Our top ten musts in Lima
Our top 10 musts!
Imagine visiting a city where you can witness the past, present and future dwelling in a unique kind of harmony – a city where you can time travel, one minute walking between modern high-rise buildings, the next stepping back in time, rediscovering mud pyramids from Pre-Inca cultures. Spend a few days in Peru’s vibrant capital and you’ll start to understand why it’s proclaimed Latin America’s Gastronomical Capital over and over again. There’s so much more to Lima than walking its Historic City Center. After careful deliberation, here’re our top 10 picks for incredible experiences you don’t want to miss out when visiting Peru’s capital city:
- Get a taste of Peruvian cuisine
Booming with delicacies, Lima is quickly becoming a paradise for foodies. The Gastronomic Capital of the Americas is ideal for a couple of cooking lessons and culinary tours. We think it’d be awesome if you plan for a morning visiting the local market of Surquillo, where you will feel immersed in a fascinating experience as you see Limenians doing their everyday shopping: native fruits, fresh vegetables, meat, seafood, spices – you name it! Then, learn the basics of Peruvian cuisine in a private cooking lesson, as you enjoy preparing ceviche and the famous Peruvian drink Pisco Sour.
- Up for dessert?
Did you know the northern Amazon region of Peru produces some of the best cacao on the planet? You can explore more of this well-kept secret at Lima’s Chocomuseo. Located in the heart of the Miraflores district, the Chocomuseo gives you the opportunity to engage in an interactive and fun activity making your very own chocolate alongside a cacao expert. You’ll be encouraged to get creative as you choose between white chocolate, milk chocolate or bitter chocolate, and then mix it with whatever toppings you can find in front of you: salt, paprika, m&ms, peanuts, pecans, marshmallows, almonds… Sweet, right?
- Let’s go biking!
One of the best ways to experience Lima is biking along its famous malecón (ocean-view sidewalk) in the districts of Miraflores and Barranco. Renting a bike is pretty cheap actually, and you can do so by the hour or per full day. We love biking on sunny summer afternoons because they mean gorgeous, panoramic sunsets above the Pacific Ocean, like you’ll see on no other South American capital. Guaranteed, you’ll get front-row seats to see the sky turn from light blue to gold to crimson above the endless blue sea!
- I believe you can fly
If you’re in for a thrill, try soaring above Lima’s cliffs and beaches on a paragliding tour you’ll never forget. The ride begins in Miraflores and is carried out alongside professional instructors, who put safety first at all times and will give you the experience of a lifetime. This is an amazing chance to get a bird’s eye view of the Limenian skyline. Both kids and adults of all ages love it!
- Aye aye captain!
Hop aboard a boat at the Port of Callao and sail away to the Palomino Islands, right off the coast of Lima. Home to one of the biggest sea-lion colonies in Peru, and probably in the Pacific Ocean as well, the Palomino Islands are simply booming with wildlife. You can swim next to sea lions, catch a glimpse of Humboldt penguins, see different species of sea birds and enjoy the fascinating sights of the islands’ geology. Curious fact: did you know that the Port of Callao was attacked by pirates back in colonial times? The Spanish viceroy ordered a massive fortress to be built, the Real Felipe, in order to protect Lima and its treasures from future pirate attacks. After your visit to the Palomino Islands, we think it’d be great if you also visit this awesome fortress!
- Trekking, anybody?
But if sailing, flying, biking and cooking aren’t enough, spend a weekend trekking to Lima’s very own “Little Machu Picchu”, the lost citadel of Rupac in the middle of the clouds. Unlike Inca archaeological sites, Rupac is an off-the-beaten-path destination where you can truly feel like the first discoverer of this magical place. Also known as the Citadel of the Atavillos, this Pre-Inca site is surrounded by picture-perfect landscapes and starry skies at night. Get your hiking boots and cameras ready, you really don’t want to miss out on Rupac!
- Dine by a pyramid
Did you actually think Cairo was the only place where you could do this? Right in the middle of the Miraflores neighbourhood lies Huaca Pucllana, a set of Pre-Inca mud pyramids where at least three different pre-Hispanic cultures lived throughout history. Huaca Pucllana hosts one of the best restaurants in town, becoming a favourite spot for special occasions among locals and tourists in recent years. The setting itself is beautiful, juxtaposing the modern city with Pucllana’s illuminated pyramids. Great food, gorgeous atmosphere… it’s definitely worth a visit. We also recommend you take a tour of the archaeological site by day to get a better understanding of Pucllana’s history.
- A night at the museum
Take an evening stroll along the exhibits of Lima’s top-notch Larco Museum, home to a fascinating collection of Prehispanic artifacts such as jewelry, daily life utensils, textiles and ceramics. Larco Museum is also well-known for its peculiar gallery of Pre-Inca erotic pottery – a collection which, we’re sure, you’ll see nowhere else. You’ll also find very interesting to know that this is one of the few museums in the World that actually allows visitors to wander along its storerooms and see more than 35,000 pieces of Pre-Inca art not showcased in exhibition rooms. Fact: most museums throughout the Globe keep their storerooms restricted to the general public. A nice finishing touch for your evening at Larco Museum is to have an exquisite, traditional Peruvian dinner at the museum’s restaurant, with a panoramic view of the museum’s gardens.
- Party-mode on
A fun way to experience nightlife in Lima while meeting locals and fellow travelers is to go on a bar-hopping adventure around the party neighbourhoods of Miraflores and bohemian Barranco. Whether you choose to dance the night away or enjoy a few drinks, you certainly won’t regret bar-hopping in Lima! We’ll take you to the hippest places in the city, Lima’s hottest bars and clubs where you’ll mix with a crowd of locals and travelers. Places like Ayahuasca RestoBar, Santos, Victoria Bar, Barbarian, Dada and Picas are around the most visited. Make sure to have at least one round of our Pisco Sour or try other varieties based on local fruits such as Chicha Sour or Camu-camu sour. Drink, party, sleep, repeat!
- Discover the Cradle of American Civilization
4500 years ago, right in the middle of Lima’s barren desert, an ancient civilization flourished. Its people lived in peace, in a society based on trade – archaeologists haven’t found a single sign of war or bloodshed. At present, Caral is known as the most ancient civilization discovered in all of the Americas, the place where it all started. Since it was barely just a few years ago that it was made known to the World, it’s still pretty much off the beaten path, but we’re sure one day travelers will be crazy not to include this UNESCO World Heritage Site on their bucket lists. Caral is located a 3-hour drive away from Lima, in the northern region of Barranca. It makes an ideal full-day trip, and while you’re in the area you can also venture to explore some of Lima’s least known, but equally gorgeous, beaches.
So there it is, our top 10 musts when in Lima! Our capital is waiting for you to discover it and have the experience of a lifetime. Ready to book your trip? From Lima, with love.