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Lima City


Lima is the enchanting capital of Peru. Not too long ago, Lima was considered little more than the transfer point to go to Machu Picchu. But now, well informed travelers are privy to the wealth of culinary, historic, and cultural gems that this city by the Pacific has to offer.

Pre-Incan adobe pyramids of Huaca Pucllana and impressive colonial architecture on the Plaza Mayor are odes to Lima’s layered past. Coupled in stark contrast with world-class restaurants in the contemporary Miraflores district or art museums and bohemian vibes of Barranco, Lima proves to be a wonderland of diversity.

  • Elevation 0-5,090 ft (0-1,550 m)
  • Climate Lima is built upon an arid coastal floodplain regulated by the northward flow of the Humboldt Current. The city experiences relatively mild temperatures and very limited rainfall, but high humidity all year round.
  • Summer From December to February
    Conditions are typically sunny, warm, and humid. Average daytime temperatures are ~ 80°F (27°C). Mornings and nights are cooler.
  • Winter From June to August
    Cooler temperatures around 15°C (60°F) with mostly cloudy days.
Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this impressive plaza in historic downtown showcases the Palacio del Gobierno and the Catedral de Lima.
Regarded for its art galleries, street murals, and early 20th century architecture, this trendy district possesses true bohemian charm.
The San Francisco Church of Concent is perhaps most famous for its subterranean catacombs, which were used as the first burial grounds of Lima.
Once a ceremonial and administrative center of the Wari civilization, the huaca is over 1,500 years old, and sits in splendid contrast to Lima’s modern high-rise apartments.
Weaving along the edge of high bluffs overlooking the ocean is a pathway known as El Malecón. Parque del Amor (Love Park) is among a host of iconic locales.
Established brands and restaurants convene at this upscale shopping and entertainment complex situated on a cliff overlooking the ocean.
With over 50,000 artifacts, it is one of the largest pre-Columbian museums in the world. Displays provide a remarkable testament to the long history of Peru’s Inca and pre-Inca cultures.
Mistura is South America’s largest food festival. Hosted each year in Lima, this gastronomic event celebrates the diversity and fusion of Peruvian cuisine.
Illuminated fountains emit sprays of water that are orchestrated in exceptional sequence at Circuito Magico del Agua, a newly renovated attraction of this park.
Visit the UNESCO-recognized Historic Center and nearby San Francisco Catacombs, and see the pre-Columbian artifacts at Larco Museum.
One of the best ways to savor a variety of Peruvian food, especially when your time in Lima is limited, is to take a culinary tour or cooking class.
Enjoy Peruvian cuisine and an evening out at one of the many amazing restaurants in Lima, from world-renowned to family-run establishments.
Peruse the apparel and high-end alpaca products for sale at the international and Peruvian-owned stores in Larcomar. The local markets in Miraflores (Ave. Petit Thouars) are good for souvenirs.
Enjoy a stroll along the Malecon in Barranco and Miraflores, admiring the neatly manicured parks and beautiful ocean views.
Paragliding, surfing, and biking are among the active ways to experience Lima.
Astrid & Gaston
Consistently voted among the best restaurants in South America, Acurio’s flagship restaurant provides an emblematic dining experience in Lima. Sophisticated and chic describe both the restaurant and its clientele. Reservations recommended.
Calle Cantuarias 175, Miraflores
Ranked the #2 restaurant in Latin America and #5 in the world as of 2017, Central is chef Virgilio Martinez’s flagship restaurant continuing to rise on the world food charts. Beautifully displayed dishes that play homage to the cuisine of Peru with curious touches and inventive uses of lesser known native ingredients. Reservations must be made months in advance.
Santa Isabel 376, Miraflores
Costanera 700
An early pioneer of Nikkei, Costanera 700 specializes in the fusion of Japanese and Peruvian cuisine with a strong emphasis on seafood. Enjoy a selection of ceviches, sushis, and tiraditos, in addition to teppanyaki style dishes featuring Peruvian ingredients.
Av. Del Ejército 421, Miraflores
DonDoh focuses on cooking inspired by Japanese robatayakis. You will have a selection of delectable meats of course, but even avocados and tender octopus are enhanced by a masterful turn on their grills. Japanese flavors merge with Peruvian ones in dishes that are more creative than gimmicky.
Av. Los Conquistadores 999, San Isidro
Perhaps a Peruvian style gastropub is best to describe Isolina which serves traditional dishes, many featuring offal, in an ambience with rustic but modern touches. A mostly criollo based menu, some recommended dishes are the cau cau (tripe) con sangrecita (chicken blood) and tortilla de sesos (calf brains). Very popular so worth making a reservation.
Avenida Prolongacion San Martín 101, Barranco
Ranked the #1 restaurant in Latin America in 2017, Maido is chef Maido Mitsuhari’s acclaimed Nikkei restaurant featuring a menu that traverses the landscape of Japanese and Peruvian cuisine. The “Nikkei experience” tasting menu lets you fully appreciate Mitsuhari’s vision of this cuisine, refined after years of culinary training and on-the-ground experience in Japan.
Calle San Martin 399, Miraflores
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Lima Travel Tips

Jose Chavez International Airport (in the Callao district) is the principal airport for Lima.

Entry process: When you land at the airport, you will proceed through immigration. Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months upon arrival and it will be stamped by the customs agent. After picking up your luggage, you will go through a final luggage screening at customs.

An English-speaking representative from Inca Expert Travel will be waiting for you outside of the baggage claim area, holding a sign with your name on it.

If you arrange your own transportation from the airport, we recommend using one of the licensed taxi companies inside the airport.

Transportation times from the airport to touristic city districts depends on what time your plane arrives in Lima and often dictated by weekday morning and evening rush hours.

  • Airport - Miraflores | Barranco | San Isidro (40+ minutes)
  • Airport - Historic Downtown (30+ minutes)
  • There are exchange booths and ATMs at the Lima airport, but you can generally find better rates at locations near your hotel. In Miraflores, there are several bank ATMs and casas de cambios (change houses) near Parque Kennedy and along Avenida Larco.
  • Payment with bank card at restaurants, hotels, and retail stores in Lima is common. Visa is the most widely accepted.
  • Use cash to pay for taxis or make small purchases at a local market.

Most travelers stay in Miraflores, Barranco and San Isidro because these districts have great hotels, restaurants, parks and nightlife.

  • Taxis are a common and convenient way to get around Lima. Instead of hailing a taxi from the street, we recommend you ask your hotel representative to arrange a safe taxi for you or to use a taxi app on your mobile phone.
  • Speak with your travel advisor and arrange transfers around Lima in advance.
  • Miraflores, San Isidro, and Barranco (Malecon and Main Plaza zones) are secure and tourist-friendly districts. It’s pleasant to explore attractions near your hotel in these districts on foot. If you visit the Historic Center independently, we recommend concentrating your exploration on foot around the Plaza de Armas during daytime hours.

Crime in Lima is primarily petty theft, pickpocketing, and the like. You can avoid this by using good judgment and common sense. Keep your valuables at your hotel, stow your money under your clothes in a zippered or sealed container, wear backpacks on your front when in crowded areas, and in general stay alert.

  • We do not recommend hailing a taxi from the street. Instead, ask a hotel representative to arrange a licensed taxi for you or use a taxi app on your mobile phone.
  • Traffic in Lima is disorderly and likely more chaotic than in your hometown. With this in mind, be cautious when crossing the street (even when you have the right of way) and stay alert at all times.

Please speak with your travel advisor about any specific concerns.

The most vibrant nightlife in Lima is centered in Miraflores and Barranco. In Miraflores, there are many places to choose from around Parque Kennedy and Calle Berlin, and in Barranco, Avenida San Martin near Puente de Suspiros is lined with lounges, bars and clubs.

Bar and lounge recommendations:

Brewery, local beer on tap, food menu
Calle Manuel Bonilla 108, Miraflores
Av. Pedro de Osma 144, Barranco
Barranco Beer Company
Brewery and taproom
Av. Almirante Miguel Grau 308, Barranco
Restaurant, bar and lounge with an ocean view
Circuito de Playas, Barranco
Huaringas Bar
Lounge and cocktail bar
Calle Bolognesi 472, Miraflores

Lima is the starting point for most Peru vacations because of its international airport.

From Lima, several travelers continue to other popular Peru destinations, like Cusco to see Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley, to Puno to explore Lake Titicaca, to Arequipa to see the condors and hike Colca Canyon, or to Puerto Maldonado to explore the Amazon Rainforest.

Destinations closest to Lima:

  • Travel 3 to 4 hours by bus to Paracas and Peru's only marine reserve on the Ballestas Islands (Islas Ballestas). From there, it is easy to continue on to Ica and Huacachina for sandboarding, wine tasting, and sunbathing near the oasis, then on to the mysterious Nazca lines.
  • About 3 hours to the north of Lima, the ancient ruins of Caral mark the site of the oldest pre-Columbian city in the Americas dating back more than 5,000 years.
  • About 9 hours north from Lima, the city of Trujillo is home to the ruins of the Moche and Chimu civilizations, which predate the Inca by more than 1,000 years.


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