Explore Lima, Peru

Lima Peru Travel Guide

Lima is a sprawling desert capital characterized by lots of gray architecture, dusty cliffs, and gritty streets, but underneath the rough surface is a soulful, edgy, and vibrant city. Under the layers of thick fog lay colonial mansions with Moorish-style balconies, pre-Columbian temples, eclectic art spaces, stately museums, crowded nightclubs, and exceptional eateries. Visitors who take the time to penetrate the humble facade will be treated with these delights and many more.

Lima, capital city of Peru

The Peruvian capital is home to a number of impressive museums. One of the best is the Museo Rafael Larco Herrera, housed in an 18th-century mansion. The museum is home to one of the world’s largest collections of ceramics, including more than 50,000 pots. The first few galleries have an almost storeroom-like feel because pieces are stacked in a jumble that reaches the ceilings, but the galleries located further within the museum give the best pieces uncluttered displays. The dazzling collection includes feathered textiles, gold and silver pieces, pre-Columbian erotic pots, and more.

To gain a better understanding of the country’s history and culture, visit the Museo Nacional de Antropologia, Arqueologia e Historia del Peru. The building itself is a historic icon, once home o revolutionary heroes Bolivar and San Martin, and the expansive collection spans the history of Peru from the ancient era to the early republic. Among the many treasures is an 18th-century painting of the Last Supper and the Raimondi Stela, one of the earliest Andean rock carvings.

Peru has a long history of bullfighting, and it comes alive at the Museo Taurino. Located in the Plaza de Acho bullring, the museum tells the story of the national pastime through paintings, gilded outfits, photographs, and tools used by some of the most famous toreadors in the world. Some of the outfits even have bloody gore holes left by the bull’s horns.

Lima also has a rich religious heritage, and the Monasterio de San Francisco is a must-see sight for any visitor to the capital. The sunshine-yellow Franciscan church and monastery is home to a remarkable library, where visitors can gaze upon more than 25,000 antique texts. The stunning baroque structure also boasts a refectory with 13 paintings by Spanish master Francisco de Zurbarán, a spectacular Moorish-style cupola, and catacombs filled with the bones of more than 70,000 people.

One of the most storied religious sites in the city is the Iglesia de Santo Domingo. Built in the 16th century, the bright pink church is the final resting place of three of Peru’s most important saints: Santa Rosa de Lima, San Juan Macías, and San Martin de Porres. The saints’ tombs sit in the convent, a complex studded with courtyards, vintage Spanish tiles and baroque paintings.

It can be difficult to gain entry into the Palacio de Gobierno, but it is well worth the hassle to tour the remarkable palace. Built in 1937, the palace is home to the country’s president, and tours must be arranged at least two days in advance at the Office of Public Relations.

Other sights worth exploring in the Peruvian capital include the Pachacamac archaeological complex, the colonial Palacio Torre Tagle, the Iglesia de las Nazarenas, the 16th-century Iglesia de la Merced, the Museo de Arte de Lima, the Descalzos convent and museum, and the Museo de la Inquisición, which is dedicated to the Spanish Inquisition.

Best of Lima

Plaza San Martin

The Plaza San Martin dates from the 1900s and was created to honor José de San Martín known as Santo de la Espada and the Knight of the Andes.

Larco Mar

From the street, Larcomar looks like a nice cliffside park with fountains, a few palm trees and a crowd of people perched along the railing looking out to sea. Walk a few steps down and discover a three-story mall, packed with restaurants, fast-food joints, shops, discos, a 12-screen movie theater, and a 24-lane underground bowling alley. Larcomar is a mall, but also a destination because it’s a diverse jumble of entertainment under one roof, and its location perched on top of the cliffs behind Parque Salazar.

Pachacamac

Pachacamac is another archaeological center of Lima located to the south of the city. It was a great and powerful city that begin the construction of its pyramids towards the 100 years a.d. (DC) and it was in operation until the arrival of the Spaniards. In order to arrive at the site it is quite easy since, by the site they pass routes important, the entrance to the site varies from a New Sun to 10 New Suns.

Folklore in Lima

The “Marinera” is a dance dedicated to courtship and love; and it is danced in all regions of Peru acquiring its own forms based on the location: The Northern region (Norteña), the city of Lima (Limeña), and the highlands (Serrana).

Since 1960 the Club Libertad is in charge to organize the National “Marinera” Competition in the city of Trujillo.

Festejo is a sensual dance of rhythmical nature and a happy pace, that can be of challenge or competition between the dancers.

The lyrics narrate the customs, happy moments, sorrows, and sufferings of the black race. Black inhabitants created the surrounding areas of Lima during the 17th century.

During this time period, only percussion instruments were used like “El Cajón”, an instrument made out of wood. The musician would sit and play the typical rhythms with his/her fingers and palms.

Getting to Lima

Lima, the capital city of Peru, is a major international gateway to Peru as well as other Andean countries, and so getting to Lima is certainly not a problem. Lima attracts thousands of travelers and tourists every year from worldwide destinations.

Lima can be reached by air, the sea as well as roads, flights are by far the best way to reach the city. Jorge Chavez International Airport in Lima is the major international hub for flights to Peru and some neighboring countries.

By Water

Located 15 km west of the city, Callao is the first port of Lima, Peru.

By Air

Several international airlines operate regular direct or connecting flights to Jorge Chávez International Airport in Lima from cities across Canada, USA, Brasil, and several other countries in Europe(Germany, Italy, Spain, Greece) and South America(Argentina, Chile, Paraguay). Major airlines operating regular direct or connecting flights to Peru include American Airlines, Air Canada, Air Madrid, Aeroflot, Alitalia, British Airways, Delta Airlines, Continental Airlines, Iberia, KLM, Lacsa, and United Airlines.

By Road

The Pan-American Highway is the main international highway in Peru, running the entire length of Peru’s coastline from north to south.

  • Distances Lima to Arequipa:  Around 12 Hours
  • Distances Lima to Huancayo: Around 7 Hours
  • Distances Lima to Piura:        Around 12 Hours
  • Distances Lima to Cusco:      Around 14 Hours

Public Transport: There are several types of public transport: big buses, medium-sized micros, and combis, small vans packed with up to 20 people.

Lima Geographical Location

Lima is located on the central west coast of Peru overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

Lima is the largest city in Peru and has a population of approximately 8,475,000 in the metropolitan area.

Lima Language

Spanish and Quechua are the two official languages of Peru although Spanish is the most commonly spoken by far. There is also a multitude of native and Amazonian languages spoken in small minorities across the country.

Lima Predominant Religion

  • 81% Roman Catholic
  • 12.5% Evangelical
  • 3.5% Other
  • 3% Unspecified or None

Roman Catholicism has close ties with the Peruvian government and is recognized in the constitution as an important part of Peruvian culture.

Lima Currency

The Nuevo Sol is the official currency of Peru.

Lima Climate

Lima is pleasantly warm throughout the year with humidity and little rainfall.

Lima Main Attractions

  • Historic Center of Lima
  • Larco Museum
  • Magic Water Circuit

Other Attraction in Lima

  • Caral
  • Miraflores
  • Larcomar
  • Church of San Francisco