping centers, beachfront districts like Miraflores and Barranco, and a lively nightlife. Dance the night away in chic nightclubs, attend live music shows, or simply enjoy the sunset at one of the many cliffside bars overlooking the vast Pacific.

Lima is not just a gateway to the wonders of Peru like Machu Picchu or the Amazon. It’s a city teeming with life, stories, flavors, and experiences. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a culinary adventurer, or simply a curious traveler, Lima promises memories that will linger long after your trip concludes.

As you delve deeper into this guide, we’ll unravel the secrets of this magnificent city, from hidden culinary gems to off-the-beaten-path historic sites. Get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey through the heart of Lima!

Lima Travel Guide: Things to do in Lima, Peru

Lima City Guide: A Brief History Of Lima, Peru

Situated along the arid Pacific coast of Peru, the sprawling city of Lima has played an integral role in the vast tapestry of the country’s history. From its pre-Columbian roots to its colonial heritage and its modern-day evolution, Lima’s story is a compelling tale of resilience, cultural amalgamation, and transformation.

The Pre-Columbian Era

Long before the Spanish conquest, the area now known as Lima was inhabited by several indigenous cultures. The Lima culture, which existed between 200 AD and 700 AD, was among the earliest to settle in the river valleys of the region. They built significant ceremonial centers, the most renowned being the Huaca Pucllana in modern-day Miraflores.

Following the Lima culture, the region came under the dominion of the Wari Empire, and later, the Ichma people, who established the Kingdom of Ychsma. They constructed significant structures and temples, many of which can still be seen interspersed around the city today.

The Founding of the Spanish Lima

The Spanish chapter in Lima’s history began in 1535 when conquistador Francisco Pizarro founded the city, naming it “La Ciudad de los Reyes” (The City of Kings). Pizarro chose Lima as the location for the new capital of the Spanish Viceroyalty of Peru due to its strategic proximity to the sea and its fertile valleys, which were perfect for establishing a new colonial city.

The Spanish colonial era saw Lima flourish. Magnificent churches, monasteries, and mansions were constructed, showcasing the opulent Baroque and Rococo architectural styles. The Lima Cathedral and the San Francisco Monastery, both located in the city’s historic center, are sterling examples from this period.

However, the Spanish rule was also marked by oppression. The indigenous people were subjugated, their traditions suppressed, and they were subjected to forced labor under the harsh encomienda system.

Lima in the Republican Era

The early 19th century was a tumultuous period for Lima. The winds of independence were sweeping across South America. In 1821, José de San Martín declared Peru’s independence from Spanish rule in Lima’s Plaza de Armas. Yet, Lima would face hardships in the following years, including foreign invasions, economic challenges, and internal strife.

During the War of the Pacific (1879-1883) against Chile, Lima was occupied, and many of its historic structures were damaged or destroyed. However, the resilient spirit of the Limenos prevailed, and the city embarked on a journey of rebuilding and modernization.

Modern Lima

Throughout the 20th century, Lima experienced rapid urbanization, which brought both progress and challenges. The city expanded, new districts emerged, and Lima established itself as the political, cultural, and economic heart of Peru.

Migration from the countryside, especially from the Andes, transformed Lima’s demographics. This migration brought a rich cultural infusion but also led to the rise of informal settlements or pueblos jóvenes around the city’s outskirts.

Today, Lima stands as a city of contrasts: ancient ruins coexist with modern skyscrapers, and age-old traditions blend seamlessly with contemporary influences. The city’s history is palpable in its streets, from the bustling markets of Central Lima to the bohemian vibes of Barranco.

Lima’s history is a testament to its enduring spirit. It has faced conquests, invasions, and challenges but has continuously risen, transforming and evolving with each era. As you walk its streets, immerse yourself in the echoes of the past, and let the tales of the City of Kings inspire your journey.

Lima colonial architecture and busy crowds in Peru

Lima Top Attractions and Best Places to Visit in Peru

Situated along the desert coast of Peru, the capital city of Lima stands out from its arid surroundings with a variety of attractions that will keep you here longer than you planned.

From the best food scene in the entire country, to a historic center that will have you happily snapping your camera for hours, there is much to see and do in this city of 8.4 million people.

Upon arrival in Lima, you should head directly to its historic center. While there are many amazing sights and attractions within its bounds, you will get the best return for time spent by exploring Plaza Mayor.

The main town square from which Lima grew, it is surrounded by palaces, cathedrals, and other colonial buildings that were essential to the administration of this city and the nation of Peru.

The Government Palace is home to the president of Peru, and it is where the executive branch of the nation meets to conduct its business, the archbishop’s palace is where the archbishop of Lima resides, the municipal palace is where the councillors and mayor of the city run the affairs of the city of Lima, and the Cathedral of Lima is an almost 500 year old Roman Catholic church where one of the first conquistadors that founded Lima (Francisco Pizarro) is buried.

If you are looking to get in a bit of shopping before leaving the city, the top street for commerce (Jiron de la Union) extends from the southwest corner of the square with numerous department stores and boutiques lining each side.

While the Cathedral of Lima is an impressive sight, you should certainly not miss touring the Monastery of San Francisco during your time here.

Recognized as a UNESCO world heritage site in 1991, this Spanish Baroque work of art is not only impressive in its construction, but it also contains interior design elements that borrow from the Moorish school of design, it has a courtyard with a peaceful garden, and it also has a convent library with many rare texts and amazing works of art from the colonial period.

That’s not all though, as it also has a series of catacombs beneath the church where it is estimated 25,000 people were laid to their eternal slumber. After being discovered in 1943, many of the bones were laid into mesmerizing patterns, which gives this monastery a morbid but fascinating vibe.

If you wish to explore the history of Peru through visual art, you will enjoy a visit to the Larco Museum. A privately-held collection that contains over four thousand years of human history in the form of pottery, jewelry and textiles.

This may not be the best place to take your children, as the residents of this land were not bashful about representing the most intimate parts of our lives in the form of pottery. Translation: there are graphic sex acts in the form of ceramics; you have been warned.

Lima aerial night views in Peru

Other Cultural Attractions: Trip to Lima, Peru

Before heading back to Miraflores or Barranco, which is where many visitors stay during their time in Lima, be sure to check out Parque de la Reserva. Time your visit so that you arrive here in the evening, as this park is world famous for its fountain displays.

Brilliantly lit up as the skies darken, you will enjoy walking underneath a tunnel of water, watching jets of water dance to popular songs, and the showpiece fountain blasting H2O to heights exceeding 80 feet.

When you do head back to the modern district of Miraflores, one place you should definitely make time for in your schedule is Kennedy Park, especially if you love cats. After the first unwanted cats were dropped off here many decades ago, it has become a common place for similarly other unwelcome cats to be dropped off, as people began to feed and care for these felines. They are now also actively being adopted out.

While people are divided on this situation, it is undeniable that if you enjoy the company of kitties, you will genuinely dig this park. Vendors sell food that you can feed to these eternally hungry pets, and if you’re willing to do a little paperwork, you can actually take one of these guys home!

If you’re looking to find some excitement in this part of the city, walk along the waterfront cliffs south towards the exciting barrio of Barranco. Known for its art galleries and its nightlife options, Barranco is a thriving neighborhood where hipsters, artists, and young people congregate in large numbers.

The brilliantly colored houses will win you over the second you see them, so be prepared to spend an entire afternoon or evening within the bounds of this sector of Lima.


source: Samuel and Audrey on YouTube

Top 44 Things To Do in Lima, Peru For Visitors

Lima, the capital and largest city of Peru, boasts a rich history, gastronomic brilliance, beautiful architecture, and diverse cultural offerings. Here’s a detailed guide to 44 things to do in Lima for visitors:

1. Explore the Historic Center of Lima:

  • Plaza Mayor: Also known as the Main Square, it’s the birthplace of the city. Admire the bronze fountain from 1650, the Government Palace, the Cathedral of Lima, and the Archbishop’s Palace.
  • Cathedral of Lima: A stunning colonial structure, it houses the tomb of Francisco Pizarro, the Spanish conqueror who founded Lima.

2. Larco Museum:

  • A pre-Columbian art museum offering a comprehensive overview of 3,000 years of Peruvian pre-Columbian history.

3. Miraflores District:

  • Stroll along the cliff-edge Malecón for breathtaking ocean views.
  • Visit Parque del Amor (Love Park) with its iconic sculpture.

4. Magic Water Circuit:

  • A series of illuminated fountains at Reserve Park; great in the evenings.

5. Museo Nacional de Arqueología, Antropología e Historia del Perú:

  • Delve into Peru’s diverse history from ancient civilizations to the colonial era.

6. Eat at a Cevichería:

  • Experience Lima’s gastronomy by trying ceviche, Peru’s national dish.

7. Barranco District:

  • A bohemian neighborhood with colonial homes, lively bars, and the famous Puente de los Suspiros (Bridge of Sighs).

8. MATE – Mario Testino Museum:

  • View works from the renowned Peruvian fashion photographer.

9. San Francisco Monastery and Catacombs:

  • See beautiful Baroque architecture and explore the underground catacombs.

10. Huaca Pucllana:

  • A clay pyramid from the Lima culture, dating back to AD 400.

11. El Mercado Indio:

  • Shop for traditional Peruvian handicrafts.

12. Visit the Beaches:

  • Lima has many beaches, especially popular during summer. Try Makaha or Waikiki in Miraflores.

13. Central Restaurant:

  • Sample dishes from the world-renowned chef, Virgilio Martínez.

14. Museo de Arte Contemporáneo (MAC):

  • Dive into contemporary Peruvian and international art.

15. Casa de la Literatura Peruana:

  • A library dedicated to celebrating Peruvian literature.

16. Take a Peruvian Cooking Class:

  • Learn to prepare traditional dishes and pisco sours.

17. El Cordano:

  • A classic tavern where you can taste traditional sandwiches.

18. Visit the Congress of the Republic:

  • The imposing neoclassical building where Peru’s legislators meet.

19. Palomino Islands:

20. Osso Carnicería y Salumeria:

  • Indulge in some of the best steaks in Lima.

21. Museo Pedro de Osma:

  • Explore colonial art in the beautiful Barranco district.

22. Try Surfing:

  • With the Pacific Ocean at its doorstep, Lima offers surfing lessons for beginners.


source: Samuel and Audrey on YouTube

23. La Rosa Náutica:

  • Dine at this iconic seaside restaurant.

24. Aliaga House:

  • Visit the oldest inhabited private residence in the Southern Hemisphere.

25. Pachacamac:

  • A pre-Incan archaeological complex located just outside Lima.

26. Go Paragliding:

  • Soar over the Miraflores cliffs with stunning views of the city and sea.

27. Museo Amano:

  • Learn about the history of textiles in Peru.

28. Chocolate Museum:

  • Understand the cacao process and make your own chocolates.

29. Take a Pisco Tour:

  • Visit a distillery and learn about the production of Peru’s national spirit.

30. Ride the Lima Metro:

  • An affordable way to explore the vast city.

31. Basilica y Convento de Santo Domingo:

  • A stunning colonial-era church and monastery.

32. Visit the Park of the Wall:

  • A park displaying remnants of Lima’s ancient walls.

33. MALI – Lima Art Museum:

  • Experience the evolution of Peruvian art from pre-Columbian times to today.

34. IK Restaurant:

  • Enjoy a culinary journey in an architectural wonder.

35. Festival of Peruvian Paso Horse:

  • Witness the grace of the Peruvian Paso horse in local exhibitions.

36. Bar Hop in Barranco:

  • Experience the nightlife in Lima’s artsy district.

37. Museo Larreta:

  • A tribute to the life and work of Enrique Larreta, showcasing Spanish art.

38. Parque Reducto No. 2:

  • A green space honoring those who fought in the War of the Pacific.


source: Samuel and Audrey on YouTube

39. Try Lomo Saltado:

  • Savor this traditional stir-fry Peruvian dish.

40. Museo de la Nación:

  • Discover the rich history of Peru, from ancient civilizations to the modern era.

41. El Rincón Que No Conoces:

  • Relish traditional Criollo food in this charming spot.

42. Parque Kennedy:

  • A bustling park known for its artists, musicians, and countless cats.

43. See a Peña Show:

  • Enjoy a night of traditional Peruvian music and dance.

44. Take a Lima Food Tour:

Remember, Lima is a sprawling city with diverse neighborhoods, each offering a distinct vibe and attractions. No matter how you choose to explore, you’re bound to uncover the deep-rooted history, culture, and culinary marvels of this magnificent city. Safe travels!


source: Samuel and Audrey on YouTube

What To Eat and Drink in Lima, Peru

Lima is often referred to as the “Gastronomic Capital of the Americas,” a title it has earned due to its vibrant culinary scene, which seamlessly blends traditional ingredients with innovative techniques. The city’s rich culinary history is influenced by indigenous traditions, Spanish colonizers, and immigrants from Africa, China, Japan, and Europe. Here’s a detailed guide to what to eat and drink when you’re in Lima, Peru:

Traditional Dishes:


source: Samuel and Audrey on YouTube

1. Ceviche: Lima’s most iconic dish, ceviche consists of fresh, raw fish marinated in freshly squeezed lime juice, mixed with onions, chili peppers, and cilantro. Typically served with sweet potato and choclo (giant corn kernels).

2. Lomo Saltado: This is a stir-fried beef dish, with tomatoes, onions, and fried potatoes. It’s a perfect example of the Chinese influence in Peruvian cuisine. Served with rice.


source: Samuel and Audrey on YouTube

3. Aji de Gallina: A creamy, spicy chicken stew made with yellow chili peppers, cheese, milk, and bread. It’s usually accompanied by rice, boiled eggs, and olives.

4. Causa: A cold, layered potato dish typically filled with chicken, mayo, avocado, and sometimes shrimp or crab.


source: Samuel and Audrey on YouTube

5. Anticuchos: Grilled skewers, most famously made from beef heart, marinated in a mix of aji panca chili, garlic, and vinegar.

6. Rocoto Relleno: Spicy rocoto peppers stuffed with a savory mix of meat, veggies, and cheese, then baked.

7. Tiradito: Similar to ceviche but with thinly sliced fish, often bathed in a spicy aji pepper sauce.

Street Food and Snacks:

8. Empanadas: Stuffed pastry pockets that can be filled with a variety of ingredients, such as beef, chicken, cheese, or even sweet fillings.

9. Butifarra: A traditional sandwich made with jamón del país (country-style ham), served in a French bread roll with onions, chili, and lime.


source: Samuel and Audrey on YouTube

10. Churros: Fried dough pastries, often filled with manjar blanco (a kind of caramel) or chocolate.

11. Picarones: Sweet potato and pumpkin donuts served with a sugarcane syrup called chancaca.


source: Samuel and Audrey on YouTube

Desserts:

12. Suspiro a la Limeña: A sweet, creamy dessert made from condensed milk, eggs, and sugar, topped with meringue and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

13. Alfajores: Shortbread cookies filled with manjar blanco and sometimes covered in powdered sugar or coconut.

14. Turron de Doña Pepa: A sweet anise-flavored treat, layered with cookies and covered in syrup and candy sprinkles.


source: Samuel and Audrey on YouTube

Beverages:

15. Pisco Sour: The national drink of Peru, it’s a cocktail made with pisco (a grape brandy), lime juice, simple syrup, egg white, and a dash of Angostura bitters.

16. Chicha Morada: A non-alcoholic drink made from purple corn, flavored with cinnamon and cloves, sweetened with sugar, and served cold.

17. Inca Kola: Peru’s iconic yellow, bubble-gum flavored soda.

18. Cerveza (Beer): Peru boasts a range of local beers, with Cusqueña and Pilsen being among the most popular.

19. Pisco: Beyond the Pisco Sour, pisco can be enjoyed in a variety of cocktails or straight up. It comes in different varieties like “Puro,” “Acholado,” and “Mosto Verde.”

20. Mate de Coca: A herbal tea made from coca leaves, commonly consumed in the Andean region.

21. Lucuma Smoothie: Lucuma is a unique Andean fruit with a flavor that’s a cross between maple syrup and sweet potato. It’s often blended into a creamy smoothie with milk.

Culinary Experiences:

22. Seafood Restaurants: Due to its coastal location, Lima offers some of the best seafood in the world. Restaurants like “La Mar,” “El Mercado,” and “Pescados Capitales” are must-visits.


source: Samuel and Audrey on YouTube

23. Nikkei Cuisine: Lima has a significant Japanese population, leading to the fusion of Japanese and Peruvian flavors. Restaurants like “Maido” and “Osaka” showcase this delicious culinary fusion.

24. Chifas: Chinese-Peruvian fusion eateries, a testament to the significant Chinese influence in Lima. Don’t leave without trying “Arroz Chaufa,” the Peruvian version of fried rice.

25. Fine Dining: Lima is home to some of the world’s best restaurants. “Central,” led by Chef Virgilio Martínez, offers a tasting menu that takes diners on a journey through Peru’s diverse ecosystems.

When in Lima, it’s also essential to immerse yourself in local markets, like Mercado de Surquillo, where you can taste fresh produce, traditional snacks, and engage with local vendors. Whether you’re a gourmet traveler or just a curious eater, Lima promises a culinary experience like no other. ¡Buen provecho!


source: Samuel and Audrey on YouTube

Top Restaurants In Lima, Peru

Lima has solidified its position as a global gastronomic hotspot over the last few decades. The fusion of indigenous techniques, ingredients from the Amazon to the Andes, and international influences from countries like Japan, China, and Spain, has created a vibrant and innovative culinary scene. Here’s a detailed look at some of the top restaurants in Lima:

Central

  • Chef: Virgilio Martínez
  • Concept: Known for its innovative dishes that showcase the biodiversity of Peru, Central offers a unique tasting menu that takes diners on a journey through Peru’s various altitudes and ecosystems.
  • Notable Dish: “Marine Soil” – a dish representing the -10m altitude with razor clams, mussels, and sea snails.
  • Decor: The restaurant boasts a contemporary design with ample greenery and open spaces.

Maido

  • Chef: Mitsuharu Tsumura
  • Concept: A Nikkei experience where Peruvian ingredients meet Japanese techniques. The name “Maido” is a Japanese greeting that represents the spirit of serving with all your heart.
  • Notable Dish: The 50-hours-cooked short rib.
  • Decor: The restaurant combines Japanese simplicity with Peruvian warmth, featuring a sushi bar and cozy tables.

Astrid y Gastón

  • Chef: Gastón Acurio
  • Concept: A pioneering restaurant in Lima’s culinary revolution. It offers a blend of traditional Peruvian dishes with international flavors.
  • Notable Dish: Guinea pig Peking-style.
  • Decor: Located in a colonial mansion, it offers various rooms, each boasting a unique ambiance.

La Mar

  • Chef: Gustavo Montestruque
  • Concept: A laid-back cevichería that has become an emblem of Lima’s gastronomy. Seafood reigns supreme here.
  • Notable Dish: Cebiche Mixto – a medley of fresh fish, calamari, and octopus.
  • Decor: Bright, colorful, with indoor and outdoor seating and a festive atmosphere.

Osso

  • Chef: Renzo Garibaldi
  • Concept: A butcher’s shop turned restaurant, Osso is renowned for its meats and handmade sausages.
  • Notable Dish: Dry-aged beef cuts.
  • Decor: Rustic and cozy, with wooden tables and a view of the butchery.

Kjolle

  • Chef: Pía León (wife of Virgilio Martínez of Central)
  • Concept: A more relaxed counterpart to Central, focusing on Peruvian ingredients without the altitude theme.
  • Notable Dish: Amazonian fish with plantains.
  • Decor: Earthy tones, wooden beams, and beautiful ceramics create an inviting space.

Isolina

  • Chef: José del Castillo
  • Concept: A tribute to traditional Peruvian home cooking, Isolina offers large portions reminiscent of hearty family meals.
  • Notable Dish: Osso buco with rice.
  • Decor: Vintage and rustic, it feels like dining in a 20th-century Peruvian home.

Rafael

  • Chef: Rafael Osterling
  • Concept: A culinary mix of Mediterranean flavors with Peruvian ingredients.
  • Notable Dish: Tuna tartare with avocado and rocoto chili.
  • Decor: Elegant, with art-deco inspiration.

Malabar

  • Chef: Pedro Miguel Schiaffino
  • Concept: This restaurant delves deep into the Amazon, highlighting the rich biodiversity of the rainforest in its dishes.
  • Notable Dish: Amazonian snails with yucca and chorizo.
  • Decor: Contemporary with Peruvian art pieces and a touch of the Amazon.

Fiesta

  • Chef: Héctor Solís
  • Concept: A celebration of Northern Peruvian flavors.
  • Notable Dish: Duck rice – a staple of northern Peru.
  • Decor: Warm, with a traditional touch, evoking the feel of Northern Peru.

El Mercado

  • Chef: Rafael Osterling (same as Rafael)
  • Concept: A top-tier seafood market setting, offering the freshest seafood dishes.
  • Notable Dish: The seafood soup, full of Peru’s oceanic bounty.
  • Decor: Open and airy with a market-like atmosphere.

Amaz

  • Chef: Pedro Miguel Schiaffino (same as Malabar)
  • Concept: Focused entirely on Amazonian cuisine, it’s a journey into the heart of the rainforest.
  • Notable Dish: Juane de paiche – a rice tamale with Amazonian fish.
  • Decor: Exotic and vibrant, with Amazon-inspired decor.

Pescados Capitales

  • Chef: Danny Kou
  • Concept: A seafood paradise that upholds Lima’s reputation as a world-class destination for fresh fish and inventive marine dishes.
  • Notable Dish: Cebiche de la pasión – a passionate mix of fresh seafood with a hint of passion fruit.
  • Decor: Modern with maritime undertones, adorned with artwork and a touch of elegance.

Huaca Pucllana

  • Chef: Marilú Madueño
  • Concept: A gastronomic experience set against the backdrop of the illuminated Huaca Pucllana archaeological site.
  • Notable Dish: Alpaca steak in pachamanquera sauce.
  • Decor: Reflects the ancient ruins, giving a historic touch to a modern dining experience.

Cosme

  • Chef: James Berckemeyer
  • Concept: A casual yet sophisticated spot offering contemporary Peruvian dishes.
  • Notable Dish: Pork ribs with apple and uchucuta sauce.
  • Decor: Urban chic with an intimate, cozy atmosphere.

Mayta

  • Chef: Jaime Pesaque
  • Concept: Fusion of regional Peruvian dishes using modern culinary techniques.
  • Notable Dish: Quinoa risotto with Andean cheese.
  • Decor: Elegant, accented with Peruvian artifacts and textures.

La Niña

  • Chef: Coque Ossio
  • Concept: A colorful eatery celebrating Peruvian comfort food.
  • Notable Dish: Tacu tacu (rice and beans) with loin strips.
  • Decor: Vibrant and dynamic, reminiscent of Lima’s lively street scenes.

Saqra

  • Chef: Hector Acuña
  • Concept: Upscale comfort food with a twist, combining traditional and international ingredients.
  • Notable Dish: Octopus anticucho with olive aioli.
  • Decor: Edgy and modern, juxtaposed with rustic Peruvian details.

Social

  • Chef: Cyril Hernandez
  • Concept: Located in the exclusive Hotel Hilton, it offers a blend of Peruvian flavors with international influences.
  • Notable Dish: Lomo Saltado wontons.
  • Decor: Refined and sleek with a cosmopolitan vibe.

Statera

  • Chef: André Patsias
  • Concept: A balance between land and sea, with a menu evolving according to the seasons and available local products.
  • Notable Dish: Trout tartare with ginger and sesame.
  • Decor: Contemporary elegance, accentuated with warm tones and natural elements.

IK Restaurante

  • Chef: Ivan Kisic (late) – now led by his team
  • Concept: A sensory journey that extends beyond taste to include sight, sound, and touch.
  • Notable Dish: Smoked cuy (guinea pig) with native potatoes.
  • Decor: Inspired by Peruvian markets, with a retractable roof allowing natural light.

Barra Lima

  • Chef: John Evans
  • Concept: A celebration of Peruvian biodiversity and traditional cooking methods.
  • Notable Dish: Scallop tiradito with chalaca sauce.
  • Decor: Rustic and homey with wooden details and vibrant artwork.

Jerónimo

  • Chef: Moma Adrianzén
  • Concept: A mix of Peruvian and international flavors, with an emphasis on grilled dishes.
  • Notable Dish: Pork belly sandwich with rocoto cream.
  • Decor: Urban and stylish with an artsy touch.

Nanka

  • Chef: Jaime Pesaque (same as Mayta)
  • Concept: An organic and sustainable eatery focusing on locally sourced ingredients.
  • Notable Dish: Quinoa salad with Andean cheese and nuts.
  • Decor: Earthy and green, a blend of modern and nature-inspired designs.

500 Grados

  • Chef: Renzo Garibaldi (from Osso)
  • Concept: A focus on the art of grilling, using a variety of woods and coals to give unique flavors to their dishes.
  • Notable Dish: Dry-aged steak with native potato puree.
  • Decor: Industrial and open, with the grill as the main focal point.

When visiting Lima, it’s essential to dive into its culinary world, whether you’re indulging in haute cuisine or savoring street food. These restaurants represent just a fraction of the culinary treasures Lima has to offer. Reservations are recommended, especially for the top-tier establishments, as they often book up months in advance. ¡Buen provecho!


source: Samuel and Audrey on YouTube

Tours For Visitors To Lima, Peru

Lima, often referred to as the “City of Kings”, is a melting pot of cultures, flavors, and histories. It’s not just about gastronomy; the city offers an incredible array of tours that delve into its ancient roots, colonial past, and vibrant present. Here’s a detailed guide to some must-experience tours for visitors:

Historical Lima City Tour

  • Overview: Explore the UNESCO World Heritage-listed historic center, visiting key landmarks.
  • Highlights:
    • Plaza Mayor: The heart of old Lima, surrounded by the Government Palace, Cathedral of Lima, and the Archbishop’s Palace.
    • San Francisco Monastery: Known for its catacombs and remarkable Spanish Baroque architecture.
    • Torre Tagle Palace: A beautiful colonial building with intricately carved wooden balconies.
  • Duration: Half-day.

Barranco District Evening Tour

  • Overview: Experience the bohemian vibe of the Barranco district, famous for its art, nightlife, and colonial architecture.
  • Highlights:
    • Puente de los Suspiros (Bridge of Sighs): A romantic spot, steeped in local legends.
    • MATE Museum: Founded by the renowned Peruvian photographer Mario Testino, showcasing his works.
    • Barranco’s murals and street art.
  • Duration: 3-4 hours.

Lima Gourmet Food Tour

  • Overview: Dive into Lima’s culinary scene, from markets to top-end restaurants.
  • Highlights:
    • Local markets: Discover exotic fruits, spices, and seafood.
    • Ceviche-making lesson: Learn to prepare Peru’s iconic dish.
    • Pisco tasting: Savor the national drink at a top-notch distillery.
  • Duration: Half-day.


source: Samuel and Audrey on YouTube

Pachacamac Archaeological Complex Tour

  • Overview: A trip to the sacred city of Pachacamac, an important archaeological site predating the Incas.
  • Highlights:
    • Temples: Visit the Temple of the Sun and the Temple of Pachacamac.
    • Old pyramids and palaces: Explore structures built by the Lima and Wari cultures.
    • On-site museum: View artifacts and learn about the site’s significance.
  • Duration: Half-day.

Magic Water Circuit Tour

  • Overview: Experience the world’s largest fountain complex with 13 distinct fountains.
  • Highlights:
    • Fountain shows: Enjoy a synchronized dance of water, lights, and music.
    • Interactive fountains: Fun for families and kids.
  • Duration: Evening, 2-3 hours.

Larco Museum Tour

  • Overview: Visit one of South America’s best museums, offering a comprehensive look at over 4,000 years of Peruvian history.
  • Highlights:
    • Pre-Columbian art collection: View stunning ceramics, textiles, and jewelry.
    • Erotic pottery gallery: Intriguing artifacts from the Moche civilization.
    • Beautiful gardens: Perfect for a leisurely stroll.
  • Duration: 2-3 hours.

Palomino Islands Boat Tour

  • Overview: Cruise to the Palomino Islands, a haven for sea lions and birdlife.
  • Highlights:
    • Swim with sea lions: An unforgettable experience in their natural habitat.
    • Bird watching: Spot Humboldt penguins, pelicans, and more.
  • Duration: Half-day.

Lima’s Art and Galleries Tour

  • Overview: Delve into Lima’s art scene by visiting prominent galleries and art spaces.
  • Highlights:
    • MAC (Museo de Arte Contemporáneo): Featuring contemporary art from the 1950s onwards.
    • Icpna and Británico: Cultural centers with frequent art exhibitions.
    • Artisanal markets: Purchase handcrafted souvenirs.
  • Duration: Half-day.

Lima by Night and Folklore Show

  • Overview: Experience the city’s charm after dark, followed by a performance of traditional dances.
  • Highlights:
    • Downtown Lima: See landmarks illuminated at night.
    • Folklore performance: Enjoy vibrant dances and music representing various regions of Peru.
  • Duration: Evening, 3-4 hours.

Shanty Town Tour

  • Overview: Gain a deeper understanding of Lima’s socio-economic contrasts by visiting its shanty towns.
  • Highlights:
    • Local interaction: Engage with residents, learn about their lives, and witness the sense of community.
    • Panoramic views: Some shanty towns, like Villa María del Triunfo, offer sweeping views of Lima.
  • Note: It’s crucial to be respectful, and it’s recommended to take such tours with organizations that give back to the communities.
  • Duration: Half-day.

Lima offers a plethora of experiences that cater to diverse interests. Whether you’re a history buff, a food enthusiast, or someone looking to understand the city’s culture deeply, there’s a tour designed just for you. Remember to book in advance, especially during the peak tourist season, and always consider engaging local guides for a more authentic and enriching experience.

Lima lighthouse views in Miraflores, Peru

Lima Accommodations Guide: Hotels, Guesthouses and Hostels

Lima, being the bustling capital of Peru, offers a range of accommodations to fit all budgets and tastes. From opulent five-star hotels to cozy guesthouses and budget-friendly hostels, visitors have a multitude of choices. Here’s a detailed guide to help you navigate the accommodation scene in Lima:

Luxury Hotels

Belmond Miraflores Park

  • Location: Malecón de la Reserva, Miraflores.
  • Description: Nestled in the chic Miraflores district, this hotel boasts stunning views of the Pacific Ocean. It features a rooftop pool, a world-class spa, and gourmet dining options.
  • Amenities: Suites with private terraces, modern gym, and a business center.

The Westin Lima Hotel & Convention Center

  • Location: Calle Las Begonias, San Isidro.
  • Description: A modern high-rise in Lima’s financial district, known for its impressive architecture and top-tier facilities.
  • Amenities: Indoor pool, spa, multiple restaurants, and a vast convention center.

Boutique Hotels

Hotel B

  • Location: Barranco.
  • Description: A restored Belle Époque mansion that offers a blend of classic architecture and contemporary art.
  • Amenities: Art gallery, library, rooftop lounge, and gourmet dining.

Atemporal

  • Location: Santa María, Miraflores.
  • Description: A unique hotelierito, or small hotel, offering a home-away-from-home experience in a renovated 1940s mansion.
  • Amenities: Personalized service, garden lounge, and loaner bicycles for guests.

Mid-Range Hotels

Casa Andina Premium Miraflores

  • Location: La Paz, Miraflores.
  • Description: Combining traditional Peruvian design with modern comforts.
  • Amenities: Swimming pool, restaurant, and a traditional courtyard.

Dazzler by Wyndham Lima Miraflores

  • Location: Avenida José Pardo, Miraflores.
  • Description: A contemporary hotel offering spacious rooms and a central location.
  • Amenities: Rooftop pool, fitness center, and on-site restaurant.

Guesthouses (B&Bs)

The Llama Brothers Boutique Hotel

  • Location: Miraflores.
  • Description: A charming family-run establishment that offers a genuine Peruvian experience.
  • Amenities: Local cuisine breakfast, terrace, and personalized local tips.

Second Home Peru

  • Location: Barranco.
  • Description: Once home to the Peruvian artist Victor Delfin, this guesthouse features beautiful sculptures and art.
  • Amenities: Sea views, garden with a pool, and an art gallery.

Hostels

Pariwana Hostel Lima

  • Location: Avenida Larco, Miraflores.
  • Description: A popular choice among backpackers, offering a lively atmosphere.
  • Amenities: Terrace bar, communal kitchen, game room, and frequent social events.

The Point Lima

  • Location: Barranco.
  • Description: A beachfront hostel with a vibrant party scene.
  • Amenities: Bar, pool table, communal lounge, and surfboard rentals.

1900 Backpackers Hostel

  • Location: Historic Center of Lima.
  • Description: Housed in a historic colonial building, it’s a perfect base for exploring Lima’s historic sites.
  • Amenities: Courtyard cafe, free breakfast, and game room.

Booking Tips:

  • Seasonality: Lima’s high season is during its summer months (December to April). Booking in advance is recommended.
  • Location: Miraflores is popular for its safety, shopping, and coastal views, while Barranco boasts a bohemian vibe. San Isidro is a business district, and the Historic Center offers colonial charm.
  • Safety: Always check recent reviews and choose accommodations with 24-hour reception and security.

Lima’s diverse accommodations reflect its rich history, cultural vibrancy, and modern growth. Whether you’re seeking the luxury of a five-star hotel, the quaint charm of a guesthouse, or the camaraderie of a hostel, Lima has something to offer every traveler.

Pachacamac ruins in Peru

Day Trips From Lima, Peru

Lima’s strategic location makes it an excellent base for various day trips, which allow visitors to experience the beauty, history, and culture of central coastal Peru. Here are some of the top day trips one can embark upon from the capital:

Pachacamac

  • Distance: Roughly 40 km southeast of Lima.
  • Highlights:
    • An ancient pre-Incan city and ceremonial center.
    • Explore the Temple of the Sun, the Temple of Pachacamac, and the Acllahuasi (House of the Chosen Women).
    • On-site museum with artifacts from various excavations.
  • Tips: Hire a local guide for a deeper understanding of the archaeological site’s history.

Caral

  • Distance: Approximately 200 km north of Lima.
  • Highlights:
    • Recognized as the oldest city in the Americas, dating back over 5,000 years.
    • Explore the ancient pyramids, plazas, and residential buildings.
    • Gain insights into the advanced understanding of agriculture, architecture, and astronomy of the Caral civilization.
  • Tips: Start early, as it’s a 3-4 hour drive each way. Consider a guided tour for a more informative experience.

Palomino Islands

  • Distance: Just off Lima’s coast.
  • Highlights:
    • Boat ride through the Callao Bay.
    • Encounter with sea lions in their natural habitat – you can even swim with them!
    • Birdwatching: Humboldt penguins, pelicans, and more.
  • Tips: Pack light, bring waterproof bags for personal items, and don’t forget sun protection.

Huacachina Oasis

  • Distance: Roughly 300 km south of Lima.
  • Highlights:
    • A desert oasis surrounded by towering sand dunes.
    • Adventure sports: Sandboarding and dune buggy rides.
    • Enjoy the tranquil lagoon and local legends.
  • Tips: Stay overnight if possible, as the sunset and sunrise over the dunes are spectacular.

Paracas and the Ballestas Islands

  • Distance: About 260 km south of Lima.
  • Highlights:
    • Ballestas Islands: Often referred to as the “Poor Man’s Galapagos,” it’s home to diverse marine life, including sea lions, dolphins, and various bird species.
    • Paracas National Reserve: Offers breathtaking coastal views and prehistoric geoglyphs.
  • Tips: Wear layers as boat rides can be chilly, and don’t forget binoculars for better wildlife viewing.

Lunahuaná

  • Distance: Approximately 185 km south of Lima.
  • Highlights:
    • Whitewater rafting on the Cañete River.
    • Local vineyards and pisco distilleries.
    • Incan ruins and the town’s colonial charm.
  • Tips: If you’re visiting during the grape harvest season (March-April), you might get to experience local festivals.

Canta and Obrajillo

  • Distance: About 100 km northeast of Lima.
  • Highlights:
    • Stunning Andean landscapes, including waterfalls and lagoons.
    • Colonial churches and the serene countryside.
    • Perfect for hiking and horseback riding.
  • Tips: The altitude is higher than Lima, so dress warmly and stay hydrated.

Lomas de Lachay

  • Distance: Roughly 105 km north of Lima.
  • Highlights:
    • A unique mist-fed eco-system in the middle of the desert.
    • Hiking trails among lush vegetation and wildlife, including foxes and various bird species.
    • Ideal for nature lovers and photographers.
  • Tips: Best visited between June and November when the mist (garúa) sets in, making the landscape green and lush.

Booking Tips:

  • Transport: While public transportation is available to many destinations, renting a car or booking a guided tour can be more efficient for time-limited day trips.
  • Safety: Always inform someone of your plans, carry a map and a charged phone, and have some basic Spanish phrases on hand.

From ancient ruins and mystical deserts to vibrant marine life and lush green reserves, the regions surrounding Lima are as diverse as they are enchanting. With proper planning and an adventurous spirit, these day trips can add depth and dimension to any Lima-based itinerary.


source: Samuel and Audrey on YouTube

Lima Transportation Guide

Lima, the capital city of Peru, boasts a myriad of transportation options for locals and visitors alike. Understanding the available transportation methods and their nuances can greatly enhance one’s experience in the city. This guide delves deeply into Lima’s transportation system.

Lima Metropolitano (Metropolitan Bus System)

  • Overview: The Metropolitano is Lima’s Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system. It has dedicated lanes, which allow for faster travel during peak times.
  • Routes: The main line runs from the northernmost part of Lima to Chorrillos in the south. There are complementary routes that branch out to different districts.
  • Tickets: You need a rechargeable card, which can be bought and recharged at the stations. As of my last update in 2021, the cost was around 2.50 PEN per ride.
  • Pros: It’s fast, especially during peak hours, and connects major city districts.
  • Cons: Can be very crowded, especially during rush hours.

Regular Buses and Combis

  • Overview: These are the regular buses and smaller vans you’ll see throughout the city. They serve almost every part of Lima and are quite frequent.
  • Routes: Each bus or combi has a specific route, usually displayed on a board on the windshield.
  • Fares: Paid directly to the driver or the fare collector on board. Fares are usually quite cheap.
  • Pros: Covers a vast area and is economical.
  • Cons: Often crowded, no fixed schedule, can be slower due to multiple stops and lack of dedicated lanes.

Taxis and Ride-Sharing

  • Overview: Taxis are ubiquitous in Lima. You can hail one on the street or book one through ride-sharing apps like Uber or Cabify.
  • Fares: Always agree on a fare before starting the journey or use ride-sharing apps for predetermined rates.
  • Pros: Convenient, can take you directly to your destination, and can be faster during off-peak hours.
  • Cons: More expensive than public transport. Not all taxis have meters, so negotiate the fare in advance.

Lima Metro (Train)

  • Overview: Lima’s metro system is still under expansion. As of 2021, there was one main operational line, with others under construction.
  • Routes: The Line 1 connects Villa El Salvador in the south to San Juan de Lurigancho in the northeast.
  • Tickets: Requires a card that can be recharged at stations.
  • Pros: Fast and efficient, especially during rush hours.
  • Cons: Limited coverage for now.

Cycling

  • Overview: Lima has been making efforts to be more bike-friendly. There are dedicated bike lanes in some parts of the city, especially in the Miraflores district.
  • Rentals: Many areas, especially touristy ones, have bike rental services.
  • Pros: Environmentally friendly, good for short distances, and a fun way to explore.
  • Cons: Not always the safest option due to traffic conditions.

Walking

  • Overview: Many districts in Lima, like Miraflores, Barranco, and San Isidro, are pedestrian-friendly.
  • Pros: Best way to explore local neighborhoods, markets, and hidden gems.
  • Cons: Not ideal for long distances. Always be aware of your surroundings and valuables.

Car Rentals

  • Overview: If you’re comfortable driving in a bustling city, you can rent a car.
  • Providers: Major international and local rental companies operate in Lima.
  • Pros: Flexibility, comfort, and ideal for trips outside of Lima.
  • Cons: Navigating Lima’s traffic can be challenging. Also, finding parking in busy areas can be tough.

Tips for Navigating Lima’s Transportation

  1. Peak Hours: Try to avoid traveling between 7-9 am and 5-7 pm during weekdays. This is when Lima’s traffic is at its peak.
  2. Safety: Always keep an eye on your belongings, especially in crowded areas. It’s also recommended to use official taxis or ride-sharing apps instead of hailing one off the street.
  3. Local Assistance: If in doubt, don’t hesitate to ask locals for guidance. Peruvians are generally friendly and willing to help.
  4. Maps and Apps: Using maps or transportation apps can help you navigate the city more efficiently.

Lima offers a multitude of transportation options that cater to various needs and preferences. By familiarizing yourself with these modes and following a few safety and efficiency tips, you can move around Lima with ease and confidence.


source: Samuel and Audrey on YouTube

Lima 1 Day Travel Itinerary

Lima is a captivating mix of modernity and history, offering travelers a unique blend of cultural, culinary, and coastal experiences. Given its vastness and rich offerings, creating a single-day itinerary for Lima is a challenge. Still, we’ll focus on highlighting some of the city’s most iconic attractions, coupled with some off-the-beaten-path gems. Here’s how you can make the most of your 24 hours:

Morning:

  • Breakfast in Miraflores: Start your day in the trendy Miraflores district. Head to Tanta or El Pan de la Chola for a delicious breakfast. Try the traditional Peruvian sandwiches, or “sanduches,” paired with a fresh juice.
  • Parque Kennedy: After breakfast, take a stroll in nearby Parque Kennedy. It’s a bustling spot, particularly famous for its resident cats and local artists displaying their works.
  • El Malecón: Walk along the cliffside boardwalk, absorbing views of the Pacific Ocean. This stretch is also home to the famous Parque del Amor (Love Park) with its iconic statue and mosaic benches. The ocean breeze and panoramic views make for a refreshing morning walk.

Midday:

  • Historic Centre of Lima: Head to the city’s historic heart. The best way to reach there from Miraflores is by taking a taxi or using ride-sharing services like Uber.
    • Plaza de Armas: Lima’s main square is surrounded by opulent colonial buildings, including the Government Palace, the Cathedral of Lima, and the Archbishop’s Palace. The architecture and the energy here will transport you back in time.
    • San Francisco Monastery: Just a few blocks away, this UNESCO World Heritage site is renowned for its catacombs and Baroque architecture. Guided tours are available and recommended.
  • Lunch at Lúcuma: Situated in the heart of Lima’s historic district, Lúcuma offers delightful Peruvian cuisine. Don’t miss the ceviche, a Peruvian staple!


source: Samuel and Audrey on YouTube

Afternoon:

  • Barranco District: A short ride from the city center, Barranco is Lima’s bohemian enclave, brimming with art, music, and culture.
    • Puente de los Suspiros: A classic landmark, the “Bridge of Sighs” offers beautiful views and is surrounded by cozy cafes and bars.
    • Dédalo Arte: An artisanal market where you can shop for authentic Peruvian crafts and artworks.
  • Museo Larco: Head to this exceptional museum that houses a vast collection of pre-Columbian artifacts. The museum’s lush gardens and restaurant make it a relaxing spot to delve into Peru’s rich history.

Evening:

  • Dinner at Central: One of Lima’s – and indeed the world’s – most renowned restaurants, Central offers a gastronomic journey through Peru’s diverse ecosystems. Reservations are a must.
  • Magic Water Circuit: Conclude your day with a mesmerizing display of lights, water, and music at Parque de la Reserva. It’s a spectacle that’s both fun and visually stunning.

Tips for Traveling in Lima:

  1. Dress in Layers: Lima’s weather can be unpredictable, with cool mornings, warm afternoons, and chilly evenings.
  2. Stay Hydrated: Especially if you’re walking around a lot.
  3. Safety: While Lima is generally safe, always be aware of your surroundings, especially in crowded places.
  4. Traffic: Lima’s traffic can be intense, so always allow extra time for travel between destinations.

Lima’s energy, history, and culinary prowess make it a city unlike any other in South America. This itinerary aims to encapsulate its essence in a day. Enjoy your trip!

Lima colorful shanty town in Peru

Lima 3-4 Days Travel Itinerary

Lima, with its deep-rooted history, thriving arts scene, and culinary excellence, requires at least a few days to do it justice. This itinerary for 3-4 days aims to provide a balanced experience of what this magnificent city has to offer.

Day 1: Introduction to Lima & the Historic Centre

Morning:

  • Miraflores Breakfast: Start at Tanta or El Pan de la Chola in Miraflores. Indulge in Peruvian pastries and fresh juices.
  • El Malecón: Spend your morning wandering the cliffside paths of Miraflores, taking in the Pacific Ocean’s expansive views. Stop by Parque del Amor for its iconic mosaics.

Midday:

  • Historic Centre:
    • Plaza de Armas: Admire the colonial-era architecture. Don’t miss the changing of the guard ceremony at the Government Palace.
    • San Francisco Monastery: A UNESCO World Heritage site known for its catacombs and library.
  • Lunch: Enjoy traditional dishes at Cordano’s, a historic eatery near the Government Palace.

Afternoon:

  • Museo Larco: Delve into pre-Columbian Peruvian history. Explore the museum’s renowned collection, including its erotic art section.

Evening:

  • Dinner at Maido: Experience Nikkei cuisine, a fusion of Peruvian and Japanese flavors. Reservation recommended.

Day 2: Barranco & Art Exploration

Morning:

  • Breakfast in Barranco: Visit La Bodega Verde for a leisurely breakfast amidst a bohemian ambiance.
  • Barranco Exploration:
    • Puente de los Suspiros: A romantic spot that’s an emblem of Barranco.
    • Dédalo Arte: Shop for unique Peruvian crafts.

Midday:

  • Lunch at Isolina: This taberna serves hearty Creole food. Their cazuela soups and slow-cooked meats are must-tries.

Afternoon:

  • MATE – Museo Mario Testino: Visit this museum dedicated to the work of Mario Testino, one of the most influential photographers of our time.
  • MAC – Museo de Arte Contemporáneo: This modern museum showcases the best of contemporary art from the 1950s to today.

Evening:

  • Dinner in Barranco: Try El Hornero for some of the best grilled meats in Lima.
  • Nightlife: Explore the vibrant bars and music venues in Barranco. Ayahuasca Bar offers unique cocktails in a restored mansion.

Day 3: Culinary Lima

Morning:

  • Local Market Visit: Head to Mercado de Surquillo. It’s a chance to witness locals in their daily routines and see the fresh produce that defines Peruvian cuisine.
  • Cooking Class: Book a Peruvian cooking class where you visit the market for ingredients and then learn to prepare dishes like ceviche and lomo saltado.

Midday:

  • Lunch: Enjoy the fruits of your labor from the cooking class.

Afternoon:

  • ChocoMuseo: Participate in a chocolate workshop, understanding the journey from cocoa bean to chocolate bar.

Evening:

  • Dinner at Central: Experience Virgilio Martínez’s culinary genius, where each dish reflects a specific altitude and ecosystem in Peru.

Day 4: Coastal Lima & Relaxation

Morning:

  • Breakfast at Mangos: Located in Larcomar, a shopping center perched on the cliffs of Miraflores, it offers a breakfast buffet with an ocean view.
  • Paragliding: For adventure seekers, morning is the best time for paragliding over Lima’s coastline.

Midday:

  • Lunch at La Mar: Known for its ceviche and seafood dishes.

Afternoon:

  • Circuito Mágico del Agua: Wander through this park with its series of illuminated fountains – a great spot for photos.

Evening:

  • Dinner at Astrid y Gastón: Another gem from the culinary scene, this restaurant offers an exquisite blend of traditional and modern Peruvian dishes.
  • Pisco Tasting: End your trip by understanding and tasting Peru’s national spirit. Bars like Huaringas in Miraflores offer a vast selection.

Travel Tips:

  1. Weather: Lima has a mild, humid climate. Carry layers, especially for evenings.
  2. Safety: Common sense precautions are essential. Watch belongings in crowded areas and prefer reputable taxis.
  3. Language: Spanish is predominant, but many in the tourist industry speak English.
  4. Currency: Peruvian Sol (PEN). It’s advisable to have some cash for markets or small vendors.

With 3-4 days in Lima, you’ll witness its historical significance, culinary prowess, bohemian charm, and coastal beauty. Safe travels!


source: Samuel and Audrey on YouTube

Lima 1 Week Travel Itinerary

A week in Lima provides a fantastic opportunity to dive deep into its rich history, diverse neighborhoods, world-class culinary scene, and more. Here’s a detailed itinerary for seven unforgettable days:

Day 1: Miraflores & El Malecón

Morning:

  • Breakfast: Begin at Tanta in Miraflores for traditional Peruvian breakfast options.
  • El Malecón: Walk the cliffside boardwalk, enjoying Pacific Ocean views and visiting the Parque del Amor.

Afternoon:

  • Larcomar: Shop and enjoy lunch at this cliff-edge mall.
  • Huaca Pucllana: Explore this ancient adobe pyramid right in the heart of the city.

Evening:

  • Dinner at La Mar: Renowned for its ceviche and seafood specialties.

Day 2: Historic Centre & Culture

Morning:

  • Plaza de Armas: Discover colonial architecture, the Government Palace, and the Cathedral of Lima.
  • San Francisco Monastery: Visit this UNESCO World Heritage site, famous for its catacombs.

Afternoon:

  • Museo Larco: Dive into Peru’s pre-Columbian history.

Evening:

  • Dinner at Cordano’s: Experience a meal at one of Lima’s oldest eateries.

Day 3: Bohemian Barranco

Morning:

  • Breakfast in Barranco: Try La Bodega Verde for a range of delightful options.
  • Barranco Exploration: Visit Puente de los Suspiros and shop at Dédalo Arte.

Afternoon:

  • MATE – Museo Mario Testino: Admire the works of one of Peru’s most famous photographers.
  • Lunch at Isolina: Relish hearty Creole dishes.

Evening:

  • Barranco Nightlife: Experience the vibrant scene, perhaps starting at Ayahuasca Bar for unique cocktails.

Day 4: Culinary Exploration

Morning:

  • Mercado de Surquillo: Begin with a local market visit.
  • Peruvian Cooking Class: Understand and prepare local dishes.

Afternoon:

  • Pisco Tour: Learn about the national spirit of Peru, its history, and production.

Evening:

  • Dinner at Maido: Dive into Nikkei cuisine, a blend of Peruvian and Japanese flavors.

Day 5: Modern Lima & Art

Morning:

  • Breakfast at El Pan de la Chola: Savor artisanal bread and pastries.
  • MAC – Museo de Arte Contemporáneo: Experience modern Peruvian art.

Afternoon:

  • Lunch at El Mercado: Enjoy a meal in this chic environment, offering a variety of seafood.
  • Museo de Arte de Lima (MALI): Discover a vast collection spanning 3,000 years of Peruvian art.

Evening:

  • Dinner at Astrid y Gastón: Experience one of Lima’s gastronomic pinnacles.

Day 6: Coastal Adventures

Morning:

  • Paragliding: For adrenaline junkies, soar over the Lima coast.
  • Breakfast at Mangos: Situated in Larcomar, relish a breakfast with an ocean view.

Afternoon:

  • Palomino Islands: Take a boat tour to these islands, known for their sea lions.

Evening:

  • Dinner at Pescados Capitales: Another seafood delight in Miraflores.

Day 7: Relaxation & Shopping

Morning:

  • Spa Day: Pamper yourself with Peruvian treatments, perhaps at Zest Spa in Miraflores.

Afternoon:

  • Dedalo Arte: Return for more shopping or explore other artisanal markets.
  • Lunch at Sandwiches Wong: Experience Lima’s sandwich culture.

Evening:

  • Final Night at Circuito Mágico del Agua: Revel in the light and water show.
  • Farewell Dinner at Central: Bid Lima adieu with a spectacular meal.

General Tips:

  • Transport: Lima’s traffic can be chaotic. Opt for reputable taxis or apps like Uber. The Metropolitano BRT system is also efficient for north-south routes.
  • Safety: Common precautions are vital. Always be cautious in crowded places and during nighttime.
  • Language: Spanish is predominant, but many in the hospitality and tourism industry understand English.
  • Currency: Peruvian Sol (PEN). Having cash on hand is useful, especially in markets.

A week in Lima promises a blend of history, culture, gastronomy, and modern experiences. Enjoy every moment!

Lima house in San Isidro in Peru

Lima 1 Month Travel Itinerary

Spending a month in Lima will give you an immersive experience of the city’s many layers, enabling you to truly live like a local. Here’s a detailed itinerary:

Week 1: Settling In & Exploring the Basics

Days 1-2:

  • Accommodation: Consider renting a furnished apartment in Miraflores or Barranco through platforms like Airbnb.
  • Local SIM Card: Visit a Claro or Movistar store to get connected.
  • Public Transportation Card: Get a card for the Metropolitano (BRT system) for efficient north-south travel.

Days 3-5:

  • Familiarize yourself with Lima’s neighborhoods:
    • Miraflores: Explore Larcomar, Huaca Pucllana, and El Malecón.
    • Historic Centre: Visit Plaza de Armas, San Francisco Monastery, and other heritage sites.
    • Barranco: Discover its bohemian charm.

Days 6-7:

  • Attend a Spanish School: Consider starting a short course to refine your Spanish.
  • Explore local markets like Mercado de Surquillo to get fresh produce.

Week 2: Delve into Lima’s Culture

Days 8-10:

  • Museums: Dedicate these days to Lima’s museums.
    • Museo Larco
    • Museo de Arte de Lima (MALI)
    • MATE – Museo Mario Testino

Days 11-13:

  • Attend local events, theater shows, or concerts.
  • Visit art galleries and workshops in Barranco.
  • Take a dance class, possibly learning traditional dances or salsa.

Day 14:

  • Explore the Rímac District and visit the colonial mansions and churches.

Week 3: Culinary & Coastal Deep Dive

Days 15-18:

  • Cooking Course: Enroll in a week-long Peruvian cooking class to master dishes like ceviche, lomo saltado, and aji de gallina.
  • Visit specialty restaurants such as Central, Maido, and Astrid y Gastón.

Days 19-21:

  • Explore Lima’s coastline, starting from La Punta in Callao and going all the way down to Pucusana.
  • Consider surfing lessons at Punta Hermosa or diving activities.

Week 4: Living Like a Local

Days 22-24:

  • Engage in community events or volunteer work. Organizations like TECHO or local schools often have initiatives.
  • Consider a trip to nearby areas like Lunahuaná for river rafting and wine tasting.

Days 25-27:

  • Join local clubs or interest groups. This can range from hiking groups to book clubs.
  • Explore shopping districts beyond the usual tourist zones, such as Gamarra (Lima’s garment district) or Polvos Azules for electronics.

Day 28:

  • Visit the Lomas de Lachay – a natural reserve north of Lima, known for its mist-fed ecosystem.

Days 29-30:

  • Reflect on your journey: revisit your favorite spots, whether they’re cafes, parks, or other hideaways.
  • Host a dinner party with local friends or fellow travelers using your newly acquired culinary skills.

Additional Tips:

  1. Meetup Platforms: Use apps like Meetup or Couchsurfing for local events.
  2. Local News: Follow local news or magazines like Living in Peru to stay informed about happenings.
  3. Transport: Traffic can be challenging. Consider renting a bicycle or explore carpooling options.
  4. Stay Healthy: Lima’s gray skies can be gloomy. Engage in indoor activities like yoga or gym sessions. Visit local wellness centers or spas for rejuvenation.

Embracing Lima for a month will offer profound experiences beyond traditional tourist activities, allowing for a genuine connection to the city and its people. Enjoy your extended stay!

Lima white colonial architecture in Peru

Is Lima A Safe City To Visit?

Lima, like many large cities around the world, presents a mixture of safety conditions that can vary based on factors like location, time of day, and individual behavior. Here’s a detailed overview of safety in Lima:

General Crime Rate:

  • Crime Levels: Lima does experience crime, with certain areas more prone than others. Petty crimes such as pickpocketing, bag snatching, and opportunistic theft are the most common, especially in crowded areas.
  • Violent Crimes: While less common than petty crimes, muggings can occur. Visitors should be particularly cautious in isolated areas or when traveling at night.

Safety by District:

  • Tourist Areas: Districts like Miraflores, Barranco, and San Isidro are popular with tourists and generally safer, especially during the day. These areas have a visible police presence and private security. However, it’s essential to remain vigilant as tourists can be targets for petty thieves.
  • Historic Centre: The Historic Centre of Lima is a UNESCO World Heritage site and generally safe during the day. But it’s advisable to be cautious after dark when fewer people are around.
  • Other Districts: Areas like Callao, parts of Rímac, and certain outskirts of the city have higher crime rates and might not be advisable for tourists, especially after dark.

Transport Safety:

  • Taxis: It’s advisable to use licensed taxi services or app-based services like Uber, rather than hailing cabs on the street. It’s not uncommon to hear of taxi scams or overcharging.
  • Public Transport: Buses and the Metropolitano (BRT system) are generally safe, but like in any crowded place, be wary of pickpockets.
  • Driving: Traffic in Lima can be chaotic. If renting a car, always park in secure areas and don’t leave valuables in plain sight.

Scams and Fraud:

  • Distraction Schemes: Be wary of strangers approaching with seemingly kind gestures or creating diversions, as it might be a strategy for pickpocketing.
  • Fake Currency: Counterfeit Peruvian Soles are somewhat common. Familiarize yourself with the currency and double-check when receiving large bills.

Natural Safety:

  • Earthquakes: Peru is located in the Pacific Ring of Fire, making it susceptible to earthquakes. Familiarize yourself with earthquake safety guidelines, especially if staying for an extended period.

Health Safety:

  • Water: It’s advisable to drink bottled water as tap water might not be safe for consumption for everyone, especially those unaccustomed to it.
  • Food: Street food is a significant part of Lima’s culinary scene. While it’s generally safe, ensure the food is freshly prepared and hot, and that the vendor maintains hygiene standards.

Tips for Safe Travel in Lima:

  1. Stay Alert: Be aware of your surroundings, especially in crowded areas.
  2. Limit Flashiness: Avoid displaying wealth, such as wearing expensive jewelry or watches.
  3. Safe Storage: Use hotel safes for passports, extra cash, and other valuables.
  4. Travel in Groups: There’s safety in numbers, especially after dark.
  5. Language: Knowing basic Spanish can be helpful in various situations. Even if it’s just a few phrases, it can go a long way in navigating the city.
  6. Local Advice: Listen to locals or hotel staff about areas to avoid, especially after certain hours.

Lima is a city rich in culture, history, and culinary delights. Like many urban areas, it comes with safety challenges. While it’s essential to be cautious and aware, many tourists visit Lima every year and have positive, incident-free experiences. It’s all about balancing caution with curiosity and being prepared.

Lima on a map of Peru

When Is The Best Time To Visit Lima?

Choosing the best time to visit Lima largely depends on personal preferences concerning weather, festivals, and travel costs. Lima has a unique climate characterized by a lack of rainfall, a coastal desert environment, and the influence of the cold Humboldt Current from the Pacific Ocean. Here’s a detailed guide:

Climate Overview:

  1. Cool and Overcast (June to October):
    • This period is often termed Lima’s winter. The city is frequently blanketed by a thick marine layer, known locally as “la garúa,” resulting in gray and overcast skies.
    • Temperatures range between 15°C (59°F) to 19°C (66°F).
    • Humidity is high, making the chill more penetrating.
    • Rain is still rare, but a fine mist or drizzle is more frequent.
  2. Warm and Clearer Skies (November to May):
    • This is Lima’s summer, characterized by warmer temperatures and clearer skies.
    • Daytime temperatures hover between 22°C (72°F) to 28°C (82°F).
    • Nights remain relatively cool.
    • This period is ideal for beach activities and coastal exploration.

Festivals & Events:

  1. Fiestas Patrias (July 28 & 29):
    • Celebrating Peru’s independence, these are the country’s most important national holidays. Lima, as the capital, witnesses parades, parties, and patriotic displays.
  2. Lima Film Festival (August):
    • A great event for movie buffs, featuring a range of national and international films.
  3. Mistura Food Festival (Variable, usually September or October):
    • One of Latin America’s largest food festivals. A must-visit for culinary enthusiasts to experience the best of Peruvian cuisine.
  4. Lima Anniversary (January 18):
    • Celebrating the foundation of the city, it’s marked by events, parades, and cultural displays.

Visitor Volumes and Costs:

  1. High Season (December to April):
    • Coinciding with both Lima’s summer and Northern Hemisphere’s winter, this period attracts more tourists.
    • Accommodation and other travel-related costs might be slightly elevated.
    • Reservations are recommended for high-end restaurants and popular attractions.
  2. Low Season (May to November):
    • Due to the gray and overcast weather, fewer tourists visit Lima during these months.
    • Travel and accommodation costs can be lower, and there are fewer crowds at attractions.

Considerations for the Best Time:

  1. Weather Lovers: If you prioritize sunny and warm weather, plan your visit between November to April.
  2. Culinary Enthusiasts: For a deep dive into Peruvian cuisine, target the Mistura Food Festival.
  3. Budget Travelers: For lower costs and fewer crowds, consider traveling during the low season.
  4. Cultural Aficionados: If you’re interested in the cultural heritage and celebrations, align your visit with Fiestas Patrias or the Lima Anniversary.

Lima, as a cultural and gastronomic hub of South America, offers rich experiences year-round. The “best” time to visit largely depends on individual preferences and what you prioritize most – be it weather, culinary experiences, cultural events, or budget considerations. However, regardless of when you visit, Lima promises a blend of historical depth, contemporary vibrancy, and unparalleled gastronomic delights.

Lima traditional balcony in Peru

Top Festivals and Events in Lima

Lima boasts a vibrant cultural scene with a plethora of festivals and events throughout the year. These festivities highlight the city’s rich history, diverse population, and its importance as a South American cultural hub. Here’s an in-depth look at some of the top festivals and events in Lima:

Fiestas Patrias (July 28 & 29)

  • Overview: Fiestas Patrias is Peru’s National Day, commemorating the country’s independence from Spanish rule in 1821.
  • Highlights:
    • Military and Civilian Parades: The city showcases its military prowess and cultural diversity with elaborate parades.
    • Fireworks: A signature event of the celebration, lighting up Lima’s night sky.
    • Folk Music and Dance: Across the city, stages host traditional performances, offering a glimpse into Peru’s varied cultural heritage.

Mistura Food Festival (Variable, usually September or October)

  • Overview: One of the largest food festivals in Latin America, Mistura celebrates Peru’s culinary diversity.
  • Highlights:
    • Food Stalls: From high-end restaurants to street vendors, a vast range of culinary delights is available.
    • Cooking Demonstrations: Renowned chefs offer insights into their techniques.
    • Artisanal Market: Local producers showcase chocolates, cheeses, spirits, and more.

Lima Film Festival (August)

  • Overview: This festival celebrates the best of Peruvian, Latin American, and international cinema.
  • Highlights:
    • Film Screenings: Both competitive and non-competitive categories feature an array of films.
    • Workshops & Panels: Discussions led by filmmakers and critics offer deeper dives into cinema’s art.
    • Networking Events: A platform for budding filmmakers to interact with established professionals.

Procession of Señor de los Milagros (October)

  • Overview: A significant religious event in Lima, this procession honors the image of Christ known as “The Lord of Miracles.”
  • Highlights:
    • Large Processions: Thousands join in a procession carrying the revered image through Lima’s streets.
    • Traditional Attire: Many participants wear purple robes as a sign of devotion.
    • Street Food: Vendors sell traditional foods, with the Turron de Doña Pepa being a favorite treat during this period.

Lima Anniversary (January 18)

  • Overview: Celebrating Lima’s foundation in 1535 by Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro.
  • Highlights:
    • Cultural Events: Various events, including music, dance, and theater, take place throughout the city.
    • Gastronomic Fairs: Showcasing Lima’s culinary offerings.
    • Special Ceremonies: At the Plaza de Armas and other significant landmarks.

 Gran Serenata (Night of January 17)

  • Overview: The eve of Lima’s anniversary sees a grand serenade to the city.
  • Highlights:
    • Live Music: Bands and musicians perform through the night, showcasing various genres.
    • Fireworks: Marking the culmination of the celebration as the clock strikes midnight.

Virgen de la Candelaria (February)

  • Overview: Although more renowned in Puno, Lima sees celebrations honoring the Virgin of Candelaria.
  • Highlights:
    • Dance Performances: Folk dance groups from across the country congregate in Lima.
    • Colorful Attire: Dancers wear elaborate costumes, representing different Peruvian regions.

Additional Tips:

  1. Plan Ahead: For most of these events, especially the popular ones, Lima sees a surge in visitors. It’s wise to book accommodation and transport in advance.
  2. Engage with Locals: These festivals offer a chance to immerse oneself in Lima’s cultural milieu. Interacting with locals provides a richer understanding of the traditions.
  3. Safety: As with any major gathering, it’s essential to be aware of one’s surroundings and keep personal belongings secure.

In essence, Lima’s festivals and events provide a captivating glimpse into the city’s soul, reflecting its history, diversity, and the vivacity of its people. Each event offers a unique experience, making Lima a year-round destination for cultural enthusiasts.


source: Samuel and Audrey on YouTube

Lima Shopping Guide and Souvenir List

Lima, a cosmopolitan hub of South America, offers a unique blend of traditional artisan goods and modern luxury items. The city’s markets, boutiques, and shopping centers present a diverse range of products that capture the essence of both ancient and contemporary Peruvian culture.

Where to Shop in Lima:

  1. Mercado Inca (Indian Market):
    • Location: Miraflores district.
    • Highlights: A bustling market where you can find handmade crafts, textiles, silver jewelry, and other traditional goods. It’s a vibrant place to experience and negotiate prices.
  2. Larcomar:
    • Location: Cliffside in Miraflores, overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
    • Highlights: A modern shopping center with upscale boutiques, dining options, and spectacular ocean views. It offers both local and international brands.
  3. Dedalo Arte & Artesania:
    • Location: Barranco district.
    • Highlights: This gallery-like space showcases high-quality artisan crafts, contemporary art, ceramics, textiles, and jewelry. It’s a curated experience, offering unique, artistic gifts.
  4. Centro Comercial Risso:
    • Location: Lince district.
    • Highlights: A popular mall amongst locals, offering a wide range of products at budget-friendly prices.
  5. Barranco’s Artisan Markets:
    • Location: Barranco district.
    • Highlights: Small markets and boutiques lining the streets, specializing in unique crafts and artworks by local artists.
  6. Jockey Plaza:
    • Location: Santiago de Surco district.
    • Highlights: Lima’s largest shopping mall, featuring international brands, a cinema, restaurants, and more.

Souvenir List:

  1. Alpaca Textiles:
    • Description: Products made from soft alpaca wool, such as scarves, sweaters, blankets, and ponchos. They’re not only warm but also beautifully crafted, often featuring Andean patterns.
    • Where to Buy: Mercado Inca, various boutiques in Miraflores and Barranco.
  2. Peruvian Jewelry:
    • Description: Handcrafted jewelry often made from silver and adorned with semi-precious stones.
    • Where to Buy: Traditional markets and specialized jewelry stores in Miraflores.
  3. Pucara Bulls:
    • Description: Small ceramic bulls, often placed on rooftops for good luck.
    • Where to Buy: Artisan markets across the city.
  4. Handwoven Rugs and Tapestries:
    • Description: Colorful textiles, often depicting Peruvian landscapes, animals, or ancient motifs.
    • Where to Buy: Mercado Inca, Dedalo Arte & Artesania.
  5. Chulucanas Pottery:
    • Description: Unique ceramic items with geometric patterns, originating from the Piura region.
    • Where to Buy: Artisan boutiques and some specialized stores in Barranco.
  6. Peruvian Coffee and Chocolate:
    • Description: High-quality organic coffee beans and artisanal chocolate bars or cacao nibs.
    • Where to Buy: Specialty stores, supermarkets, and markets.
  7. Pisco:
    • Description: A traditional Peruvian grape brandy, the key ingredient in the famous Pisco Sour cocktail.
    • Where to Buy: Supermarkets, liquor stores, or specialized Pisco shops.
  8. Handmade Dolls & Toys:
    • Description: Colorful, hand-stitched dolls or toys representing Peruvian people or animals.
    • Where to Buy: Mercado Inca and artisan markets.

Shopping Tips:

  1. Bargaining: In traditional markets, prices aren’t always fixed. It’s customary (and often expected) to haggle, but always do so respectfully.
  2. Quality Check: Especially with alpaca products, ensure you’re buying genuine items rather than synthetic or lower-quality blends.
  3. Support Local Artisans: By purchasing from local craftspeople, you’re directly supporting their craft and livelihood.
  4. Tax Refunds: Tourists can sometimes get tax refunds on certain products. Inquire at the store or check guidelines on how this works.

Shopping in Lima offers a delightful mix of traditional and contemporary, with every product echoing tales of its rich culture, history, and craftsmanship. From the bustling markets of Miraflores to the curated boutiques of Barranco, Lima provides myriad opportunities for visitors to take a piece of Peru back home.

Where To Visit After Your Trip To Lima?

Lima is the starting point for many travelers in Peru, a country with a vast landscape, rich history, and diverse cultural heritage. Once you’ve absorbed the urban allure of Lima, there are several mesmerizing destinations to consider for your next stop. Here’s an exhaustive guide on some of the top places to explore:


source: Samuel and Audrey on YouTube

Cusco and the Sacred Valley:

  • Overview: The former capital of the Incan Empire, Cusco, is a city steeped in history, while the Sacred Valley is a sprawling region dotted with ancient ruins, traditional markets, and stunning landscapes.
  • Highlights:
    • Historical Cusco: A UNESCO World Heritage site with a mix of Incan and Spanish colonial architecture.
    • Sacred Valley Towns: Ollantaytambo, Urubamba, and Pisac offer archaeological sites and vibrant markets.
    • Moray and Maras: Ancient agricultural terraces and mesmerizing salt evaporation ponds.


source: Samuel and Audrey on YouTube

Machu Picchu:

  • Overview: The iconic citadel, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, is a testament to Incan engineering and architecture.
  • Highlights:
    • Sunrise at Machu Picchu: Witnessing the sun illuminate the ancient city is an unforgettable experience.
    • Inca Trail: One of the world’s most famous treks leading to the citadel.
    • Aguas Calientes: The gateway town to Machu Picchu, with hot springs and a lively atmosphere.

Arequipa and the Colca Canyon:

  • Overview: Known as the “White City” due to its white volcanic sillar architecture, Arequipa sits in the shadow of the El Misti volcano. Nearby is the Colca Canyon, one of the world’s deepest canyons.
  • Highlights:
    • Santa Catalina Monastery: A city within a city in Arequipa, offering a colorful maze of alleys and rooms.
    • Colca Canyon: Home to the Andean condor and offering opportunities for trekking and spotting these magnificent birds.
    • Hot Springs: Thermal baths with therapeutic properties.


source: Samuel and Audrey on YouTube

Lake Titicaca and Puno:

  • Overview: Situated at an altitude of 3,812 meters, Lake Titicaca is the world’s highest navigable lake and is shared between Peru and Bolivia.
  • Highlights:
    • Floating Uros Islands: Man-made islands constructed entirely of reeds.
    • Taquile and Amantani Islands: Known for their handicrafts and homestays.
    • Puno: The main Peruvian town on the lake, known for its festivals, especially the Feast of the Virgin of Candelaria.


source: Samuel and Audrey on YouTube

Amazon Rainforest:

  • Overview: The Peruvian Amazon offers a unique opportunity to delve into one of the planet’s most biodiverse regions.
  • Highlights:
    • Iquitos: A gateway to the northern Amazon, accessible only by plane or boat.
    • Puerto Maldonado: Access point to the southern Amazon, known for the Tambopata National Reserve and Manu National Park.
    • Wildlife Spotting: Opportunities to see macaws, monkeys, jaguars, pink dolphins, and countless other species.

The Northern Beaches and Archaeological Sites:

  • Overview: Northern Peru is lesser-traveled but offers beautiful beaches and important archaeological sites.
  • Highlights:
    • Máncora: A beach town known for its surf, sun, and relaxed atmosphere.
    • Chan Chan: The world’s largest adobe city, once the capital of the Chimu Kingdom.
    • Lord of Sipán Tomb: The most significant archaeological discovery in the region in the last 30 years, providing insights into the Moche civilization.

Huaraz and the Cordillera Blanca:

  • Overview: A paradise for trekkers and mountaineers, offering some of South America’s most breathtaking landscapes.
  • Highlights:
    • Laguna 69: A vivid blue glacial lake set against snowy peaks.
    • Huayhuash Circuit: Considered one of the world’s best treks.
    • Huaraz: The main town and a hub for treks and climbs.

Nazca Lines:

  • Overview: Located in the Nazca Desert, these are ancient geoglyphs, and their purpose remains an enigma.
  • Highlights:
    • Aerial View: The best way to view the massive designs is by small plane tours.
    • Maria Reiche Museum: Dedicated to the German mathematician and archaeologist who studied the lines extensively.


source: Samuel and Audrey on YouTube

Paracas and the Ballestas Islands:

  • Overview: Coastal town with a national reserve and nicknamed the ‘Poor Man’s Galápagos’.
  • Highlights:
    • Wildlife Spotting: Sea lions, penguins, and a plethora of birds.
    • Paracas National Reserve: Stunning landscapes and beaches.

Ayacucho:

  • Overview: A colonial city with 33 churches, representing each year of Jesus’ life.
  • Highlights:
    • Semana Santa (Holy Week): One of the most traditional celebrations in South America.
    • Quinua: Nearby village known for its ceramic crafts.

Trujillo:

  • Overview: A coastal city with pre-Incan archaeological sites.
  • Highlights:
    • Huanchaco: A nearby beach town famous for its traditional reed fishing boats.
    • The Sun and Moon Temples: Ancient Moche religious centers.

Chiclayo:

  • Overview: Another coastal city known for its archaeology and witchcraft markets.
  • Highlights:
    • Túcume: A complex of 26 pyramids and mounds.
    • Mercado Modelo: Market with sections selling traditional herbal medicine and amulets.

Cajamarca:

  • Overview: Known for its hot springs and being the location where the Inca Empire came to an abrupt end.
  • Highlights:
    • Baños del Inca: Hot thermal baths.
    • Ransom Room: Where Inca Atahualpa was held captive by Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro.

Kuelap and Chachapoyas:

  • Overview: Located in northern Peru, it’s often called the ‘Machu Picchu of the North’.
  • Highlights:
    • Kuelap Fortress: A walled city built by the Chachapoyas culture.
    • Gocta Waterfall: One of the tallest in the world, with legends of mermaids and a cursed treasure.


source: Samuel and Audrey on YouTube

Ica and Huacachina:

  • Overview: A desert oasis and a hub for wine and pisco.
  • Highlights:
    • Sandboarding and Dune Buggy Rides: Popular activities in the giant sand dunes surrounding Huacachina.
    • Ica Wineries: The chance to taste Peru’s wine and pisco at its source.

Pacaya Samiria National Reserve:

  • Overview: Located near Iquitos, it’s one of the largest protected areas in Peru.
  • Highlights:
    • Pink Dolphins: Unique to the Amazon river.
    • River Cruises: The best way to explore the reserve, with multi-day tours available.

Canta and Obrajillo:

  • Overview: A short drive from Lima, these are hidden gems with green valleys and rivers.
  • Highlights:
    • Adventure Sports: Like horse riding and trekking.
    • Local Cuisine: Try dishes like trout or cuy (guinea pig).

Andahuaylas and the Sondor Ruins:

  • Overview: A beautiful region with lakes and archaeological sites.
  • Highlights:
    • Pacucha Lagoon: A picturesque spot perfect for relaxation.
    • Chanka Culture Ruins: Explore the legacy of the Chanka people.

Tumbes and the Mangroves:

  • Overview: Northern coastal region with unique ecosystems.
  • Highlights:
    • Tumbes National Mangroves Sanctuary: Home to crocodiles, seabirds, and the red mangrove.
    • Zorritos: A nearby beach town ideal for unwinding.

Bolivia’s Uyuni Salt Flats (Salar de Uyuni):

  • Overview: Not in Peru, but it’s a popular next destination for travelers in the region.
  • Highlights:
    • Mirror Effect: During the rainy season, the flats reflect the sky, creating surreal landscapes.
    • Train Graveyard: Rusting remains of old locomotives.

Travel Tips:

  1. Altitude: Destinations like Cusco, Lake Titicaca, and Huaraz are at high altitudes. It’s advisable to acclimatize before engaging in strenuous activities.
  2. Transportation: Domestic flights can help cover vast distances quickly. Peru’s bus network is also comprehensive, with many reputable companies offering sleeper options for long journeys.
  3. Guided Tours: For historical and archaeological sites, consider hiring a guide to gain deeper insights.

After Lima, Peru unfolds as a land of immense diversity, with everything from snow-capped peaks to dense rainforests, sun-kissed beaches to ancient ruins. No matter the direction you choose, you’re bound to encounter rich history, stunning landscapes, and warm hospitality.


source: Samuel and Audrey on YouTube

Lima Travel Guide: Final Thoughts

Lima, the City of Kings, stands as a testament to the fusion of pre-Hispanic, colonial, and modern influences, making it an eclectic hub of culture, gastronomy, and history on the Pacific coast of South America. It serves as the principal gateway to the wonders of Peru, from the enigmatic Nazca Lines to the cloud-kissed peaks of Machu Picchu. However, within its city limits, Lima itself offers a world of experiences that can leave a traveler enthralled.

Cultural Melting Pot:

Lima is not just a city; it’s a living museum. The streets echo tales of ancient civilizations, colonial conquests, and the march of modernity. Its districts, from bohemian Barranco to upscale Miraflores, each offer a distinct narrative:

  • Historic Center: A UNESCO World Heritage site, the historic heart of Lima presents grand colonial architecture. The Basilica Cathedral, Archbishop’s Palace, and the Government Palace all speak of Lima’s regal past.
  • Barranco: Streets lined with art, murals, and a sense of nostalgia. This district is known for its free spirit, vibrant nightlife, and the romantic “Puente de los Suspiros” (Bridge of Sighs).

Culinary Capital:

Lima is often hailed as the gastronomic capital of South America:

  • World-Class Restaurants: Lima is home to several of the world’s top 50 restaurants. Central, Maido, and Astrid y Gastón are temples of gourmet experiences, blending Peruvian ingredients with global techniques.
  • Local Flavors: Dig deeper, and you’ll find delights in every corner. From the freshly caught ceviche at the Mercado de Surquillo to the anticuchos sold on street carts, the flavors of Lima are diverse and tantalizing.

Natural Beauty:

Perched on cliffs overlooking the Pacific, Lima’s natural setting is stunning:

  • Costa Verde: This stretch along the Pacific is an oasis of beaches, parks, and recreation areas. Whether you’re paragliding over the cliffs of Miraflores or watching the sunset at La Rosa Náutica, the sea adds an invigorating dimension to the city.
  • Lomas de Lúcumo: Located on the outskirts, this ecological reserve offers hiking trails through green, fog-fed landscapes, showcasing Lima’s more serene and verdant side.

Arts and Entertainment:

Lima thrives with artistic expression:

  • Mario Testino Museum (MATE): Celebrates the works of one of the world’s most renowned fashion photographers.
  • MALI – Lima Art Museum: Showcases Peruvian art, spanning pre-Columbian artifacts to contemporary pieces.
  • Nightlife: Lima comes alive after dark. From traditional Peñas featuring folk music and dance to modern nightclubs pulsating with electronic beats, there’s something for every nocturnal soul.

Challenges and Considerations:

Like any sprawling metropolis, Lima has its challenges:

  • Traffic: Lima’s traffic can be hectic. Always allocate additional time when traveling, especially during rush hours.
  • Safety: While most tourist areas are safe, always be aware of your surroundings and avoid deserted areas late at night.
  • Weather: Being in a desert, Lima has a unique climate. It’s often overcast, even outside the rainy season. Don’t let the gray skies deceive you; the city has its moments of sunshine and splendor.

Parting Words:

Lima is more than just a stopover. It’s a dance of epochs, a blend of the old world with the new, a symphony of tastes, sights, and sounds. It’s a place where history is lived every day, and where the traditions of yesteryears are carried with the same fervor as the passions of today.

Before you depart from Lima, take a moment to breathe in the ocean air, to hear the distant murmur of the city, to feel the pulse of a civilization that has thrived for thousands of years. And as you leave, carry with you not just memories of places seen but also stories of a city that, in its quiet way, continues to shape the course of history.

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