Top Ten things to do in Lima, Peru

by on 15th November, 2012

Lima: Top 10 things to do

Check our Top Ten things to do in Peru’s vibrant capital city – Lima.

Here are our Top 10 ideas from our office staff here in Scotland and from our Peruvian friends, on the ground.

Enjoy them and let us know if you have any to add…..(we added three more!)

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1.   Museo Metropolitano de Lima

This newly opened museum is all about the history of Lima and is an excellent museum to visit with children (over age 12).  The history of the city is depicted from prehistoric times until the present day through a series of exhibits that feature holographs, 3 and 4-D movies, and photographs. Visitors enter in small group with a guide. The visit takes nearly 2 hours. If you have to wait you can grab a fruit juice or coffee in the garden.


2.   Museo Larco Herrera in Pueblo Libre

This is a fascinating museum of artefacts depicting the history of Peru from pre-Inca times through the Spanish rule. It is best known for its mind boggling erotic ceramics collection of the pre-Inca Moche culture. It is open until 22:00hrs, and has an excellent gourmet restaurant in the grounds.


Statue Miraflores Lima

Beso – the kiss – Lima


3.   Plaza de Armas and Iglesia San Francisco and its catacoombs

The centre of Lima has been done up in the last few years and really warrants a visit. Take a stroll around the main square to see the Palacio del Gobierno, the cathedral and the Archbishop’s palace. The San Fransisco church a couple of blocks from the main square dates from the 16th century and has a series of underground crypts that served as Lima’s main cemetery for main years. It is believed 25,000 people are buried here.


4.   Circuito Magico del Agua (Wednesday to Sunday)

This is a large water park, with 13 fountains, excellent for both adults and children – take spare clothes and a jacket, you’ll inevitably get a soaking. It’s open in the evenings too. Take a taxi and wander at leisure, the fountains are all lit up and some have a colourful laser light show complete with music and projected images of dances and of moving landscapes.


5.   Castillo del Real Felipe in Callao

This is the most important example of colonial military architecture in Spanish America. It was built to defend the capital of sieges by pirates and corsairs during the times of the Viceroy Count of Superunda. Callao is Lima’s busy port.


6.      Visit to Barranco at night

This coastal bohemian neighbourhood, adjoining Miraflores, is buzzing with nightlife. See (& join in) how Peruvians really party, until the small hours. And by day take a gentle stroll through the wide avenues admiring the colonial houses and gardens and some small quirky art galleries.


Barranco, Lima


7.      Asociación Mario Testino exhibition

The Peruvian photographer Mario Testino has recently opened a permanent exhibition of his work and established  “MATE”, the Asociación Mario Testino, a not-for-profit cultural organisation in the district of Barranco.


8.   Shopping or people watching at Larco Mar

Lima has several large modern shopping centres – I am not usually a shopper but enjoy a visit to Larco Mar. Larco Mar is acccessible, lying right in the heart of Miraflores – close to most hotels – and overlooking the Pacific.

It has a number of cinemas, cafes (with decent coffee), restaurants and a few interesting shops so is a pleasant place for people watching – well away from the chaos and traffic of the busy streets and markets.


9.   For foodies

Peruvian cuisine, as yet fairly little-known in the English speaking world, is justly famous throughout Latin America.

If you enjoy learning about and eating good food  then Peru (and particularly Lima) is the perfect destination. Whilst in Lima do take the opportunity to taste food prepared by internationally renowned chefs like Gastón Acurio, Javier Wong, Mitsuharu Tsumura and Rafael Osterling.

There are other less known chefs such as Pedro Miguel Schiaffino who has a reastaurnat “Malabar” in San Isidro. He is a specialist in produce from the Amazon – exotic fruit and Amazon river fish.
The influence of the great chefs is spreading – if you do visit Pachacamac try the gourmet delights at Gloria del Campo or la Casa de Don Cucho set amidst beautiful colonial gardens.

Lima’s fresh produce markets are worth wandering around too – to see some of the vast array of produce from this amazingly bio-diverse country.


10.   Cycle tours of Lima

Take a bike tour of the city or rent a bike and ride – off road – from Cieneguilla to Pachacamac. This 40 km ride take you through agricultural land, giving a good insight to the local way of life.


huaca pucllana lima peru

Huaca Pucllana, Lima, Peru


So ends the Top 10 – but here are some more!


11.   Night Life in Lima

The “in” places to go for night life of course change frequently but the classics that are always popular include Peña La Candelaria in Barranco and Brisas del Titicaca in the centre of Lima.


12.    Paragliding in Lima

From the Parque del Amor in the heart of Miraflores or from Pachacamac is popular. We haven’t done, it but it looks amazing!


13. Beaches

Peru is not well known for its beaches, but during summer months Limenos flock to the coast, north and south of the capital to soak up the sun’s rays, to surf and to eat sea-food. There ia a big choice of nearby beaches. The undertow is strong on the Pacific coast so most beaches are not safe for swimming, but some are. There is public transport out of the city too. Check with us to find out where is good and how to get there.

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