10 Must See Things in Lima in Peru

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Lluis Enric Mayans

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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Wrapped in the famous garùa (fog typical of the Peruvian coast), Lima is the undisputed metropolitan center of Peru: the mixture of civilizations, races, smells and cultures will leave you speechless, as will the disproportionate size of its skyline. The main attraction are the remains of pre-Incas civilizations, of pre-Columbian culture, and the traces left by the Spanish colonizers, without forgetting its modern face made of huge shopping centers, skyscrapers and everything that can be found in a metropolis with just over nine million inhabitants!
So here is a detailed list of 10 must-see attractions in Lima.


  1. Parade ground
  2. Larco Museum
  3. Basilica and convent of San Francesco
  4. Huaca Pucllana archaeological site
  5. Parque de la Reserva and Magic Water Tour
  6. Miraflores
  7. Archbishop's Palace of Lima
  8. Pedro de Osma Museum
  9. Barranco and Ponte dos Suspiros
  10. Park of Love
  11. Plan your stay in Lima, Peru: interactive map + info on flights, hotels and tours
  12. User questions and comments

1 - Plaza de Armas

Also known as Plaza Major, is the square where you will find the most important buildings of the city on which the architectural originality of the past has remained: the Cathedral, the Government Palace, the Arzobispal Palace and the Municipal Palace, in the center of which you can find a large bronze fountain.
It is considered the cradle of Lima since it was from here that the conquistador Francisco Pizarro founded the city in the distant 1535, an important date that marked the beginning of a long series of activities and events that have characterized the colonial and republican history of the city.
The square, over the centuries, has undergone many additions and changes until the end of the twentieth century, when it was completely completed; specifically the year 1922 was that of the completion of the Arzobispal Palace, in 1938 it was the turn of the Government Palace and in 1944 the Municipal Palace was completed.

  • it is located exactly in the center, 45 minutes by bus (line 301) from the Miraflores district - Get directions
  • always accessible
  • walking tour of the historic center (4 hours)

2 - Larco Museum

Also known as Museo de la Naciòn, it expertly traces the history of the Peruvian people. You will find a splendid archaeological collection of pre-Columbian ceramicsindigenous cultures that once lived permanently in this area before the famous conquistadors arrived up to the present day in excellent condition; there are also numerous golden and silver priestly masks, axes and sacrificial hammers.
It was founded in 1926 by Rafael Larco Hoyle, who personally took care of the contextualization of the finds and their respective civilizations. The result is that he managed to collect many archaeological collections within the museum, about 45.000 pieces. The curiosity of this museum is that it is known for housing the largest collection of erotic pottery in the world.

  • 35 minutes by public transport from Plaza Major (line 4515/3510) - Get directions
  • From Monday to Sunday from 9: 00 to 22: 00
  • admission € 8,00, reduced € 4,00 for under 15, reduced € 7,00 for over 60, free for children up to 8 years
  • Guided tour of the Larco Museum in Lima

3 - Basilica and convent of San Francesco

The Convent Basilica of San Francisco strikes the tourist for the colossal facade of the church which immediately stands out for its ocher color; it was built in 1535 by the then mayor of the city Francisco Pizarro and then modified several times in the course of history. Its peculiarity is that inside it is possible to find catacombs: they were used as a cemetery until the year 1810, housed more than 25.000 bodies and today it is possible to observe numerous wells full of bones. Also very characteristic is the main cloister whose peculiarities are the numerous works of art and the Moorish dome.

  • It is located in the center of the capital, a few steps from the main square Plaza Major - Get directions
  • Open every day from Monday to Sunday from 9:30 to 17:30
  • € 2,00

4 - Huaca Pucllana archaeological site

Huaca Pucllana represents one of the most important archaeological sites in Peru. It is in fact a monumental pyramid located in the Miraflores district of Lima. Today the pyramid has 6 hectares of surface, while in ancient times it occupied even 20.
The site, originally erected in honor of a female marine deity, is divided into numerous buildings and organized in 6 levels: all remained unharmed and show huge squares, fences and yellow benches, the first was mistakenly demolished and only a square was saved . In recent years, some archaeologists have found numerous female bodies quartered inside, probably evidence of the solemn sacrifices that were made in the ancient culture of Lima.

  • 48 minutes by public transport from Plaza Major and 35 minutes by public transport from Miraflores - Get directions
  • Monday and Wednesday, from 09:00 to 17:00
  • adults € 3,50, students and teachers € 1,50, children and pensioners € 1,00
  • Huaca ruins and Larco museum at night with dinner

5 - Parque de la Reserva and Magic Water Tour

Designed by the French architect Claude Sahut, it has the function of home to many sculptures built by Peruvian artists; it is eight hectares large and has a neoclassical style. Its construction began in 1926 on the orders of President Leguìa and was completed in 1929. It is famous for the fountain erected inside, the Magic Water Tour, inaugurated on July 26, 2007 and today is the largest complex of fountains in the world, consisting of 13 distinct fountains, many of which are interactive and have a jet of water that can reach up to 80 meters.
Other attractions are the Fountain of Surprises Tunnel (Fuente Túnel de las Sorpresas) and the Children's Fountain (Fuente de los Ninos).

  • 30 minutes by public transport from Miraflores and 20 minutes by metro - Get directions
  • always accessible
  • free

6 - Miraflores

This is the most modern area of ​​Lima and overlooks the Pacific Ocean, this residential neighborhood suitable for families is crowded every day by citizens and tourists who go there for shopping and going out with friends. It is also really rich in greenery and numerous attractions such as the lighthouse, the hang gliding track, the love park but also pleasant beaches. You will also find huge shopping malls and luxurious hotels, particular to rise right next to the small houses of the inhabitants of the city.

  • located on the coast of the city, 40 minutes by public transport from plaza Major - Get directions
  • always accessible
  • Miraflores, downtown Lima and Larco museum tour

7 - Archbishop's Palace of Lima

This building is the residence of the Archbishop of Lima and headquarters of the Archdiocese. It was formerly located on the land that Francesco Pizarro assigned to be the residence of the chief priest of Lima after the founding of the city in 1535. The current building, however, was designed by the Peruvian Polish architect Ricardo de Jaxa Malachowski, who was inspired by the Torre Tagle Palace to design it; the facade is made up of elements of the Baroque style made of reintegrated stone, the balconies decorated with cedar are located above the main doors and the whole building is completed by a sculpture of San Turibio di Mongrovejo. The interior is then completely adorned with various decorations in which a sculpture of Santa Barbara stands, the whole is completed by a ceiling that is illuminated by famous French windows that let in natural light.

  • it is located inside Plaza de Armas, the main square of the city - Get directions
  • Monday to Saturday from 09:00 to 17:00
  • € 5,50

8 - Pedro de Osma Museum

Historical museum founded in 1987, it is located in the district of Barranco and was born from the idea of ​​the philanthropist Don Pedro de Osma Gildemeister; he collected for many years art objects from the th to the th century including paintings, sculptures, altarpieces, Huamanga stone sculptures, furniture and other objects from areas of Cusco and Ayacucho. The collection contains artifacts from the th, th and th centuries of viceroy art and from the th century of Peruvian art.
The most important rooms are that of the Angels and Archangels with portraits and paintings of Musketeer angels from the Hall Of Sculpture, also interesting is the collection of furniture from the Republican and colonial era.

  • Get directions
  • Monday and Wednesday, from 09:00 to 17:00.
  • adults € 3,50, students and teachers € 1,50, children and pensioners € 1,00

9 - Barranco and Ponte dos Suspiros

Go to the bohemian district of the city made up of pastel-colored houses, typical minimal-chic bars and small art galleries; many prefer to visit it in the evening, when you can breathe a slightly more authentic air compared to the more chaotic and worldly one of nearby Miraflores.
You cannot not get lost in its alleys embellished bycolorful murals and street artists of all kinds, up to the famous Dos Suspiros bridge. You can take advantage of the different clubs that in the evening and on weekends come alive with locals and tourists until late at night, walking in the company of a background of old dance songs.

  • is located in the immediate vicinity of Miraflores, reachable by metro in just 50 minutes - Get directions
  • always accessible
  • free
  • tour of the district of Barranco

10 - Park of Love

Located in the Miraflores district of the city, it attracts numerous lovers who come to enjoy the view of the Pacific Ocean, especially during the time of sunset. By visiting it will be possible to grasp many similarities to the Park Güell in Barcelona, thanks to the walls with mosaics of a thousand colors with writings and quotes about love. It is also really worth visiting to admire a statue that is located exactly in the center of the Park: it is called "El Beso" and represents its creator Victor Delfin and his wife. If you happen to be in Lima on Valentine's Day, you will have the opportunity to witness the challenge of young couples to give each other the longest kiss right near the statue.

  • located in the Miraflores neighborhood - Get Directions
  • always accessible
  • free

Plan your stay in Lima, Peru: interactive map + info on flights, hotels and tours

As with all large metropolitan cities, you have to pay attention to the places you cross, especially at particular times of the day: avoid poorly lit streets, always carry an identity document with you, since there are frequent checks by the police.
If you decide to rent a car, know that the traffic is really chaotic; however Lima is well stocked with taxis, the non abusive ones are easily recognizable as they have red and white stripes painted on the doors. Then there are the combi, very characteristic, colorful and noisy small buses, they have no fixed stops, you can get on and off as many times as you want and they are really very cheap.

As for buses, five lines are available, all of which are quite fast and travel in preferential lanes; the cost will be 2,50 soles (€ 0,67) per trip and you will need a rechargeable card that can be bought and recharged at the stations, the price of this card is 5 soles (€ 1,35). The Lima metro has only Line 1 which includes 27 stations.

The best area to stay is definitely Miraflores, safer, well connected and typically touristy.
L'Jorge Chávez International Airport it is 16 km from the center of Lima: for those traveling by car, it is possible to travel via the Avenida Faucet, a long street that passes in front of the terminal and reaches the Peruvian center. If you want to use public transport you have to go to the Avenida Elmer Faucet stop (outside the terminal) to take a bus to the center, do the same if you choose to take the combo. If you want to use the taxi instead, you can take advantage of the services offered by the three companies CMV, Mitsoo and Green Taxis which have their counters at the exit of the Arrivals Hall.

  • flights to Lima starting from € 515,00 -
  • Hotel and b & b starting from € 74,00 per room -

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