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Things to do in Lima

Things to do in  Lima

Welcome to Lima

Lima, Peru has emerged from its reputation as a layover on the way to Machu Picchu to be a destination of its own accord, offering world-class art museums, preserved colonial plazas, and a trendy, destination-worthy culinary scene featuring a signature cocktail: the Pisco sour. Discover the city’s charms on a guided tour, visiting the collection of pre-Columbian artifacts at the Larco Museum, the Spanish-influenced Plaza de Armas, the dazzling fountains of the Magic Water Circuit, and the tomb of Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro in Lima’s City Centre, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Cultural tours of the city bring travelers in contact with local communities, artisans, and chefs through food, drink, and market tours for a taste (literally) of the daily life in the city. Contemporary charms abound in the bohemian Barranco District, while ancient Peru’s history is on display at the Pachacamac archaeological site, located 25 miles (40 kilometers) outside of the city. Those looking for outdoor adventure can indulge in a day of swimming and sun bathing on a day trip to the nearby Ballestas Islands and Paracas National Reserve or sand board at the Oasis of Huacachina, while those seeking to learn more about ancient Peru can fly above the famous Nazca lines or visit a number of nearby archaeological sites and still make it back in time to enjoy a drink on the veranda.

Top 10 attractions in Lima

#1
Ballestas Islands (Islas Ballestas)

Ballestas Islands (Islas Ballestas)

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A cluster of tiny islands off the Peruvian coast, the Ballestas Islands (Islas Ballestas) are often touted as the “Peruvian Galapagos,” famed for their spectacular variety of birdlife and rugged coastline of soaring cliffs, rocky beaches, and remote sea caves.More
#2
Nazca Lines

Nazca Lines

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The enigmatic Nazca Lines (or Nasca Lines) are second only to Machu Picchu as the most famous archaeological site in Peru. The mysterious geoglyphs at the UNESCO World Heritage Site range from geometric shapes and swirls to a hummingbird and monkey. Theories on their purpose include astronomical markers, irrigation canals, and alien messages—an enigma that has spurred intrigue since their 1927 discovery. The spectacular etchings likely date from 500 BC and 500 AD.More
#3
Miraflores

Miraflores

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The swanky beachfront suburb of Miraflores is one of Lima’s most sought-after zip codes. Here you’ll find the city’s best restaurants, shops, and hotels, plus waterfront mansions and high-rise towers. Lovely parks and beaches decorate the area, as well as the ancient ruins of Huaca Pucllana—a pre-Inca temple.More
#4
San Isidro

San Isidro

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San Isidro visitors may overlook its cultural attractions, opting instead for its beaches and shopping districts. But, the enclave’s tree-lined residential streets are home to stately mansions being converted to luxury hotels, high-end boutiques, art museums, embassies representing 40 countries, and the city’s best restaurants.More
#5
Barranco

Barranco

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Barranco is an atmospheric, seaside neighborhood in Lima known for its street art and hip, bohemian culture. The area was once a summer playground for fashionable Limeños and is full of old colonial buildings. Small cafes and artist-run boutiques buzz during the day, while bars and dance define the area at night.More
#6
Lima Plaza Mayor

Lima Plaza Mayor

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Plaza Mayor, formerly Plaza de Armas, is the heart and birthplace of Lima. The crown jewel of the city, this UNESCO World Heritage–listed square is flanked by many important buildings, such as the Government Palace (Palacio de Gobierno), Cathedral of Lima, City Hall (Palacio Municipal de Lima), and the Archbishop’s Palace (Palacio Arzobispal).More
#7
Historic Centre of Lima (Centro Historico de Lima)

Historic Centre of Lima (Centro Historico de Lima)

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Thanks to its designation as a UNESCO World heritage Site, the historical center of Lima is immaculately preserved. Encompassing the area between Plaza de Armas and Plaza San Martin, the core includes the majority of the city’s outstanding colonial attractions and palm-fringed green spaces, all within easy walking distance.More
#8
Huaca Pucllana

Huaca Pucllana

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Lima is dotted with sacred ruins and ceremonial sites known as huacas. Located in the coastal Miraflores neighborhood, the Huaca Pucllana complex, with its towering stepped adobe pyramid, is one of the city’s largest and most important ancient monuments. Built around 500 A.D, it was once an administrative and ceremonial center of the indigenous Lima Culture civilization.More
#9
Larco Museum (Museo Larco)

Larco Museum (Museo Larco)

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The Larco Museum (Museo Larco) is the only place in Peru that houses an extensive private collection of pre-Columbian artifacts. The museum displays more than 4,000 years of Peruvian history with tens of thousands of ceramics, textiles, pottery, metalware, and other excavated findings unearthed by the affluent Larco family.More
#10
Callao

Callao

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Up the coast from Lima, the colonial seafront town of Callao is the capital’s principal cruise port, receiving thousands of annual visitors. With easy transport links to the center of Lima, most cruise travelers head straight into Lima, though Callao has worthwhile attractions and is a jumping off point to nearby islands.More

Trip ideas

Must-See Museums in Lima

Must-See Museums in Lima

How to Spend 3 Days in Lima

How to Spend 3 Days in Lima

Food Lover's Guide to Lima

Food Lover's Guide to Lima

Top activities in Lima

Recent reviews from experiences in Lima

star-5
BEST TOUR OF LIMA EVER
Lita_V, Oct 2021
Private Full-Day Best of Lima Tour
Our very first day in Lima my friend and I signed up for a full day "walking tour" of Lima and we had such a GREAT time - our guide had a separate driver (with just us), spoke English very well and we saw the sights, shops, lunch at a beautiful museum and felt safe and educated by our guide.
star-5
Fantastic for Solo Travelers on a Timeline
Casey_H, Oct 2021
Lima Full-Day Experience: Pachacamac, Historic Downtown and Magic Water Circuit
Great for solo travelers with a day to see it all.
star-5
Awesome tour and guide!
Stacie_B, Oct 2021
The Bohemian Charm of Barranco Bike Tour
Would highly recommend this one to anyone looking for a fun and entertaining way to see Lima!
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Lima walking tour
Crystal_R, Jul 2021
Lima City Walking Tour with Pick-up & Drop Off Small Group
You get to visit several historical sites in central Lima.
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Fun biking along the coast
9t4nmktgs7, Nov 2021
Private Lima Coast Bike Tour
Tito was our guide and we got to see so much of the coastline views on this tour.
star-5
Awesome day trip. Intense day but well worth it!
Jessica_R, Nov 2021
From Lima: Ballestas, Nazca Lines & Huacachina Oasis
I wanted to see the Nazca Lines and was intrigued by the Islas Ballestas and the Huacachina Oasis, but oh my word everything just blew me away.
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Amazing cooking class
Angelica_J, Dec 2020
Peruvian Cooking Class Including Local Market Tour and Exotic Fruit Tasting
It was nice to feel welcomed and talk about things to do in Lima.
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A great 4 hour tour of historic Lima
Craig_S, Mar 2020
Lima City Walking Tour with Pick-up & Drop Off Small Group
We would highly recommend this to anyone with half a day to see Lima.
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Excellent Tour of Central Lima and Pachacamac
David_U, Mar 2020
Lima Cultural City Tour + Pachacamac Archaeological Site
Spoke excellent English and provided good commentary on life in Lima.
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Great experience! Highly recommend
Lauren_T, Mar 2020
Lima Bike Tour: Biking The Green Coast & El Morro Hill
Great way to see the city and to see parts of the city you might not normally venture too.
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Amazing day
Stephanie, Feb 2020
Lima Full-Day Experience: Pachacamac, Historic Downtown and Magic Water Circuit
It was very informative and we got to see so much in one day.
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Must do
Michelangelo_R, Feb 2020
Private Lima Walking Tour
It covers just about everything you need to see in Central Lima.
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Highlights of Lima
acusselle, Jan 2020
Lima Private Walking Tour
We asked if it was possible to see changing of the guard which was then included in our tour.
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Pretty good
Alexander_S, Jan 2020
Visits and Tours to the Historic Center Lima and Miraflores
It’s not too much to see I’m Lima but I am glad we arranged for this tour
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Great option to visit Pachacama
Joseatoro, Jan 2020
Private Guided ''Pachacamac'' Tour in Peru
It is a very good way to visit Pachacamac archeological site south of Lima.
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Great Tour of Lima
Linda_P, Dec 2019
Half-Day Lima City Sightseeing
We had a lovely tour of Lima - starting at the coast (Gaudi-esque garden) then went into central Lima to visit the Church and a Monastery and had a general wander through the streets.
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Perfect short city tour
Charles_D, Nov 2019
Half-Day Private Lima City Tour
Nora the guide was delightful, very knowledgeable about Lima’s history, economy, politics and culture and spoke excellent English.
star-5
Excellent tour!
GrandTour33514462398, Oct 2019
Food & Art: Lima Colors and Flavors Walking Tour
You get to visit the fish market, and try amazing local food.
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No english speaking tour
lissi902019, Oct 2019
PARACAS and HUACACHINA SANDBOARD - Day Trip Lima
We booked this daytrip from lima to the islas ballestas and huacachina with a english guide.
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Highly recommend
kef32019, Sep 2019
From Lima: Pachacamac, Barranco & Chorrillos Private Tour
Our guide was very knowledgeable and spoke excellent English.

All about Lima

When to visit

Lima’s sunny skies and warmer weather reside from December to April, making it a popular time to visit. In September, the annual Mistura festival offers a chance to taste some of the world’s best Peruvian cuisine, but be aware the city's humidity can reach uncomfortable heights during this month.

Frequently Asked Questions
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