Lima Gourmet tours are experiences in Peru born out of the desire to allow visitors to immerse themselves in the country’s unique history and culture in an engaging way. What better way than to create a long-lasting set of sensory memories you can evoke with the flavors, aromas, and style of a destination? The combination of food, tradition, and local knowledge is what we seek to include in our own travel itineraries, so we dreamed of sharing that same type of journey with like-minded travelers, specifically for trips to Peru.
When our Lima Gourmet food tour first launched in 2010, the average stay in Lima was just under one day. It was largely considered a necessary layover on the way to Machu Picchu or the Amazon jungle. Some would opt for a brief city tour of the historic center when arriving to Lima, while others would spend a few hours wandering around shopping at the seaside mall in Miraflores, Larcomar. Finally, a handful of adventurous travelers would depart from the typical tourist circuit and fit in a meal after researching Peruvian cuisine. We believed Lima had so much more to offer and merited more time for discovery. It seems our wanderlust-motivated friends agreed because now the average stay in the city is three days. So, over twelve years ago, we sat down to brainstorm what our perfect tour of Lima would look like and what we could prioritize to invite guests to venture beyond Peru’s main tourist attractions.
No Lima, Peru trip would be complete without trying the country’s flagship dish, cebiche, and cocktail, the pisco sour. But you can go to any one of a thousand restaurants in Peru and order them. We yearned to take guests a step further and get hands-on by incorporating the secrets to preparing these culinary rockstars through demonstrations and classes with seasoned local chefs and bartenders.
Anyone can follow a recipe, but the genuine wow factor is in the ingredients. We thought, why not go even further by visiting a market and getting familiar with the products and their origins? Lima has 43 independent districts, each with its own neighborhood market. The best ambassadors for Peruvian culture and flavor are the vendors themselves, as they show off their ripest picks and juicy gems. The activity adds a layer of complexity and flavor to the overall experience that enriches the visit tremendously.
Another factor we were intent on weaving into the day was the urban playground the city offers as a seaside backdrop to the route. Although it can take hours to make the trek from one side of town to the other, we thought it was necessary to spread our Peruvian food tour throughout different Lima neighborhoods. To understand Peruvian culture, guests can get a feel by setting their eyes on the eclectic architectural legacy present in the capital’s streets. Pre-Columbian and pre-Incan temples and relics can be found nestled between buildings representing Peru’s republican period or designs that reflect the fever for adding a European flair. From ancient to modern, the visual timeline available in Lima’s landscape mustn’t be overlooked as an integral part of its history.
To bring the concept of our first Lima food tour to life, we decided that there were a few things we would never compromise, the authenticity and quality of the experience. Tourism has evolved immensely over the last decade, with guests opting for boutique offerings that preserve the essence of a destination while providing elevated service. We believe that spending time curating an experience that highlights the creme de la creme of what a place offers is one of the best ways to create a positive first impression that leaves a lasting impact. This preference to be pampered is true to what we look for while traveling and the heart of what we want to offer our guests. After hours of research and putting together an itinerary, all of the time and sacrifices to explore a new culture, we want it to be a special moment that defines how visitors feel and connect with Peru.
If you’re interested in booking our original Lima Gourmet food tour, you can visit the page for more details and reserve, or check out our other experiences in Lima if you’re ready to commit to a great time. If you want to know more about us as a company and how we started, visit the Lima Gourmet About Us page for the backstory. And if you need help deciding what to do while in Lima, feel free to reach out, and we’ll give you a hand.
Hope you’re ready to buy your ticket to Peru ¡buen viaje!
The Lima Gourmet Tours team has put together a crash course in traditions and ingredients to reveal the secrets behind Peru's outstanding accolades in the kitchen. Peru is a foodie paradise that beckons travelers to come explore the flavors, the fusions and the phenomenal ambience the country provides with a backdrop of thousands of years of culinary creativity. Watch the video to get a feel for the gastronomic legacy in this corner of South America, what dishes you can't miss, and why superfoods are trending as well as what we should really know about them.
Restaurants in Lima are as colorful and diverse as the traditions and culinary creativity represented in the dishes served. Like the rest of the world, the foodie landscape was forever changed by the effects of the pandemic. Some old favorites unfortunately couldn't resist the extended closures, meanwhile new bars, cafes, and restaurants in Lima have bloomed, bringing the city back to life. In some ways the Peruvian restaurant experiences has transformed completely, generally providing more options for patrons. Peru's capital enjoys a mild climate, providing the perfect conditions for year-round al fresco dining. Motivated by the restrictions implemented, many locales opted to take advantage of curb space and outdoor areas allowing customers to pair delicious dishes with an urban view. The appetite for dining out has also increased, so be sure to make your reservations in advance otherwise you may be opting for takeout. In reality, delivery and takeout have also progressed and become more sophisticated as several top-notch restaurants launched gourmet options you can enjoy from the comfort of abode. If you're just visting, we definitely recommend planning out your meals for in-person experiences of Lima's exquisite foodie scene. If you want to head straight to the grain, you can view a list of our recommended restaurants in Lima, or read on for extra insight into our Peruvian culinary favorites.
Traditional Peruvian Restaurants
Peruvian restaurants serving traditional dishes can look like many different things depending on your angle. Here we've narrowed the classification to focus on dishes would mostly be considered "Peruvian creole" or restaurants dedicated to using local ingredients and rotating their menus depending on the season. Our top three favorites are: Isolina, Huaca Pucllana and Matria. So let's break it down a bit further.
When we want to treat my mother-in-law and extended Peruvian family to a special meal, this is our go-to place. This is Peruvian soul food immaculately executed to combine home-cooking that transports you to another era with a jovial and familiar atmosphere. Everything, and we mean everything, on the menu is delicious. After years as patrons, our favorite dishes are still the seco, the lomo saltado, the cebiche, and the papa rellena. Bonus points for the chef and his team as this restaurant has repeatedly figured among the cream of the crop in terms of best restaurants in Latin America.
Isolina · 101 San Martin Av., Barranco · +51 (1) 247-5075
The Huaca Pucllana offers an elevated interpretation of traditional Peruvian cuisine. The presentation is thoughtful and while keeping the essence of the dishes true to their roots. Additionally, this is a great place to branch out beyond the traditional pisco sour as here you can ask for the flagship cocktail and chilcanos (the pisco sour's lighter cousin) with one of many fruit and herbal infused piscos. An aguaymanto or coca sour are ideal options if you're already familiar with the traditional lime libation. Apart from the food, the most impressive characteristic is the setting, which is adjacent to a pre-Incan archeological site in the heart of the Miraflores district.
Huaca Pucllana · General Borgoño Block 8, Miraflores · +51 (1) 445-4042
At Matria, Peru's ingredients and the environment are at the heart of this palatable proposal. While not necesarily traditional recipes, the menu rotates based on the season, thus coming into tune with the country's biodiverstiy and natural cycles. The dishes offer a variety of foodie fusions that highlight the quality of the local ingredients and reflect the versatility of the restaurant's culinary team. Another plus is the location, which will take you beyond the typical tours of Miraflores to explore a different side of the district.
Matria · General Manuel Mendiburu 823, Miraflores · +51 (1) 422-2784 / +51 922 277 637
Seafood Restaurants in Lima
Seafood in Lima is a staple of the city's cuisine. With over 2,400 km (1,500 mi) of coastline, Peru has been experimenting with fare from the Pacific for millenia. Having perfected a range of cooking techniques, Peruvians were already masters of the sea before other cultures arrived to lend their own culinary influences. Today the fusions abound, but a particular nod to the Japanese and Chinese can be seen, especially in more delicate and elaborate preparations.
El Mercado has been on our list of restaurants we recommend to friends and family since it opened. The consistency and attentive service is bar none and the fresh and innovative flavors never cease to impress. It's a corner of the city that has it all ambience, food, music, and great people watching. It's one of our all-time favorites. Our picks for what to order include the grilled octopus, the chili-marinated fish carpaccio, or the Nikkei cebiche.
El Mercado · 203 Hipólito Unanue, Miraflores · T: +51 (1) 221-1322
Cala is one of those prividged places that invites guests to gaze upon the vast expanse of Pacific Ocean, connecting them to the ecosystem that supports Peru's rich heritage of marine meals. There's nothing like sitting right next to the water and getting a little lost in the waves and relaxed conversation while enjoying the catch of the day prepared in a local style. Cala does have options for those who steer clear of the sea, but if you're open to some fresh fish and beautiful views, this is your place.
Cala · Circuito de Playas, Barranco · T: +51 (1) 477-2020
La Mar is a classic go-to for a vibrant experience, a delicious variety of dishes and great service. As one of Gastón Acurio's most notable brands, it's always packed and it always delivers. For a pro tip, look up at the chalkboard for the daily specials if you're looking to try something new. It's a restaurant that also respects and communicates any temporary bans on serving specific species in order to protect them, in line with local policy. If you want to go beyond the classic cebiche, try one of their tasting platters to open your tastebuds.
La Mar · Av. La Mar 770, Miraflores · T: +51 (1) 421-3365
Pescados Capitales opens with a great tongue-in-cheek vibe as the name is a play on words in Spanish, referring to pecados capitales, or the seven capital sins. The menu follows suit with dishes that are inspired on each of the sins as well as the overarching them. The spacious outdoor patio also makes it an attractive spot to explore Peruvian seafood, hopefully without crossing the line into gluttony. Most seafood places close after lunch, a tradition establish before the accessibilty of refrigeration, however Pescados Capitales is one of the few (along with Cala) that also open its doors for the dinner service.
Pescados Capitales · Av. La Mar 1337, Miraflores · T: +51 (1) 680-4600
Top Restaurants in Lima
We would be remiss if we didn't include the names that consistently make international lists for the best restaurants in the world. There is ample information available for these rockstars, so we're sure that at least a couple of these are already on your list of where to eat in Lima. We'll leave them below along with links you can visit to begin your trip down the rabbit hole of mouthwatering instagram profiles and websites.
Where to stay in Lima is likely one of the first orders of business to sort out while planning your trip to Peru. No doubt that a city of 10 million inhabitants spread across 43 diverse districts can render a city overwhelming to navigate, even for the seasoned traveler. Having served over 20,000 clients that have had the pleasure to discover the city, we are happy to pool their insights with our local knowledge to give you a few tips that will hopefully make this part of the planning stage less daunting.
Where to stay in Lima, Peru
Out of the 43 districts mentioned above, we can safely narrow it down to two top contenders: Miraflores and Barranco. So let's take a look at what they have to offer:
This district has been the center of tourism in the city for decades. Located on a gorgeous stretch of the Pacific coast, Miraflores has it all. It's a lively district with plenty of restaurants (including one of the top 10 in the world, Maido) and nice walks along the coast. Whether you want something quiet or in a more happening area, you'll find it here. Another plus is that most of the hotels are located in areas where you can easily walk from one place to another and nothing within Miraflores is more than a 10 minute taxi ride away. It has something for everyone: surfing, cultural tours of pre-Incan temples, paragliding, food tours, shopping, and even wifi-enabled public parks. Here's our breakdown.
Attractions in Miraflores
Outdoor Attractions in Miraflores
Emblematic Parks of Miraflores
Shopping in Miraflores
Restaurants in Miraflores
Peruvian food runs the gamut in terms of diversity, style, and cost. In Miraflores, you’ll find it all. You will definitely want to get your reservations squared away with plenty of time in advance, but if you prefer winging it, you have no shortage of options. Some of our favorites include:
Miraflores Airport Transfers
Traffic in Lima can be chaotic and unpredictable and if you are trying to catch a flight, you don't want to leave it to luck. Usually rides from anywhere in Miraflores to the airport will take you from 45 minutes to one hour. If you are making the trek early on a Sunday morning you can shave 15 minutes off of that estimate, but on a Friday night, if you hit the really bad traffic, it can take you up to 90 minutes.
If you are looking for an authentic, vibrant step back in time, Barranco is the place to be. Many buildings and areas are officially protected as cultural heritage, therefore, the Republican and colonial style facades give the district personality that you would be hard-pressed to find elsewhere. This district is considered the bohemian, romantic and artsy center of life in Lima and there is no shortage of fascinating art galleries, shops selling uniquely hand-crafted goods, and an emergence of hip bars and restaurants to give Miraflores a run for its money.
Attractions in Barranco
Cultural Attractions in Barranco
Museums in Barranco
Art Galleries in Barranco
Restaurants in Barranco
Barranco is a very walkable district, and due to the stunning architectural legacy and graffiti art masterpieces, it would be a shame if you missed it. The district abounds in restaurants that offer quite varied cuisine, however barranquinos are upping the game to compete with Miraflores on the foodie scene. Here are a few of our favorites:
Barranco Airport Transfers
Barranco is the next district over from Miraflores, in the opposite direction of the airport. In terms of physical distance, the difference isn't much, but with traffic you can add 10 minutes to the Miraflores estimates, so on average, 55 minutes to an hour and 10 minutes.
Accommodations in Lima
In Lima you'll find everything from large international chains, like the JW Marriott, to quaint B&Bs like Second Home Peru. While luxury chains can run you a couple hundred dollars a night, you can find some amazing charmers that feel just as luxurious for around $100 per night. Our faves in terms of boutique hotels include Casa Republica, Villa Barranco, and Hotel B.
Now, if you just want to sit back, relax, and leave it to the pros, you can check out our Lima food and city tours, which cover both districts plus San Isidro, the main sights, some hands-on activities and was designed for people who want to see the city while tasting the best dishes.
Trip to Peru on your list and wondering about the weather during the rainy season in Cusco? It's certainly a valid question given the logistics, vacation time, and the money required to turn your Machu Picchu dream trip into a reality. We wondered the same ourselves, so we decided to head to Cusco and get some fresh air post-lockdown like many city-dwellers. We're based in Lima, and January is when the kids are out of school on their summer break, so off we went for the whole month!
Does it rain in Cusco in January?
Yes, yes, it certainly does. It rained nearly every day during January; however, the rain comes in patches and most mornings are crisp and bright blue. Occasionally, rain clouds appear mid-morning, but the Sun usually does its meet and greet early. Around midday, things warm up and the first signs of change blow in during the late afternoon or evening, bringing the rain. Of course, there are exceptions, but that’s the gist of it.
We had the luxury of a month in the Sacred Valley, so we decided to plan everything upon arrival as we didn’t quite know what to expect of the weather before going. While we had our fill of showers during the stay, it was never enough to truly “rain on our parade” in any meaningful way. So what are some key takeaways from the trip?
When packing for your Peru trip, you’ll want to consider layers for any itinerary. The temperature varies in the mountains and the difference between the sunny and overcast moments of the day is notable. The average high for January is 66F (19C) and the average low is 45F (7C) to give you an idea of the range of temperatures. Water-resistant shoes and a jacket are also handy.
Planning for Cusco and the Sacred Valley
In terms of organization, while we opted for the fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants model, we wouldn’t necessarily recommend that approach if you have limited time. As we were there for a month, we knew that if we couldn’t swing a particular plan one day, there would always be another. It’s recommended that you make your plans in advance, especially since ongoing restrictions in Peru limit the maximum capacity, especially in closed spaces.
Our Cusco itinerary was peppered with visits to archeological sites, outdoor walks, and trips to the neighboring Andean towns. There was never a dull moment. The only non-negotiable activity on our list was Machu Picchu and it was certainly an adventure. Memories were made and we’re glad we could swing it, but getting our ducks in a row to organize the outing required more effort than we expected. When it comes to Machu Picchu, this was the trickiest part to coordinate.
Tips for Machu Picchu
The two main components of bringing the adventure to life are your train ticket and your entrance ticket to Machu Picchu (MP). Two trains run throughout the Sacred Valley and will take you to Machu Picchu Pueblo (formerly Aguas Calientes), where you’ll get on the bus that takes you to the top of the llaqta (the archeological site itself). You’ll need to buy your train ticket to coincide with the specific time you’ll be allowed to enter MP as the tickets are allotted according to a timed schedule. To view the site, you’ll want to give yourself around two hours minimum at the site before heading down to MP Pueblo to catch your train back.
As for the trains to Machu Picchu, you have Peru Rail and Inca Rail, each with different options for different budgets. If you’re wondering if it’s worth it to book the Vistadome, it’s a yes from us, hands-down. And if you have the extra budget for the Hiram Bingham, do it; it’s one of the most unique train experiences in the world.
You may want to consider a guide as you tour the ruins to understand the cultural intricacies and historic legacy surrounding this bucketlist wonder. If you’ve decided to wing it and organize the logistics yourself, you can hire a guide in MP Pueblo to accompany you on the bus ride up and give you the lowdown in situ.
If we’re going to be honest, can you organize all of this yourself? Yes, absolutely! Is it a pain? Yes, absolutely! Unfortunately, the user experience involved in coordinating all the moving parts, especially for non-Spanish speakers, is a challenge. Therefore, we would recommend booking the MP visit through an agency without hesitation. It’ll save you a lot of time and stress to go with an agency in the end, even if it’s just the MP visit without the need for them to organize your entire Peru trip. It’s not the only way to go but by far the easiest and most relaxed.
Things to do in the Sacred Valley
Beyond Machu Picchu, you’ll find the Sacred Valley. This is where we chose to be based as we were looking for landscapes, tranquility, and easy access to the valley’s main attractions. About an hour and fifteen minutes away from the center of Cusco city, you’ll arrive at the sleepy town of Maras, which seems set in another time. Right down the road, you’ll get to explore the famous pink salt flats of Maras. The visit here is quite reduced in terms of time as guests are no longer allowed to walk among the salt flats in order to preserve them, thus you’ll be taking it all in from a viewing platform. The visit is fairly quick, so you’ll want to pair this outing with another activity that’s not far away. The agricultural terraces at Moray are the perfect complement. You can also rent four-wheelers or horses for an excursion in the area. Also close to Maras, you can swing by Laguna Huaypo. If you organize yourself ahead of time, you can even coordinate a standup paddle experience at the lake, a truly unique activity.
Ollantaytambo is another fabulous outing to include in your itinerary. We happened to pass through on our way to Machu Picchu as we drove from Maras to catch the train from this Incan citadel full of archeological sites and stories. Urubamba was also just down the hill from us. While it’s not the most beautiful stop, it did offer the best infrastructure in terms of pharmacies, buying groceries, a laundromat, and many of the luxury hotels are located in the area. Near Urubamba, there is a quaint but impressive gem, Hacienda Huayoccari, dating back to Pre-Columbian times. The hacienda played an important role in the exportation of corn and is still operative, while housing a family collection of art, books, and historical artifacts that allow visitors to slow down and immerse themselves in the history of where they’re standing.
On the topic of accommodations, it’s good to know that there are options for every type of traveler in Cusco city and the Sacred Valley. You’ll find 5-star hotels, Airbnb options, guest houses, and everything in between. Our stay was peculiar in that we wanted to try something different and enjoy an off-the-grid experience. Curious about a particular ecohouse design called an Earthship, we were thrilled when we found one in Maras, Peru! It was perfect for what we wanted, landscapes, nature, and an unbeatable location close to everything. We planned most of our excursions for the morning and early afternoon so we could play around outside, relax, have bonfires, and enjoy the stars, all with the backdrop of the breathtaking (literally, haha) Andes.
Is rainy season in Cusco worth the trip?
All in all, if you’re on the fence about rainy season travel to Cusco, there are advantages that made the trip worthwhile. From November to March is Peru’s low season for tourism. That means there are fewer people, which allows for a more intimate experience. There was virtually nobody at Machu Picchu when we visited. Granted, we’re also talking about January 2021, at a time when Covid restrictions had been relaxed but much of the world was still in the throes of the pandemic. Also, as it is the wet season, the hills, fields, and mountains are bright green, making for incredible expeditions through the valley. And lastly, the number of rainbows we saw was unreal. Every day we saw one, and many days we saw double rainbows in their entirety stacked on top of each other seemingly reaching from one side of the valley to the other. You can’t have rainbows without the rain!
So what are you waiting for? Start your planning now! And when you pass through Lima en route to Cusco, look us up for a Lima foodie experience. ¡Buen viaje!
Cusco Peru Travel Resources
Travel to Peru, with a bit of research, can provide you with experiences (yes, more than one) of a lifetime. This South American territory emits a unique vibe, blending ancient wisdom with a modern flare. To celebrate Peru’s Bicentennial Independence, we’ve compiled a list of five reasons that will make you fall in love with the country. Our fellow travelers who have already visited will surely find themselves nodding along with our picks. For those who haven’t, now it’s up to you to organize your Peru trip and see for yourself!
Peruvian food is rooted in more than 5,000 years of culinary techniques and ingredients that highlight the rich flavors. The coast, the Andean highlands, and the Amazon contribute their own influences and local products. Additionally, as Peru’s history intertwined with Europe and Asia, fusions of style and flavor were formed in Lima, making the city a foodie paradise. With a repertoire of more than 490 national dishes, Peruvian cuisine can satisfy any palate. And of course, we had to go with food first.
CULTURAL & ARCHEOLOGICAL SITES
Machu Picchu is likely the first to come to mind; however, Peru boasts 12 Unesco World Heritage Sites in addition to thousands of archaeological sites scattered throughout the country. Over a dozen civilizations from the last 5,000 years have left remnants of sacred spaces, living quarters, and other buildings, allowing us a glimpse into the past. You can even visit Peru’s stunning cultural sites in the heart of Lima's historic city center or in Miraflores at the Huaca Pucllana. Some of our favorites include Caral, the Nazca Lines, Kuelap, Chan Chan, Choquequirao, and Sacsayhuaman.
BIODIVERSE FLORA & FAUNA
Within Peru’s three regions, the coast, mountains, and jungle, you’ll find nearly 100 different microclimates. This translates directly into over 3,000 species of orchids, 1,800 types of birds, and a treasure trove of medicinal plants and herbs folded so deeply into the Amazon that we have yet to discover them. The lush landscapes are teeming with life in what seems to be an infinite spectrum of shapes, colors, and sizes. Head to Tarapoto in the rainforest to see monkeys, manatees, and sloths in their natural habitats. Trek the heights of the Andes to find llamas, alpacas, or the Puya Raimondii, also known as the Queen of the Andes. On the coast, you can even swim with sea lions, see penguins, and, if you’re lucky, get a peek of a passing pod of dolphins.
While we’re on the topic of swimming with sea lions, that’s just one of many adrenaline-stimulating activities you can experience while in Peru. If you like to explore destinations by getting hands-on with your surroundings, you can try paragliding in Lima, ziplining in the Sacred Valley, or sailing through sand dunes in a buggy at sunset. Adventure is never far away when in Peru.
TEXTILES & BABY ALPACA
There’s so much that we love about Peru’s artisan culture, particularly the country’s rich textile legacy. Stretching back thousands of years, the vast knowledge and skill are still discernible in the works of contemporary weavers. In communities like Chinchero, you can admire the process in person and browse among a selection of blankets, scarves, decorations for the home, and other keepsakes to remember the trip. Apart from textiles, the baby alpaca and Pima cotton products are also well worth considering for a gift or to treat yourself.
We hope those five reasons to love Peru inspired you to start planning. See you here!
Food: Restaurants in Lima · Lima Food Tours
Textiles: Textiles · Baby Alpaca · Peruvian Gifts
Cultural Sites: Huaca Pucllana · Caral · Nazca · Kuelap · Chan Chan · Sacsayhuaman
Biodiversity: Peruvian biodiversity
Adventure Activities: Paragliding · Ziplining · Huacachina
SHARING IS CARING :)
Travel to Peru may be a bit complicated at the moment given the global crossroads at which we find ourselves, however we're fortunate enough to live in an age where we can immerse ourselves in cultures, concepts, art and even recipes that transport us to another land. All of this downtime has inevitably led us to examine the intricacies of our own lives to see what's been working for us as well as observe the areas where we could use more balance. Strangely enough, travel, which would naturally seem to be the polar opposite of being on lockdown, can do the same in broadening our horizons providing us with new perspectives through which we can view our lives. This is the perfect moment then to shed some light on an ancient Andean way of viewing life that places balance and harmony with our environment at the center of our experiences. The Sumaq Kawsay, or the Andean doctrine of Good Living, is a spectacular guide for becoming more aware of our daily decisions and how to navigate the world around us while respecting the delicate equilibrium of all life. Read on for the 13 defining principles of good living according to the Andean cosmovision accompanied by some travel recommendations to start planning your Peru trip!
1. Suma Manq’ aña: Know How to Eat
Mother Earth gives us the food we require. One must eat the food of the season, the time and the place.
A couple of players that go above and beyond in this area are chef Virgilio Martinez of Central and MIL Centro, Pía León of Kjolle, Pedro Miguel Schiaffino of Malabar, Ricardo Martins of Siete and Arlette Eulert of Matria. If you want even more out of the experience, try one of our Lima food tours.
2. Suma Umaña: Know How to Drink
It is to let it enter your heart, take of the heart and emerge from the heart to run and flow like the river.
3. Suma Thokoña: Know How to Dance
To connect to the cosmos, all activities should be carried out with a spiritual dimension.
4. Suma Ikiña: Know How to Sleep
Going to bed before midnight, the nighttime energy plus the energy from the next morning, is energy from two days.
Early to bed, early to rise. Doesn't need much more explanation than that.
5. Suma Irnakaña: Know How to Work
From the original indigenous perspective, work is not suffering; it is happiness. It should be carried out with passion, intensely.
I mean we're all here and we all have to find some way to provide for ourselves, so no matter what you do, throw yourself into it. What have you go to lose? If you give it your best, no one can take that away from you whether you succeed or not, the worst you will have gained is experience. Go for it.
6. Suma Lupiña: Know How to Meditate
Silence balances and harmonizes, therefore balance is reestablished through one’s silence (Amiki).
7. Suma Amuyaña: Know How to Think
It is reflection, not only from a rational viewpoint, but from one’s feelings. Without losing our mind, let’s walk the path of our heart.
More than thinking about all of the experiences you have to explore in Peru, the best way to get the most out of your trip is to dive in head over heels and feel it at a deeper level because that will be the greatest gift you can give yourself once you return home.
8. Suma Munaña, Munayasiña: Know How to Love and Be Loved
Respect for everything that exists creates harmonious relationships.
So this definitely pre-dates Aretha however we see this recurring theme in just about all aspects of our lives from time to time: R-E-S-P-E-C-T. If your relationships are based on respect to the fullest degree, then finding the flow and reciprocity leads to harmony. The golden rule, anybody?
9. Suma Ist’ aña | Know How to Listen
Listening is not only accomplished with the ears; it is perceived, felt, listening is with our whole body. If all things are living, all things also speak.
The Andean cosmovision once again tells us to reside a little less in our minds and tap into our other senses to listen and gain information. We all know that sometimes our gut tells us more than what our head can suss out of a situation and by quieting the mind we can sharpen the other communication tools we have at our disposal.
10. Suma Aruskipaña: Know How to Speak
Before speaking, one must feel and think well. To speak well means speaking to build, support and add something.
Can I get an "Amen?!" If everytime someone opened their mouth to speak it had to be with the intention to build, support and add something can you even allow yourself to imagine what the world would look like? We're constantly surrounded and bombarded with opinions, judgments, fluff, criticisms (not the constructive kind) and quiet frankly, a lot of hot air. Mindfulness in speech could take us a long way. One of the best ways of experiencing a culture is also through the language. You would do yourself a big favor if you picked up a little Spanish before the trip, or even better for the Andes, Quechua. A language is a living, evolving organism that allows one access to a different mindset and even different ways of understanding the same concept. It's never too late to break out the Rosetta Stone and start building your base or even sign up for a language exchange.
11. Suma Samkasiña: Know How to Dream
Through dreaming we perceive life. To dream is to project life.
12. Suma Sarnaqaña: Know How to Walk
Weariness does not exist for one who knows how to walk. We must be conscious that one never walks alone.
13. Suma Churaña, Suma Katukaña: Know How to Give and Receive
Everything flows in life: we give and receive. The two forces interacting creates life.
That sums it up. Give and receive. It doesn't get much simpler than that.
A little food for thought. If we all make some small changes and tweaks to find that balance, we just might wake up to a whole new world.
The best restaurants in Lima all bring exceptional value to the table, whether that be found in the quality of the ingredients, the creativity of the chef and culinary team, the inspiring ambience or the entire story narrated from the beginning until the end of the experience. In counted, unique cases there are opportunities for some of the best dining in Lima when all of these factors unite for one incredible meal. To take matters a step further, there are great rewards for those who decide to leverage Lima’s year-round mild climate and offer guests a respite from the hustle and bustle by providing chic and cozy outdoor seating and rooftop patios. You don’t have to venture very far off the beaten path to become completely enamored by these top restaurants in Lima that serve their delicious bites with a side of fresh air.
This spacious rooftop patio nearly takes you to the clouds as the highest rooftop terrace in Lima located on the 22nd floor. With several different dining areas, guests can choose the spot that best fits the mood for the moment whether that be the polished and sophisticated bar, the formal dining room with views of the kitchen, or our favorite, the outdoor terrace. On many weeknights, Azotea Doce also organizes live music, which provides the perfect recipe for a great time. The dishes are delicately crafted and artfully presented and although on the light side, the flavor alone more than satiates the palate.
Among the best restaurants in Barranco, you’ll find a stunning spot that invites you to relax and lean into the district’s bohemian vibe. Located in a gorgeous renovated mansion along San Martin Avenue, you’ll pass through the gates and into an open space that extends all the way to the landscaped garden at the back of the property. The outdoor bar and wood-burning oven are the highlights at Dada but you’ll find a colorful and theatrical escape within each room of the house’s interior. It’s the perfect plan for a few drinks and tapas after discovering all of the vibrant things to do in Barranco.
Tucked into a quaint, green corner in the heart of Miraflores, La Plazita is always a winning option. Just blocks from the iconic Larco Avenue, you’ll find a relaxing patio that has something for everyone. The restaurant’s casual, elegant style puts the menu front and center with fresh Peruvian fusions that allow the country’s rich biodiversity to be the protagonist. La Plazita, without a doubt, is one of the best restaurants in Miraflores with outdoor seating.
No visit to Lima would be complete without the Nikkei experience. The Peruvian-Japanese fusion has brought us innumerable culinary gifts thanks to both cultures’ millenary appreciation for the sea. If you can’t get a table at Latin America’s top restaurant, Maido, don’t fret as Lima has some amazing options for you to get a taste of Nikkei cuisine and one of those happens to have a killer terrace. Osaka sits right on the edge of the San Isidro district and from the sensory-packed descent into the depths of this underground lair, you can tell it will be an experience. The food, the drinks and obviously the terrace make this a great spot to spend an evening in Lima.
If you have a special appreciation for extreme attention to detail and you’re craving an alternative to the widely-recommended cebichería La Mar, then Barra Lima is your place. Don’t let the unassuming trappings fool you, the dishes are nothing short of exquisite. It’s apparent that the execution of each dish was planned down to the exact position of every element on the plate and the flavors follow suit making it a well-rounded experience. Barra Lima shows us native Peruvian ingredients reimagined and recomposed. The bonus is the al fresco patio which allows you to do some light people watching as you’ll be curbside one of Lima’s prime boutique shopping avenues, Conquistadores.
For some, sitting down to a meal is about so much more than the flavors and aromas because the preparation for the dishes began much before, when the seeds were planted, even far before harvest. Conscious dining is a trend becoming ever-more present as guests want to know more about the origins of their meals and the micro-economy affected by their conscious decisions regarding consumption. Lucky for Lima, there is a centrally-located Miraflores rooftop paradise that cooks up just the kind of dishes that care for the environment and are sourced locally. Cous Cous is a lovely option with well-being at the heart of the matter. If you are looking for vegetarian options, check out our list of the best vegetarian restaurants in Lima.
If cocktails are your focus, then this rooftop bar is the perfect place to start the evening, or even end it for that matter. The upbeat music and understated décor give a feel of sophistication and a jolt of energy that make this the perfect space if you’re feeling more social. You’ll find locals and visitors alike as Celeste’s cool vibe has wide-reaching appeal.
Last but certainly not least is easily one of the most incredible outdoor patios of them all – the Huaca Pucllana. Nestled within an archeological complex dating back 1,500 years, you’ll dine at one of the best restaurants in Lima while overlooking pre-Incan ruins. With the intricate, gourmet twist given to some of Peru’s most traditional dishes, it’s hard to say which stands out more, the food or the views. While this fine dining establishment is the perfect option for treating yourself to an incredible experience for lunch or dinner, in the evenings they also have an outdoor bar where you can grab a drink just to see the site illuminated at night or join us on a Lima food tour for a visit.
Where do you even begin to plan for your trip to Lima, let alone Peru? Nowdays there is a wealth of information available like never before and even the most savvy of travelers can get bogged down by the plurality of voices sharing their experiences. The ideal scenario would be to have a local friend to call on for insider insights, someone whose taste and characterization of a place you could blindly trust. What is perhaps the next best thing? The perspective of an expat who understands the culture, history and nuances of a place, while also bridging the divide through their own native cultural lens. In that sense you would get the best of both worlds, essentially a shortcut to the “meat and potatoes” of a destination through a curated itinerary that would allow you to get the most out of your trip. Today is your lucky day, because that is just what I’m offering you – a way to hack your travel planning to Lima. I’m a Kansas City native who has spent the last 15 years as an expat, the last eight of which have been spent in Peru alongside my Lima-born husband, Lucas, helping visitors discover the best of what the country has to offer. So, here are my two cents on how to hack Lima and have an unforgettable stay in the City of Kings.
where to stay in lima
While Lima has 43 districts, or neighborhoods, you can safely narrow your visit down to three or four where you’ll be wandering: Miraflores, Barranco, San Isidro and Lima’s historic center. There are a few outliers you may hit along the way but for the most part you’ll be in and out just to see a main attraction or two. The best areas to book your hotel would be, hands-down, Miraflores or Barranco.
Miraflores offers a modern view of the city with lots of shops, most of the upscale restaurants and you’ll even find many international chains (sometimes a comfort, but I know you did not come all the way to Peru just to hit up Starbucks). Miraflores is a safe neighborhood where you can walk around and get a feel for how the city has developed over the last 40 years; there are beautifully landscaped parks, the coastal promenade, or malecón in local lingo, bike lanes, paragliding and more. While you can find internationally recognized hotel chains like the Marriott and Hilton, I’m a believer in getting carried away by the charm of a boutique hotel. A couple of lovely options that are well-located and are a big hit are: Hotel de Autor and La Quinta Miraflores Boutique
Barranco is the bohemian, romantic and even slightly hipster side of the city. Here you’ll find gorgeous traditional mansions that have been restored and invite you travel back in time. The colors of the neighborhood pop as you walk through the narrow, tree-lined streets and appreciate the eclectic architecture, eye-catching street art and boutique art galleries that are peppered throughout the area. The laid-back vibe and mix of traditional styles infused with a modern twist make this district truly unique and unforgettable. Looks like people have begun to take notice as some amazing boutique hotels have opened recently allowing guests to be fully immersed in Barranco’s hallmark style. Try Casa Republica or Villa Barranco for an extra special stay in Lima.
what to eat in lima
If you haven’t tried Peruvian cuisine before now, then there is no better place than Lima. And even if you have, be prepared to be blown away by the freshness of the ingredients, variety of flavors and seemingly boundless fusions. This is undoubtedly the longest section of tips; after all, we do run Lima food tours so we believe this is one of the best ways to get to know Peru. With limited time in the city, you’ll still be able to understand why Lima has been declared the Leading Culinary Destination in the World for the last six years by the World Travel Awards. By now, most people have heard of cebiche and the pisco sour, Peru’s flagship dish and drink, even if you haven’t tried it, however the country’s rich foodie history has so much more to offer. Let’s take a look:
Lima Travel Tips
Your Lima Travel Guides
Things to do in Lima that make people fall in love with the city - that's precisely what we're after. We're Lucas and Sam, a Peruvian-American couple who have run the top tour in Lima for the past 10 years. It’s no coincidence that the best activities in Lima have to do with Peru’s amazing cuisine. This Kansas City girl and Lima native have lived all over the world in their corporate past lives but they traded in the daily grind for sharing their love of good food, showing off the city’s secrets and meeting awesome people along the way.
The ultimate Lima tours: no planning needed because we've already done the work for you. Prepare to experience the best of Lima.