So you're getting ready for your Peru trip, and you'll be passing through Lima: Now, you need to get things organized and get everything booked. We are going to bring you a couple of tips, some Lima travel tips for how to manage your trip so everything is smooth sailing and you can enjoy your time in Peru. With more than a decade of experience running food tours in Lima, we’ve taken our shared knowledge and boiled it down to the essentials.
What to pack for Lima, Peru
There are a couple of things to keep in mind. First of all, the temperatures, and in general, Lima's climate, are relatively mild. When you talk about your winter months, remember that we are in South America, and the coldest months are July, August, and September. Your warm summer months are January, February, and March. Many years, the warm weather can stay throughout most of May.
Another thing to consider is that it doesn't really rain in Lima, so you don't need to worry about umbrellas or raincoats. When you go to the Andes, however, especially if you're coming during the rainy season in Cusco (Nov.-Apr.), you’ll want to plan accordingly.
In terms of clothing, layers will be your friend during a Lima trip. In the winter, the lower temperatures hover around 60 degrees Fahrenheit. And at the height of summer, the thermostat will reach 85 degrees but hardly dance above that. The transition between daytime and evening temperatures will fluctuate, so your layers will come in handy, and you can be prepared for it all.
One more point to consider is that it's a casual city overall. You’ll be fine in fairly simple clothing; however, for going out at night to nice restaurants in Lima for cocktails, you’ll want to dress up a bit. No extremes, though. You don't need a suit, but business casual, a nice pair of even flats, a cardigan, a blazer, or other details to give your casual look a more formal spin when you enjoy a lovely evening.
Peru has been voted the world's leading culinary destination for seven years consecutively so yes, you would be remiss if you didn't spend a little time looking into the foodie scene. Keeping in line with the long tradition of respecting one's environment, most top restaurants in Lima are committed to seasonal menus as well as using local ingredients with sophisticated techniques to preserve the ancestral lineage and importance given to the entire cycle of food production with a heavy focus on sustainability.
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.
You may have heard of the Pisco Sour by now, Peru's flagship cocktail and with good reason - it's a drink that can certainly have you leading from the heart with just a few sips. The spirit itself, pisco, has only been in production since the arrival of the Spanish to the continent in the 16th century when grapes were introduced to the region, same goes for wine. We are beginning to see a focus however on natural wines that truly tap into the local soil, climate and nutrients in a way that highlights their unique profiles. A must-try leader of the trend are wines and piscos from the boutique producer Bodega Murga. For the beer lovers you can find some extremely creative craft brews made with quinoa, Peruvian cocoa, local chile peppers like the rocoto and a number of other flavorful alternatives. Check out the beer from Magdalena, Barbarian or Sierra Andina.
3. Suma Thokoña: Know How to Dance
To connect to the cosmos, all activities should be carried out with a spiritual dimension.
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There are some amazing local dances that if you get the chance, don't pass up the opportunity to see them. On the coast, the marinera is the most representative dance, although the Andean communities take it to the next level with la diablada and the mind-blowing scisssor dance. The scissor-whaaaat? The scissor dance, or el baile de las tijeras, where men face-off battling with dance moves that push human dexterity to new limits all while maintaing the rhythm of the music with a pair of scissors in their hands.
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).
If you're looking for a retreat, a little peace and quiet to clear your mind, Peru is a dream destination. What's more magical than the fresh air of the Andes where you're so high up you're almost among stars. You don't necessarily have to book a yoga retreat either (although there are many fantastic options if that's what floats your boat), as many of the Andean lodges are built in such a way that the ambience encourages you to carve out a little time during your trip just to be, to take it all in, to breathe in as deeply as possible and center yourself before continuing the journey.
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.
What most people find when they travel to Peru is the tremendous humanity that is bestowed upon guests visiting from abroad, all across the board, but particularly in the hospitality sector. It is not a disingenuous welcome one might expect in countries that are home to one of the Seven Wonders of the World, but a connection full of feeling and warmth at being able to share such a rich culture and ancient customs.
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.
Peru is a place that has something for every kind of dreamer. If you like adventure there are waterfalls, mountain hikes, white-water rafting, swimming excursions with sealions, paragliding from the coastal cliffs of Lima or riding in dune-buggies at sunset around a desert oasis. For the lovers of luxury, you can find remote jungle paradises tucked away in the Amazon where pink dolphins and the forest canopy await, Andean sanctuaries surrounded by hotsprings, fields of lavender spread across the Sacred Valley and wine tasting at the oldest vineyard in South America. For the artists, museums and small art galleries are peppered throughout Lima, street murals add vibrant colors and other-worldly imagery to colonial streets and the architecture spanning from pre-Hispanic times to the modern era will provide enough visual stimulation to inspire your next project.
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.
Itineraries for Peru, especially on a first trip, would not be complete without at least some time spent walking along the steep inclines and the majestic slopes of the Andes. There are a number of treks you can combine with a Machu Picchu visit or Rainbow Mountain, but if you're looking for something off the beaten path Huayna Picchu, Gocta and Kuelap are excellent options. There is still so much of the country to be explored and as mass tourism has not yet arrived, now is the perfect time to wander.
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.
Ideas for gifts in Peru abound as it’s a country that truly has something for everyone. From tangible gifts, such as the finest baby alpaca to unique silver pieces that display master craftsmanship, to flavorful goods like the award-winning coffee, chocolate or pisco, the people that matter most in your life are sure to feel spoiled. For a list of great gift ideas that are uniquely Peruvian, check out this blog post: What to Buy in Peru - Top 5 Peruvian Gifts in Lima.
Aside from those presents that you can touch and feel, Peru also offers unforgettable experiences that sometimes speak even more to the passions and pleasures of our friends and family. Gifting an experience is an ideal way to show the travelers in our lives we care, especially for special occasions like birthdays, weddings, honeymoons and anniversaries… or maybe even just because! Below you’ll find a few ideas for gifting an experience in Peru.
Luxury Spa Experience in Lima, Peru
After all of the traveling, especially for the adventurers, everyone could use a bit of pampering. Between the high altitude and treks around Cusco and Machu Picchu and off-the-beaten-path Amazon excursions, the excitement of new experiences can take a toll on even the most resilient nomad. Our luxury spa partners open the doors to their award-winning facilities to offer relaxing massages, hydrotherapies, decadent facials, energizing reflexology treatments and much more. You can find the most sought-after packages by visiting Luxury Spa Experience in Lima, Peru.
Lima Food Tours
Peru has been declared the World’s Leading Culinary Destination for the last six years, so you really can’t go wrong when it comes to the food. In Lima, a city of 10 million residents and thousands of restaurants, it can be quite a task to whittle down the options, so why not leave it to the experts? Lima food tours at the Lima Gourmet Company have been ranked as the #1 activity in Peru’s capital since 2012, therefore guests are guaranteed to have a great time. The daytime culinary tour leads guests through a market, explores organic Peruvian coffee, includes a cebiche and pisco lesson as well as lunch alongside pre-Incan ruins. The evening food tour explores the vibrant restaurant scene as well as different regional cuisines. For birthday guests there is a special dessert and for those celebrating anniversaries and honeymoons a champagne toast!
Private Surf Lesson
Lima is one of few privileged world capitals located right on the coast. Aside from the spectacular views and incredible seafood, surf is a big part of local life - total west-coast living in the southern hemisphere. For guests looking to pick up a new skill or even perfect the art of hanging ten, Lima is the place to be. You can gift a private surf lesson with a pro that can be adapted to any skill-level, from beginners to advanced surfers. For further details visit: Surf Lesson in Lima
Now you’re all set to stand apart when it comes to giving a great gift, Peruvian style!
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.