Below is our 2019 detailed guide on Lima, Peru. It covers everything you need to know from how to get there, where to stay, what to do and much, much more!
Jorge Chavez International Airport is located in the dangerous district of Callao and is also one of the busiest airports in South America. Adding to the fact that the area is reasonably unsafe and located about 17 km from Barranco and Miraflores, it is crucial to find a safe and secure way to get to your destination in Lima. Travellers usually stay in the Miraflores or Barranco district. If you are staying in either of these districts, it is best to use the Official Airport Express Lima (AEL) bus service. If you decide to stay somewhere else, you can choose to use a taxi or shuttle service but keep in mind that these options are more significantly more expensive and, in the case of a taxi, generally unsafe.
In Peru you can take a public bus from any city to arrive in Lima. Most trips from other areas can take up to or more than 10 hours through old, windy roads without stops. Given the fact that vast improvements have been made thoughout the years, accidents are still frequent. Once arrived in Lima, you will be dropped off in the companies’ bus terminal which could be anywhere in the huge city of Lima, quite often in districts and areas not safe for travellers. Although public buses are usually the cheapest option, you get what you pay for so do be careful.
The Spanish colonial influences can be seen and felt throughout the entire city, but Plaza de Armas is probably the crown jewel and heart of Colonial Lima. A free and simple walking tour is the best way to learn about Lima’s long history.
If impressive views and the ocean breeze are down your alley, Lima has many more walking experiences on offer as well. Go for a walk along the Costa Verde and enjoy the breath-taking views and sunset on the Pacific coast from the cliffs of Lima.
In 2012, Peru was declared the world's leading culinary destination for the first time, with many world-famous chefs predicting Peruvian cuisine to be the next big thing. It has now won it 6 years in a row so make sure to not miss the chance to taste Peruvian cuisine in Lima, the heart of Peru. Lima has an amazing restaurant scene where you can taste for yourself exactly why Peruvian cuisine has been gaining so much attention in the last few years. We recommend for everyone to try ceviche (the traditional raw fish dish cooked only with the acid in lemon), yucas, causa de atún, lomo saltado and much, much more! Usually, the best tasting ceviche isn't found in expensive restaurants, but is found in some of the market stalls or street sellers. Our Peruvian guides will show you exactly where are the best and most affordable places to devour these incredible dishes.
Something which usually tends to be quite unknown is the fact that Peru is famous for the quality of its textiles, and many world-famous brands like Lacoste manufacture their clothes here. There are a lot of places to go shopping in Lima, from the beautiful Larcomar by the coast in Miraflores to the gigantic Jockey plaza located in Surco, which has some of the most exclusive shops in Peru. If these shopping centers are not in your budget, there are also huge black markets here in Lima, the 2 most famous being Gamarra and Polvos Azules. Here you can find many knockoffs and copies of brand clothes, DVD's, etc. for rock bottom prices, and you will be very surprised at the quality of these copies. Make sure to haggle for the best prices as most goods can be usually bought for one-half of the original priced quote, so play hard and get yourself a bargain. Be wary in these places as pickpockets tend to loom. Don’t wander off too far off from the main streets, and try to stick with a friend where possible.
Lima is an ever growing and sprawling city, and apart from the main areas mentioned above, there are many gems 30minutes/1 hour both north and south of Lima. In the south, there is Asia, a 50 km stretch of beaches with modern restaurants, bars, and nightclubs. It is normal to see Lima's top nightclubs deserted during Summer weekends as everybody tends to flock here to party. To the north, there is Caral, a UNESCO world heritage site thought to be the oldest city in the America´s (over 5,000 years old) and only recently open to tourists. Of course, we can´t forget Pachacamac, 30 minutes inland to the South where you can visit the pre-Incan Citadel that attracts thousands of visitors and travellers every year, or Mamacona, known for its cockfighting and bull rings which takes place every Sunday during the Winter and is basically an all-day party. Trust us, get away from the tourist traps as Lima has a lot to offer the adventurous and intrigued person willing to make an effort.