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Lima Travel Guide

About Lima City

The capital of Peru is situated where the western range of the Andes meets the Pacific coast, on a series of plains watered by the river valleys of Rímac and Chillón in the middle of a vast area of coastal desert.
Lima has a population of around eight million, or almost thirty percent of the total population of Peru, which has exceeded the city's capacity to provide its inhabitants with basic services, from housing to drinking water, public transport and security. The majority of the nation's resources, the powers of the state, its workforce, educational establishments and other general services are concentrated in Lima.
Lima is a fascinating city of great contrasts. On one hand, it possesses beautiful districts and residential areas: its colonial-style historic center is one of the best preserved in the Americas; it has preserved several pre-Columbian monuments; it boasts extraordinary museums displaying artifacts from pre-Hispanic cultures, tire" colonial era and the republican period; it offers a rich and varied gastronomic tradition, particularly when it comes to seafood, and its varied hotel industry provides accommodation in all categories and styles. On the other hand, the poverty experienced by the majority of the population is apparent when one crosses the city as far as its outlying areas, which are mostly populated by migrants from the Andes or their descendants, who struggle day after day to make a living amid the most adverse conditions.

Lima Tours

: Lima, Ica, Paracas, Nazca, Arequipa, Colca Canyon, Puno, Lake Titicaca, Cusco, Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu

: Religious, Cultural, Archaeological, Experiential and Adventure.


When the Spanish first arrived here in 1533, the valley was dominated by three I important Inca-controlled urban complexes: Carabayllo, to the north near Chillón; Maranga, now partly destroyed, by the Avenida La Marina, between the modern city and the Port of Callao; and Surco, now a suburb within the confines of greater Lima hut where, until the mid-seventeenth century, the adobe houses of ancient chiefs lay empty yet painted in a variety of colourful images. Now these structures have faded hack into the sandy desert terrain, and only the larger pyramids remain, protruding here and there amid the modern concrete urbanization.

The sixteenth century

Francisco Pizarro founded Spanish Lima, nicknamed the "City of the Kings", in 1535. The name is thought to derive from a mispronunciation of Río Rimac, while others suggest that the name "Lima" is an ancient word that described the lands of Taulichusco, the chief who ruled this area when the Spanish arrived. Evidently recommended by mountain Indians as a site for a potential capital, it proved a good choice - apart perhaps from the winter coastal fog - offering a natural harbour nearby, a large well-watered river valley and relatively easy access up into the Andes.
Since the very beginning, Lima was different from the more popular image of Peru in which Andean peasants are pictured toiling on Inca-built mountain terraces. By the 1550s, the town had developed around a large plaza with wide streets leading through i fine collection of elegant mansions and well-stocked shops run by wealthy merchants, rapidly developing into the capital of a Spanish viceroyalty which encompassed not only Peru but also Ecuador, Bolivia and Chile. The University of San Marcos, founded in 1551, is the oldest on the continent, and Lima housed the Western Hemisphere's headquarters of the Spanish Inquisition from 1570 until 1820. It remained tile most important, the richest, and - hardly believable today - the most alluring city in South America, until the early nineteenth century.

The sixteenth century lima

The seventeenth century

Perhaps the most prosperous era for Lima was the seventeenth century. By 1610 its population had reached a manageable 26,000, made up of forty percent black people (mostly slaves); thirty-eight percent Spanish people; no more than eight percent pure Indian; another eight percent (of unspecified ethnic origin) living under religious orders; and less than six percent mestizo, today probably the largest proportion of inhabitants. The centre of Lima was crowded with shops and stalls selling silks and fancy furniture from as far afield as China. Rimac, a suburb just over the river from the Plaza Mayor, and the port area of Callao, both grew up as satellite settlements - initially catering to the very rich, though they are now fairly run down.

The seventeenth century lima

The eighteenth century

The eighteenth century, a period of relative stagnation for Lima, was dramatically punctuated by the tremendous earthquake of 1746, which left only twenty houses standing in the whole city and killed some five thousand residents - nearly ten percent of the population. From 1761 to 1776 Lima and Peru were governed by Viceroy Amat, who, although more renowned for his relationship with the famous Peruvian actress La Perricholi, is also remembered for spearheading Lima´s rebirth. Under his rule, the city lost its cloistered atmosphere, and opened out with broad avenues, striking gardens, Rococo mansions and palatial salons. Influenced by the bourbons, Amat's designs for the city's architecture arrived hand in hand with other transatlantic reverberations of the Enlightenment, such as the new anti-imperialist vision of an independent Peru.

The eighteenth century lima

The nineteenth century

In the nineteenth century Lima expanded still further to the east and south. The suburbs of Barrios Altos and La Victoria were poor from the start; above the beaches at Magdalena, Miraflores and Barranco, the weakhy developed new enclaves of their own. These were originally separated from the centre by several kilometres of farmaland, at that time still studded with fabulous pre-Inca huacas and other adobe ruins. Lima´s first modern facelift and expansion was effected between 1919 and 1930, revitalizing the central areas. Under orders from President Leguia, the Plaza San Martín's attractive colonnades and the Gran Hotel Bolívar were erected, the Palacio de Gobierno was rebuilt and the city was supplied with its first drinking-water and sewage systems.

The nineteenth century lima

Modern Lima

Lima´s rapid growth has taken it from 300,000 inhabitants in 1930 to over nine million today, mostly accounted for by the massive immigration of peasants from the provinces into the pueblos jovenes ("young towns", or shantytowns) now pressing in on the city. "The ever-increasing traffic is a day-to-day problem, yet environmental awareness is rising almost as fast as Lima´s shantytowns and neon-lit, middle-class suburban neighborhoods, and air quality has improved over the last ten years for the nine-million-plus people who live here.
Lima continues to grow, perhaps faster than ever, and the country's economy is booming even in the face of serious slowdowns in some of Penis traditional markers, namely Europe and the US. The city is as varied as any in the developing world: while many of the thriving middle class enjoy living standards comparable to, or better than, those of the West, and the élite ride around in chaulfeur-driven Cadillacs and fly to Miami for their monthly shopping, the vast majority of Lima's inhabitants endure a constant struggle to put either food on the table or the flimsiest of roofs over their heads.

modern lima


Situated on the desert coast of Peru, the city of Lima occupies an oasis-like valley watered by the Rimac River. The Pacific ocean is to the west and the foothills of the Andes to the east. Sandy 70-meter-tall cliffs separate the Pacific shore from the westernmost edge of Lima city.
The port of Callao provides a natural harbor which for many centuries provided the main connection to trading ports in Europe and Spain. Today, Callao continues to operate as one of the busiest ports in the Americas and a port of call for many South American cruise ships.

The sixteenth century lima


The elevation of Lima city gradually increases in proportion to distance from the Pacific shore. Average elevations for key districts and places:

  • Miraflores – 79 m
  • Barranco – 65 m
  • Lima Centro – 161 m
  • Jorge Chavez Airport – 34 m
  • Callao – 7 m


Peru is quite close to the equator, but the cold water Humboldt Current flows up from Antarctica and interacts with air temperatures to keep things cool.
The Andes Mountains are a second factor affecting the climate. The tall peaks, which begin to rise not too far from the coast create a rain shadow effect that prevents rain clouds from forming. This is why much of Peru’s coast is desert. In Lima, the result is a temperate climate with high humidity around the year.
During the winter months, the city of Lima is covered by constant gray fog called garúa. Travel some kilometers north or south of the city or up into the foothills and you’ll experience the sunny skies that typify the rest of coastal Peru.


Plaza Mayor

The heart of the old town is Plaza Mayor - also known as the Plaza de Armas, or Plaza Armada as the early conquistadors called it. There are no remains of any Indian heritage in or around the square; standing on the original site of the palace of Tauri Chusko (Lima´s indigenous chieftain at the time the Spanish arrived) is the relatively modern Palacio de Gobierno, while the cathedral occupies the site of an Inca temple once dedicated to the puma deity, and the Palacio Municipal lies on what was originally an Inca envoy's mansion.

Plaza Mayor lima

Palacio de Gobierno

The Palacio de Gobierno - also known as the Presidential Palace - was the site of the house of Francisco Pizarro, long before the present building was conceived. It was here that he spent the last few years of his life, until his assassination in 1541. As he died, his jugular severed by the assassin's rapier, Pizarro fell to the floor, drew a cross, then kissed it; even today some believe this ground to be sacred.
The changing of the guard takes place outside the palace – it´s not a particularly Spectacular sight, though the soldiers look splendid in their scarlet-and-blue uniforms. There are free guided tours in English and Spanish, which include watching the changing of the guard; to go on a tour you have to register with the Departamento de Actividades at least 24 hours in advance. The tour also takes in the imitation Baroque Interior of the palace and its rather dull collection of colonial and reproduction fumitory.

Palacio de Gobierno lima

La Catedral and Museum of Religious Art and Treasures

Southeast across the square, less than 50m away from the Palacio de Gobierno, the squat and austere Catedral, designed by Francisco Becerra, was modelled on a church from Seville, and has three aisles in a Renaissance style. When Becerra died in 1605, the cathedral was far from completion, with the towers alone taking another forty years to finish. In 1746, further frustration arrived in the guise of a devastating earthquake, which destroyed much of the building. Successive restorations over the centuries have resulted in an eclectic style; the current version, which is essentially a reconstruction of Becerra's design, was rebuilt throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, then remodeled once again after another quake in 1940.

La Catedral and Museum of Religious Art and Treasures lima

Iglesia de San Francisco

Jirón Ancash leads east from the Palacio de Gobierno towards one of Lima´s most attractive churches, San Francisco, a majestic building that has withstood the passage of time and the devastation of successive earth tremors. A large seventeenth-century construction with an engaging stone facade and towers, San Francisco's vaults and columns are elaborately decorated with Mudejar (Moorish-style) plaster relief.
The Convento de San Francisco, part of the same architectural complex and a museum in its own right, contains a superb library and a room of paintings by (or finished by) Zurbarán, Rubens, Jordaens and Van Dyck. You can take a forty-minute guided tour of the monastery and its subterranean crypt, both of which are worth a visit. The museum is inside the monastery's vast crypts, which were only discovered in 1951 and contain the slculls and bones of some seventy thousand people.

Iglesia de San Francisco lima

Casa Pilatos

Opposite San Francisco is the Casa Pilatos, today home to the constitutional courts; although you can't enter the building, you can get as far as the central courtyard. Quite a simple building, and no competition for Torre Tagle, it is nevertheless a fine, early sixteenth-century mansion with an attractive courtyard and a stone staircase leading up from the middle of the patio. The wooden carving of the patios balustrades adds to the general picture of opulent colonialism.

Casa Pilatos lima

Museo de la Inquisición

Behind a facade of Greek-style classical columns, the Museo de la inquisición was the headquarters of the inquisition for the whole of Spanish-dominated America from IVO until 1820, and contains the original tribunal room with its beautifully carved mahogany ceiling. Beneath the building, you can look round the dungeons and torture chambers, which contain a few gory, life-sized human models, each being put through unbearably painful Looking, antique contraptions, mainly involving stretching or mutilating.

Museo de la Inquisición lima

Iglesia de la Merced

Perhaps the most noted of all religious buildings in Lima is the Iglesia de la Merced, two blocks south of the Plaza Mayor. Built on the site where the first Latin Mass in Lima was celebrated, the original sixteenth-century ehurch was demolished in 1628 tomake way for the present building whose ornate granite facade, dating back to 1687, has been adapted and rebuilt several times - as have the broad columns of the nave to protect the church against tremors.
By far the most lasting impression is made by the Cross of the Venerable Padre Urraca (La Cruz de Padre Urraca El Venerable), whose silver staffs witness to the fervent prayers of a constantly shifting congregation, smothered by hundreds of kisses every hour. lf you’ve just arrived in Lima, a few minutes by this cross may give you an insight into the depth of Peruvian belief ¡n miraculous power. Be careful if you get surrounded by the ubiquitous sellers of candles and religious icons around the entrance - pick- pockets are at work here. The attached cloisters are less spectacular, though they do offer a historical curiosity: it was here that the Patriots of Independence declared the Virgin of La Merced their military marshal.

Iglesia de la Merced  lima

Iglesia de Jesús María y José

Close to the Plaza San Martín stands the Iglesia de Jesús María y José, home of Capuchin nuns from Madrid in the early eighteenth century; its particularly outstanding interior contains sparkling Baroque gilt altars and pulpits.

Iglesia de Jesús María y José lima

Plaza San Martín

A large, grand square with fountains at its centre, the Plaza San Martín is almost always busy by day, with traffic tooting its way around the perimeter. Nevertheless, it's a place where you can sit down for a few minutes - at least until hassled by street sellers or shoeshine boys.
Ideologically, the Plaza San Martín represents the sophisticated, egalitarian and European spirit of intellectual liberators like San Martín himself, while remaining well and truly within the commercial world. The plaza has attracted most of Lima´s major political rallies over the past hundred years, and rioting students, teachers or workers and attendant police with water cannons and tear gas are always a possibility here.

Plaza San Martín lima

Plaza Dos de Mayo

The city's main rallying point for political protests is Plaza Dos de Mayo, linked to the Plaza San Martín by the wide Avenida Nicolás de Pierola (also known as La Colmena). Built to commemorate the repulse of the Spanish fleet in 1866 - Spain's last attempt to regain a foothold in South America - the plaza is markedly busier and less visitor friendly than Plaza San Martín. It sits on the site of an old gate dividing Lima from the road to Callao.

Plaza Dos de Mayo lima

Casona de San Marcos

East of Plaza San Martín, Avenida Nicolás de Piérola runs towards the Parque Universitario, site of South America's first university. Right on the park itself, the Casona de San Marcos is home to the Centro Cultural de San Marcos and the Ballet de San Marcos. Once lodgings for the Jesuit novitiate San Antonio Abad (patrón saint of everything from animáis to skin complaints), it´s a pleasant seventeenth-century complex with some fine architectural features including colonial cloisters, a Baroque chape), a small art and archeology museum, exhibitions and a great café. The amphitheater in the: park is sometimes used for free public performances by musicians and artists.

Casona de San Marcos lima

Museo de Arte Italiano

South of Plaza San Martín, Jirón Belén leads down to the Paseo de la República and the shady Parque Neptuno, home to the pleasant Museo de Arte Italiano. Located inside a relatively small and highly ornate Neoclassical building that's un usual for Lima, built by the Italian architect Gaetano Moretti, the museum exhibits oils, bronzes and ceramics by Italian artists, and offers a welcome respite from the hectic city outside.

Museo de Arte Italiano lima

Parque de la Cultura Peruana

The Museo de Arte is at the city end of the extensive, leafy Parque de la Cultura Peruana, originally created for the International Exhibición of Agricultural Machines in 1872. Conspicuously green for Lima, the park is where lovers meet at weekends and students hang out amid greenery, pagodas, an amphitheatre, a small lake, and organized music and dance performances at fiesta rimes. The park stretches a couple of hundred yards down to Avenida 28 de julio, from where it's just a few blocks to the Estadio Nacional and Parque de la Reserva (see below).

Parque de la Cultura Peruana lima

Museo de Arte de Lima

A couple of minutes' walk south of the Museo de Arte Italiano is the commanding Museo de Arte, housed in the former International Exhibition Palace, built in 1868. The museum holds interesting permanent collections of colonial art, as well as many line crafts from pre-Columbian times, and also hosts frequent internacional exhibitions of modern photography and video as well as contemporary Peruvian are. Film shows and lectures are offered on some weekday evenings (check the website, El Comercio newspaper listings or posters in the lobby).

Museo de Arte de Lima

Casa Museo José Carlos Mariátegui

Not far from the Parque de la Cultura Peruana is the Casa Museo José Carlos Mariátegui, an early twentieth-century one-storey house - home for the last few years of his life to the famous Peruvian political figure, ideologist and writer Mariátegui - which has been restored by the Instituto Nacional de Cultura. The period furnishings reveal less about this man than his writings, but the house is kept alive in honour of one of Peru's greatest twentieth-century political writers.

Casa Museo José Carlos Mariátegui lima

Parque de la Reserva

The Parque de la Reserva, next to the Estadio Nacional, was superbly and imaginatively refurbished in 2007 to create the circuito mágico del, a splendid array of fountains, each with a different theme, set to go off at specific times.

Parque de la Reserva lima

Mercado Central and Barrio Chino

The few blocks east of Avenida Abancay are taken over by the Mercado Central (Central Market) and Barrio Chino (Chinatown). Perhaps one of the most fascinating sectors of Lima Centro, the Barrio Chino (which can be entered by an ornate Chinese gateway, at the crossing of Jirón Ucayali with Capón) houses Lima´s best and cheapest chifa (Chinese) restaurants. Many Chinese carne to Peru in the late nineteenth century to work as laborers on railway construction; many others carne here in the 1930s and 40s to escape cultural persecution in their homeland. The shops and street stalls in this sector are full of all sorts of inexpensive goods, from shoes to glass beads, though there is little of genuine quality.

Mercado Central and Barrio Chino lima

Iglesia de San Pedro

At the corner of Jirón Ucayali, the Iglesia de San Pedro was built and occupied by the Jesuits until their expulsion in 1767. This richly decorated colonial church is home to several religious art treasures, including paintings from the Colonial and Republican periods, and a superb main altar which was built in the late nineteenth century after the Jesuits returned; definitely worth a look around.

Iglesia de San Pedro lima

Palacio Torre Tagle

The spectacular Palacio Torre Tagle is the pride and joy of the old city. A beautifully maintained mansion, it was built in the 1730s and is embellished with a decorative facade and two elegant, dark-wood balconies, typical of Lima architecture in that one is larger than the other. The porch and patio are distinctly Andalucía, with their strong Spanish colonial style, although some of the intricate woodcarvings on pillars and across ceilings display a native influence; the azulejos, or tiles, also show a combination of Moorish and Limeño tastes. In the left-hand corner of the patio you can see a set of scales like those used to weigh merchandise during colonial times, and the house also contains a magnificent sixteenth-century carriage (complete with mobile toilet). Originally, mansions such as Torre Tagle served as refuges for outlaw, the authorities being unable to enter without written and stamped permission - now anyone can go in v (afternoons are the quietest times to visit).

Palacio Torre Tagle lima

Museo del Banco Central de Reserva del Perú

The Museo del Banco Central de Reserva del Peru holds many antique and modern Peruvian paintings, as well as a good collection of pre-lnca artefacts, including some ancient objects crafted in gold; most of the exhibits on display come from grave robberies and have been returned to Peru only recently. The museum also has a numismatic display and sometimes shows related short films for kids.

Museo del Banco Central de Reserva del Perú lima

Centro Cultural Inca Garcilaso

By Torre Tagle, you'll find the Centro Cultural Inca Garcilaso, built in 1685 as the Casa Aspillaga but restored during the late nineteenth century and again in 2003. It contains an art gallery (mainly temporary photographic or sculpture exhibitions) but is most interesting for its Neoclassical Republican-style architecture.

Centro Cultural Inca Garcilaso lima

Casa Aliaga

Heading north from the Plaza Mayor you pass the Casa Aliaga, an unusual mansion, reputed to be the oldest in South America, and occupied by die same family since 1535, making it the oldest colonial house still standing in the Americas. It´s also one of the most elaborate mansions in the country, with sumptuous reception rooms full of Louis XIV mirrors, furniture and doors. It was built on top of an Inca palace and is largely made of wood divided scylishly into various salons.

Casa Aliaga lima

Iglesia de Santo Domingo

Just off the main square, a block behind the Palacio Municipal, is the church and monastery of Santo Domingo. Completed in 1549, Santo Domingo was presented by the pope, a century or so later, with an alabaster statue of Santa Rosa de Lima. The tombs of Santa Rosa, San Martín de Porres and San Juan Masías (a Spaniard who was canonized in Peru) are the buildings great attractions, and much revered. Otherwise the church is not of huge interest or architectural merit, although it is one of the oldest religious structures in Lima, built on a site granted to the Dominicans by Pizarra in 1535.

Iglesia de Santo Domingo lima

Casa de Osambela

The early nineteenth-century Casa de Osambela has five balconies on its facade and a lookout point from which boats arriving at the port of Callao could be spotted by the first owner, Martín de Osambela. This mansion is home to the Centro Cultural Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, which offers guided tours of the building.

Casa de Osambela lima

Sanctuario de Santa Rosa de Lima

Two tradicional sanctuaries can be found on the western edge of old Lima, along Avenida Tacna. Completed in 1728, the Sanctuario de Santa Rosa de Lima is a fairly plain church named in honour of the first saint canonized in the Americas. The construction of Avenida Tacna destroyed a section of the already small church, but in the patio next door you can visit the saint's hermitage, a small adobe cell; there's also a twenty-metre-deep well where devotees drop written requests.

Sanctuario de Santa Rosa de Lima lima

Museo Etnográfico José Pia Asa

A short stroll down Avenida Tacna from die Sanctuario de Santa Rosa takes you to the fascinating Museo Etnográfico José Pia Asa, containing crafts, tools, jewellery and weapons from jungle tribes, as well as some photographs of early missionaries.

Museo Etnográfico José Pia Asa lima

Iglesia de San Agustín

The southern stretch between the Plaza Mayor and Plaza San Martín is the largest area of Old Lima, home to several important churches, including San Agustín, founded in 1592. Although severely damaged by earthquakes (only the small side-chapel can be.

Iglesia de San Agustín lima


The function of the Puente de Piedra was to provide a permanent link between the centre of town and the Barrio of San Lázaro, known these days as Rimac, or, more popularly, as Bajo El Puente ("below the bridge"). This district was first populated in the sixteenth century by African slaves, newly imponed and awaiting purchase by big plantation owners; a few years later Rimac was beleaguered by outbreaks of leprosy. Although these days its status is much improved, Rimac is still one of the most run-down areas of Lima. It can be quite an aggressive place after dark, when drug addicts and thieves abound, and it's dangerous to walk this area alone at any time of day. Take a taxi direct to where you want to go.

Rimac lima


As far as Lima´s inhabitants are concerned, Miraflores is the major focus of the city's action and nightlife, its streets lined with cafés and the capital's flashiest shops. Larco Mar, a modern entertainment district built into the Cliffside at the bottom of Miraflores Main Street, adds to its swanky appeal. Although still connected to Lima Centro by the long-established Avenida Arequipa, which is served by frequent colectivos, another generally faster road - Paseo de la República (also known as the Vía Expressa and El Zanjón) - provides the suburb with an alternative route for cars and buses.

Miraflores lima


Some 3km south of Larco Mar and quieter than Miraflores, Barranco overlooks the ocean and is scattered with old mansions, including fine colonial and Republican edifices, many beginning to crumble through lack of care. This was the capital´s seaside resort during the nineteenth century and is now a kind of Limeño Left Bank, with young artists, writers, musicians and intellectuals taking over some of the older properties. Only covering three square kilometres, Barranco is quite densely populated, with some 40,000 inhabitants living in its delicately coloured houses. The areas primary attractions are its bars, clubs and cafés, and there's little else in the way of specific sights, though you may want to take a look at the clifftop remains of a funicular rail-line, which used to carry aristocratic families from the summer resort down to the beach.

Barranco lima

National Museum of Anthropology, Archaeology and History

This museum was opened on December 17th 1924 as the "Museo Bolivariano", and it is located in the Magdalena Palace, the construction of which was ordered by Viceroy Joaquin de la Pezuela in 1818.
Its didactic display begins with the human settlement of America, the origins of culture in the central Andes and the first inhabitants of the coast, before moving on to the Formative Period, noteworthy for the pottery ¿ artifacts of Kotosh and Chavín and especially the Raymondi Stela and the Tello Obelisk (both from the Chavín culture).
It covers the regional cultural developments of Nasca, Recuay, Pasash, Moche, Tiahuanaco and Lima; it deals with the sophistication and complexity acnievea Dy me vvan culture; displays the metalwork of number of periods in the room known as the Metallurgy and Metalworkers room; it exhibits more than 31,000 textiles from several cultures in the Pre-Hispanic Textiles room; it features the Chancay, Lambayeque and Chimú cultures ("Late Kingdoms and Chiefdoms"); and, finally, it dedicates two rooms to the culture of the Incas.
In addition, it also boasts a gallery where a collection of Peruvian viceroyalty painting features a chronological display of portraits of the viceroys of Peru, as well as examples of 19th and 20th century art showing the evolution of culture in the Andes.

National Museum of Anthropology, Archaeology and History lima

Museum of The Nation

This museum created in the 1980s does not possess a particularly fine collection, but its display ¡s one of the most didactic and organized in Lima.
The permanent exhibition is spread through four floors of the museum in a chronological and sequential manner supported by scaled models, illustrations and diagrams.
The entrance hall of the museum is usually decorated with examples of the nation's cultural heritage recovered from overseas.

Museum of The Nation lima

Gold Museum And Weapons Of The World

This museum was based upon the large Miguel Mujica Gallo private collection and includes important examples of pre-Hispanic art made from of gold, silver and copper, as well as textiles. The most valuable piece in the collection is the solid gold tumi, or ceremonial knife, the Lambayeque culture, and the museum also houses necklaces, funerary masks, ceremonial vessels, nose ornaments and miniatures. The museum also boasts a spectacular collection of weapons.

Gold Museum And Weapons Of The World lima

Rafael Larco Herrera Archaeological Museum

This is without a doubt one of the best private museums in Peru, particularly in terms of its collection covering the northern cultures, such as the erotic art of the Moche.
Rafael Larco Hoyle founded the museum on July 28th 1926 at the Chiclín sugarcane plantion in Trujillo, and the collection n a Lima mansion in the 1950s.
The museum has two floors and seven exhibition rooms, as well as a vault and storerooms which are also open to the public. The erotic art room is located on the first floor and houses the largest collection of pottery of this type anywhere in the world
On the second floor one finds the rooms displaying mummies, pottery, metalwork, stonework (including the heads of a serpent and an old man from the temple at Chavín), textiles (including a beautiful 2000 year-old Paracas cloak and a fragment of cloth containing 398 threads per linear inch, as well as the cultures of Peru from 7000 BC to the time of the Spanish conquest
The vault contains a number of pieces made from gold, silver and semiprecious stones, such as ear and nose ornaments, breastplates, ceremonial vessels and masks. The storerooms contain thousands of pieces placed on rows of shelves and displayed under glass, arranged and classified according to culture and subject matter so that visitors can study them freely.

Rafael Larco Herrera Archaeological Museum lima

Cultural norms

Lima is the cultural, political and economic capital of Peru. Teaming with art galleries, historical buildings, museums and market that all contribute to make the capital a must see on any Peruvian journey.

Cultural norms lima


Migration from all over the world has always been a part of Peru´s modern history. Immigrants from Asia, Europe and Africa as well as from all parts of Peru have merged to give Lima a true melting pot of cultures. Today most Peruvians are mestizos, meaning descendants of the mix of European and indigenous traced back to the conquest of Peru.


Peruvian people are mostly polite and will greet you and leave you with warmth and friendly words. You should learn some simple phrase so you can return the greetings.

  • Good Day = Buenos Dias
  • Good Afternoon = Buenos Trades
  • Good Night = Buenos Noches
  • Nice to meet you = Mucho Gusto
  • See you later = Hasta Luego
  • Goodbye = Adios


When you feel that you have had great service from a tour guide, driver or in a restaurant or hotel, it is nice to show your appreciation with a tip.


Explore Restaurants, Shopping and Nightlife in Lima's Top Neighbourhoods

The district of Barranco is known for its exquisite art galleries and vibrant nightlife, while Miraflores is known for having stunning views of the ocean and excellent shopping. You can enjoy these ocean views from the cliff-hanging outdoor shopping centre known as Larcomar or soar above the cliffs while paragliding at Parque del Amor. The cuisine in Lima is regarded as the best in Peru so you can find a wide variety of local restaurants at all budgets.

Explore Restaurants, Shopping and Nightlife in Lima's

Visit ancient temples

Peru´s biggest and most modern city also has some of South America´s most ancient civilizations. See the contrasts between the old and the new, visit Huaca Pucllana, an adobe temple from the 4th century surrounding by high rises of modern Lima. See more temples in the Pueblo Libre and San Miguel districts of Lima. Not far from the center of Lima, you will find the Pachacamac temple an important temple for many centuries.

Visit ancient temples in lima

Stroll the seaside promenade

On the green coastal cliffs of Lima is El Malecon, which is considered Lima´s most scenic landscape. For around 10km along the coast, El Malecon separates the ocean from the city. If you love beautiful sunsets this is the place to go.

Stroll the seaside promenade in lima

Trip Extensions

Being Peru’s capital, Lima and its international airport are a layover point to travel anywhere in Peru, including Cusco / Machu Picchu, Puno / Lake Titicaca and Arequipa / the Colca Canyon. In the same way as by bus, from Lima you can be connect to all the regions of Peru.

Trip Extensions lima

Southern Lima

Another popular trip from Lima is to Paracas and Peru's only marine reserve, the Ballestas Islands (Islas Ballestas). From there, it is easy to continue to Ica and Huacachina for sand boarding, wine tasting and sunbathing beside the oasis. Then, you can continue south to the mysterious Nazca Lines.

Southern Lima

Northern Lima

North of Lima, you will find many beaches and other attractions. Travelling north along the Pan-American Highway, just past Ancon, you will find the curious Eco Truly Park (Km 63). This ecological community, administered by a group of Hare Krishnas, is located on the Chacra y Mar Beach (Huaral). Meditation, yoga, vegetarian cooking and a unique style of architecture are some of the things you will find here. Also in this area is the Chancay Castle and many resturants, including Pipo (Km 80), Marcelo (Km 83) and Lachay (Km 105).

Northern Lima


There are three main areas in which to stay. Most travelers on a budget end up in Lima Centro, in one of the traditional gringo dives around the Plaza Mayor or the San Francisco church. These are mainly old buildings and tend to be full of backpackers, but they aren't necessarily the best choices in the old centre, even in their price range, as most of them are poorly maintained. If you can spend a little bit more and opt for mid-range, you'll find some interesting old buildings bursting with atmosphere and style. If you're into nightlife and want to stay somewhere with a downtown feel, with access to the sea, opt for a hotel further out of the city in Miraflores, which is still close to the seafront as well as home to most of Lima´s nightlife, culture and shops. However, most hostels here start at around S/.50 per person, and quite a few hotels go, obove S/350. The trendy ocean-clifftop suburb of Barranco is increasingly the place of choice for the younger traveller. Apart from the artists'-quarter vibe and the clubs and restaurant, though, the area has little to offer in the way of sights. Other suburban options include San Isidro, mainly residential but close to some of the main bus terminals; and San Miguel, a mostly rather down-at heel suburb, close to the clifftop and extending from Miraflores towards La Perla and Callao.

The following are our top choices for hotels in Lima.

Marriot Hotel Lima

Address: Malecón de la reserva # 615, Miraflores, Lima.

The JW Marriott Lima hotel is perched at the Miraflores district offering visitors spectacular views of the cliffs of this neighborhood.
The hotel offers a fantastic central location, towering above the picturesque beachfront cliffs; this cosmopolitan Lima hotel features a variety of ultramodern amenities including a spa, state-of-the-art fitness center and over 13,000 square feet of event space for business meetings, conferences, weddings and receptions. The hotel in Lima also offers two acclaimed restaurants serving a variety of imaginative international cuisine with an emphasis on fresh seafood.

marriot lima

Radisson Decapolis

Address: 28 de Julio Avenue # 151, Miraflores, Lima.

The Radisson Decapolis hotel is synonymous with outstanding levels of service and comfort delivered with utmost style. Nowadays, it delivers even more to make sure to maintain its position at the forefront of the hospitality industry even in the future. The Radisson hotel experience is what allows it to achieve and maintain such high levels of service.
This modern, stylish property boasts a blend of Peruvian-inspired art and personalized service from its friendly, multilingual staff.

radisson decapolis

Libertador Hotel Lima

Address: Los Eucaliptos Street # 550, San Isidro, Lima.

The Libertador Lima hotel is located on a quiet street at the exclusive San Isidro district, at a mostly residential and commercial area in the south of Lima city.
This hotel is equipped with the latest materials, offers international standards of accommodation and safety.
Its strategic location has a quiet and comfortable atmosphere where you could rest up for the next day trip. It offers executive rooms, where you have free internet access, equipped with big screens and materials needed for an executive meeting.

libertador lima

Jose Antonio Executive Lima

Address: Colon Street # 325, Lima.

The Jose Antonio Executive Hotel is a modern accommodation, its rooms are distributed into 9 levels, situated at Miraflores district, a few blocks from the Pacific Ocean, and 45-minute drive from the downtown of Lima city.
Also, you can enjoy a range of Peruvian and international foods at the onsite restaurant. Included breakfast buffet, which includes a variety of hot and cold items, in the evening; its guests can enjoy a drink at the hotel bar.
The Jose Antonio Hotel has a conference room that guests can use for meetings, parties, or other events.

jose antonio executive

Casa Andina Select Miraflores

Address: Schell Street # 452, Miraflores, Lima.

The "Casa Andina Select Miraflores" hotel is located in the heart of the Miraflores business and residential district, just two blocks from Central Kennedy Park and surrounded by the most sophisticated dining and shopping centers of the city, only just few minutes from the Pacific coast.
It offers rooms equipped with LCD TV cable, writing desks, soundproof windows and blackout curtains; while its suites feature a comfortable sitting with all facilities; services and conveniences a business traveler demands, including executive meeting facilities, business center, and secretarial services.

casa andina select miraflores

Costa del Sol Lima Airport

Address: Elmer Faucett Avenue s/n, at the International Airport “Jorge Chavez”, Callao.

Just a few steps from the Lima International Airport is the "Ramada Costa del Sol" hotel. It is much more than just a place to stay; here you may enjoy a delicious meal in our 24-hour restaurant featuring a variety of local and International cuisine.
The Costa del Sol Ramada Hotel offers guests first class infrastructure and service that will make your stay a real pleasure. Thanks to its strategic location, you will be able to save time during your stay and optimize your rest. In this way, you will benefit from a right combination of time, pleasure and relaxation.

costa del sol ramada lima

Mariel Hotel Lima

Address: General Belisario Suarez Street # 240, Miraflores, Lima.

The "Mariel" hotel offers peaceful rooms, this modern 3-star superior hotel in Lima situated at Miraflores district is just one block away from the andean Handicraft markets, 2 blocks away from the Central Kennedy Park and a few blocks from Larcomar bulevar. Located in a quiet side street, the Mariel Hotel is one of a few hotels in Miraflores that enjoys easy access to a wide variety of restaurants, bars, and stores, which you can get by walk. All rooms at the Mariel are decorated in warm colour schemes, equipped with air conditioning and heating, and each room has a 32" LCD cable TV, room service is available also.

mariel hotel

Carmel Hotel Lima

Address: Atahualpa Street # 152, Mira Flores, Lima.

The "Carmel" hotel has an excellent location in the middle of Miraflores downtown, where you may find a quiet and pleasant place for an unforgettable experience. It’s surrounded by large green areas, a few blocks from the circuits of beaches "Costa Verde", business centers and tourist attractions. It´s situated at 40-minute drive from the "Jorge Chavez" airport. Among the hotel amenities, you will find "Los Arcos" coffee bar, health care center, comfortable lobby areas, room service, babysitting, laundry service, wakeup call service, luggage custody, secretarial service, taxi service, and among others.


San Agustin Colonial Lima

Address: Comandante Espinar Avenue # 310, Lima.

This hotel was a ancient colonial mansion, and is now a renewed accommodation with comfortable and modern installations that preserves its charm and grace of Lima ancient mansions. The hotel is decorated with genuine items of colonial times, achieving a unique style which provides maximum comfort and warmth to its guests.
The "San Agustin Colonial" Hotel is located at Miraflores district, the most commercial and tourist district of Lima, nearby the beaches, Pre-Columbian ruins, cultural centers and malls.

san agustin colonial lima

Where to eat

Lima boasts some of the best restaurants in the country, serving not only traditional Peruvian dishes, but cuisines from all over the world. Many of the more upmarket places fill up very quickly, so it's advisable to reserve in advance. In recent years a large number of cafés have sprung up around Miraflores and Barranco, many offering free wi-fi and providing snacks as well as coffee. Lima Centro is less well served by cafés, though there are a few appealing options.

Where to eat lima



Bar/Restaurant Machu Picchu

Jr Ancash 318. A busy place opposite San Francisco church, serving inexpensive snacks such as omelettes and sandwiches or en cuy picante (spicy guinea pig); they offer cheap, set-menu lunches and it's a good spot for meeting up with Other travellers.

El Cordano

Jr Ancash 202. Across the street from the Palacio de Gobierno, this is one of the city's last surviving traditional bar/restaurants with mirrored walls, racks of bottles and old-style waiters, who are curt but efficient, even charming in an old-fashioned way. Worth visiting if only to soak up the atmosphere, sample the excellent ham sandwiches and see first-hand the exquisite late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century decor.

El Paraíso de la Salud Restaurant Vegetariano

Jr Cámana 344. Offering a delivery service, this vegetarian option offers good breakfasts, as well as yoghurt, juice, salads, wholemeal breads and smoothies. It's a large space but gets busy at lunch, when it serves delicous plates like steamed broccoli and lentil tortillas.

Queirola Café Bar Restaurant

Córner of Cámana 900 with Quitca. This is a classic meeting place for poets, writers and painters, and is worth a visit just for the splendour of its old Lima Cason-style architecture and bohemian atmosphere. They serve comida criolla, sandwiches, beer and pisco; great for inexpensive but good-quality set lunches.


Arabica Espreso Bar

General Recavarren 269. A narrow space with small patio and coffee-roasting equipment out back, this place serves arguably the best coffee in Lima. There are great cakes, too, as well as free wi-fi.

Café Café

Martir Olaya 250. Located just off Diagonal in downtown Miraflores, this is a hip, gay-friendly coffee shop that plays good rock music and serves a variety of sandwiches, salads, paellas, pastas and Peruvian dishes, as well as a selection of cocktails.

Café Haití

Diagonal 160. The most popular meeting place for upper-middle-class Limeños, based near the Cinema B Pacífico in the heart of Miraflores. It offers excellent snacks, such as stuffed avocado or ají de gallina, and a decent range of soft and alcoholic drinks, although it's not cheap.

Café Verde

Av Santa Cruz 1305. One of the best places for coffee in Lima is this small café, which roasts on site.

Café Z

Corner of the José Galvez with Diagonal. Very pleasant ambience, with plenty of glass, a wooden interior balcony and two floors crowded with small round tables. Rock is usually on the stereo, and the staff are young and cool; good coffee, salads and bar food are theirs specialties.


Diagonal 314. Just another strategically located Starbucks (there are several around Lima), with good wi-fi, and tables both inside and out. Usually very busy.

La Tiendacita Blanca

Av Larco 111. Located right on the busiest junction in Miraflores, this is a popular meeting place, with a superb range of Peruvian and Swiss foods, plus cakes and pastries, though they are pricey.

Urban Tea

Boulevard Tarata 256. Just off Av Larco in Miraflores, this new teashop sells and serves a wide range of brews. The environment is a bit plástic, but the service is friendly.


Café Bisetti

Av Pedro de Osma 116. Av Pedro de Osma. On the Plaza Municipal, this place serves really excellent coffees and very good snacks. It's a large space with plenty of tables and a pleasant garden, and it also roasts coffee on the premises. Occasional live music on Saturdays.


Av Grau 323. Both a café and a centre for fairtrade, handmade craft goods. It serves good organic coffee and tasty cakes, and is linked to the Inter-regional Centre for Artesans of Perú.

Las Mesitas

Av Grau 341. A tasteful café serving delicious snacks, meals and scrumptious sweets including excellent humitas, tamales, juices and sandwiches.



Chifa Capón

Ucayali 774. An excellent and traditional Limeño-Chínese fusion restaurant, the best in this block of Chinatown. It offers a range of authentic, moderately priced chifa dishes.

De Cesar

Ancash 300. Great lítele café/restaurant and bar right in the heart of old Lima, with a buzzing atmosphere. The spacious interior is sometimes a bit dark but the food is fine and cheap, the service very friendly and the range of breakfasts and juices endless.

Don Lucho's Restaurant

Jr Carabaya 346. Just off the Plaza Mayor, this is a busy lunchtime spot with a cool interior, popular with local office workers and offering fast service.

El Estadio Restaurant Bar

Nicolás de Piérola 926, Plaza San Martín. A restaurant with a strong football theme, and walls covered in murals and sports paraphernalia: fascinating even for those only remotely interested in the sport. You can even have your picture taken next to a life-size bust of Pele while you're here. Both the food and bar are excellent and sometimes there are club nights in the basement. There's also a Peruvian food festival every Fri and Sat.

L'Eau Vive

Ucayali 370. Opposite the Palacio Torre Tagle, this interesting restaurant serves superb French and Peruvian dishes cooked by nuns. It offers a reasonable set menu at lunch and dinner, and closes after a chorus of Ave Maria most evenings.


Astrid y Gastón

Cantuarias 175. A trendy, coloniai-style signature restaurant run by the world-renowned Peruvian chef Gastón Acurio. Possibly the best in Lima, and voted one of the world's top 50 restaurants, it is stylish and expensive (expect to spend from around S/70), with a menu blending Peruvian criolla and Mediterranean-style cooking. Acurio has opened restaurants in six other Latin American countries, plus Spain, flying the flag for Peruvian cuisine.

El Bodegón

Tarapaca 197-199. This place serves up Mediterranean, vegetarian and novo andino cuisine in pleasant surroundings, with creative alpaca dishes, among others, with French or European influence, and a good selection of wines and piscos.

Las Brujas de Cachiche

Av Bolognesi 460. Very trendy and expensive, this top-class restaurant and bar serves mainstream Peruvian dishes as well as a range of pre-Columbian and novo andino meals, such as seafood ceviche and maize-based dishes made using only ingredients available more than a thousand years ago.


Mendiburu 793. A good cevichería on the outskirts of Miraflores, serving tasty, classic ceviche as well as a range of other seafood dishes, around an attractive, almost Japanese, pebble pond. They also prepare seafood a la Maca (traditional Callao-style, often spicy hot and one of the best) and a la Chiclayana, as well as meat and Italian pasta dishes.

Club Suizo

Genaro Iglesias 550. La Aurora, Miraflores ,Located level with block 17 of Avenida Benavidez, this fine place offers exquisite Swiss cuisine, including extravagant fondues combining four cheeses, in a very pleasant environment.

Dinnos Pizza

Comandante Espinar 408. This flashy, brightly lit restaurant offers some of the best pizza in Lima, as well as relatively fast service and delivery. Daily noon-midnight.

La Divina Comida

Av Comandante Espinar 300, in the Hotel Colonial inn. A fine restaurant for a lunchtime set menu ($3-5 with a choice of main course); not to be missed if you're in this part of Miraflores. La Hamaca Av Arequipa. This Lima stalwart serves quality criollo meals. Their ají de fallina (a chilled chicken dish with ancient roots) is spectacular, and the colonial museum-mansion it's based in is almost as good.

El Kapallaq

Av El Reducto 1505. Recently opened in a new, 1950s-style renovated house on the border between Miraflores and Barranco, MI this excellent restaurant focuses on a fusion of north-coast and Lima seafood cuisine. Service and food are both excellent. Advance booking necessary.

Madre Natura

Chiclayo 815. Located by block 4 of Av Comandante Espinar, this cafeteria serves tasty but healthy snacks and meals. It's in the Madre Natura complex, with an organic and health products store, an eco-gifts centre and a wholemeal bakery.

Mama Lola

Diez Canseco 119. Right in the heart of Miraflores, near the bottom end of the park, this welcoming trattoria and pizzeria buzzes at night with locals and tour groups. Mama Lola serves great Italian dishes such as onion soup and spinach ravioli with ricotta, as well as Peruvian dishes like tacu tacu, black beans and seafood.

La Mar

Av La Mar 770. Easily Lima's trendiest and lively cevichería, La Mar is stylish, swanky and very, very busy. Noisy but with great salsa music and strong pisco sour, the restaurant serves a wide range of ceviche in all sorts of regional styles, such as tiraditos (thin slivers of fish in sweet sauces) in innovative combinations such as the tiradito poderoso with sea urchin and black scallops in a lemon and olive oil vinagrette. Get there before 12.30pm to avoid the queues.

Patagonia Restaurant Arte y Diseno

C Bolívar 164. With walls full of photos and paintings, plus a space for theatre and music performances, this place offers a slightly different dining experience. Specialties include Italian-Argentine cuisine, and the pasta fresca is excellent. Good wines available.

Restaurant Huaca Pucllana

General Borgoño, block 8. Tasty, international cuisine with a French flavour and quality Peruvian dishes, including novo andino and excellent traditional cuy, cabrito (goat) and various fish offerings. The service is outstanding, and the restaurant has an elegant terrace that looks out onto the ancient monument of the Huaca Pucllana.

Restaurant Naturista El Paraíso

C Alcanfores 416. A great vegetarian restaurant, and a cheerful place to shelter from the hustle and bustle of the Miraflores streets.

Restaurant Tai-i Vegetariano

Av Pattt Thouars 5232. Handily located opposite the artesania markets, this veggie standby offers simple, inexpensive and satisfying food in the shape of set-lunch menu meals, plus a range of great Asian dishes.

La Rosa Náutica

Espigón 4, Costa Verde. With excellent ocean views thanks to its pier location, this is one of Lima's more expensive seafood restaurants. The menu offers a wide range of Latin American and European dishes. Jazz performances every Thurs eve.

Scena Restaurant Bar

C San Francisco de Paula Camino 280. Ultra modern in design, this restaurant's dishes are a fusion of flavours based on the chef's own interpretation of cocina Peruano, with good meat and fish.

El Señorío de Sulco

Malecón Cisneros 1470. Specializing in Peruvian cuisine, including novo andino, this restaurant uses the finest ingredients to prepare mainly traditionat dishes, many cooked in earthen pots. This type of meal can be found on Street stalls all over Peru, but here the chef is top quality -and this is reflected in the prices.


Café Cultural Expreso Virgen de Guadalupe

Av Prol San Martín 15a. A unique, atmospheric restaurant and bar situated right beside the Puente de los Suspiros, serving typical international and Peruvian fare inside an ornate nineteenth-century railway carriage. Live music at weekends.

Chifa Chun Yion

C Unión 126. An excellent and very busy traditional Chinese restaurant, with some private booths in the back room. The quality isn't high, but it's very reasonably priced.


La Carreta

Av Rivera Navarrete 740. One of Lima's best churrascarías (Brazilian-style steakhouses), close to San Isidro's Centro Comercial. Designed to resemble an old hacienda, this place serves dishes that are mainly Peruvian or international, and there's a spectacular bar with quality wines. Daily noon-midnight.

Centro Turístico Perco's Restaurant

C Elias Aguirre 166. Don't be put off by the name: this is Lima's one and only restaurant specializing in the cuisine of the jungle region. They offer venison, wild pig, paiche fish and many other tasty and reasonably priced dishes.

Punto Azul

Comer of Javier Prado with Av Petit Thouars. One of a chain of excellent and unpretentious cevicherías, this one is unusual in that you eat outside at tables overlooking one of Lima's busiest junctions.


Cevichería Mi Barunto

Jr Sebastián Barranca 935. Close to the Alianza football stadium, this popular cevichería is full of club regalia and has a great atmosphere. It's a large space but often full.

El Italiano Trattoria Pizzeria

C Enrique León García 376. A locals' place, not at all touristy. Unlike most pizzerias or Italian restaurants in Peru, all food is freshly prepared on the premises.


Cevichería El Rey Marino

Clara Barton Lte, 10, La Calera, Surquillo. Located close to block 43 of Av Aviación, this is a brilliant and unpretentious cevichería with very friendly service and good Peruvian music. Best at lunch.



Av Benavides 3796, Monterrico. If you like spice, this is the place. A small but excellent curry and kebab house, located in the district of Surco, but easily accessible by taxi from Miraflores. The owner is an English-speaking African-Asian.

Siam Thai Cuisine

Av Caminos de! Inca 467. Surco Superb Thai food in a delightful, tranquil environment with small indoor gardens and very reasonable service and prices. Best to take a taxi (S/12 from Miraflores).

Sushi Ito

Av El Polo 740. Monterrico Located in the Centro Comercial El Polo, this is an excellent posh sushi restaurant serving sashimi and maki-temaki, among other dishes.



Malecon Pardo, block 1, La Punta. A fine seafood restaurant and bar on the seafront (best sampled when sunny rather than windy).The food is very fresh; try the chicharrones de pulpo (battered and fried octopus nuggets) or the ceviche de pescado.

Lima Specialities

Widely acclaimed as one of the world's great culinary destinations, Lima ¡s a paradise for food enthusiasts. As well as a wide array of delicious meat, rice- and vegetable-based criolla dishes, you'll come across the highly creative novo andino cuisine, often pairing alpaca steaks with berries or cheese sauces from lush Andean farms, and best appreciated in Lima's finest restaurants. Below are a few specialties that your taste buds will thank you for trying. Ceviche Seafood is particularly good in Lima, with ceviche - raw fish or seafood marinated in lime juice and served in dozens of possible formulas with onions, chillis, sweetcorn and sweet potatoes - a must-try.

Lima Specialities

Chorros a la Chalaca These spicy mussels are best sampled near the port area of Callao.

Cabrito a la Norteña This traditional goat feast has made its way to Lima from the northern coast of Peru; as well as tender goat meat, the dish incorporates a sauce made with chicha de jorra (rustic maize beer), yellow chillis, zapallo squash, onions and garlic, plus yuca and lots of fresh coriander, served with rice.

Arroz con Pato a la Chiclayana From northern Peru, this is a dish of duck and rice prepared as in the city of Chiclayo, with oranges, spices, beer, brandy, peas and peppers. It's such a popular dish you'll probably come across it in all regions of the country.

Asado A good cut of beef roasted in a red sauce, ususally served with pure de papas (smooth, garlic-flavoured mashed potatoes).

Chicken broaster The staple at the thousands of broaster restaurants found in every corner of Peru: essentially, spit- or oven-roasted chicken with chips, and often a very meagre salad on the side.

Cuy This is the Inca word for guinea pig, one of the most common foods for Andean country folk, but also something of a delicacy which can be found everywhere from backstreet cafés to the best restaurants in Lima, Cusco and Arequipa. There are various ways to prepare cuy for the plate, but cuychactado (deep-fried) is one of the most common.

Pisco Sour Pisco is Peru's clear, grape-based brandy, which forms the heart of the national drink - pisco sour. The pisco, crushed ice, fresh lime juice, plus a sweetener and egg white, are whisked together with a bitter added at the end. It's refreshing and sometimes surprisingly potent.

Drinking and Nightlife

Lima's nightlife is more urban, modern and less traditional than in cities such as Cusco and Arequipa; Barranco is the trendiest and liveliest place to hang out. The city has an exciting club scene, with the majority of its popular bars and discos located out in the suburbs of San Isidro and Miraflores. In the summer months (Jan-March) the party sometimes carries on down the coast to the resort of Asia, 110km south, where there are some surprisingly sophisticated nightclubs.
As far as the live music scene goes, the great variety of traditional and hybrid sounds is one of the best reasons for visiting the capital, with folk qroup peñas Latin jazz, rock, reggae and reggaeton all popular. All forms of Peruvian music can be found here, some - like salsa and Afro-Peruvian (see p.511) - better than anywhere else in the country. Even Andean folk music can be close to its best here (though Puno, Cusco and Arequipa are all more probable contenders).

Entrance charges and policies Most clubs charge an entrance fee of around S/20-50, which often includes a drink and/or a meal. Many clubs have a members-only policy, though if you can provide proof of tourist status, such a passport, you usually have no problem getting in.

Listings The daily El Comercio provides the best Information about music events, and its Friday edition carries a comprehensive nightlife supplement - easy to understand even if your Spanish is limited. Things are at their liveliest on Friday and Saturday nights.

Drinking and Nightlife lima



Av Prol. San Martín 130, Barranco. A fantastic venue, this place is based in a lovingly restored mansion with several interesting bar areas; it's not cheap but the drinks are Inventive and there are great snacks too. Very busy after 10pm at weekends.

Brenchley Arms

Atahualpa 174, Miraflores An attempt to replicate an English pub, Benchley Arms has a pleasant atmosphere and three bars stocked with good beer. Rock music is occasionally performed live.

El Dragón

Nicolas de Piérola 168, Barranco. A dark, often packed out and fun cultural bar, El Dragon almost always has live music frequently good Latin rock and jazz.

Habana Café Bar

Av Manuel Bonilla 107, Miraflores. Live music Fri and Sat 10pm-1am, Particularly Cuban, but also great jazz and nostalgic rock. Serves an excellent range of rum and cocktalls.

Juanito's Bar

Av Grau 274, Barranco. Probably the most traditional of the neighborhood’s bars; facing onto the Parque Municipal, it's small and basic and offers an excellent taste of Peru as it used to be. The music policy is strictly criolla and traditional Peruvian folk, and the front bar open until very late. Closed during World Cup finals, when the owners travel to watch the games.

Lion's Head Pub

Av Grau 268, Barranco. Located on the second floor of the building is this British-style pub with dartboard, pool table, newspapers, sports TV and, of course, English beers. Daily 5pm-late.

Mochileros Bar

Av Pedro de Osma 135, Barranco. Located in a fine old Barranco mansion, now converted into an albergue and live music bar. It has outside tables and good cocktails (the house specialty is El Beso del Diablo, consisting of pisco, tequila and grenadilla). Tues-Sat 8am-11pm.

La Posada del Mirador

0n the cliff top point behind the Puente de Suspiros and church, Barranco. A popular evening bar with great views and a lively atmosphere.

Rincón Cervecero

Jr de la Unión 1045. Lima Centro. An original Lima bar but in Germanic style, with satisfyingly large pitchers of draught beer and shots, and a buzzing atmosphere. The kitchen serves original recipes, and there's a beer festival in Oct Mon-Sat 10am-midnight.

The Old Pub

San Ramón 295, Miraflores. The most authentic of the English-style pubs in Lima - it's run by an Englishman - and easy to find, just a block or two from the park in Miraflores, at the far end of Little Italy (San Ramón). There's good music and a dartboard, and sandwiches, salads, chips and roast-beef meals are available.

The Old Pub

San Ramón 295, Miraflores. The most authentic of the English-style pubs in Lima - it's run by an Englishman - and easy to find, just a block or two from the park in Miraflores, at the far end of Little Italy (San Ramón). There's good music and a dartboard, and sandwiches, salads, chips and roast-beef meals are available.



Larco Mar, Miraflores. Well respected for its weekend shows and electronica prowess; now and then international DJs make an appearance. Special events are generally Thurs-Sat.


Av Grau 294, Barranco. A heaving dance club from Monday through to Saturday night. Music mainly ranges from trance to techno, but also live music, mainly rock, sessions at weekends.


Gótica Larco Mar, Miraflores. A fairly exclusive but popular disco with excellent music and an even better sound system: expect anything from hip-hop and punk to Latin rock, salsa and reggaeton, as well as occasional live bands at weekends.


Jr Manuel Asendo Segura, Boulevard Los Olivos, Los Olivos, north Lima. This is a hectic salsódromo based north of Lima Centro in the district of Los Olivos. Split into two levies with its walls painted in coconuts, the club has a hot, tropical feel and plays heavy electrónica as well as salsa. Nearby, also on the Boulevard, is another popular club, Kokos.


Av Bolognesi 743, Barranco. A funky and gay-friendly disco-bar with weird decor, known for playing lots of 70s and 80s tunes; it gets hotter later on.


Lima's peñas - some of which only open at weekends and nearly all located in Barranco - are the surest bet for listening to authentic Andean folk, although some of them also specialize in Peruvian criolla, which brings together a unique and very vigorous blend of Afro-Peruvian, Spanish and, to a lesser extent, Andean music These days it's not uncommon for some of Lima's best peñas to feature a fusion of criolla and Latin jazz. Generally speaking, peñas don't get going until after 10pm and usually the bands play through to 3 or 4am, if not until first light.
Lima is also an excellent place to experience the Latin American salsa scene, and there are salsódromos scattered around many of the suburbs. They play a mix of tropical music, salsa, merengue and technocumbia. Most are open Friday and Saturday 10pm-3am.

Las Brisas del Titicaca

Jr Wafculski 168, Lima Centro. One of the busiest and most popular venues for tourists in the know and locals alike; excellent bands and yet this is one of the cheapest of the city's peñas.

Del Carajo

San Ambrosia 328, Barranco. A lively and popular peña playing a range of criolla, Andean and coastal traditional and modern music. Some of Latin America's top criolla muscians play here.

La Estación de Barranco

Av Pedro de Osma 112, Barranco. Just across the road from the suburb's main plaza, this established peña regularly varies its flavour between folklore, criolla and even Latin jazz or rock at times, with a lively atmosphere most Fridays and Saturdays.


Paseo de la República 1401, La Victoria. This is a sprawling, unpretentious choice, with vibrant salsa music, sometimes performed live at weekends. Top Peruvian criolla musicians; sometimes play here.

Peña La Candelaria

Av Bolognesi 292, Barranco. An enormous venue presenting live music and dance from the three regions (coast, Andes and Amazon).

Peña Don Porfirio

C Manuel Segura 115, Barranco. Possibly the only traditional-style peña left in Lima. Offers dance lessons during the week.

Peña Sachún

Av del Ejercito 657, Miraflores. Very lively and popular tourist restaurant with a good reputation for live folkloric music and criolla dancing.

De Rompe y Raja Restaurant Peña Turística

C Manuel Segura, 127,Baranco. Located between blocks 5 and 6 of Avenida Bolognesi, this peña presents live Peruvian music from 10pm. Ideal for groups, with big tables and entertainment into the small hours.

De Rompe y Raja Restaurant Peña Turística

C Manuel Segura, 127,Baranco. Located between blocks 5 and 6 of Avenida Bolognesi, this peña presents live Peruvian music from 10pm. Ideal for groups, with big tables and entertainment into the small hours.


CC Club Dernis Taberna

San Martín 587, San Borja. Live rock music every Friday and Saturday night, with open jam sessions on Tuesday and Thursday.

El Ekeko

Av Grau 266, by the Plaza Municipal. Often has Latin jazz at weekends, though also hosts Peruvian Andean and coastal music, mainly criolla. Its best to call first to make sure there's live music on when you go.

Arts and Entertainment

Going to the cinema and theatre is an important part of life in Lima. Peruvians are a well-cultured people with a passion and intuitive understanding of everything from Latin music and fine arts to ancient textiles and traditional Andean dance forms. Peruvian culture is very much alive and most locals know dozens of songs and several folk dances, as well as being able to dance salsa with the best of them. Lima's cultural centers, often associated with one of the local universities, are often the best place to catch innovative films, music shows and drama. The best source of information about film, theatre, sporting events and exhibitions is the daily El Comercio, especially its Friday supplement.

Arts and Entertainment lima


There are clusters of cinemas around the Plaza San Martín, Jirón de la Unión and Avenida Nicolás de Pierola in Lima Centro, on the fringes of the park in Miradores, at Larco Mar and in some of the suburban shopping malls.

Cinemark Peru Jockey Plaza 12, Av Javier Prado, Surco.

Cinemark Plaza Lima Sur 7 Av Prol Paseo de la República, Chorrillos.

Cineplanet Alcázar 1-8 Santa Cruz 814, Miradores.

Cineplanet Centro Jr de la Unión, Lima Centro.

Cineplanet Primavera Av Angarrias Este 2684, San Borja.

Cinerama El Pacífico Av Pardo 121, Miradores.

UVK Multicines Larco Mar 1-12 Parque Salazar, Larco Mar, Miradores.


Centro Cultural de la PUCP (Universidad La Católica) Av Camino San 1075, San Isidro One of the most active cultural centres in Lima, with innovative theatre, cinema and video, as well as ar exhibitions, a library and cafeteria.

Centro Cultural de la UNMSM (Universidad de San Marcos) Av Nicolás de Piérola 1222, Parque Universitario, Lima Centro. Often presents folk music and dance performances. The centre is run by the Universitario de San Marcos, on the Parque Universitario, and performances are publicized on the noticeboard at the entrance.

Centro Cultural Ricardo Palma Av Larco 770, Miraflores; Often hosts excellent concerts of Andean music, but doesn't have the same participatory feel of the peñas . It does, however, boast a library, two exhibition rooms and occasional cinema festivals, plus jazz, dance and theatre performances.


Lima possesses a prolific and extremely talented theatre circuit, with many of its best venues based in Miraflores. In addition to the major theatres, short performances sometimes take place in the bars of the capital's top theatres. The country's major prestige companies, however, are the National Ballet Company and the National Symphony, both based seasonally at the Teatro Municipal (see below).

Teatro Británico Jr Beflavista 527, Miradores.

Teatro Larco 1036, Miradores.

Teatro Municipal Block 3 of Jr Ica, Lima Centro.

Satchmo Av La Paz 526, Miradores.


When it comes to shopping in Peru's towns and cities, Lima is the most likely to have what you're looking for. It's certainly your best bet for shoes and clothing, particularly if you want a large selection to choose from. The same is true of electronic goods, stationery and music, though bear in mind that most Limeños who can afford it do their main shopping in Miami. Lima also has a good selection of reasonably priced arts and crafts markets and shops.
Shopping hours The usual shopping hours are Mon-Sat 10am-7pm, though in Miraflores, the main commercial area, many shops and artesanía markets stay open until 8pm and sometimes later. Some shops, but by no means all, shut for a two-hour lunch break, usually 1-3pm, and most shops shut on Sundays, though the artesanía markets avenidas La Marina and Petit Thouars tend to stay open week until 7pm.

Shopping lima


Collacocha C Calón S34, Miraflores. Parallel to block 11 of Avenida Larco, this place has good-quality antiques, as well as arts and crafts.

Rafo Martinez A Pautas 1055, Barranco. Quality antiques and a good lunchtime restaurant too.


Agua y Tierra Diez Canseco 298, Miradores. A wide range of ethnic and traditional healing or curtmderos artefacts.

Artesanías Huayruro and Killapura Diez Cansecos 392 and 378, Miraflores, These adjacent stores sell crafts and some edible produce from the Andes and Peru's Amazon tribes.

Artesanía Santo Domingo Jr Cande de Superunda 221-223, Urna Centro. This little square pavement area, just a stone's throw from the Correo Central in Lima Centro, is good for beads, threads and other artesanía ítems.

La Casa de Alpaca Av La te 665;, Miraflores. Good but expensive alpaca clothing.


Lima’s climate is dry and warm in the areas near the coast. There is high humidity and a lack of rain throughout the year. In areas more than 2,500 metres above sea level, the temperature drops and the climate is cold and wet.


Maximum temperature Minimum temperature
27°C 14°C
81°F 57°F
weather lima

Travel Tips

How to get to Lima

Most international travellers enter Lima through Jorge Chavez International Airport. Once in Peru, it is easy to get to and from Lima via aeroplane or bus. Airlines that operate flights to Lima include LAN, TACA, Delta, United, American Airlines, KLM, Jetblue and Air Canada. Average taxi fares from the airport to hotels in Miraflores and Barranco range from S/.40 to S/.60. Most hotels can also arrange transfers by taxi or private car. You can visit Lima International Airport’s website for flight status and information.

Transportation within Lima

Taxis are by far the easiest and fastest mode of transportation in Lima. However, if you plan to be in Lima for an extended period of time, you can opt to take the public transportation option in the form of micros (large public buses), combis (smaller buses or vans) or the Metropolitano (a standardised bus route connecting the centre of Lima to the coastal districts. The public transportation options in Lima are significantly cheaper than taxis, but they can be difficult to navigate if you are not familiar with the layout of the city. If you are only spending a few days in Lima and you want to get around the city quickly, taxis are the best option, but know that fares are not standardised and often the price to get from point A to point B is at the discretion of the driver. Therefore, it is important to negotiate the price before getting in. We recommend asking your hotel to contact a taxi for you.

What to Pack

Different season, different clothes. Remember that what is suitable for a few nights in Lima might be drastically different than what is suitable for the rest of your trip to Peru. The country’s diverse geography, desert coast, high mountains and humid jungle, results in local weather patterns that can vary widely by altitude and region. For summer time in Lima (December through February), make sure you bring sunblock, sunglasses and warm weather clothing. Nights tend to be cool and breezy at this time of year, so it is best to bring a light jacket or sweater. Lima in winter (June through August) is chilly and wet. You will probably want a scarf and hat, jacket, pants and close-toed shoes. For spring (September through November) and autumn (March through May), most people are comfortable with a light sweater or a long sleeved shirt.

Currency Info

The official currency of Peru is the Sol (S/.) which can be found in various denominations. Products, food and services are generally cheaper than in western countries. However, there are upscale restaurants, clubs and bars that set their prices to be on par with those in developed countries. Foreign currency can be changed to Peruvian soles in banks or in exchange houses called casa de cambios.


Major Banks are generally open Monday through Friday from 9am until 6pm and Saturday from 9am until noon. Some branches, especially those located inside shopping malls and supermarkets, are open Monday through Saturday until 8pm or 9pm.

Tipping etiquette

First of all, we would like to mention that it is not customary to tip in Peru as it is in many other countries. As a consequence, most Peruvians do not show their appreciation for good service by leaving a tip. That doesn't mean you should never do it. We recommend you use your judgment when you receive good service and adjust the amount for each situation.

General Health & Safety

It is a good idea to avoid eating food from street vendors. This is because it is difficult to tell how fresh the food is or if clean water was used during its preparation. Except for brushing your teeth, don’t drink water from the tap. Bottled water is best. Like in most major cities, it is important to be aware of your surroundings at all times. Keep your valuables close and preferably hidden from sight.