Although Lima may seem crowded and chaotic at first glance… give this city a chance and you’re bound to see Lima has something for everyone. Enjoy a Light and Water Show, Paraglide over the coastline or spend an afternoon perusing Lima’s museums. These are just some of the things we recommend to pass the time in Lima city…
Keep reading to discover our top ten things to do in Lima, Peru. Whether you’re staying for a day or a week, follow these tips and you’re bound to make the most of your time in this vibrant city!
Top Things To Do In Lima Peru
- Walking Tour
- Plaza de Armas
- Parque de la Reserva Light & Water Show
- Huaca Pucllana
- Sample the Local Cuisine
When it comes to things to do in Lima a walking tour is a great place to start. As with any city, a walking tour will give you an excellent insight into this diverse city through the eyes of a local guide. As you wander the streets of the capital city with your guide you’ll learn about the history of Lima from Pre-Inca times to present day. There are plenty of free tours on offer but if you do opt for a free one it’s a nice idea to tip your guide at the end.
Plaza de Armas
Plaza de Armas is a must-see when visiting Lima. Its architecture is some of the best in all of Peru and gives a sense of Lima’s colonial past. So when listing the best things to do in Peru we couldn’t leave Lima’s historical centre out. Look out for the Government Palace and Lima Cathedral, as well as the Archbishop’s Palace whilst wandering around the square. The wooden balconies are also worth noting as some of the most distinguishable in the world. Needless to say, be sure to have your camera packed for this site as you will find yourself snapping shots on every corner.
Barranco is said to be Lima’s Bohemian Quarter and it’s no wonder why with its abundance of brightly coloured street art, quirky cafes and locally crafted wares on sale. Be sure to check out El Puente de Los Suspiros (The Bridge of Sighs), a small wooden bridge that will take you down to Barranco’s beaches.
Art-lovers, make sure to visit the MATE museum in Barranco which has a wonderful collection of both local and international art and photography.
Barranco’s true colours really come out at night time though, so be sure to make a trip to the neighbourhood in the evening. Restaurants and bars attract both locals and tourists alike with their quirky, laid-back offerings.
Parque de la Reserva Light & Water Show
When we think of things to do in Lima one of the first things that springs to mind is the ‘Magic Water Circuit’ at Parque de la Reserva. Make sure to visit this park at night when it comes alive with a spectacular light and water fountain show. Entry to the show costs just 4 soles (US $1.20) – a small fee to pay for an evening of magnificent entertainment. A word of warning though, you may get wet so be sure to store any electronics/valuables in a waterproof bag.
History enthusiasts don’t have to leave the capital to get a taste of Peru’s ancient history… Right in the heart of Miraflores you can find Huaca Pucllana, an impressive piece of Pre-Inca history that isn’t to be forgotten about when we list our top ten things to do in Lima. The ruins are thought to have been erected in around 500AD and would have been used for spiritual and ceremonial purposes.
If you decide to visit during the evening you will pay less to enter the site and can eat at the restaurant afterwards which overlooks the ruins; a beautiful view – but expect to pay for it!
Sample the Local Cuisine
If you’re visiting South America you probably already know that Peru is a culinary hotspot, and Lima is a great place to start when it comes to sampling the local cuisine.
Ceviche, of course, is a must-try when dining in Lima. Peru’s best known dish consists of just five ingredients: sea bass, marinated for a few minutes in lime juice, salt, onion and not to forget hot chillies, making it one of the healthiest and freshest dishes you will ever have tried. Whether you taste this dish in a high-end restaurant or a local cafe you are sure to want to come back for more.
Sampling a Peruvian cocktail is also an essential part of anyone’s visit to the country. The Pisco Sour is certainly not to be forgotten when it comes to taste testing the best gastronomy this country has to offer. Find yourself a spot in a local bar to sit back and watch the sun-set over the Pacific Ocean whilst enjoying a taste of Peru. Be sure to check out our blog post that goes into detail on some of the very best food in Lima that should try!
Adrenaline junkies fear not, when it comes to things to do in Lima you will not be left disappointed. Paragliding over the Pacific Ocean is the perfect way to take in the awe-inspiring views of Lima’s coastline, as well as satisfying your need to adventure! Be sure to choose a clear day for your paragliding experience to ensure you get the best view over the country’s capital city.
Still seeking out some more adventurous activities after paragliding across the coastline..? Then look no further! Lima’s Costa Verde is an excellent spot for keen surfers to catch some waves. Just south of Barranco, La Herradura is great for those of you who are experienced surfers. Beginners on the other hand be sure to check out Waikiki in Miraflores; here you will find surfing schools to teach you the basics… you may even return from your holiday with a new hobby!
If you want to treat yourself to a wander around high end shops, restaurants and bars be sure to check out Larcomar. Located on the coastline of Miraflores you are sure to be stunned by the amazing panoramic views as you indulge in an up-market meal… Although this may not be a truly traditional cultural experience, we all enjoy splashing out on an evening of luxury whilst on holidays.
Explore Lima’s Historical Museums
If you consider yourself a bit of a ‘culture vulture’ and enjoy a leisurely afternoon wandering around a museum then you won’t run out of things to do in Peru, particularly Lima. If you fancy learning about Peru’s ancient history then ‘Museo Nacional de Arqueologia, Antropología, e Historia del Perú’ is the place for you. Here you’ll learn all there is to know about Peruvian Culture, so it’s a good idea to visit this museum at the start of your Peruvian adventure if you want to get to grips with the history of the country from the offset. If you are thinking about heading to Cusco and you want to see even more fascinating museums be sure to have a read of our blog that reviews the 8 Best Museums that Cusco has to offer!
So there you have it, our top ten things to do in Lima, Peru… I think you’ll all agree that Lima has something to offer for all types of holiday goers. Whether you want to sit back and relax whilst sipping on a pisco sour or catch some waves in the pacific ocean, there’s one thing for sure – you are guaranteed to fall in love with this magnificent place.
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