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
ALL ABOUT LIMA
Sam and Lucas are an American-Peruvian couple who have run the top tour in Lima for the past six 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.