A coastal city that overlooks the Pacific Ocean, Lima is the bustling capital of Peru. It is one of the largest cities in South America and is home to world-class museums, 16th-century buildings and cathedrals, as well as colonial mansions, monasteries and churches. Despite its modern updates and influence, Lima has maintained its historical charm and is recognized as a World Heritage Site. From beaches and exquisite cuisine to nature reserves and a thriving nightlife, Lima is a fun-filled tourist destination that offers its visitors a unique and authentic experience.
Lima Plaza Mayor is the main city square and historic center of Lima, home to numerous highlights such as the Government Palace and Lima Cathedral, which occupies the site where the first major church in Lima stood. Make sure to take a picture with the famous bronze fountain from the 17th century in the plaza as well. Another commonly visited site is the San Francisco Church and Convent, which is a 17th-century archaeological complex that includes a church, convent, catacombs and plaza. A great museum to visit is Gastronomy House, which is located in the house of Lima’s old Post Office and offers a tour of more than 500 years of history. They also offer a tour of the evolution of Peruvian cuisine that includes present day products. Lima hosts numerous annual festivals and celebrations, including the Wine Harvest Festival (February to March), Lima Anniversary (January 18), and the Peruvian Paso Horse National Competition (April to May). Pachacamac was previously a religious compound that was built before the Incas, building structures like the Temples of the Sun and Moon. This archaeological site covers several square miles and takes several hours to explore.
Spend a day or two outside of Lima by going on a day trip to one of the many interesting towns located nearby. Pucusana is a small seaside town located 45 miles south of Lima, and is a great escape for those who want to experience a traditional Peruvian fishing village. Many come here to enjoy the picturesque harbor, go swimming, and see the beautiful natural rock formations. Four hours south of Lima is Huacachina, a desert oasis surrounded by palm trees and large sand dunes, and is a popular spot for those who want to go sandboarding and dune buggying. Slightly further away are the Ballestas Islands, located off the coast of Peru and also known as the Galapagos. The islands are accessible by boat and it takes approximately two hours to reach this wildlife preserve, which is home to various sea birds and sea lions.
There are many great neighborhoods to stay in in Lima, with a mixture of high-rise condos and colonial architecture, depending on what you’re looking for. Miraflores is a cosmopolitan area popular with tourists located near the beach, with plenty of access to nightclubs and bars, the Larcomar mall, and art galleries. La Molina is a suburban area with many upscale homes and access to malls and cafes, but it is a little further from downtown. San Isidro is the financial district with lots of high-rises offering amazing views, and it is surrounded by malls and parks.Find places to stay in Lima
Lima offers several different transportation methods for visitors, with micros being the most common. Micros are minibuses that travel along all the major city roads. The Metropolitano is one of the newest public transport systems in Lima that offers several routes along special bus lanes that are partitioned off the regular road, along with the Metro, an electric mass transit system that operates several lines with multiple stations. Taxis are also a cheap and easy form of transportation, but the taxis in Lima don’t have meters so it’s important to agree on a price with your driver prior to your trip.
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