21 Issues To Do in Lima: Peru’s Full of life Capital

Whilst you could also be tempted to breeze proper via the Peruvian capital, I’m right here to indicate you that there are quite a few issues to do in Lima to warrant sticking round for some time!

One place that appears to be on everybody’s bucket record today is Machu Picchu. The traditional metropolis of the Incas is without doubt one of the new Seven Wonders of the World and might be the preferred vacation spot in all of South America.

In an effort to get to Machu Picchu, although, likelihood is you’ll must cross via Lima. 

Exploring the historic centre, paragliding excessive above the coast, feasting on Peruvian delicacies, dancing all night time in a hidden bar. These are just some of the numerous superior issues to do in Lima.

Learn on for an in-depth have a look at all that Peru’s capital has to supply.

Questioning what to do in Lima throughout your journey? Right here’s my record of 21 belongings you received’t wish to miss!

1. Take a Free Strolling Tour (what to do in Lima while you first arrive)

There’s no higher method to get to know a metropolis than by exploring it by yourself two ft. It’s even higher when you are able to do so with an area information and a gaggle of like-minded travellers. The true icing on the cake, although, is when the tour is completely free! 

Becoming a member of a free strolling tour is certainly the most effective issues to do in Lima, and it’s the proper place to start your journey within the Peruvian capital. Whereas there are fairly just a few teams working excursions today, the unique free strolling tour is with Inkan Milky Way

These excursions final just a few hours and canopy a few of the highlights of Lima’s famed Historic Centre. All of the whereas, you’ll study concerning the historical past and tradition of Lima out of your information, who will probably be glad to reply any questions you may need.

Remember to ask for some suggestions on the perfect locations to eat, store, and drink when you can!

things to do in lima join a walking tour

Excursions function from Monday-Saturday at each 11AM and 3PM beginning at La Merced Church. For the sooner tour, a information will even meet you in Miraflores at 10:00 that can assist you navigate the general public transportation to get to the town centre. 

Whereas the tour itself is certainly free, they function solely in your suggestions. When you benefit from the tour, make sure to tip your information. How a lot you tip is totally as much as you, however I really feel like round 20-30 soles ($7-10) per particular person is honest contemplating what you get out of it. 

Searching for a extra “official” strolling tour in Lima? Try this highly-rated “City Highlights Small-Group Tour“, which takes you round Lima (9:00, 9:15 or 2:30). The tour features a choose up out of your resort, entrance charges and information.

2. Discover the Plaza de Armas

Whilst you’ll stroll via the Plaza de Armas on the free tour, you don’t have a complete lot of time to take all of it in. As such, you’ll wish to return there by yourself sooner or later for additional exploration. 

Also called the Plaza Mayor, this was the birthplace of Lima when the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro based the town in 1535. As per the order of King Charles I of Spain, the town was centred on a square-shaped plaza. 

The Plaza de Armas is surrounded by essential historic and cultural landmarks, such because the Lima Cathedral and Authorities Palace. It’s a phenomenal tree-lined plaza with a fountain within the center and an ideal spot to chill out for some time.

The cathedral has a beautiful exterior, however you’ll have to go inside to actually admire it. It’s free to enter to a sure level, however you’ll want 10 soles (about $3) to go additional inside and see the museum full of spiritual artwork. 

As for the Authorities Palace, it’s the official residence of the Peruvian president. Excursions are free, however you’ll have to rearrange them forward of time by calling the workplace at +51-(0)1-311-3908.

When you don’t get on a tour, a minimum of make sure to catch the every day altering of the guard ceremony at midday. Those that do the early free strolling tour will be capable of see it. 

For instructions to the Plaza de Armas, click here

explore lima's main plaza one of the top things to do in lima

3. Go to the Catacombs in San Francisco Church

One of the vital well-liked (and eerie) issues to do in Lima is taking a tour of the catacombs below the San Francisco Church. This stunning Spanish Baroque church was constructed within the late 1600’s and might be the best-preserved in all of Lima. 

Along with the church, there’s an adjoining monastery with a really spectacular assortment of historic non secular texts. Most travellers don’t come right here to learn, although. They arrive to move underground to see the catacombs.

This was the unique cemetery in Lima, and it’s estimated that as much as 75,000 folks had been buried right here. Lots of Lima’s rich elite selected to be buried right here as a result of perception that doing so would depart them nearer to God. 

In an effort to make visiting the catacombs much less terrifying for guests, the bones have been organized in inventive patterns. I nonetheless suppose it’s a bit creepy, however it’s an essential a part of the town’s historical past and price a go to until you’re extremely claustrophobic. 

The Church of San Francisco is open every day from 9AM-5PM. The church is free to go to, however you’ll want to affix a tour to go to the catacombs for six soles ($2). You will get instructions to the church here

4. Tour the Aliaga Home

Again when Pizarro based the town in 1535, he gave a plot of land close to his palace to one in every of his trusted allies, Jerónimo de Aliaga. Aliaga constructed a mansion there, and it nonetheless stands to this very day. Clearly, there have been a number of renovations to the home over time.

Not solely is the home as outdated as Lima itself, however it’s the oldest home within the Americas to be constantly occupied by the identical household. His descendants nonetheless dwell on the property in a contemporary wing, and the mansion is now a museum. 

Inside the home, you’ll see a really spectacular assortment of Peruvian artwork and artifacts. Visiting the Casa Aliaga is certainly one of many high issues to do in Lima Peru. 

Excursions of the home must be organized a minimum of 24 hours prematurely by calling +51-(0)1-619-6900 or sending an e-mail to reservas@casadealiaga.com. They’re not low-cost (about $40 per particular person), however they’re effectively price it if you happen to’re desirous about artwork and historical past. You’ll find the Aliaga Home on the map here.

5. Pattern Peruvian Delicacies (one of many high issues to do in Peru!)

I’ve stated it earlier than and I’ll say it once more — Peruvian delicacies is the perfect in all of South America. Your style buds are in for an actual deal with while you journey to the Peruvian capital! 

Due to its lengthy multicultural historical past, Peruvian delicacies has fused flavours from many corners of the globe utilizing native substances. From the Spanish conquistadors to Chinese language immigrants, there have been many alternative influences on Peruvian delicacies over the centuries.

Consuming your means across the metropolis is a significant spotlight of a go to to Lima. When you’re undecided what to do in Lima, go sit down in an area restaurant and plan your day as you get pleasure from a incredible meal. 

Maybe probably the most well-known dish in Peru is ceviche. This dish of uncooked fish marinated in lime juice is so essential in Peru that it even obtained its personal vacation. That’s proper, Peru celebrates Nationwide Ceviche Day yearly on June 28th! Consuming a contemporary plate of ceviche is certainly one of many tastiest issues to do in Lima. 

Along with ceviche, different must-try dishes embrace lomo saltado (stir-fried beef with onions, tomatoes, and French fries), aji de gallina (a spicy rooster stew), and Chifa (Peruvian-Chinese language meals). 

peruvian food in lima

6. Take within the Views from San Cristobal Hill

When you’d wish to admire the Centro Historico from above, make sure to embrace a visit as much as San Cristobal Hill to your Lima itinerary. At 400 metres above sea degree, that is the best pure level within the metropolis. 

The hill is revered as an apu – a mountain deity that protects the town. As they tended to do, the Spanish conquistadors imposed their beliefs on the indigenous folks by planting a cross right here.

Folks nonetheless make choices to the mountains, and an enormous pilgrimage of Christians happens right here throughout Semana Santa. 

Whilst you could also be tempted to hike up the hill, that’s ill-advised. This isn’t the most secure a part of Lima, so it’s not the perfect place to be strolling round by yourself.

One of the best ways to rise up the hill is by catching the bus within the Plaza de Armas. It prices 10 soles ($3) round-trip and offers you sufficient time to benefit from the views and take pictures. 

San Cristobal Hill is positioned simply northeast of the Plaza de Armas, on the opposite aspect of the Rimac River. You may test its location on the map here

7. Hold Out within the Cat Park

When you’re a cat-lover, you then’ll undoubtedly wish to try Parque Kennedy whereas in Lima. Whereas the park is definitely named after John F. Kennedy, many individuals merely seek advice from it because the Cat Park today.

No one is kind of positive the place they got here from, however the park is residence to effectively over 100 stray cats. One widespread idea is that it began when just a few cats escaped from a church the place they had been getting used to catch mice. 

Lima Cat Park
Right here kitty, kitty, kitty! | Photograph by Sasha Savinov

Nonetheless they obtained there, the well-known felines have made themselves fairly comfy within the park. Whereas many residents despise them (some have even been poisoned), there may be fortunately an ideal non-profit right here that feeds the cats, spays and neuters them, and helps discover a residence for them. 

Parque Kennedy is positioned proper within the coronary heart of the Miraflores district of Lima, which is mainly backpacker central. There are a number of hostels across the park, making this a very talked-about place to remain. You’ll find the precise location of the park here

8. Stroll or Bike Alongside the Malecon 

Lima is called the Backyard Metropolis, and that’s thanks largely to the gorgeous, cliffside Malecon. It stretches for a number of kilometers excessive above the Pacific Ocean in Miraflores and incorporates a number of totally different parks.

Taking a stroll or using a motorbike alongside the Malecon is definitely one of the crucial enjoyable issues to do in Lima. The views of Lima’s Costa Verde (Inexperienced Coast) off to the aspect are unbelievable, and there’s quite a bit to see and do alongside the best way.

One of many highlights of strolling the Malecon is the Parque del Amor (Park of Love). Right here you’ll discover the large sculpture referred to as El Beso (The Kiss), which depicts the artist smooching his spouse. You’ll additionally discover many younger Peruvian {couples} re-enacting the scene themselves. 

For a simple, informative and enjoyable bike tour of the town, try this tour, which takes you round Miraflores and Barranco.

things to do in lima bike tour

9. Go Paragliding (one of many extra adventurous issues to do in Lima)

For adrenaline junkies questioning what to do in Lima, the selection is simple — go paragliding! Due to the tall cliffs and robust winds that prevail in Lima, that is the proper spot for it. 

Simply north of the aforementioned Park of Love, you possibly can join a fast flight above the Malecon and the Pacific Ocean. It’s laborious to beat the views from this vantage level, that’s for positive!

You don’t want to join paragliding prematurely. Simply present up, pay the price (about $75 per particular person), and signal all the required paperwork. You’ll additionally get the video and pictures from the flight so you possibly can exhibit on social media later.

Whereas it’s very secure, be sure to’ve obtained travel insurance earlier than leaping off a cliff in Peru! 

paragliding in lima peru

10. Seaside Hopping and Browsing

Whereas they aren’t precisely the nicest seashores on this planet, it’s nonetheless enjoyable to hit la playa while you’re travelling in Lima. Doing so is kind of straightforward, as all you want to do is stroll down the steps from the Malecon to entry Playa Waikiki. 

The shores are rocky and the water will be downright frigid, however that doesn’t cease folks from pulling up a lounge chair, cracking a cerveza, and having fun with the views of the ocean. Lima’s seashores are all the time bustling in the course of the busy summer time months of December-April. 

For individuals who want a bit extra pleasure than a seashore chair, browsing is without doubt one of the hottest issues to do in Lima Peru. Whilst you’ll have to journey 1-2 hours outdoors of the town to seek out the actually good seashores and killer waves, the seashores in Miraflores and Barranco should do if you happen to’re quick on time. 

You’ll find boards for lease and join lessons in Miraflores at Pukana Surf School. They’ve lessons 365 days a yr each two hours from 6AM-4PM. Group classes begin at simply $20. When you simply want a board and a wetsuit, it’s $10/hour to lease each. Verify them out on the map here

☞ SEE ALSO: Reflections and Highlights – Our Two Month Trip in Peru and Ecuador

11. Store and Dine at Larcomar

Usually, I wouldn’t dare put a shopping center in a journey information. Simply ask my spouse, and he or she’ll be fast to let you know how a lot I detest going to malls. That being stated, the Larcomar mall is fairly freaking cool and deserves its spot on this record of issues to do in Lima.

Their declare to fame is being the one shopping center constructed right into a cliff. How cool is that?! Due to this unconventional location, there are some unbelievable views from this open-air mall. 

Inside Larcomar, you’ll discover 17 eating places and over 70 retailers, so there’s a lot to do right here to maintain you occupied. After we stayed in Lima in December, I even obtained my image taken with Papa Noel (Santa Claus) right here!

Whenever you’re out exploring the Malecon, it’s undoubtedly price it to drop by Larcomar simply to test the place out. It’s a fast stroll right here from the centre of Miraflores. It’s open from 10AM-10PM each day and will be discovered here

larcomar mall in lima peru

12. Historic Ruins within the Trendy Metropolis

Whereas increasingly high-rises are going up in Lima, the town nonetheless does an ideal job of preserving its previous. There’s no higher instance of that than the traditional ruins of Huaca Pucllana, that are positioned proper within the coronary heart of Miraflores.

Constructed again within the fifth century in the course of the time of a civilization generally known as the Lima Tradition, Huaca Pucllana is a sacred, 7-tiered temple made from adobe. It was constructed for the elite clergymen who had been in cost to indicate their authority and management over the pure sources of the realm.

A go to to Huaca Pucllana solely prices 6 soles ($2) and features a guided tour, which run fairly often in each Spanish and English. It’s not going to knock your socks off like Machu Picchu, however it’s a superb warm-up for these headed on to the traditional metropolis of the Incas. 

things to do in lima visit Huaca Pucllana

The ruins are open from Wednesday to Monday from 9AM to 5PM. You’ll must get there by 4:15 or so to be sure to get on a tour. Another choice is visiting at night time to eat on the restaurant on website. The temple is lit up, making for a really particular eating expertise. You’ll find instructions to Huaca Pucllana here

13. Verify Out the Larco Museum

When you don’t know what to do in Lima on a foggy, drizzly day (there are various of them), simply head to the Larco Museum. Housed in a former mansion and filled with 1000’s of pre-Columbian artifacts, that is undoubtedly probably the most spectacular museum within the metropolis.

There are some things concerning the Larco Museum that make it stand out. For one, it was one of many first museums on this planet to truly open up its storerooms. You may peruse tens of 1000’s of historic ceramics that aren’t on show within the museum.

What most individuals know the Larco Museum for, although, is its huge assortment of erotic ceramic artwork. The Spanish had been aghast once they discovered it, however you’ll in all probability simply giggle at seeing the Kama Sutra in clay.

The Larco Museum is open each day of the yr from 9AM to 10PM. An entrance ticket prices 30 soles ($10), and you can too join guided excursions in Spanish or English. Get instructions by heading here

14. Examine Spanish

Many travellers start an prolonged journey round South America in Lima, as the town has nice flight choices from North America and Europe. When you’re going to be spending a while on this a part of the world, it’s effectively price taking the time to choose up some español. 

Whereas it’s completely attainable to get by in Peru with simply English and physique language, you’ll have a way more satisfying and rewarding expertise if you happen to can work together with folks in Spanish. Fortunately, you’ve obtained a number of decisions for Spanish classes within the Peruvian capital.

A majority of the Spanish faculties are centred round Miraflores, which is handy because it’s additionally the largest vacationer hub. You may join something from just a few hours of personal classes as much as intensive group lessons that meet 5 days per week for a month or extra. If you wish to keep in Peru longer, signing up for Spanish classes is the perfect and best method to deal with the visa state of affairs.

I can personally suggest El Tulipan, as I took lessons there for just a few weeks throughout our month-long keep in Lima. It’s solely 165 soles (about $50) for six hours of small group classes per week, which leaves you loads of time to discover the town. Contact them prematurely or simply drop in to speak to them about signing up.

15. Seek for Road Artwork

I don’t learn about you, however I completely love looking for out avenue artwork once I journey. Museums are nice and all, however it’s good to get your artwork repair outdoors of a stuffy room with uppity guards following you round.

Road artwork lovers are in for an actual deal with within the Peruvian capital. Because it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Website and all, the native authorities undoubtedly frowns upon graffiti within the historic centre. That being stated, there are some hidden gems if you happen to poke round for some time there and get away from the Plaza de Armas and all its protected landmarks.

Lima Street Art
A lot cool avenue artwork in Lima! | Photograph by Sasha Savinov

Indisputably, the perfect place to seek for avenue artwork in Lima is Barranco. How handy it’s, then, that Barranco simply so occurs to be the following merchandise up on our record of the perfect issues to do in Lima!

16. Go to Barranco – Lima’s Hippest ‘Hood

Lengthy a favorite of Lima’s inventive neighborhood, Barranco is gaining floor amongst travellers as a well-liked different to its extra fashionable and upscale neighbor of Miraflores. Even if you happen to don’t keep there, you need to undoubtedly take a while to go discover this bohemian enclave.

Barranco was initially constructed up as a seashore vacation spot for well-to-do Limeños, a reality that’s made evident by the quite a few palm bushes that line the streets together with pastel-colored mansions. Today, it attracts in curious travellers in quest of a extra laid-back, artsy vibe. 

There’s a lot to see and do in Barranco to maintain you busy for some time. Along with all the road artwork, the scenic plaza, and the gorgeous structure, the realm is residence to loads of distinctive retailers, eating places, cafes, and bars. Plus, if you happen to’re a Digital Nomad planning to get caught up on work whereas within the metropolis, there are some superior co-working spaces on this neighbourhood.

visit barranco lima

Additionally, be sure to participate within the native legend by holding your breath as you cross the Puente de los Suspiros (Bridge of Sighs). Make a want and make it throughout the bridge efficiently, and it’ll come true!

Whereas Barranco is simple sufficient to go to by yourself, I like to recommend signing up for the every day free walking tour as a substitute. They run at each 11AM and 4PM, so take your choose. 

17. Drink Pisco Sours

You recognize that outdated saying “When in Rome…”? Effectively, in Rome you drink wine, and in Lima you drink pisco. This high-proof spirit is made by distilling fermented grape juice, and it’s undoubtedly the booze of selection in Peru.

Seeing because the well-known cocktail really originated right here, one of many high issues to do in Lima is certainly attempting a Pisco Bitter (or three). This superb drink is made by mixing pisco with lime juice, easy syrup, egg white, ice, and Angostura bitters. 

Peru loves Pisco Sours a lot that they’ve a nationwide vacation for them! The primary Saturday of February is well known as Día del Pisco Bitter. Salud!

I used to be a bit hesitant due to the egg white, however let me let you know one thing — after just a few sips, this turned my new favorite cocktail. It truly is a high-quality beverage, particularly when paired with a pleasant plate of ceviche. Overlook wine and cheese, I’d a lot slightly go together with Pisco Sours and ceviche.

drinking pisco sours is one of the best things to do in lima

18. Study About Peruvian Historical past

Whilst you’re within the capital metropolis of Peru, you may as effectively study one thing concerning the nation’s historical past. There’s no higher place to do this than the town’s Pure Historical past Museum. 

Simply final yr, the Pure Historical past Museum of Lima celebrated its 100th anniversary. There are a number of totally different exhibitions right here, with a few of the highlights together with the skeleton of a sperm whale and fossils of big floor sloths. 

One wonderful thing about this museum is that they’re open each day of the week, simply with totally different hours. It’s open from Monday to Friday from 9 AM-5:15 PM, 9-4:30 on Saturday, and 10-4:30 on Sunday. You’ll find it on the map here

There are a number of different nice museums price trying out to study a bit concerning the historical past of Peru. You can even go to the Nationwide Museum of Archaeology, Anthropology and Historical past and the Museum of the Nation, for instance. 

19. See the Magic Water Circuit

Indisputably, one of many coolest issues to do in Lima Peru is seeing the Magic Water Circuit within the night. It truly is a magical present, with a number of fountains, music, and loads of laser lights.

Positioned contained in the Parque de la Reserva, this really made it into the Guinness E book of World Information as the most important water fountain complicated. There are 13 totally different fountains which are all illuminated at night time, making for fairly the spectacle.

Whereas it’s enjoyable simply wandering the park and trying out all of the fountains, you’ll wish to make sure that to time your go to to see the particular present with Peruvian folks music. The present instances are 07:15, 08:15, and 09.30 PM. 

The park is correct subsequent to the Nationwide Stadium and is accessible by the Metropolitano bus. You’ll find it on the map and get instructions here.

When you’d slightly be a part of a tour and never have to determine the logistics of transport, click here for a tour that features a information, transportation, and entrance charges. Or, if you happen to’d wish to make an evening out of it, try this tour which incorporates transport, information, entrance charges, dinner, and a dance efficiency.

things to do in lima peru visit the water circuit

20. Dance All Night time

Folks in Lima undoubtedly know have a superb time. It doesn’t matter what night time of the week it’s, there’s one thing enjoyable occurring on this bustling metropolis of 10 million. Indulging within the nightlife a should when travelling to the Peruvian capital.

There’s one thing for everybody in the case of nightlife in Lima. You’ll find craft breweries, dive bars, stylish cocktail joints, music venues, fashionable golf equipment, and extra. To actually expertise an evening out in Lima the native means, although, you’ll wish to discover one of many metropolis’s peñas.

Peñas are small, usually hidden bars the place the get together revolves round Peruvian criollo music, a lot of dancing, and loads of Pisco. It doesn’t even must be in an precise bar, as a few of them function out of individuals’s residing rooms. These are the sorts of locations the place the tables get pushed out-of-the-way after just a few songs so that everybody can bust a transfer. 

For the uninitiated, these will be laborious to seek out and maybe a bit awkward to attempt to attend. Your finest guess is heading to Don Porfirio in Barranco, which is barely open on Friday nights. You’ll have to attend in line and pay a canopy cost of 25 soles ($8), however it features a Pisco Bitter and is effectively price it! Discover Don Porfirio on the map here

21. Take a Day Journey

When you’ve gotten your fill of all of the superior issues to do in Lima, it’s time to got down to see extra of this superb nation. Quite than fly straight to Cusco in your Machu Picchu journey, why not take it sluggish and expertise a few of the surrounding areas of Lima?

Just a few of the close by must-visit spots embrace the ruins of Pachacamac (1 hour away), Palomino Islands (positioned simply off the coast at Callao), the fishing village of Pucusana (1 hour’ish away) and the seashore vacation spot of Punta Negra (1 hour away). 

Don’t miss seeing penguins, crusing and swimming with sealions! Try the tour of Palomino Islands here, and for an superior day journey to Pachacamac, click here

There are numerous extra sights which are a bit additional away, however it’s finest to go to them and spend the night time, slightly than attempting to do a day journey from Lima. 

Now You Know What To Do in Lima!

Whereas many skip out on Lima in favour of heading straight to Cusco, hopefully by now you possibly can see that the town is price a minimum of just a few days in your journey to Peru.

With a strong recreation plan and a little bit of motivation, you possibly can cross off loads of these nice issues to do in Lima in only a weekend.

Simply take into consideration the range of actions on provide within the Metropolis of Kings. In someday, you possibly can go to historic ruins, go paragliding above the ocean, see a magic water fountain present, eat a few of the finest meals you’ve ever had, wash all of it down with just a few Pisco Sours, and dance till the wee hours of the morning. Welcome to Lima, amigos!

Most of the pictures on this article are courtesy of Shutterstock. Check them out for royalty-free pictures and movies.

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