Lima, a mega city of 43 districts and home to 9.4 million inhabitants, offers many interesting sites to explore. We tell you about some of the must-visit places in Peru’s capital city.
Lime gives a lot of traffic, a lot of noice, and a lot of chaos. But, it also provides impressive views, buildings filled with history and character, and many adventure-packed neighborhoods. And of course, the delectable cuisine it’s known for which will keep you coming back for more. Here’s our list of what to do in Lima, in no particular order.
1. Visit Casa Aliaga
The oldest house in the continent. What’s not to love from the get-go. It was constructed during the conquest and comes with a vast collection of Peruvian artifacts including weapons used by the conquistadors of Peru.
2. Walk the Plaza de Armas
Often referred to as the Plaza Mayor, the historic town square of Lima is filled with some of the most important as well as most beautiful buildings in the country. Take time to walk around beyond the plaza as well. Visit the old-style taverns for a pisco sour and butifarras criollas or pan con chicharrón.
3. A trip to the Museo Larco
Even if you are not a museum person, you should definitely pay a visit to this one if only for the mind-blowing, and explicit, ceramic. There is an entire room dedicated to sex pottery some of which are sure to make you blush. The restaurant is also pretty darn good, and also just pretty.
If you get tired of walking the streets of Lima then try flying over the capital. Not many capital cities in the world can give you the chance to paraglide over the marvelous cliff tops and fascinating Pacific coast beaches.
View this post on Instagram
Qué experiencia tan impresionante viví hoy! Sobrevolé por la costa de #Lima y pude disfrutar, desde el aire, esta hermosa ciudad, gracias a mis amigos de la Asociación Peruana de Instructores Parapente Tándem por este momento! Cuando vengan a Lima, esto tiene que estar entre sus planes! ¿Quién se atreve? #paragliding #parapente
5. Picnic at the Bosque El Olivar
Lima isn’t known for its greenery. But it does have a few parks where you can admire the many birds of the city and also enjoy a nice picnic on the grass. The Bosque El Olivar is a great option. It’s referred to as a forest because it houses over 1,650 olive trees, 227 trees of other species and two artificial lakes with fish and turtles. After the picnic, go in or admire from outside the public library, cultural center and museum that encircle the park.
6. Explore the ruins of Huaca Pucllana
You don’t have to travel to the Andes to get a glimpse of the vestiges of the Inca Empire. The Huaca Pucllana in the Miraflores district is a magnificent ruin which dates back to 500 AD. If you wish to indulge, stay at its restaurant for a charming lunch next to the ruins.
7. Playa Los Yuyos
Yes, you must visit the Malecon de Miraflores and Barranco, but we say: don’t stop there. Head further down to the beaches of Lima. You’ll see the many surfers that gather there and can also get a surfing lesson to test out the waves yourself. If you are also keen to chill on a sandy beach, we recommend Playa Los Yuyos in Barranco.
Lima is a gastronomical delight. You will find restaurants that can satisfy all your cravings. A must for travelers is to find and taste the best ceviche in Lima. There are many options. Try visiting some of the top cevicherias in the town such as Chez Wong or La Mar, or lesser known places like El Merlin de Cabo Blanco which offers ceviche options from the north of Peru.
A long walk in the bohemian quarters of Barranco is a joy in and of itself. But, you will also find some of the best cafes, bars and restaurants adorned by 18th century architecture and colorful public art.
10. Gaze at the city from the Cerro San Cristobal
The hill of Cerro San Cristobal is one of the most important city landmarks. Located in the north east of downtown Lima, heading up there will give you a stunning view of the city all the way to the sea.
11. Mercado de Surquillo
Every district in Lima has multiple markets, filled with fresh fruits, veggies, and food stands capable of serving some of the best food you’ll try. The Mercado de Surquillo is a labyrinth of aromas, textures and colors. There are two markets next to each other so make time to enjoy walking through the winding corridors of both.
Cover photo: Amaraphotos.com
This article has been updated from its original publication on April 23, 2018.