Lima is the capital of Peru and its largest city, however many tourists flying into the country zoom right past it in transit to Cusco. Over the next few days I will try and convince you to stay and check out what’s worth an extra few days on your itinerary – or even just to take advantage of a layover – to see one of the biggest cities in the Americas.
How to get around?
While you can walk and feel safe in many neighborhoods or take a cab, we decided to hire a driver for our two days in Lima because they were ‘layover’ days. Our first day we had come off of a redeye flight and had a night bus to catch and our second day we had come off the night bus and had a late night flight to catch! Considering we had our luggage and just a few hours to spare, a private driver sounded like heaven. We already had a great experience with Taxidatum in the Sacred Valley so we decided to reach out to Leonardo in Lima. He charged a very reasonable rate, was a wonderful source of local information, and we were so comfortable after many days of crazy traveling!
Where to stay?
We only stayed over one night in Lima, our first night before catching an early morning flight to Cusco. For that night, since it was simply a place to lay our heads, we stayed at the Tupac Hostel which was very affordable and close to the airport. Clean, roundtrip transportation to the airport, and affordability made this a great layover rest stop. If we were staying longer, I would have booked a place to stay in Barranco.
+Miraflores is the popular upscale tourist neighborhood – very safe to walk around, has many restaurants, shops, attractions, and the beach
+Barranco is the artsy hip area filled with galleries and painted with murals
+Centro de Lima is the historic center and is filled with history and amazing architecture
+Try the world renowned seafood dish of the country, ceviche – made with raw fish cured in citrus juices
+Largo Museum is probably most known for its ancient erotic pottery collection, but really helped me have a better understanding of indigenous cultures outside of the famous Inca Empire
+Hauaca Pucllana is an archeological site from approximately 500AD which was a religious and political center
+Magic Water Circuit is filled with fountains for cooling down in and admiring by day and by night light up with dazzling colors and a laser light show
+Visit one of the many city parks to find a cat sanctuary, an amorous sculpture, or olive trees
If I had more time?
+I would take a Lima Shanty-Town tour to see what life is like beyond the tourist beaten path
+Eat more meals out, the gastronomy scene in this city is top notch