Lima, Peru as a cruise port destination may seem like a mixed bag in terms of reviews, however we can assure you that the stop is not to be missed. If you pick up some tips on the best ways to tour Lima. You will without a doubt come to the conclusion that the city is absolutely worth getting off the ship and exploring. No matter what your area of interest, it's a South American metropolis that has it all: culture, history, shopping and undoubtedly the best food around as the World's Best Culinary Destination five years running.
What's the best way to organize your time in the Lima?
By districts or neighborhoods. Once you make it out of the port area, you can head to one of the main neighborhoods where, for the most part, the attractions will all be within walking distance. While Lima has 43 districts, with such limited time, you can easily whittle it down to two or three parts of the city that have a denser concentration of things to see and do. The three main areas we recommend scoping out to get a feel for the city are Lima's historic center, Miraflores and Barranco.
How to get from Callao's port area to Lima?
Most cruise lines organize a free shuttle from the ship to a few different destinations - usually Plaza San Miguel, La Punta or the JW Marriott hotel in Miraflores. Currently, there are no established, standard shuttle schedules for arrivals which may make the process of disembarking and getting around seem overwhelming. Most ships inform passengers a day or two before docking which shuttles will be offered at the port of Callao and from there you can fine-tune the rest of your transportation.
If you are dropped off at San Miguel or La Punta, you are still quite a way from Lima's main attractions, so you would have a few options for getting around: 1) have a prearrange tour or car to take your around the city 2) negotiate with a street taxi a fixed price to your destination or 3) the taxi app Uber also works in Lima to order a cab.
If the JW Marriott is the drop-off point, you will be right in the center of Miraflores and within walking distance of many points of interest.
How to tour Lima?
Below we've divided the city by district and have included the top must-see attractions and a few tips for each stop. We've also tried to give you an idea of how much time you should expect to spend in transit so that you can effectively get the most out of your time in Lima.
Historic & Colonial Lima - Center of Lima
Tips: If you head to the center of Lima, you can fit in the Plaza de Armas, views of the presidential palace (and changing of the guards at noon), the Lima Cathedral and a tour of the San Francisco Monastery and its catacombs in about 2 hours. Keep in mind that most churches close to the public at 5:00 PM.
Modern & Cosmopolitan Lima - Miraflores
Tips: Miraflores is a very walkable district, however if you need a taxi to get anywhere, you will have no trouble finding one and anywhere you should want to go (besides the historic center) should not take longer than 15 minutes. Miraflores is also actively promoting a healthier, higher quality of lifestyle and bikes, as well as bike lanes if you're up for the adventure, are all over the central area of the district.
Bohemian & Romantic Lima - Barranco
Tips: Barranco is one of the most charming and laid-back corners of the city, full of color and life. It's a great place to take a stroll and admire the architecture and particular style of the district. If you love to explore cities by walking, you can do Miraflores and Barranco in the same day by wandering along the malecón or boardwalk.
*Bonus Stop* - Larco Museum - Pueblo Libre
Time Estimate from Callao
Tips: The Larco Museum house a gorgeous private collection of over 40,000 pieces that span some 4,000 years of history and civilization in Peruvian territory. The exhibits are fascinating, the building itself is a treasure and the outdoor garden café is absolutely worth stopping to have a bite.
Want to do it all in one day?
Take the guesswork out and join a cultural, city, food tour of Lima. The route was designed to maximize guests' time by curating a series of stops that represent the best introduction to the country's history, society, traditions, local knowledge and vibrant culinary scene through three districts, Miraflores, Barranco and San Isidro. From tasting menus to an interactive cebiche and pisco class, this is the perfect way to do Lima in a day. This food and city tour includes exclusive restaurants, trendy districts, top must-see attractions and hands-on activities. Group tours and private tours can be arranged for guests coming from the port. Check out the itinerary: Lima food tours
Vegetarian restaurants in Lima may sound like a tall order to fill, however Peru is no newcomer to the foodie scene and vegetarians certainly have a place at the table to enjoy this culinary capital’s creations. With nearly 300 national dishes, as you can imagine, there is something here for everyone. Peru was the first country in the world to declare GMOs illegal so you can rest assured that the colors, flavors and shapes of the country’s remarkable produce are as natural as it gets. Out of the world’s 113 microclimates, Peru boasts being home to 90 of them, meaning that the biodiversity found in this South American gem is out of this world. Lima, as the country’s capital, therefore has a number of options that showcase the multitude of fruits, veggies and grains available to health-conscious patrons looking for a bite to eat. Below you’ll find our top three favorite vegetarian restaurants in Lima:
This adorable corner tucked away in Miraflores offers vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free (and obviously raw) options. The diverse menu contains wraps, bowls, salads, sandwiches, burgers, pizzas and desserts. The outdoor seating makes it a great place to get some fresh air while enjoying a healthy meal.
Address: Mariano Odicio 432, Miraflores
Hours: 8:30 AM – 9:00 PM
Telephone: +51 (1) 241 7696
Keeping true to the artsy, bohemian vibe of the Barranco district, Germinando Vida is a lovely little place that feels very warm and cozy. The overhead string of lights and exposed brick walls allow you to settle in to a slower pace and really enjoy the food. The dishes are delicious and really highlight the better qualities of some of Peru’s superfoods.
Address: Av. Almte. Miguel Grau 209A, Barranco
Hours: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM / 5:30 – 11:00 PM
Telephone: +51 (1) 300 0602
El Jardin de Jazmín
More than just a spot to satisfy those hunger pangs, El Jardín de Jazmín is a self-styled “Vegan resto-bar for art and culture.” From the walls, to the tables to the food itself, the locale is brimming with color and design. Not only that, but show up on a Saturday evening or Sunday afternoon and you could be in for a real treat with live entertainment from musicians to magicians depending on the day you go.
Address: Av. la Paz 838, Miraflores
Hours: 12:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Telephone: +51 993 731 598
Lima is in the Southern Hemisphere which means we are currently in winter season, which runs from late May through August. The season is characterized by grey skies, heavy fog throughout the day and a light drizzle the locals call "garúa."
Temperatures hover between a low of 54-61°F and a high of 61-66°F along the coast; however Peru's capital is well known for its micro-climates. One can travel even 20 minutes away from the coast and find sunny areas that reach up to 5° warmer than coastal temperatures. Though the humidity is quite high, rainfall is nearly nonexistent in Lima.
With overcast skies through much of the winter season, you may be wondering what to do during your stay in Lima. But one thing is for certain – you’ll never be lacking for things to do in our country’s capital! If a foggy day by the coast isn’t your idea of fun, here are three other things you can do to get a feel of Lima.
#1 – Museums
Our favorite museum in Lima is the Larco Museum. If you’re only able to squeeze in one during your trip, this is the one to make time for. The museum was founded in 1926 and holds the largest archaeological collection of Ancient Peru in the world. This impressive private collection features stunning pre-Colombian pieces, a visitor-friendly storage area that houses over 40,000 relics, a one-of-a-kind erotic gallery and an amazing cafe situated amidst the loveliest outdoor garden.
We also recommend the MATE – Museo Mario Testino. Mario, who was born in Lima, is world renowned fashion and portrait photographer. The museum features his incredible work and also aims to bring other Peruvian artists and culture to worldwide attention, while offering the best of international contemporary art and photography.
If you have time for additional museums during your stay in Lima, here’s a comprehensive list we’ve put together.
#2 – Shopping
What’s better on a foggy day than a little shopping?
If you’re looking for a local flair, be sure to check out the Inca Market at 5321 Petit Thouars Av. in Miraflores. If you’re looking for Peruvian goods – from jewelry to clothing to souvenirs, this market has you covered. If it’s made in Peru, you’ll find it at the Inca Market!
If you’re looking for a more traditional shopping experience, check out Larcomar at Block 6 of Malecón de la Reserva in Miraflores. This shopping center in Lima is not only a mega-complex full of restaurants, a movie theater and bowling alley – it’s stunning as it is built into a cliffisde overlooking the coast! Larcomar includes several Peruvian fashion designer boutiques as well as high-end jewelry and clothing stores.
#3 – Food Tours
Food tours are another great way to experience Lima during the winter season. Our Lima tours combine a food tour, cultural tour and a city tour in one day. On our food tours, we take you through the districts of the capital that best represent the traditional and modern aspects of our culture, such as Barranco, Miraflores and San Isidro. We not only want you to enjoy this mouth-watering experience, but to also discover and fall in love with the best of Lima in just a few hours. All of our tours of Lima are all-inclusive, so all you have to do is come ready for a good time!
You can take a full day tour, an evening tour or if you’re short on time you can enjoy a hands-on, foodie experience of Lima in an hour with our Cebiche + Pisco Class.
Learn more about our food tours and book today!
If you need other ideas for things you can do in Lima during the winter season, don’t hesitate to let us know! We’re always here to help with ideas.
Most of all, have fun and enjoy Lima!
There’s much to love about Lima – the culture, the people, the things to see and do, the food. But top on the list of many traveler’s is one drink in particular: the Pisco Sour.
There are eight varieties of grapes that produce Pisco in the following five regions of Peru: Lima, Ica, Arequipa, Moquega and Tacna. The different varieties of grapes possess characteristics that define the flavors and aromas of Pisco and can be divided into two classifications, aromatic piscos and non-aromatic piscos. The former are mostly used as apperitifs or digestifs to open the palate before a meal and to aid in digestion after a meal. Non-aromatic piscos are of the variety that are used to make cocktails such as the Pisco Sour or Chilcano. This Peruvian brandy has an alcohol volume of 42% and is 84 proof, making it an excellent choice to liven any party.
While there are many variations of Pisco drinks (you can google them and get TONS of recipes), in Lima the Pisco Sour gets top marks.
You take 3 shots of non-aromatic Pisco, 1 shot of freshly squeezed lime juice, 1 shot of simple syrup, 1 egg white, and 2-3 drops of angostura bitters on top.
Of course, it sounds much more simple than it is. Isn’t it that way with all cocktail drink making?
At Lima Gourmet Company, we offer a really fun and quick (1 hour!) hands-on experience so you can learn all you need to know about the Pisco Sour.
So are you ready to have a little fun and learn how to make the perfect Pisco Sour? Book your one-hour tour today!
Planning a trip and not sure what travel destination should make your list? It’s simple – Lima, Peru! We’ll be the first to admit we’re a little biased as we’re Lima locals. But what is there not to love about Peru?
From the sights to the food, everything in Lima makes it a great travel destination. But here are just a few.
It’s All About the Location
Lima, the capital of Peru, is on the country’s Pacific coast. It has a large and busy metropolis which offers a wide array of things to see and do (see below). It's one of South America's biggest cities and is actually the third most-populated city in the Americas, according to Wikipedia.
Another great location perk -- after you spend some time in Lima you can head to one of Peru’s most popular landmarks - Machu Picchu.
One thing to keep in mind – while for many travelers June to August is considered summer, in Peru our winter season runs from June to October and typically has grey skies, heavy fog throughout the day and a light drizzle the locals call "garúa." Temperatures hover between a low of 54-61°F and a high of 61-66°F along the coast. Just be sure to bring a scarf and a heavy jacket or coat to keep you bundled up.
So Much to See
From the shops to the restaurants to the historic landmarks, you’ll never be wanting for things to do while you’re in Lima.
First up - Plaza Mayor is one of the most beautiful and historic sites in the city. From there you can see the Municipal Palace of Lima, the Government palace, Casa del Oidor and the Cathedral of Lima.
Then head to the Miraflores district, one of the trendiest in Lima. Whether you want to see historic sites like Huaca Pucllana, a pre-Inca pyramid or go shopping at Larcomar, a mall overlooking the Pacific - you can do it all in Miraflores. This area is all full of restaurants, pubs, art galleries and so much more to delight travelers. Also, be sure to visit La Marina Lighthouse, an active lighthouse and one of the most famous in Peru.
Lima’s beautiful coastline is not to be missed – whether you’re sunbathing, taking a swim or being more adventurous like surfing or paragliding! There’s something for every ocean lover in Lima.
The Food, The Food, The Food!
One of the most memorable parts of any great travel adventure is the food and Lima’s cuisine is not to be missed!
Peruvian food is wide ranging and features cuisines from Creole food, Chifas, Cebicherias and Pollerias*. Fruits, potatoes, beans and peppers are all staples to custom dishes. Cebiche is particularly popular in Lima, a coastal town, as it’s a marinated raw fish or seafood dish. It’s not to be missed!
The city is full of romantic restaurant destinations as well as more casual spots. But it can be tricky as a first time traveler to know which spots are the best ones to go to.
We offer unique one day and evening food tours as well as a Cebiche and Pisco class that can be done in an hour. These are all great ways to learn about Lima, its history and culture and incredible food. If you have time or if you’re on the go! Click here to learn about our unique food tours.
If you have any questions about your upcoming trip or questions about Lima in general – don’t hesitate to let us know. We’re always excited to help others fall in love with Lima!
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!
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 overswhelming to navigate, even for the seasoned traveler. Having served over 10,000 clients that have had the pleasure to discover the city, we are happy to pool their insights together with our local knowledge to give you a few tips that will hopefully make this part of the planning stage less daunting.
The best districts to stay in while in Lima
Out of the 43 districts mentioned above, we can safely narrow it down to two which beat out the other 41 contenders: Miraflores and Barranco. So let's take a look at what they have to offer:
MIRAFLORES - LIMA, PERU
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 (two of the top 15 in the world) 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
Take a stroll along the coast (known as the malecón)
Surfing the Pacific-Jump right in or take surf classes and rent a board at Waikiki Beach
Paragliding along Lima's coastline
Emblematic Parks of Miraflores
Miraflores Central Park - Kennedy Park
Parque del Amor
Reducto No. 2 Park
Cultural Attractions in Miraflores
Tour pre-Incan ruins at the Huaca Pucllana
Visit the Amano Museum
Café Haiti - terrace diner (cafeteria)
Shopping in Miraflores
La Paz - jewelers, silver, antiques
Restaurants in Miraflores
This is the district that takes the cake in Lima as it is home to 2 of the top 15 restaurants in the world, Central and Maido. 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:
El Mercado - Amazingly fresh seafood, run by one of Lima's celebrity chefs, Rafael Osterling.
IK - Molecular gastronomy using Peruvian ingredients sourced from throughout the country.
Amaz - Gourmet dishes from the Peruvian Amazon using ingredients from small, local producers. Big fans of sustainable dining.
Distance from the Airport
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.
BARRANCO - LIMA, PERU
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 patrimony, 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. It's even rumored that soon Central (#4 restaurant in the world) will soon be ditching its swanky locale in Miraflores for Barranco's trendy hipster haven.
Attractions in Barranco
Cultural Attractions in Barranco
Bridge of Sighs
Barranco's main plaza
Mirador of Barranco
Museums in Barranco
Pedro de Osma Museum
Museum of Contemporary Art (MAC)
Art Galleries in Barranco
Lucía de la Púente Gallery
Restaurants in Barranco
Barranco is a very walkable district and due to the stunning architectural heritage and graffiti art masterpieces, it would be a shame if you misse it by opting to move round by car. The district abounds in tiny 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;
Mo Bistro + Café - Super cute, chic find in Colonia & Co. that showcases the genius of Peru's hottest up and coming chef, Matías Cillóniz (also winner of Lima's best new restaurant award)
Isolina - One of Latin America's best restaurants serving traditional Peruvian dishes in quaint corner location that will give you an idea of the local comfort food.
AmorAmar - a little further from the "walkable" area, but worth totally worth it, seafood is their specialty.
Distance from the airport
Barranco is the next district over from Miraflores, in the opposite direction of the airport. In terms of actual, 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.
TYPES OF ACCOMMODATIONS
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. We've compiled a list of our clients' favorites in Miraflores and Barranco which you can check out here: Boutique Hotels in Lima, Peru.
Now, if you just want to sit back and 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 have limited time in Lima but who want to see the city and taste the best dishes in one day.
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
Parmesan scallops perfectly illustrate part of Peru's rich culinary history which has been heavily influenced by waves of migrants to the country over centuries. This mouth-watering dish comes from the Italo-Peruvian fusion by incorporating Parmesan cheese and fresh scallops in their shells. This recipe is fast, easy and perfect for the all kinds of get-togethers.
Conchitas a la Parmesana
Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 10 minutes
Fresh scallops in the half shell
Grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 400° to broil.
Separate scallops from the shell and rinse well. If desired, also remove red muscle.
Dry the shells and line them on a cookie sheet. Place 1 to 2 scallops on each shell depending on the size of the scallop and shell. To each shell, add a pinch of salt and pepper, a few drops of fresh lime juice and a dollop of butter. Cover each one with grated Parmesan cheese.
Cover with grated parmesan cheese and sprinkle drops of water.
Bake in the oven for approximately 10 minutes until the cheese is melted.
Serve with slices of lime.
In a city like Lima, with so many top restaurants, the difficulty is which one to choose. In this article we will focus on what we consider some of the best romantic restaurants in Lima based on atmosphere, quality of food and service.
THE HUACA PUCLLANA | General Borgoño, cuadra 8, Miraflores | T: 445.4042
This is a very unique restaurant as the terrace is right next to an ancient pre-Incan ruin, creating an incredible atmosphere. The décor is simple but classy as they try to maintain the overall sensation of going back in time. The food and service compliment the whole experience as you get to sample some of the best traditional Peruvian dishes Lima has to offer. Their wine cellar is also stellar in case you need extra motivation.
CALA | Circuito de playas, Barranco | T: 252.9187
Is there anything more romantic than a dinner next to the sea? We love Cala for its location right on the Pacific Ocean and for its awesome seafood (among many other delectable choices). The restaurant has two levels, so after a nice meal you can go downstairs to the terrace and party with the Limeño socialites or just unwind watching the waves crash against the pier.
LA PLAZITA | San Fernando 380, Miraflores | T: 621.0892
In case you haven’t noticed yet, we love terraces! There are not many al fresco options in Lima but one that certainly ticks all the boxes for a great night is La Plazita. The food is an excellent mix of Mediterranean with Peruvian and the ambience is very chill and relaxed. This is a great option for a hot summer night or even lunch.
LIMA 27 | Calle Santa Luisa 295, San Isidro | T: 221.5822
This restaurant is located in the posh district of San Isidro, right next to the famous Astrid & Gaston. Lima 27 has a great bar and food menu to match it. The ambience is vibrant and the food is sophisticated without being pretentious. Like Cala, it offers the possibility of staying after dinner for another cocktail (or before dinner) in the gorgeous patio bar.
MATRIA | Mendiburu 823, Miraflores | T: 422.2784
We love this place for its tranquil and romantic environment. Despite being located on a quiet street in the district of Miraflores, locals love it and it has gained a great reputation for the quality of the food and personalized service. The menu is very creative and fresh as they change it every season. Great wines or Piscos will make your experience even more memorable.
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.