Marinera Dancers in Front of the Basilica Cathedral in Lima, Peru
Lima, Peru
Home/Inspiration/Classics/Top 5 Essential Things to Do in Lima, Peru

Top 5 Essential Things to Do in Lima, Peru

4 min read
Published on Jul 30, 2016
Don Forster
By Don ForsterTrade Training Manager

If you are planning a Peru vacation, a visit to Lima is a must! Once a gateway for gold leaving the new world to Spain, Lima is now a modern gateway to Machu Picchu, the Amazon, and Peru’s other gems. Lima, Peru’s ocean-side capital city, houses two thirds of the country’s population, and its colonial-era splendour and thriving culinary scene is making waves across the globe. Lima was the seat of Spanish rule for 300 years, and its colonial churches, cloisters, and monasteries are well worth a visit. Its sights are mesmerizing and its tastes are unforgettable. Here are five experiences to consider for visit to Lima on your Peru tour:

Lima's Old Town

The Spanish colonial town of Lima was founded in 1535 by Francisco Pizarro, a Spanish conquistador. Peru’s historic centre has charming colonial architecture and historical sites. The basilica and convent of San Francisco is an example of the Spanish Baroque architecture in South America. Explore the Old Town and see the stunning Plaza de Armas de San Martin, Presidential Palace, Museum of the Spanish Inquisition, and the Catacombs in the Church of San Francisco.

San Martin Square at Night, Lima, Peru_
San Martin Square at night


Miraflores is one of Lima's most upscale districts, combining traditional and trendy influences with a special charm and flair. It's a perfect place to go shopping, have a good meal, relax in a nice café, party in one of the many bars, clubs, and discotheques, savour the cultural life, and enjoy your time, while on your Peru vacation. A five-minute walk will take you to a cliff and a great ocean view, where you can go paragliding or enjoy a picnic. Take the afternoon to explore, and stroll along Calle Alcanfores, a district which runs through Miraflores. You'll find stores selling everything from hand-carved wooden masks to silver jewelry. Explore the treasures of Miraflores on a guided urban bike tour and explore the neighborhood’s beautiful parks, wide sidewalks, and charming one-way streets.

Culinary Treasures 

Lima is currently the hottest culinary destination in South America, and possibly the world. With annual gastronomy festivals and internationally renowned chefs such as Gastón Acurio and Ferran Adriá, Lima has earned its reputation for being a world-class destination for culinary travel. Great food can be found at places such as Rosa Nautica, Museo Larco Cafe Restaurant, Puku Puku Café, Lima 27, and Huaca Pucllana. If you are fond of seafood, make a visit to one of the capital's top cevicherias. From ceviche (raw fish marinated in lemon juice) to Peruvian fusion, Lima’s dining scene is getting lots of attention, as it offers some of the best cuisine in the continent. Don’t forget to try a Pisco Sour cocktail. Lima’s culinary and food tour is highly recommended!

Peruvian Ceviche with King Prawn, Peru
Peruvian ceviche with king prawn

Nazca Lines

In the Peruvian desert, about 200 miles south of Lima, there lies a plain between the Inca and Nazca valleys. Etched in the surface of the desert pampa sand are about 300 hundred figures made of straight lines and geometric shapes, most clearly visible from the air. These mysterious geoglyphs that span a vast swath of the rugged Peruvian desert still remain an engima. No one has proof as to who built them and what their function really was. Take a thrilling flight over the Nazca Lines and see some of most famous etchings, including the hummingbird, dog, hands, astronaut, tree, spider, whale, lizard, shark, and more. These incredible shapes are only visible from the air.

Magnificent Museums

Peru has a rich archaeological, historical, and cultural past, and Lima’s incredible range of museums offers something for everyone. One of Lima's most noted museums, the Rafael Larco Herrera Archaeological Museum, houses the world's largest private collection of Peruvian pre-Colombian art. The approximate 45,000 objects of the collections are housed in the Metals, Ceramics, Stones, and Culture galleries, as well as Great Jewelry Vault, Textile Hall, and the museum’s quirky Erotic Hall, which gives us a glimpse of the fascinating sexual life of ancient Peruvians.

Rafael Larco Herrera Archaeological Museum, Lima, Peru
Rafael Larco Herrera Archaeological Museum

Ready to start planning your Peru vacation? Start by making sure to spend a few days in Lima!

By Don Forster

Related Topics
South America
Don Forster
Don Forster
Goway - Trade Training Manager

Born in Australia and raised in Canada and Papua New Guinea, Don took his first solo trip to Bali – aged just 13. Since then, Don’s travels have taken him to every continent. He’s been a backpacker in Asia, Europe and Egypt, an overland adventurer in East and Southern Africa, and an overland driver in South and Central America. He is especially fond of Peru, Patagonia and Namibia, though his longest adventure to date has been a London to Kathmandu run via the Middle East.

Read More
Share This Article
Get Inspired

Travel Stories to Inspire You.

Travel Inspiration
Unlock Even More

Sign up to our newsletter to unlock travel Specials, Inspiration, and Expert Guides right to your inbox.

Exclusive Savings
Insider Contests
Trending Guides
New Specials
New Specials
Start Planning
Start Planning
Follow Along
Follow Along
Call 1.800.557.2841
Contact Us
BC Reg. #833-0; TICO Reg. #1543989; CST #2070685-20Offices located in CA, US, AUS© Copyright 2024. Goway Travel