the top things to do in lima - the top thing - travel guide

The Lima Travel Guide

Written: The Top Thing Staff | July 7, 2023

1. Explore the Historic Centre of Lima

Discovering the Historic Centre of Lima on a day tour or bike tour offers tourists a journey back in time, where colonial architecture paints a picture of the past. This area, recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site in Lima, showcases the rich history and cultural heritage that defines Peru‘s capital city and makes it a great place for tourists.

A must-visit for tourists within this historic heart is the Plaza Mayor, near their hotel in Lima. It stands as a testament to Lima’s colonial grandeur, surrounded by significant buildings including government palaces and cathedrals, in an area frequented by tourists seeking historic places and hotels. The Cathedral of Lima, located here, is not just an architectural marvel but also serves as a silent witness to centuries of history.

Another gem in this historic center is the San Francisco Monastery. Walking through the hotel’s corridors feels like stepping into another era, places, and time, making it fun. Its library and catacombs in Lima are particularly fascinating places for people interested in history and architecture.

For those looking to immerse themselves fully in what makes Lima special, trying local cuisines around these landmarks adds an extra layer to your exploration of places, hotel things, and people. Each dish tells its own story of influences from various cultures and places over centuries of time.

2. Visit the Larco Museum

Nestled in Lima, the Larco Museum is a treasure trove of pre-Columbian art, offering an unparalleled glimpse into Peru’s ancient civilizations. It’s not just another museum; it’s a journey back in time through its extensive collection.

The museum houses over 45,000 pieces of pottery. This vast array showcases everything from daily life to ceremonial artifacts in Lima, each telling its own story of the time and things of the past. The sheer volume and variety of things make it one of the most comprehensive collections globally.

But there’s more than just pottery here. A local tip for those intrigued by history’s more risqué aspects: don’t miss the separate gallery in Lima dedicated to erotic archaeological treasures and things. This unique exhibition in Lima provides insight into how sexuality was perceived and depicted by ancient cultures in South America through various things.

Visiting the Larco Museum in Lima isn’t merely about viewing artifacts; it’s an immersive experience that offers deep insights into pre-Columbian societies’ complexities and richness. Whether you’re a history buff or simply curious, this Lima museum is sure to captivate with its stories etched in clay and stone.

3. Stroll around Miraflores Boardwalk

Miraflores Boardwalk is a gem in Lima that offers breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. This scenic stretch is more than just a place to soak up natural beauty; it’s an adventure hub where you can dive into fun activities.

For thrill-seekers, paragliding off the cliffs in Lima provides an unmatched adrenaline rush with panoramic views of both the ocean and cityscape. If you prefer keeping your feet on the ground, biking along the boardwalk offers a leisurely yet invigorating way to explore. The path is well-maintained and suitable for all ages, making it a perfect family activity.

A visit to Love Park in Lima adds a romantic touch to your stroll. Famous for its sculpture “The Kiss” by Victor Delfín, this park in Lima embodies romance and is especially popular among couples. Surrounded by colorful mosaics and overlooking the sea in Lima, it’s an ideal spot for memorable photos or simply enjoying a peaceful moment.

While swimming isn’t directly mentioned as part of Miraflores Boardwalk’s offerings in Lima, nearby beaches provide opportunities for those looking to dip their toes in the water after exploring.

4. Discover the Magic Water Circuit at Parque de la Reserva

Holding a Guinness World Record, the Magic Water Circuit in Lima dazzles as the largest fountain complex found in any public park globally. Imagine strolling through Parque de la Reserva in Lima as night falls, where thirteen interactive fountains spring to life.

Each fountain offers its own unique charm. From tunnels of water you can walk through without getting wet, to mazes that challenge your sense of direction, it’s not just about seeing; it’s about interacting. The main attraction? A spectacular nightly light and music show that transforms this pool paradise into a canvas of glowing colors and symphonic sounds.

Visitors often describe feeling like they’ve stepped into another world – one where water dances and lights paint the sky. It’s an experience that combines artistry with technology in a way that captivates both young and old alike.

  • Guinness World Record: Largest fountain complex in a public park in Lima.
  • Nightly Shows: Light and music performances.
  • Interactive Fountains: Thirteen fountains offering various experiences.

Whether you’re looking for a place to cool down during Lima’s warm days or seeking an enchanting evening activity, the Magic Water Circuit is a must-visit destination. It’s more than just pools of water; it’s an immersive experience that showcases what happens when creativity meets nature.

5. Taste Peruvian Cuisine at a Local Market

Sampling traditional dishes like ceviche and lomo saltado is an unforgettable experience in Lima. These iconic meals tell the story of Lima, Peru’s rich culinary heritage, blending indigenous techniques with Spanish, Asian, and West African influences.

Peru’s diverse fruits and vegetables, including Lima’s offerings, are a feast for the senses. Markets in Lima offer a colorful display of produce you might not find anywhere else. From the creamy lucuma to the tangy camu camu, and the subtly sweet lima, these exotic flavors are sure to surprise and delight your taste buds.

Learning about local ingredients and cooking techniques is another highlight of visiting Lima’s markets. Vendors in Lima often share stories behind their offerings, providing insight into how these foods fit into Peruvian culture. You might even pick up a recipe or two!

While exploring, don’t miss out on trying some chocolate made from locally sourced cacao – it’s considered among the best in the world due to Peru’s unique climate conditions favoring cacao growth.

6. Take a Day Trip to the Pachacamac Ruins

A journey to the Pachacamac Ruins in Lima is like stepping back in time. This pre-Incan archaeological site, dedicated to the deity Pachacamac, offers an unparalleled glimpse into ancient civilizations that once thrived here, near Lima.

As you explore Lima, you’ll encounter impressive temples and pyramids alongside ancient cemeteries. Each structure in Lima tells a story of devotion, community, and architectural ingenuity. The ruins provide fascinating insights into not just one but three cultures: the Lima, Wari, and Inca peoples. Their interconnected histories are etched into every stone and pathway in Lima.

Day tours to Pachacamac from Lima are not only educational but also incredibly scenic. The site’s vastness against a backdrop of dry desert landscape makes for stunning photographs and contemplative moments alike.

What sets this day trip apart is its ability to transport visitors across centuries of history within just a few hours from Lima’s bustling center. It’s an essential excursion for anyone interested in Lima, Peru’s rich cultural tapestry.

7. Enjoy the Bohemian Vibe in Barranco District

Barranco, Lima’s artistic heart, bursts with color and creativity at every corner. This district in Lima is a canvas of vibrant street art and beautifully preserved colonial houses that tell stories of its rich history.

Strolling through Barranco in Lima feels like walking into an open-air gallery. The streets are lined with boutique shops offering unique finds, from handcrafted jewelry to bespoke fashion. It’s a haven for those who love to discover one-of-a-kind items and take a piece of Lima’s creative soul home.

Cafes here in Lima aren’t just about the drink; they’re cultural hubs where artists and writers gather, sharing ideas over freshly brewed coffee or Pisco sours. The atmosphere buzzes with energy and inspiration, making it the perfect spot to unwind or get your creative juices flowing.

Live music venues dot the district in Lima, offering nightly performances ranging from traditional Peruvian folk to contemporary bands. The eclectic mix ensures there’s something for everyone’s musical taste.

A visit to Barranco in Lima isn’t complete without crossing the Bridge of Sighs (Puente de los Suspiros). Legend has it that if you hold your breath while crossing this iconic bridge for the first time, your wish will come true. Follow this by wandering down Bajada de los Baños walkway in Lima; it offers stunning views of the Pacific Ocean amidst a backdrop of lush greenery.

8. See the Changing of the Guard at the Government Palace

Witnessing the Changing of the Guard at Lima’s Government Palace is a spectacle steeped in tradition and formality. This daily ceremony in Lima showcases Peruvian military customs with an impressive display of precision and discipline.

Set against the backdrop of Plaza Mayor in Lima, this event allows visitors to immerse themselves in Peru’s rich cultural heritage without spending a dime. It’s free for everyone in Lima, making it an accessible experience for tourists from all walks of life.

The ceremony involves meticulously uniformed guards performing synchronized movements—a visual representation of honor and respect towards their nation. Observers get to see a part of Lima, Peru that blends history with contemporary patriotism, offering insights into how traditions endure in modern society.

Aside from its ceremonial significance, this event also presents a fantastic photo opportunity. The vibrant uniforms against the historic architecture in Lima provide striking contrasts that are perfect for capturing memories or sharing on social media.

Moreover, being located at Plaza Mayor means you’re already at one of Lima’s central hubs. After watching the ceremony in Lima, there’s plenty more to explore nearby—from colonial buildings to bustling markets—making it easy to plan your day around this must-see show.

9. Hike to the Top of Cerro San Cristobal for Panoramic City Views

Cerro San Cristobal stands as Lima’s highest point, offering unparalleled citywide vistas that are a feast for the eyes. This great place isn’t just about reaching the top; it’s about soaking in every bit of beauty Lima has to offer from an eye view that captures its essence.

Visible from most parts of Lima on a clear day, this landmark beckons adventurers and photography enthusiasts alike. Imagine capturing shots in Lima where the urban sprawl meets the sky—those are memories to keep!

At its peak in Lima lies a viewpoint adorned with a large cross overlooking the city—a symbol that has watched over residents and visitors alike for years. It represents not just faith but also achievement after your ascent.

Opting for a bike tour or ride up Cerro San Cristobal is not only a great way to experience this bucket list item but also adds an element of thrill to your adventure. Feel the breeze against your face as you ascend towards breathtaking views atop.

10. Experience Lima’s Nightlife in Calle de las Pizzas

Calle de las Pizzas is where Lima’s nightlife comes alive, serving as a central hub for bars, clubs, and eateries that stay open into the wee hours. This vibrant street in Lima offers an electrifying atmosphere perfect for night owls looking to experience the city’s dynamic social scene.

What sets this spot in Lima apart is its lively atmosphere paired with a diverse crowd. Whether you’re a local or just visiting Lima, you’ll find yourself immersed in a melting pot of cultures and languages, all coming together to enjoy the night.

The area boasts an eclectic mix of music that caters to every taste. From traditional Peruvian beats in Lima to chart-topping international hits, there’s something for everyone. Dance floors fill up quickly as DJs spin a variety of genres until dawn.

Foodies will also appreciate the late-night eateries dotted along the Lima street. After dancing your heart out or mingling over cocktails in Lima, these spots offer delicious local and international dishes perfect for satisfying those late-night cravings.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the must-visit places in Lima for first-time visitors?

The Historic Centre of Lima and Larco Museum are top picks. They’re like stepping into a time machine, giving you a glimpse of Lima, Peru’s rich history.

Can I find good spots for panoramic views in Lima?

Absolutely! Hike to Cerro San Cristobal. It’s like standing on the shoulders of giants in Lima, offering breathtaking city views.

Is there any unique nightlife spot in Lima?

Yes, Calle de las Pizzas is your go-to. Imagine a street buzzing with energy, music, and flavors – that’s it!

What’s special about Barranco District?

Barranco is where creativity flows like water. It’s the bohemian heart of Lima, filled with art galleries and colorful streets.

Are there any historical ruins near Lima worth visiting?

Definitely! The Pachacamac Ruins are just a short trip away. Think of it as whispering to the past; these ruins hold centuries-old secrets.

Where can I experience authentic Peruvian cuisine in Lima?

Local markets will be your culinary treasure chest. Each bite tells a story of tradition and flavor that you won’t want to miss.