Lima, founded in 1535 by Francisco Pizarro, is a treasure trove of history with plenty on offer to satisfy every keen traveler’s appetite. Be it surfing, the colonial style architecture, nightlife, or world-class food, this Peruvian gem really does have something in store for everyone.
What’s more? With a climate that ranges from tropical lush to “freeze your face off” in the Andes, Lima also packs a whole lot of diversity between its sea-level elevation beaches and the 22,000+ foot top of the nation’s tallest mountain, Huascaran.
But first, before we touch on places you should visit and things you should do Lima, Peru, here are several interesting facts about the city.
As you may know, the best way to truly enjoy a location is through the eyes of a native, and Lima is no exception. Join the city’s free walking tours and learn about the history and culture that resulted in the present-day Lima.
Tours depart every day from the Tourist Information center in Miraflores. These one-day tours will take you through the ancient center of Lima, where you’ll see the most famous spots in the city. Most importantly, the guide will explain, comprehensively, the history of each of those attractions.
Circuito Magico Del Agua is one of the most beautiful fountain parks I have ever seen in my life. It is a great place to visit during the day, but during the night, the site turns truly magical. The fountain lights up, resulting in a truly remarkable sight.
Picture by Ryan Somma
Do you fancy discovering an exclusive desert oasis? Or would you like to check out the “Poor Man’s Galapagos in Peru” filled with penguins and sea lions? Then take a brief round trip from Lima to Huacachina and Paracas.
These trips take 1 to 3 days and are amazing ways to see and do a lot while relaxing on the all-year-round sunlight that exists south of Lima.
This district is, without a doubt, among the coolest destinations in Lima and the picture-perfect escape from Miraflores for several hours. Barranco boasts a booming art scene and a great historical architecture.
At night, the district transforms into the City’s party district with themed alternative bars and great restaurants for foreigners and Peruvians alike. While here, ensure you check out Puente de Los Suspiros. This bridge is situated in the main part of Barranco, where it connects two main streets. It is said that if you cross the bridge whilst holding your breath, your wishes will be granted.
Remember the 80+ Kilometers coastline we talked about earlier? Paragliding is the best way to have a bird’s eye view of the entire thing. It is not as scary as it sounds.
Paragliding by this coast is also the perfect day activity if you want to catch the urban buildings, ocean, and green areas of Lima’s coast with a 360° view.
Lima, Peru also has something for adventure and wildlife lovers. What better way to spend your vacation than by swimming with Humboldt penguins, spying birds, and sea lions? Palomino’s Islands are also home to large colonies of seabirds.
Located in Miraflores, Larcomar is a shopping center and arguably the most famous attraction travelers visit when in the city. This is the perfect place to spend your afternoons shopping for some amazing Souvenirs and Peruvian Gifts to carry home.
How often do you hear someone tell you they had a chance to explore a pyramid constructed around 400 AD? Not often, I presume. But when you visit Lima, you could be easily transported the past at the Huana Pucllana ruins, where tourists from all around the world immerse themselves in ancient civilizations.
Lima is, without a doubt, the unofficial gastronomical capital of South America. The Capital even boasts world-class chefs, such as Virgilio Martinez and Gaston Acurio. The first meal that is a “must try” in the city is Ceviche.
There are lots of traditional Peruvian Dishes to try, but no one can say they’ve had fun in Peru if they did not try some Ceviche in Lima.
In addition, you can enjoy the city’s cuisine at a bustling market, the fishing docks in Chorrillos, or at a fine dining restaurant at Miraflores. The options list is endless.
Surfers would be pleased to know Lima boasts some of the best waves in the world. Longboarders can head down to Playa Wakiki, whereas short boarders can check out Punta Roquitas with its punchy crossed up sections.
Both sites are only a short walk from Miraflores.
Check these tour ideas
Lima and Machu Picchu Tour
The Incas Trail Tour
Machu Picchu and Amazon Rainforest tour
The Jewels of Peru Tour