Places in Lima you must visit
Lima is a very exciting city, I have lived here since 2017 and despite the traffic at work time and the insecurity in certain areas of the city, I have fallen in love with this city for its great cultural and culinary diversity. Many people call this city “donkey’s belly” due to the gray color caused by clouds and pollution.
Despite the large accumulation of clouds over this city, it incredibly never rains, so when you go out for a walk never take an umbrella. In Lima you can enjoy the beach, river, desert, mountain, museums, archaeological sites, art and great restaurants, what else can you ask for in a single city?
Where to stay in Lima?
Unlike many cities where the best place to stay is downtown, in Lima it is better to stay in districts such as Miraflores and Barranco, because they are in front of the beach, they are beautiful, safe and there are many tourist activities to do. The center of Lima is beautiful and you must visit it to see the government palace, the cathedral, the main square, among other attractions, but I do not recommend staying there since at night it can be quite unsafe.
My recommendation on where to stay and why:
Stay there if you are looking for a place with many other travelers, shopping and party.
Stay there if you are looking for a calm place full of art, cafes and nice restaurants.
How to move around Lima?
As I said before, traffic is an issue in Lima, however, the problem only happens at certain times of the day, between 7:00 am – 9:00 am and between 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm. To move through Lima there are many options and I will mention two.
This transport is really cheap and costs around 0.5 USD per trip. In Miraflores and Barranco there are signs about the official bus stops but do not be surprised when you see that the bus stops at unofficial places to pick up passengers.
In addition to the buses, there is also another bus, but with its own road, which allow it to go faster. This is a perfect option to go from Barranco or Miraflores to Lima downtown. It only costs 0.7 USD.
Places you must visit
Caral, the oldest civilization of America
Caral is an archaeological site located 3 hours by car north of Lima. Caral is considered the mother of all pre-Inca cultures and the Inca culture that was the last to survive the invasion of the Spanish. There is no public transport to visit this place, so the only option is a tour and of course I recommend you to book mine. You will be very comfortable traveling in a new vehicle accompanied by an experienced tour guide and you will learn a lot about the history of Caral and the people who lived there 6000 years ago.
The center of Lima has a very European style and it is not a surprise, it was built by Spaniards during the time that Peru was a colony of Spain. Within this area you can find the San Martín square, who made Peru independent from Spain on July 28, 1821. Another point of interest is of course the Plaza Mayor and around it is the Municipality of Lima, the palace of government and the beautiful cathedral of Lima, which stays closed the whole year. You can visit the downtown on your own during the day or with a tour.
Miraflores is a beautiful district of Lima located in front of the Pacific Ocean. From the boardwalk you can see many people surfing throughout the year despite the low water temperature. If you want to shop and eat with a beautiful view, head to Larcomar, the most luxurious mall in the country. My favorite restaurant is Tanta, there you will find delicious Peruvian food. If you want to see the whole cliff, the sea and the city from above and you like adrenaline, I definitely recommend you to take a paragliding flight.
Paragliding in Lima
Barranco is the city’s favorite district due to its colorful streets adorned with beautiful murals made by urban artists, who also exhibit their art in Barranco inside small studios, museums and art galleries. One of the most outstanding artists is Jade Rivera and his studio is located next to the bridge of sighs. Barranco is a perfect place to try delicious Peruvian food and is home to the famous “Central” restaurant, which has 2 Michelin stars and is listed among the 50 best restaurants in the world.
Food tour in Barranco
Dpaso, dance with paso horses
Paso horses are an important part of Peruvian culture. Dancers perform a beautiful dance called “la marinera”, where a man mounts a horse and a barefoot woman dances with it. The horse performs beautiful steps in a coordinated manner and just looks stunning. Dpaso Peru is one of the few companies that offers this dance show. Its closest event place to Lima is in the district of Santiado de Surco and in addition to the show, a Peruvian food buffet is included in the price of the entrance ticket.
Dinner and paso horse show
Pachacamac is an archaeological site located south of Lima. This temple belonged to the Lima culture and inside it, the God Pachacamac was kept very carefully. This god is represented by a large piece of wood carved by hand with drawings of plants and animals. On the upper part of the wood you can see human aspects such as the face. The best way to go to Pachacamac is with a tour, which is cheaper, having in mind its long distance from the city. In addition to the temple you can also see the ancient city and a museum.
Pachacamac tour from Lima