Lima is Peru’s capital and a big city where you can find all sorts of fun activities for every taste. From beautiful landscapes to interesting art, colonial architecture and delicious food, Lima is definitely a city that will surprise you.
Below we will give you our recommendations on the best places to visit in Lima and also tips on where to eat, the best neighborhoods to stay in and other important information that you will need to prepare for your trip!
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This bridge is located in the bohemian district of Barranco and it became the district’s most famous landmark after Peruvian singer Chabuca Granda wrote a song about it in 1960. There is also a legend that surrounds this bridge. Some people say you have to make a wish and if you can hold your breath while crossing it, your wish will come true. Definitely a magical place to visit and take beautiful pictures.
One of the main attractions of Callao Monumental is “Casa Fugaz” which consists of six floors of independent restaurants, artesanal fabric boutiques, galleries and studio spaces for resident artists.
On the first floor you can visit the art galleries and boutiques and discover exhibitions of paintings, photography and installation art. On Saturdays you may come across resident artists at work, have a chat with them about their work, and also participate in workshops.
Considered part of the Cultural Human Heritage by UNESCO since 2000, Lima’s Plaza de Armas or Main Square is in Lima’s Historic Centre and is a great place to take a stroll and appreciate colonial architecture. Here you can also find Lima’s Cathedral, one of the most beautiful and famous attractions in this area. For a local insight, you can also sit on a bench in the middle of the Plaza, grab a snack, relax and watch locals in their daily routines.
The Central Market is Lima’s most important market and is located in Lima’s Historic Centre. Here you can find fresh fruits and vegetables but also handicrafts, toys, clothes, fabric and even movies! Take your time to explore this huge market and don’t forget to try the delicious food that is offered in the many stalls you will find here. Outside the market you will also find many shops that sell shoes, clothes, toys and cooking tools for a lower price than in most parts of the city.
Lima is highly influenced by chinese culture because of a huge migratory movement that happened between the 19th and 20th century. Lima’s Chinatown is located in Lima’s Historic Centre and here you will be able to see the result of this mixture of cultures. The place is located a few blocks away from the Central Market and here you will find delicious snacks, many restaurants and “Chifas”, which is the name we give to the restaurants that sell chinese food with Peruvian influence. Here you will also find souvenirs and chinese ingredients at a cheaper price so if you like to cook, be ready to do some grocery shopping!
This is one of the most important examples of colonial architecture in Peru and is located in Lima’s Historic Centre. Visits are by guided tour only and here you can learn about the religious life and culture during the Spanish colonial rule. Highlights include a library with more than 25 000 volumes and the catacombs which are located underneath the Church. Over 30,000 people were buried here until 1808 and they were discovered in 1943. If you like mystery and are intrigued by history take a moment to explore its silent surroundings and crypts filled with human skulls and remains.
This is one of Lima’s oldest bars and it was built more than 100 years ago. It is located in Lima’s Historic Centre and is a great spot to end a day full of activities. We recommend ordering the “Butifarra” sandwich and, of course, you can’t leave without trying the Traditional Pisco Sour, a drink made of Peruvian Pisco. However, if you are not in the mood for alcohol, you can also order a glass of “chicha morada” a traditional sweet drink made of purple corn.
The Magic Water Circuit in “Parque de la Reserva” is a fun and magical place to visit and it has been included in the Guiness Book of World Records as the world’s largest water fountain complex in a public park. This park has 13 fountains and some of them are interactive. The most popular one is the one named “The Tunnel of Surprises”, a series of water arcs that create a 35 m. long tunnel of water through which you can walk. The highlight of this park is the Water Fountain shows held every day. This show combines dancing waters, light and laser beams that dance with the rhythm of the music. See the park’s website to find out the schedule.
If you love history and want to learn more about Peru’s culture, Huaca Pucllana is an interesting archaeological site to visit. This 1500 year old pyramid is fascinating and it’s unusually located in the middle of an urban area in Miraflores. After your visit you can have lunch in its restaurant and order some typical Peruvian dishes.
Huaca Pucllana is located at Calle General Borgoño, block 8, Miraflores.
The “malecon”, as locals call it, is a boardwalk that extends along the coastline in Miraflores. It is a great place to have a relaxing stroll with your friends or to have a picnic in the park while you look at the ocean. During the weekdays you will see people relaxing in the gardens, doing yoga or going for a run and during the weekends you will see families with their children. This is the perfect spot to take beautiful pictures, eat some ice cream and see the sunset.
Something you cannot miss is in Lima is visiting a local market. You can’t find a big market in Miraflores but you will find one nearby in the Surquillo district, near the Kennedy Park area. In “Mercado Nº1” you will be able to try delicious fresh fruits and also Peruvian dishes for a lower price than a restaurant.
Mercado Nº1 is located at Paseo de la Republica, Block 53 (Near the “Ricardo Palma” Metropolitano station).
Peru has one of the most delicious and aromatic coffee in the world and you can’t leave without having a taste of it! Our recommendation is Terrua Cafe, a coffee shop in Miraflores, where you will be able to try specialty coffee and learn about the different varieties.
Terrua Cafe is located at Pasaje Tello 163 – Miraflores.
Kennedy Park is one of the most popular places in Miraflores, where people go to relax, have a walk and meet with friends. Here you can watch the art vendors, listen to music and also buy some souvenirs at the flea market. Kennedy Park is also known as Lima’s “cat park” since it is the home of many stray cats. Nowadays most of them have been taken to a shelter but some of them remain living here. A group of volunteers feed them every day and offer them for adoption in a booth located in the park.
If you are looking for souvenirs to take home, the indian market is your place-to-go. From alpaca sweaters to beautiful hand-woven backpacks and even small scale stuffed toy llamas, the market is definitely a place where you will find something for every taste and age.
The indian market is located at Av. Petit Thouars 5245, Miraflores.
Lima is definitely a place to try some great desserts! We recommend to try them at the dessert booths in Kennedy Park or to visit a local bakery such as “Tortas Lucas”. Here you will find cakes, rice puddings and even desserts made out of “lucuma”, Peru’s unique and traditional fruit of creamy texture.
Tortas Lucas is located at Juan de la Fuente 332, Miraflores.
The Museo Larco is a privately owned museum of pre-Columbian art, located in the Pueblo Libre District in Lima, Peru. The museum is housed in an 18th-century vice-royal building. It showcases chronological galleries that provide a thorough overview of 5,000 years of Peruvian pre-Columbian history. The museum has also one of the most beautiful terraces where you can sit and have lunch while you look at the gardens.
This is a great option for those who like history and would like to learn about Peru’s armed conflict. Besides experiencing a breathtaking view of the ocean, a visit to this museum will help you understand what happened in Peru between 1980 and 2000 and how we beat terrorism and became the country you see nowadays. LUM also has its own theatre where you will be able to enjoy great performances and movies. Visit LUM’s website to learn know more about the cultural activities programmed for this month.
LUM is located at Bajada, Calle San Martin 151, Miraflores.
The Museo de Arte de Lima – MALI holds the most representative art collection in Peru, tracing 3,000 years of history from the earliest Andean civilizations until modern times. MALI also has an active program of temporary exhibitions throughout the year which covers the highlights of local and international art. The museum is located inside “Parque de la Exposición”, a huge park where you can go and take a stroll, relax and appreciate architecture. Visit the Museum’s website for more information.
Miraflores, Barranco and San Isidro are the best and safest places to stay in Lima.
Miraflores is one of the safest areas in Lima and is full of parks, coffee shops, restaurants and many places for you to visit at a walking distance. In Miraflores you will find many hotels and hostels for every budget. We recommend staying near Kennedy Park since it is the most touristic area with public transportation and shops nearby.
Barranco is the bohemian and artistic district and here you will find many art galleries, bars and lots of cultural activities. This district is similar to Miraflores but a little bit more noisy and busy, so if you like to be surrounded by people and love art and nightlife this is the place for you. We recommend staying near the main square or near the boardwalk as they are the safest areas in Barranco.
This is a more residential area and is also the home of the financial district of Lima. Here you can find parks and also high end restaurants and shops. We recommend staying near the “Ovalo Gutierrez” since this area is at a walking distance from Miraflores.
Remember: You can book your hotel in advance using Booking.com or if you prefer to have a local experience you can book a room or apartment in Airbnb. If you don’t like the conventional tours, remember, Airbnb also offers local experiences for you to enjoy and get to know the city in a different and more personalized way.
The safest way to get from the airport to your hotel is by taking an official airport taxi. Please avoid taking the ones waiting outside the airport doors. Another great option is to take the Airport Express Bus. They have several stops along the city (including Miraflores) and they have no baggage limit. The journey from the airport to Miraflores is approximately 40 mins to an hour.
Lima is a big and busy city and has been named one of the most traffic congested cities in the world along with Mumbai (India) and Bogota (Colombia).
The bright side is that transport is very cheap in Lima and you can get from one place to another with a low budget. We must say, however, that public transportation is a little bit chaotic so if you don’t like crowds we recommend walking or calling a taxi. But if you want to experience Lima’s public transport we recommend the Metropolitan buses. With tickets costing only 2.50 soles (approximately $0.70),they can take you long distances in a few minutes.
If you are staying in Miraflores, everything you need will be at a walking distance because in this part of the city you will find restaurants and shops in every corner.
If you are planning to visit Barranco from Miraflores, you can also get there by walking along the Boardwalk or “Malecón”. You can start in Kennedy Park and then go all the way to Larcomar shopping mall and then walk along the boardwalk till you get to Barranco. But if you are in a hurry you can always call a cab (using your favorite taxi app) and it will cost you approximately 8 to 10 soles ($3 approx.)
However, there are places, like the Historic Centre of Lima, which are far away from Miraflores and you should use the public transport to get there. In this case, we recommend taking the Metropolitan buses from “Benavides” or “Ricardo Palma” station and go all the way to the “Central Station”. It will take you 20 mins approximately. This is the quickest way because Metropolitan buses have their own transport lane. If you decide to take a cab it will probably take you 40 mins or an hour because of Lima’s traffic.
The best months to visit Lima are the summer months (from January to March) if you want to visit the beaches and tour the coastline. During summer temperatures can go from 21ºC to 26ºC (70ºF to 80ºF). Another good time to visit Lima is spring which is from mid-September to October. Here, weather can go from 15ºC to 21ºC (60ºF to 70º F).
If you plan to visit Cusco or Machu Picchu the best time is June to mid-September. During these months the temperature can go from 0ºC to 15ºC (32ºF to 60ºF) and the city sees fewer rain showers.
If you plan to visit Peru’s jungle The the best time is during the dry season, which lasts from June to October. During these months the temperature can go from 18ºC to 32ºC (64ºF to 90ºF). Overall the weather is nice and it will let you trek or spend long days exploring because rain is less frequent. During the rainy season it rains heavily and almost daily, making the soil slippery and dangerous to walk on.
Remember: If you have not bought your plane ticket yet, Kayak.com is a great site to start planning your trip. They will let you compare the prices of different airlines and even send you a notification when the price of a ticket changes or goes on sale.
In Peru there are many restaurants and plenty of options of delicious food to eat.
If you are visiting many regions in Peru you will need different types of clothing.
In Lima and other cities in the coast temperatures are never too cold. However, since they are near the sea, nights can get a little bit breezy so make sure you pack a light jacket.
If you are traveling to Cusco or Machu Picchu you need to pack comfortable clothes and shoes because you will be doing a lot of walking. If you are planning to do the Inca Trail remember to bring some hiking boots that are already broken in to avoid blisters. Also, make sure you wear repellent to avoid mosquitoes. If you want to be extra careful you can also tuck your trousers into your socks for more protection. Finally you may need to pack warm sweaters and a rain jacket.
If you are traveling to the Jungle, remember the weather here is hot and humid all year round. Make sure that you have plenty of clothes for every day that you are there. Make sure to wear light clothing because heavier materials trap more heat and moisture. Also, avoid wearing bright colors and perfume because they attract mosquitoes.
In addition to repellent you may also need malaria medication that can be prescribed by a doctor.
These are our traveling tips for you to enjoy your trip to Lima, Peru to the fullest. We hope to see you soon!
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