You're off to Peru, now what to do? Chances are that you will have to pass through Lima no matter what, so you better make the most of it. As a bustling city with nearly 10 million people, 43 districts and thousands of years of history and tradition, this is where the magic happens. If you know where to look, you can be immersed in the fusion of ancient and modern cultures, breathtaking landscapes and exotic flavors, We bring you our top three things to do in Lima, Peru:
The Larco Museum is located in the district of Pueblo Libre and provides you with a stunning private collection of artefacts that date back more than 4,000 years and cover a number of civilizations that inhabited Peru's coastal area well before the Incas even existed. Think ceramics, textiles and golden masks, oh my! And if you're looking for something you don't see every day, they even have a special exhibit of erotic pre-Columbian ceramics. Just as impressive as the archeological collection is the museum café, located on a gorgeous terrace with garden views in middle of the 18th century mansion.
Av. Bolivar 1515, Pueblo Libre, Lima 21
T (00511) 461-1312 - 461-1835
Monday-Sunday 9:00 AM to 10:00 PM
Lima has been declared the Leading Culinary Destination in the World (World Travel Awards) for the last few years, so the foodie scene should definitely be on your list of things to do in Lima. You'll find all kinds of restaurants around the city, from traditional neighborhood holes in the wall (known as huariques ) to some of the best restaurants in the world (Central, Maido, Astrid y Gastón) with menus that will have your mouth watering before the cutlery is on the table. But where to eat and what to order with so little time in Lima? Luckily, there's a solution - five hour food and city tours that have a specially designed route to maximize your time by showing you around three of the city's most interesting districts while trying different dishes, exploring new ingredients and getting a crash course in Peru's socio-economic story over the past 70 years. Full disclosure here - we run these tours at The Lima Gourmet Company, however they've been as Tripadvisor's number one activity to do in Lima for the past four years, so we feel it's safe to say that fellow travelers also consider them a must-do to make the most of your time. ¡Buen provecho!
The Lima Gourmet Company
T (00511) 415-8159
Day Tours Mon-Sun 9:30 AM -2:30 PM
Evening Tours Mon-Sat 4:30 PM - 9:30 PM
Malecón in Miraflores and Barranco
Sometimes the best way to get to know a city is just by taking a relaxing stroll, catering to your inner flâneur as you saunter along the coast watching the passersby and taking in the relaxed west coast vibe. One of the most visually stimulating stretches of Malecón is walking from Miraflores to Barranco until you reach the Bridge of Sighs. You'll find beautifully landscaped parks, a lighthouse, rollerbladers and cyclists, little juice bars and kiosks, paragliders and of course, the captivating views of Lima's coastline.
With those three activities you're set - you've got culture, cuisine and charm and will have seen the best of Lima!
MATE Museum Exhibit - Mario Testino
Barranco is a lively district that for decades has attracted Lima's major trend-setters due to the bohemian and artsy feel of the area.
One gem that is not to be missed is the MATE Museum by the internationally reknowned Peruvian photographer, Mario Testino. The permanent exhibit is a stunning display of color and culture that provides visitors with a glimpse of Cusqueño culture. Apart from exploring native Andean traditions through the lens, during your visit you will also find the temporary exhibits which never fail to disappoint.
T +511 200 5400
Av. Pedro de Osma 409
Barranco Lima 4
Looking for places to eat in Lima? Don't overlook your breakfast options. Artisanal bakeries, like Pan de la Chola, have been creating plenty of buzz among visitors and locals alike so it's refreshing to see more boutique-style bakeries open up around the city.
One of the newest players to satisfy Limeño carb cravings is La Panetteria in Barranco. While they only have five or six tables, it's still under the radar so you can beat the crowds that are flocking to some of the other more high-profile spots. There are a number of options that cater to all tastes: those with a bit of sweet tooth (think chocolate filled croissants), health nuts (avocados filled with fresh tomatoes, parsely and sprouts), as well as traditionalists who want their coffee, toast and juice while they skim over the morning headlines.
Definitely worth venturing outside of Miraflores!
Avenida Grau 369, Barranco
T: (01) 4698260
Tourism in Lima is to receive an extra boost for the fourth year in a row thanks to the fantastic quality of its food. The prestigious World Travel Awards voted Peru, again, as the Best Culinary Destination in the World. Peru has been awarded this top spot for four consecutive years, beating well established foodie destinations such as Italy, France, China, Thailand and the United States. The recognition consolidates Peru as the hottest foodie destination. Three of the top restaurants in the world are based in Lima, including Central, which this year was voted as the best restaurant in the Americas and number four in the world.
The emergence of Peru as a major destination for food lovers who are curious to find out what all the fuss is about means that Lima is no longer a layover destination, but an attractive destination of its own merit. The number of visitors to Lima has steadily increased over the last few years and nobody can deny that food is playing a major role.
We've done our homework for you and scoured the world's best restaurant lists to bring you the top restaurants that are based in Peru.
The World's 50 Best Restaurants - San Pellegrino & Acqua Panna
#4 - Central
Head Chef: Virgilio Martínez & Pía León
Calle Santa Isabel 376, Miraflores, Lima
+51 1 242 8515
#14 - Astrid y Gastón
Head Chef: Diego Muñoz
Av. Paz Soldán 290, San Isidro, Lima 27
+511 442 2775
#44 - Maido
Head Chef: Mitsuharu Tsumura
399 San Martin Street, Miraflores, Lima
+51 1 444 2568
Now let's get region-specific and look at the best restaurants in Latin America for 2015.
#1 - Central
#3 - Astrid y Gastón
#5 - Maido
#12 - La Mar
Head Chef: Andrés Rodríguez
Av. La Mar 770, Miraflores, Lima
+51 1 421 3365
#20 - Malabar
Head Chef: Pedro Miguel Schiaffino
Camino Real 101, San Isidro, Lima
+51 1 440 5200
#31 - Fiesta
Head Chef: Virgina Najarro Gamboa
Av. Reducto 1278 Miraflores, Lima
+51 1 242 9009
#34 - Osso Carnicería y Salumería
Head Chef: Renzo Garibaldi
Calle Tahiti 175 La Molina, Lima, Peru
+51 1 352 9915
#36 - La Picantería
Head Chef: Héctor Solís
Francisco Moreno 388, Surquillo, Lima
+51 1 241 6676
#50 - Rafael
Head Chef: Ricardo Martins
Calle San Martín 300, Miraflores, Lima
+51 1 242 4149
With nine delicious options, you should be set to have a delectable experience in Lima, Peru.
What to buy in Peru is a topic that comes up frequently with our guests during Lima food tours. It's important to pick out unique keepsakes, souvenirs and gifts that represent the local styles and flavors so that the essence of the trip lives on. Besides a lovely bottle of Pisco or the token chullo (Andean stocking cap) and pan pipes, we offer you five options that are sure to bring back memories of an unforgettable trip to Peru.
1. Silver Jewelry and Accesories
2. Pink Salt
3. Baby Alpaca
4. Organic coffee
5. Hot Sauce
Tourism in Lima wouldn’t be complete without a few tips on what to try while in the city. The microbrewing trend in Peru has recently taken off and there are some contenders that are giving the big players a run for their money. From brews that make use of more original ingredients, like the rocoto pepper or quinua, to your more traditional IPAs and lagers, there’s something for everyone looking to take a break from the pisco sour. Here are some of our favorites, as well as a few places where you can try them.
Peruvian craft beers
Where to try them
Although officially in autumn still, this week in Lima, Peru, started out grey and reminded us that winter is around the corner. That is not necessarily a bad thing! The restaurant scene in Lima gets even busier as the locals no longer spend their weekends at the beach resort in the south. It is time to catch up with family and friends over a nice meal, and during a cold winter day (well, it is all relative since winter in Lima is low 60s), there is nothing better than a nice chupe de camarones, or shrimp soup! This famous dish from the city of Arequipa is a creamy chowder, that packs enough spice to warm you up on a cool day. What are the top restaurants in Lima where you should try it? Most cebicherias serve this wonderful soup, but we have a few recommendations for you:
EL RINCONCITO DE TIABAYA
Founded back in the 50s, this traditional picantería is part of the history of traditional food from Arequipa in Lima. Don’t expect anything fancy, just outstanding food.
Jr. San Miguel 962, Surquillo.
Although this restaurant is famous for the Peruvian-Italian fusion, their Chupe de Camarones is one of the best in the city. It isn’t cheap, but the quality of the products and taste make it well worth it.
Malecón de la Marina 526, Santa Cruz, Miraflores.
Arequipan food is one of the tastiest in all of Peru and this restaurant specializes exclusively in this type of cuisine. There's no wondering why it made our short list. While there, also try the Rocoto Relleno!
Av. Aviación 4907, Surco
Av. Federico Villarreal 360, Miraflores
The Barranco district of Lima is home to some of the most enchanting corners of the city. If you are looking to try a locally brewed beer, The Barranco Beer Company should be on your list. On tap they have an ale and a lager, and for the more adventurous, they offer a variety of beer-based cocktails.
Lucas and I wandered in off the street after perusing the area for new stops to incorporate on our evening food tour. Whether we end up adding it to one of our current tours or not, it will absolutely be on our recommendation list from now on. Sometimes you just want something other than Cusqueña, so Ricardo, the bartender, filled us in on the brewery's future plans of possibly incorporating a selection of beers brewed from quinoa and other local products.
Another plus is that this is also going to be a great place to watch the World Cup games. They've installed a massive screen on the wall and there is more than enough room to get a good group of friends together to cheer on your favorite teams. ¡Salud!
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 seven 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 food and city tour
No planning needed because we've already done the work for you. Experience the best of Lima in one day.