Lima is the capital and largest city of Peru in South America where it has a population of 10 million. There are currently a total of 32 million who live in the country. Many travelers who arrive here, quickly leave Cuzco to visit Machu Picchu, one of the seven wonders of the world. However, Lima has quite a lot to offer that many travelers fail to research or underestimate.
Those who arrive at the Lima airport take a taxi, Quickllama or the Airport Express, a comfortable bus service that takes about 45 minutes to an hour to reach Miraflores, one of the upscale and touristic districts in the city. The service costs 8 USD or 25 soles, which you can pay online or at one of their counters at the airport. It’s really easy to get around on foot in Lima as there are many pedestrian paths that line the coast. If you feel like traveling longer distances Ubers here are quite safe and affordable but know that traffic here is a pain and the driving here is unlike anything you will witness so be warned.
Places to Stay
The top areas for tourists to stay in are in the following districts: San Isidro, Miraflores, and Barrancos. If this is your first time visiting the city it is highly recommended to stay in the Miraflores area around Kennedy Park or Ocean coast as you will be closer to tourist attractions and sights. Barrancos comes second, as it has it’s own tourist attractions along with the perks of being close to the beach and having an ocean view. San Isidro would be my last choice as it’s not close to any tourist attractions but it does have local essentials such as restaurants, supermarket stores, and cafe shops apart from being safe with more police and vigilantes patrolling the area.
Lima is the gastronomic capital in the Americas where it is the only city to have 2 restaurants in the top 10 of the World’s greatest 50 restaurants, Central and Maido. Ceviche is Peru’s national dish and it’s made from salt, garlic, onions, hot Peruvian peppers, and raw fish that’s all marinated in lime. There are many traditional Peruvian dishes apart from Ceviche that must be tried, such as Lomo Saltado, Pollo a la Brasa, Papa a la Huacaina and the list goes on.
There are several things to do in this city that I will only list the top 4 places/activities you should consider visiting/doing.
- Biking the Coast – The Miraflores & Barrancos boardwalk runs parallel to the Pacific Ocean, providing you miles of stunning views. Rent a bike from one of the many rental companies and enjoy a bike ride up and down the coast.
- Plaza de Armas – Visit the birthplace of the city of Lima located in the Historic Centre of Lima. It is surrounded by the Government Palace, the Cathedral of Lima, Archbishop’s Palace of Lima, the Municipal Palace, and the Palace of the Union.
- Circuito Mágico del Agua – Is a huge park with unique water fountains & decorations. Beginning at 7:15 PM they have a night light show where a projector shoots a 10-15 minute video clip against the rising water. Admission is only 4 soles per person.
- Puente De Suspiros – In the district of Barrancos there is a nice area that is home to several graffiti paintings surrounded by colorful architectural buildings giving that hipster vibe. There is also a bridge called Puente De Suspirtos (Bridge of Sighs) where it grants you one wish where you have to hold your breath while crossing it.
- Avoid using local taxis. Some try to scam travelers or in some cases rob them. It is recommended to use Uber/Beat or have your hotel call a reputable taxi service.
- Try to avoid bringing credit cards or other valuables out at night.
- Be aware of pickpockets outside of the Miraflores/San Isidro/Barrancos area.
- Lima City Center at night can be dangerous. Be careful, only day trips are recommended and try not to go alone.
- Taxis inside the airport are safer but a lot more expensive, I recommend Quickllama or Gringo Taxis.
- Be careful using ATM machines and avoid using them at night if possible.
This guide will continue to be updated so, stay tuned for more! In the meantime, you can read 12 Things You Should Know Before Visiting Lima, Peru.