Lima is a vibrant, diverse city where many of the most interesting and well-traveled locals congregate. Add to that an internationally renowned foodie culture, historical landmarks and genuinely great waves, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a better spot than Lima to get local.
Originally built to be Spain’s colonial capital in South America, Lima boasts some impressive architecture.
At the UNESCO Heritage site Plaza San Martin, you’ll find the luxurious El Gran Hotel Bolivar, visited by the likes of Hemingway and Walt Disney. Officially a national monument, El Bolivar also serves the largest Pisco Sour in the city.
Walk down Jirón de la Uníon, a historical meeting point for intellectuals, until you hit the Plaza de Armas, the old town’s main square. During the Fiestas Patrias on July 28th (Independence
Hop on one of the city’s modern buses to Lima’s most fashionable neighborhood, packed with famous restaurants, outdoor offerings, and a thriving nightlife.
Bike along the Malécon for unrivaled ocean views, then head down to the beach for a surf at Punta Roquitas.
Next, check out Huaca Pucllana, an ancient seven-platformed pyramid in the middle of Miraflores, Then, hit the Mercado Indio for alpaca goods or Agua y Tierra for souvenirs from the Amazon.
This is Lima's bohemian neighborhood. Begin with a visit to the Museum of Modern Art, followed by a stroll along the seafront.
Enjoy the colorful buildings and street art while you munch on
When your stomach grumbles, make a beeline for La Picanteria in Surquillo, a hideaway with some of the city’s best seafood. Or try
After dinner, party-goers descend on Plaza Kennedy in Miraflores, where you’ll find the city’s hippest bars. La Emolientería is one of the most popular local haunts, or for a unique experience try a peña – they’re late night cabarets hosting traditional music, dance
End your night at Ayahuasca, a three-story colonial mansion-turned-bar that’s a traveler favorite.
The next morning, perk up with a cup of
Start in San Isidro, an upscale area neighborhood full of boutiques to pursue. Bibliophiles will swoon to El Virrey’s vintage book room stocked with rare editions. Then head to Dédalo, a colonial Casona filled with unique contemporary crafts and a back-patio bar, or try the funky art gallery & boutique Vernácula in Barranco.
National Ceviche Day is June 28th, but any day is perfect to enjoy this tangy, citrus-cooked seafood. Wait in line for Ceviche de Mero at La Paisana (open only for lunch), or make the trek out to Chez Wong’s, a tiny eatery that might be the best
Wash down lunch with another Peruvian classic – the Pisco Sour. The Antigua Taberna Queirolo (aka El Queirolo) is a well-loved watering hole in Pueblo Libre that’s been serving Piscos since the 1880’s. You’ll be nearby the Gran Mercado Artesanal if you’re still souvenir hunting.
Walk off your Piscos underground on a tour of the Catacombs of San Francisco de Lima Basilica. Then take a stroll through Barrio Chino, Lima’s Chinatown, for Chinese architecture and a host of incredible Chifa restaurants (that’s Chinese-Peruvian cuisine).
No trip is complete without a stop at the Larco Museum. This private collection of pre-Columbian art is also home to the world's largest collection of erotic ceramics – a unique way to end your stay in Lima.
Second Home, a five-room Casona with a swimming pool and ocean views.
Casa Nuestra, a colorful hotel-
Residencial Miraflores, an eight-suite B&B with high ceilings and family-style breakfast.
Want to know more about Peru? Check out our podcast. We chat about alternative treks to Machu Picchu, how Peru is the original home of surfing, and look at what vaccinations do you need when traveling to South America.
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