Planning a trip to Lima, Peru – the ultimate travel guide
Certainly, you’ve come to the perfect place if you’re planning a trip to Lima, Peru. This post will assist you in planning the ideal trip to Lima, Peru. More information about traveling to Machu Picchu, Peru can be found in my post here. How long do you need to spend in Peru? I’ve put together a 4 or 7-day Lima, Peru travel itinerary below. It is entirely up to you how long you intend to spend exploring the city.
For example, Lima is often the first city that travelers visit. Lima, the second largest city in South America, is a melting pot of cultures. Peruvian culture is a blend of indigenous and European traditions. For a long time, I’ve been fascinated with South American civilizations. So, I opted to begin my adventure in Peru, the Incan state’s birthplace.
Also, I began arranging my vacation to Peru on the spur of the moment. Planning a trip to Peru I started by looking for low-cost tickets to Peru. I used the Skyscanner flight search engine as usual. I instantly made an intriguing connection. The first flight was from Madrid to Mexico City, with the second trip connecting Mexico City with Lima. The cost of both flights proved to be quite appealing. I decided to book both and embark on my new journey.
A few weeks before my departure, I began planning a trip to Peru. I started by making a long list of places I wanted to visit then estimating how much time I would need to visit each one. It was successful! I felt like I was getting closer to achieving my new objective.
5 tips on how to find the best hotels in Lima
Flying to Peru for a vacation and looking for a reliable hotel? In this post, I will tell you how to find the best hotels in Lima, the capital of Peru. Finding a good hotel in Lima is not difficult. From my experience, I can write that the hotels in Lima are of a high standard. It all depends on how much you are willing to spend on your stay. Let me write about how I searched for hotels in Lima until I finally chose one. When choosing a hotel, I looked at the price and the location of the hotel. The location of the hotel is very important here. Here we can ask ourselves if Lima, Peru is safe. I spent an equal month in Peru. Below, I have gathered some important information about safety in Lima, Peru.
Lima Peru safety
In writing the following paragraph, I do not mean to scare you. Is Lima Peru safe? Traveling in Peru is relatively safe. I would like to emphasize here that poverty is a serious problem in many places in Peru. Peru is known for petty crime, which you may also experience as a tourist. When choosing a hotel, you should consider not only the price but also the location. The specificity of Lima is that there are places that are very safe as well as places that you should avoid as a tourist. Among these less safe places is the city center. I am thinking especially of the area around the Cathedral of Lima. You have to be especially careful there.
In fact, I experienced the theft of my gear close to Miraflores. When I was approaching a pedestrian crossing in the area mentioned above, a motorcyclist came very close to me and snatched my backpack from my shoulder. I lost my smartphone and camera gear, which were my work tools. I accumulated a large number of photos and videos on it over the course of a month. Some of them will never be recovered. So, I warn you, under no circumstances should you take your phone out of your pocket while in Lima.
Best hotels in Lima Peru
Particularly, I have asked myself many times what hotel in Lima would be best for me. I started looking for a hotel in the neighborhoods of San Isidro and Miraflores. These are very safe neighborhoods where the best hotels in Lima are located. It convinced me from the very beginning that I was looking at a good place. There you will find most of the famous and reputable 5-star hotels in Lima, Peru. Luxury hotels in Lima are mostly located in the two districts mentioned above. I chose Hotel Casa Andina Premium located in San Isidro.
It was late in the evening. The private driver picked me up from the Lima airport and took me to the Hotel Casa Andina Premium San Isidro. The trip from the airport to the hotel took about 45 minutes. In addition to this, everything went very smoothly. I received a very warm welcome from the hotel staff. This was just the beginning and I was very pleasantly surprised by the level of service at the hotel. Finally, I received a card for a room on the 14th floor. When I opened the door to the room my eyes saw an amazing view of Lima. Most importantly, a really comfy bed awaited me. This is how my first day in Lima ended.
La Plaza Bar and Grill Lima
Moreover, in the morning, I woke up full of energy. To my eyes, it was a view of Lima from the window, this time during the day. I knew it would be a very interesting stay. I didn’t have much time because breakfast waiting for me at the hotel restaurant. The staff at the hotel restaurant, La Plaza Bar and Grill Lima, was very kind and helpful. I started looking through the menu and wondered what to choose for breakfast.
Firstly, I started the first day of my stay with pancakes. Later, I tried the local fruits. Some were completely unknown to me. After breakfast, even more full of energy, I went into action. I grabbed my camera and went to the top floor of the hotel, where there is a terrace with a swimming pool. There, I spent several hours taking pictures and searching for ideas for my ebook about ‘How to travel cheaper, smarter, and safer’. You can find the ebook clicking HERE.
Lima Peru attractions
Later, I set off into the city. I planned this day to explore Lima’s attractions. Is Lima worth visiting? Of course, by all means! Lima is worth a visit. The city is inhabited by about 30 million people. In Lima, you will find the best restaurants and amazing flavors. What makes this city unique are the places. Miraflores in Lima is one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in the world. This is the place where you will meet the ocean and you can admire the one-of-a-kind Lima rocks. Make a point of visiting Lima’s Parque del Amor while you’re in the area.
When I returned to the hotel, I was always greeted by staff who made sure my stay was the best. When I asked a lot of questions, everyone answered. However, the hotel staff repeatedly told me to make myself at home. It was the best experience I’ve had on the South American continent.
The hotel room had everything I needed. Drinks and snacks, a spacious closet, an iron, and fresh towels are all available. The staff took care of me 100% to make my stay memorable. Finally, I must write that they have completed the task. I am very impressed and grateful for the highest level of service and hospitality. Because of this, I would highly recommend Casa Andina Premium San Isidro.
However, my stay at Casa Andina Premium San Isidro was very active for 2 consecutive days. I worked and used the amenities of the hotel like the pool and terrace. Especially, I would recommend Hotel Casa Andina Premium San Isidro to solo travelers and traveling couples. This is one of the best hotels in Lima.
Casa Andina Premium Miraflores
Finally, after 3 days, my stay at the hotel ended. I made another reservation at the same chain hotel, Casa Andina Premium Miraflores, less than 5 km away. This allowed me to get to know the Miraflores and Barranco neighborhoods better. I also focused more on tourism in Lima and exploring less touristy places.
As a result, a private driver picked me up from the first hotel. After a few minutes I was already there. Just like at the beginning, I received a friendly welcome. The staff at the Casa Andina Premium Miraflores Hotel guarantees the highest level of service and hospitality. I was given all the details of my stay and given an introduction to the hotel. This time I ended up in a suite, also on the 14th floor with an amazing view of the city, the heart of Lima.
It was a much larger room than the first hotel. That is the only difference I noticed. I felt very relaxed and was able to enjoy the view of Lima from the bed. This made the stay amazing. I used the pool on the 3rd floor in the afternoons and evenings. It was a unique place, perfectly arranged with greenery in pots.
Finally, my experience with both hotels is the best. If you are looking for an affordable hotel, in a safe neighborhood, I recommend them both. These were the two main factors I looked at before booking.
What to visit in Lima?
Explore Lima now! Lima district offers tourists many places to discover. Unfortunately, this city is wrongly very often overlooked when planning tourist trips. Thanks to this post, you will see that it is worth visiting Lima. Peru’s capital city offers outstanding attractions, impressions, and colors combined with excellent food tastes.
Plaza de Armas de Lima
For instance, I began my tour of Peru’s capital, Plaza de Armas, in the city’s heart. Lima’s epicenter is the Plaza de Armas, formerly known as Plaza Mayor. Discover the most important information about Lima’s Plaza de Armas! It was originally the pre-Hispanic town of Lima’s square, wherein 1535, Peru’s conqueror, Don Francisco Pizarro, established a new capital city for our country, which he named “Ciudad de Los Reyes” (City of the Kings). The Government Palace, which serves as the president’s office and residence, the Municipal Palace, the Archbishop’s Palace, and the magnificent Cathedral of Lima, among other structures, all combine to create one of Latin America’s most beautiful spaces.
Cathedral of Lima
The Cathedral of Lima is the city’s most distinctive and well-known structure. When was the cathedral in Lima constructed? The work began in 1535 and finished in 1649. The best religious art museum in the country is inside the cathedral of Lima. The basilica holds the grave of Francisco Pizarro, a Spanish adventurer. The cathedral is home to the most famous catacombs in Lima. Until 1807, there were no cemeteries. They buried people in church cellars. Burial rights were cheaper at Iglesia, San Francisco.
In Lima, Barranco is my favorite district. Is it safe to visit Barranco Lima? Barranco is as safe as Miraflores for the most part. It’s one of those strangely contradictory places that defies classification. After a few days in Lima, Peru’s capital, I’d call it “the colorful city.” Because of its impressive exterior and constant energy, both indoors and out, in the streets and parks. Barranco is Lima’s most bohemian and youthful neighborhood. Without a doubt, a fantastic choice for anyone looking to have a good time while in the city. Barranco has many companies with distinctive designs that will appeal to you. In case if you’re seeking unique garments, accessories, and ornaments,
In addition, Barranco is also home to the well-known Mario Testino museum, where you will find an unparalleled collection of his photographs. One of the main characteristics of the Barranco district is that when walking through several of its streets you will find beautiful graffiti and murals made by urban artists. One of the starting points to see the street art is the bajada de Los baños. And if you are looking for fun, the bars in Barranco will make you spend an unforgettable night. Full of good music, charismatic people, and Peruvian cocktails. In San Martin Avenue you will find several bars, one of the best known is Ayahuasca Bar.
Food in Peru
On the other hand, trying Peruvian gastronomy is a must during your trip to Lima. Therefore I recommend you to go to restaurants that have those representative dishes of Peruvian gastronomy. One of them is Central Restaurant located at Av. Pedro de Osma 301, Barranco.
Surely, the favorite activity for many people in Barranco is to take a relaxing walk along the parkway to watch the sunset. Ride a bike, read a book, listen to music, and all this with a privileged view of the sea.
Casa de Aliaga
One block from the plaza is the oldest colonial mansion in Lima (early 16th century). The name is Jeronimo de Aliaga, comrade-in-arms of Francisco Pizarro. He had his house built on land donated by the latter. His descendants still live there today, and we can visit the house, but only with prior reservation.
The balconies of Lima
Many balconies they built during the Viceroyalty of Peru’s reign and the Republic’s reign. Lima’s balconies have become a symbol of the city’s architecture. There have been a few examples that have stood the test of time. Some people have benefited from a restoration effort that began in the late 1990s.
The Plaza Mayor has some excellent examples but there are two buildings from the Viceroyalty period that I think are worth seeing:
Tagle Palacio de Torre: The Palace of the Marquis of Torre Tagle is two blocks from the Plaza Mayor. It is worth seeing its facade, in the Andalusian Baroque style. Significantly the two magnificent wooden balconies are typical of Lima. In the Moorish style, in carved cedar and marble.
During the time of the Viceroyalty of Peru and the time of the Republic, they built many balconies. Balconies became an architectural symbol of Lima. There are a few examples that have survived the weight of time. Some have benefited from a restoration, launched in the late 90s.
You will see some fine examples in the Plaza Mayor, but there are two buildings built during the Viceroyalty era that I think are worth a look at:
Palacio de Torre Tagle: Two blocks from the Plaza Mayor is the Palace of the Marquis of Torre Tagle. It is worth a view at its facade, in the Andalusian Baroque style, particularly its two magnificent wooden balconies typical of Lima In the Moorish style, in carved cedar and mahogany. Address: Jiron Ucayali 363, Lima. Open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Casa de Osambela: next to the Santo Domingo Convent, this house, also called Casa de Oquendo, is one of the largest of its time. The house of a pretty light blue belonged to a rich merchant on the top floor. He had a view of the Pacific Ocean. To be able to observe his ships approaching the port of Callao. I remember seeing this viewpoint with a guide. But in recent years it seems that access has been restricted. What is certain is that its neoclassical façade with rococo influences (with 5 balconies!) is worth the detour. Address: County of Superunda 298, Lima.
Church and Convent of Santo Domingo
Santo Domingo does not go unnoticed and is a little gem to visit in Lima. Built from the 16th century on land donated by Pizarro to the Dominican brother Vicente de Valverde, it is still one of the most important religious complexes in the capital.
There are the relics of San Martin de Porres and Santa Rosa de Lima, two local Catholic figures.
The building is beautiful, but my favorite is its interior garden: an oasis of peace!
Address: corner of Jiron Conde Superunda and Jiron Camana, Lima
Basilica and Monastery of Saint Francis of Assisi
Another must-see in Lima is San Francisco, one of the city’s most beautiful historical buildings. We are free to explore the church, but I also encourage a visit to the San Francisco monastery. It is one of my favorite visits to the historic district. The guide takes us on a tour of the building, which is still partially occupied by monks. We may see the refectory between paintings from the Cuzco School and the Lima School, where there are 15 compositions, including the most notable piece of the establishment. Diego de la Puente’s rendition of the Last Supper in Peruvian (17th century). That’s quite unusual!
The library houses over 25,000 books. The oldest of which is from the 15th century.
Address: Plazuela San Francisco, corner Jiron Ancash, and Jiron Lampa, Lima. Entrance to the convent 15 soles with a guided tour included (and mandatory) Spanish or English. Web site
And if you have a sweet tooth, I recommend you stop by Churros San Francisco (Jirón Lampa 268, Lima, open from 1 pm to 9:30 pm), freshly made before your eyes. These are the best churros in Lima!
Place San Martin
Another important place of interest in Lima is the square they built at the beginning of the 20th century, in honor of Jose de San Marti one of the significant figures of the Independence of Peru. It is recognizable by the statue of San Martin on his horse and the white buildings. Take the long pedestrian street Jiron de la Union to get there from de Plaza de Armas. Make a stop at the Church of La Merced, built in the early 17th century. This is a beautiful church with Panamanian granite and baroque-style columns.
On Plaza San Martin, you can take a tour of the Gran Hotel Bolivar, an imposing building from the 1920s, to taste their pisco sour or see the impressive lobby with a Ford T.
The Andres del Castillo Mineral Museum is just a few steps from the square if you enjoy unusual places. The Casa Belen is a beautifully restored house that houses Peru’s largest mineral collection. The collection of phosphorescent minerals in the special room. Dedicated to them is not to be missed. A hidden gem that only a few people are aware of!
Jirón de la Unión, Lima, 1030, entrance ten soles.
Lima’s Chinese district lies in the borough of Barrios Altos, just near the historic center. 2 million Chinese ancestries living in Peru, primarily in Lima, making it the world’s seventh-largest Chinese community outside of China! Nonetheless, the “barrio chino” is not large and is centered on a single street, Calle Capon. Apart from the little shops and roaming around, many eat chifa, a Chinese (most Cantonese), and Peruvian fusion dish. Lima’s Chinese district lies in the borough of Barrios Altos, just near the historic center.
Mercado Central Lima
Mercado Central Lima, a massive market that spans an entire block, is located adjacent to Lima’s Chinatown. It’s a chaotic universe.In addition, we can find food in the main building, including fruits and vegetables, various meats, fish and shellfish, spices, and so on, as well as kiosks that create delicacies to eat on the spot at affordable prices. The streets surrounding this structure are lined with galleries selling everything from clothing to automobile and kitchen equipment, shoes, laptops, books, school supplies, technological things, and even animals! It’s always crowded (so watch your belongings), but it’s an experience I recommend if you’re in Lima’s central area. It’s hard to get any more local than this!
At the entrance of the historic center is the Lima Art Museum in a beautiful building in the Parque de la Exposicion, built for the Lima International Exposition in 1872. It houses an enormous collection of Peruvian art, covering 3,000 years of history through 9 rooms, from pre-Columbian cultures to the modern era (ceramics, textiles, furniture, paintings, etc.), in addition to temporary exhibitions of national and international artists. I recommend paying a visit to Cafe MALI, one of the good (and rare) options for a coffee or a bite to eat in the historic district.
Parque de la Exposición, Paseo Colon 125, Lima. Hours of operation: Tue-Sun 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Sat 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 30 soles.
Magical Water Circuit
The “Magic Water Circuit” is a complex of 13 fountains located in the Parque de la Reserva.
As soon as you get there, you can hear the children screaming with joy. It is mostly families who come to walk and pass through the fountains hoping not to get too wet.
But there are also many young lovers, especially when night falls and the fountains light up.
You should not miss the show at the “Fuente de Fantasia” (7:15, 8:15, and 9:30 pm): a game of lasers and images of Peruvian regional dances on 120m of water jets, accompanied by typical music. A must-see!
Address: Jiron Madre de Dios, Lima. Tue-Sun 3pm-10:30pm.
It is also possible to book a tour that will take you to see the show, with a French-speaking guide and transfer from your hotel in Miraflores.
Kennedy Park in Lima is the neighborhood’s principal park and the heart of Miraflores.
Shops, cafes, and major thoroughfares such Avenida Diagonal, Avenida Jose Larco, and Avenida Jose Pardo surround it. It’s impossible to avoid getting there!
Lima isn’t particularly large, but it does have a lovely church, the Parroquia de la Virgen Milagrosa, as well as street cuisines such as churros, sandwiches, Arroz with Leche, and picarones (sweet potato and pumpkin fritters). Try the picaroons, which are some of Lima’s best, and split them because the portions are generous. In Lima, it’s a good idea! Check out the Nuevo Mundo Bar in front of the park if you enjoy craft beer (Calle Manuel Bonilla 103, Miraflores, Lima). It’s one of them.
Parque del amor
This small park dedicated to love on the Malecon attracts families and lovers. Parque del Amor in Lima is easily recognizable with its statue “El Beso” by the sculptor Victor Delfin and its colorful Gaudi-style benches with love quotes.
It is without a doubt one of the most photographed places in Lima, and no need to mention that the park is crowded on February 14th for Valentine’s Day!
Larcomar, a three-story shopping mall carved right into the cliff face of the Pacific Ocean, is located on the Malecon, at the intersection of Avenida Larco. There are shops, a theater, a bookstore, many restaurants with terraces, and a free art gallery (Sala de Arte Moderno -SAM) that hosts fascinating shows regularly. There is an information kiosk and bicycles to rent near the Larcomar gate for a ride along the Costa Verde.
Catacombs in Basilica of San Francisco Lima
Dive into the depths, exploring the catacombs of the Basilica of San Francisco, is a must-do during your visit. The catacombs are a few meters below ground level, beneath the basilica’s cloister. Experts estimate that 70,000 persons are buried in this ossuary. The majority of them are clergy and municipal notables. The catacombs of San Francisco are an attraction in and of themselves. With their walls and shafts covered in bones piled on top of each other.
Huaca Pucllana, this 1600-year-old pre-Columbian site is located in the middle of Miraflores and yet few travelers know about it.
Indeed, one would not expect to find a pyramid in the middle of a residential area, and that is probably why its excavation began only thirty years ago.
It was a great religious and administrative center where 4 civilizations succeeded one another: Yschma, Lima, Wari, and Inca. The guided tour presents the different structures and ceremonial practices (sacrifices, mummies) of each culture.
On-site there is also a vegetable garden, llamas, and alpacas, as well as a restaurant with a beautiful terrace that offers a breathtaking view of the pyramid. At night, when it is illuminated, it is well worth a look!
Address: Calle General Borgoño 8, Miraflores, Lima. Daytime guided tour 15 soles, Wed-Mon 9 am to 5 pm; nighttime guided tour 17 soles, Wed-Sun 7 pm to 10 pm.
Are you planning a trip right now?
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