When traveling to Peru you will pass through the capital, Lima, as this is where the international airport is located. However, do not discount Lima as a destination to visit, the city has much to offer for tourists and if you’re a foodie then some of the best restaurants in the world are located in the city! Over the past 20 years, Lima tourism has grown to new heights, so a visit to this fascinating city should be on your list of must see places in Peru.
Like most capital cities, Peru’s national airport is not located in the best of areas. When you arrive into Jorge Chavez international, the airport is in the Callao district of Lima and whilst it is not the prettiest of airports, don’t despair because Lima has many hidden treasures for you to discover. When you leave the airport, be ready to battle the taxi drivers, as they will all be waiting just to charge you double, and the traffic is no better. But once you reach the hotel, it will have been well worth the journey.
These days, most people who pass through Lima stay in the ocean side suburb of Miraflores. The trendy suburb of Miraflores has a radically different feel than most other parts of Lima. Most of the suburb has superb views of the ocean and a lot of money has been invested to make Miraflores into the beautifully scenic location that is so different to the rest of Lima.
There are many exceptional restaurants located in Miraflores but with quality comes cost, so whilst the restaurants in this area are quite good, be prepared to pay a pretty penny at some of the more luxurious establishments. However, it is not necessary to spend a lot of money to find great food in Miraflores or anywhere in Lima for that matter; there are great restaurants at all budgets all over the city. So don’t fear, a bit of research will do the trick to find the perfect restaurant for you according to your budget. If you love your food then try El Centro, Maido and Cevicheria La Mar and all the fine dining establishments located in Miraflores. For more information on local cuisines and restaurants, it is a good idea to ask your hotel reception for advice as they will be able to provide you with suggestions and directions!
Just along the coast from Miraflores is the seaside suburb of Barranco. If Lima had an artsy section than Barranco would be it! An attractive part of Lima with many great bars and restaurants, Barranco is the place to be if your looking for the night scene and even if you aren’t, during the day some of the restaurants have great sea views. These two suburbs are great places to concentrate your culinary journey in Lima Peru.
Lima features some of the best museums in Peru, to get a good idea of the history of Peru and its cultures visit one of the many museums located around the city. One you must not miss is the Museo Larco, located in the San Miguel suburb of Lima, the museum features great displays of many cultures, from jewelry to ceramics all labeled and explained. If you decide to visit the museum, you will need at least half a day to see all of its’ exhibitions properly. Located in an old Spanish house, the grounds and gardens are beautiful and if you are feeling hungry, there is a restaurant available inside of the museum serving breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea. Whilst you’re there, make sure to visit the erotic sculpture ection of the museum, located in the patio near the restaurant…they have something for everyone!
Another museum worth a visit is the Museo de Oro located in the Montericco suburb of Lima. The museum has recently renovated, as there were some rumors that some of the exhibitions were not authentic, now the museum guarantees authenticity by the authority of the Peruvian government making a visit to this museum worthwhile.
The center of Lima is full of beautiful old buildings and cobblestone streets giving this part of the city a European feel. Central Lima is a beautiful city, whilst your there you should visit the main plaza, which features the government palace where you can witness the changing of the guard every day at 12 noon. The Lima Cathedral is another great place to see whilst in the Capital of Peru, where tours are available in English, for a small cost. Although the Cathedral has been rebuilt a few times over the course of its history, the building still features some of the most beautiful artwork and woodwork in Peru.
Not far from the main plaza is the San Francisco church, this bright yellow church features tours in English daily. Take the time to visit the Catacombs located in the basement of the church, with thousands of bones, it is said that this was Lima´s first cemetery. Upstairs a library contains over 25000 ancient Spanish books. See the corridors featuring beautiful Spanish tiles imported during the 16th Century from Spain.
The center of Lima also features an area called Capon, which is the Chinatown of the city. Filled with interesting shops and restaurants, if you intend on visiting this area, take care of your belongings as there can be pickpockets around.
Lima is a beautiful place. But like all beautiful things, she is tempermental. The traffic is a nightmare, taking you hours to get just a short distance, the small buses that transports thousands of people every day, dart in and out of traffic at a crazy pace. The weather especially in the winter months will be grey all day, making the city seem a bit sad, but in the summer, it is sunny and warm. However, all this adds to the character of the city, Lima is a city that needs to be explored to discover its charms, so take the time to find out the treasures of Lima and you will not be disappointed.
If you plan visiting Machu Picchu, do not just pass through Lima, there are many luxury travel Peru travel packages on offer that include Lima so why not book today?