Top Things to do in Lima, Peru

by | May 6, 2020 | new, peru

Lima, the capital of Peru, is a thriving metropolis that is home to more than 10 million Peruvians. Situated along the coast of the Pacific Ocean, Lima offers a little bit of everything to its visitors such as an explosive culinary scene, seaside activities, and deep dives into Peru’s history. Many day trips for the surrounding area are based out of Lima as well, making it an excellent home base while exploring Peru. 

Almost every trip to Peru includes some sort of stopover in Lima as the airport located there is a major hub for international flights. Whether you can escape the airport for just a few hours or if you can fit a few days into your schedule, you will not want to miss out on these top things to do while in Lima! 

Treat Yourself with Peruvian Food

Lima is considered to be the culinary capital of Peru, and possibly even all of South America. From food carts to 5-star restaurants, there is no limit to the unique dishes available in all sorts of different atmospheres. With its close proximity to the ocean, the seafood market here triumphs above all else, with signature dishes like ceviche and salmon. Wherever you decide to dine, just eat as much as you can! 

Also Read: 8 Must-try foods in Peru (and where to try)

featured image - must try foods in Peru
PERUVIAN CEVICHE SEBICHE. Peruvian seafood and fish sebiche with maize © Larisa Blinova / 123rf

Stroll Around Miraflores District

Considered to be the hip, up-and-coming neighborhood in Lima, Miraflores is the place to go if you are limited on time while in Lima. This glitzy, upscale neighborhood is set right along the towering cliffs beside the Pacific Ocean. Enjoy the outdoors by strolling the Malecon and relaxing in one of the neighborhood’s many parks while doing some shopping at the street markets and watching the street performers. 

cliffside Miraflores
Cliffside Miraflores, Lima Peru © saddlesaw2 / Flickr

Stroll along the Malecon

The city of Lima sits atop colossal cliffs that overlook the coast and ocean beyond. A several kilometer promenade is situated at the edge of this cliff, known as the Malecon. You can either walk or bike from one end to the other, taking in the view, the street performances, and the different parks and artwork along the way. This is a great free option for something to do when visiting the Miraflores District where you can get in some great people watching as well! 

Entrance fee: Free

Hours: Open All Day

malecon promenade
Parque del Amor, Malecón Cisneros, Miraflores © Art DiNo / Flickr

Visit Huaca Pucllana

One of the major attractions in Lima that dates back to the 5th century is the Huaca Pucllana ruins. The Lima people were the indigenous group that settled the Lima area during that time period built this massive complex made entirely of hand-made adobe bricks. Visitors can walk the complex with an educated guide to hear the history and importance of the ruins and how they relate to Peru’s history overall. Stop by for a bite to eat on your out at the cafe located within the property. 

Entrance fee: $3

Hours: Every day except Tuesdays from 9:00 to 17:00 and again from 19:00 to 21:00. 

Also Read: Complete Guide for Hiking the Inca Trail

image showing the ruins of Huaca Pucllana, lima
Huaca Pucllana © Munir Squires / Flickr

Have a walk in the Kennedy Park

Dedicated to the American President John F. Kennedy, this impressive park is located in the center of the Miraflores District and is a major hub for activity. Roam through the different sections as you listen to music, watch art creations in progress, and even participate in local salsa dance lessons! Interact and become one with the locals as you escape the hustle and bustle of Lima in this little slice of paradise. You might even see a cat or two since the park is also home to over 100 stray cats.

Entrance fee: Free

Hours: Open All Day

image showing the k=Kennedy park Lima
Kennedy Park, Lima © Marie Thérèse Hébert & Jean Robert Thibault / Flickr

Plaza de Armas

This UNESCO World Heritage Site was established in 1535 and is the epicenter for activity within the Lima city limits. Stunning architecture surrounds the open central plaza, with the focal points being the Government Palace, the Cathedral of Lima, and Casa del Odor. These buildings hold historical significance and structural beauty as many people gather here for events and pictures. Try to visit during the day, as the neighborhood becomes less sage during the evening and night time. 

Entrance Fee: Free

Hours: Open All Day

image showing Royal Guard building, Plaza de Armas, Lima, Peru
Guardia Real, Plaza de Armas, Lima, Perú © Diego Delso / Wikimedia Commons

Shop at Larcomar

Make a stop by the Larcomar, the only mall in the entire world that is built into the side of a cliff. Located in the Miraflores District, the cliffs that overlook the Pacific Ocean offered the perfect spot for a unique shopping experience. Inside, there are plenty of restaurants and shopping venues to take up a few hours while in Lima. Even if you don’t want to spend any money, it is still a beautiful place to visit and awe at the architectural genius behind it all. 

Entrance Fee: Free

Hours: Every day from 10:00 to 20:00

Spend evening at Magic Water Circuit

This impressive structure is in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest water fountain complex in the world! Created in 2007, it is made up of 13 different illuminated fountains that run continually throughout the day. However, each evening, they “perform” a choreographed production of water, lasers, and music that is not to be missed when visiting Lima. 

Entrance Fee: $1.50

Hours: Wednesday through Sunday from 15:00 to 22:00. The water show is at 19:15, 20:15 and 21:30. 

fountain show at Magic Water circuit lima
The Magic Water Circuit / Parque de la Reserva © Ryan Somma / Flickr

Visit Larco Museum

If you are interested in learning about the history of Peru, the Larco Museum is the place to go! Housed inside of an old Spanish colonial house, the museum has an incredible collection of Pre-Columbian artifacts dating back centuries. These treasures include ceramics, tools, and art that have all been excellently preserved by the museum curators. 

Entrance Fee: $10 for adults

Hours: Every day from 9:00 to 22:00 

Also Read: The 9 Most Beautiful Places to Visit in Peru

Walk around Barranco District

The Barranco District of Lima has a bohemian, hipster flair to it. Vibrant street art decorates every corner of these streets that are lined with colorful buildings. Follow your nose to a variety of unique dining experiences before shopping for one-of-a-kind souvenirs and trinkets at all of the local markets! 

street art at Barranco street Lima
Barranco street art © McKay Savage / Flickr

Featured Image: Basílica Catedral Metropolitana de Lima © Rodolfo pimentel / Wikimedia Commons

<a href="" target="_blank">Laura McIntire</a> | Writer

Laura McIntire | Writer


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