The City of Kings: Your Guide to Visiting Lima, Peru
Lima, the capital of the Republic of Peru, is a dynamic and growing city that combines a historical legacy with the trends and amenities of a modern capital.
Known as the "City of the Kings", Lima is a large city. According to official data, the metropolitan area of Lima will have 11 million residents in 2017, totaling 33% of the entire population of Peru.
This city has plenty to offer travelers.
You can learn about Lima's history by touring its buildings and monuments, especially in the downtown area called Centro Historico,, view art, enjoy Peruvian food, or buy handicrafts from all regions.
Make sure you learn some basic Spanish. You will be relying on your language and hand gestures to get you through basic conversations.
Whatever your particular interests are, here are some of the highlights that Lima has to offer.
Sightseeing in the city
The Historical Lima Downtown (Centro Historico)
Declared an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988, this area is renowned for its monuments.
Stroll through the Plaza Mayor (that is, the Main Square) and its surroundings, making sure to visit the Cathedral of Lima, Government Palace, and the Municipal Palace. Take your time getting lost amongst the old homes such as the House of Oidor and the House of Pilatos, both of which are some of the oldest homes in Lima dating back to the late 1500's. Just a short walk away is the Church and Convent of San Francisco.
A must see in Lima is the traditional district of Barranco, which is dubbed the SoHo of Peru. Its traditional 19th century buildings now host a very active, bohemian, and youth-oriented nightlife. Stop here to browse art galleries, drink coffee, watch live music, or enjoy a delicious pisco sour at Ayuahuasca or Victoria Bar.
Located near Barranco is Miraflores, which has many commercial and entertainment options such as shopping malls, cinemas, hotels, cafes, discos, and a public park with free wi-fi connection. Hidden gems include the pre-Inca mud-brick temple Huaca Pucllana and Parque del Amor.
Lima museums are worth seeing as well as the Circuito Mágico del Agua (Magic Circuit of Water). its huge fountains display a colorful laser lights show (with music) every night.
OUTSIDE OF THE CITY
If you seek more adventure you can go an visit one of the ancient cities of South America, Caral.
A 5000-year-old sacred city, Caral is not to be missed.
Situated on a dry desert terrace overlooking the green valley of the Supe river, it dates back to the Late Archaic Period of the Central Andes and was the oldest center of civilization in the Americas.
Exceptionally well-preserved, the site is impressive in terms of its design and complexity. It features monumental stone and earthen platforms and sunken circular courts as well as six large pyramidal structures.
Tours leave Lima at 6:00 am daily for Caral.
Ceviche is the national dish from Peru and is a must try in Lima!
Cevicheria Punto Azul Located in Miraflores District is a top pick among locals. But make sure to show up early to avoid long midday lines!
My favorite spot (and arguably has the best ceviche in town) is El Muelle on Barranco Plaza de Arma in the Barranco District. Your may even spot some Peruvian celebrities!
Other local delicacies include cuy (guinea pig), lomo saltado (stir fried beef), causa (potato based dish) and, of course, roasted Peruvian chicken. Make sure to wash it all down with a cool pisco sour.
Whatever it is you seek to explore and taste in Peru, Lima likely has it!
And make sure to get friendly with locals - they will likely have knowledge of some of the best kept local secrets.
Interested joining us in Peru? We have something for everyone!