Lima

Spanish colonial houses, exquisite food, musicians in traditional dress, oceanfront entertainment and fine museums make the Peruvian capital a feast for the senses. 

Enjoy a culinary and cultural experience in bustling Lima, where the desert meets the coast, where ancient history mixes with 21st-century entertainment and where Peru’s poor hope to get rich.

The settlement along the Rímac River was once inhabited by Incas and earlier civilizations. After the Spanish founded Lima in 1535, they ruled for over 300 years. Today, nearly a third of Peru’s 30 million residents live in the capital. From the slums on the Cerros (hills) and the colorful colonial mansions, to the Catholic churches with Moorish roofs and Chinatown’s red gate, Lima’s urban sprawl is diverse.

Explore Lima’s colonial past in the central Plaza de Armas. A grand palace with marching guards, an ornate cathedral and a 17th-century fountain define this historic square. Sit on a bench and people-watch or browse nearby souvenir shops for brightly colored souvenirs. Tour the Convento y Museo de San Francisco and its 16th-century catacombs. Ride in a horse-drawn carriage or set out on foot and follow the shopping avenues to the monument-rich Plaza San Martin.

Take a metered taxi to the Museo Arqueológico Rafael Larco Herrera in the Pueblo Libre district to see pre-Columbian art, including Moche ceramics from over 2,200 years ago. For oceanfront entertainment, head south to Lima’s fashionable neighborhoods Miraflores and Barranco. Try Peru’s staple seafood dish ceviche or the alcoholic drink pisco sour.

In summer, ocean breezes provide a welcome reprieve from Lima’s desert air and smog. Winter days are mild, but often overcast. Because most Peruvians are poor and Lima attracts the wealthy, crime is an issue. Use the lockers and taxi service of your hotel and stick to the tourist areas.

Lima’s Jorge Chavez International Airport has connections to major global destinations. With daily planes and buses leaving from Lima for the surfing beaches of the Pacific Ocean, the lush Amazon jungle and the snow-capped Andes mountains, this fascinating city is just the start of your Peru adventure.

Lima Travel Guide Video

Where to stay in Lima

Miraflores showing landscape views, a sunset and general coastal views

Miraflores

4.5/5Wonderful!(54 area reviews)

Travellers to Miraflores praise its popular shops. If you've got some more time to explore, be sure to stop by Kennedy Park and Miraflores Central Park.

Miraflores
Barranco which includes street scenes as well as a large group of people

Barranco

4.5/5Wonderful!(3 area reviews)

Barranco is known for its abundant dining options, and you can plan a trip to Bridge of Sighs and Costa Verde while you're in town.

Barranco
Downtown Lima featuring heritage architecture and street scenes

Cercado de Lima

4.5/5Wonderful!(8 area reviews)

Unique features of Cercado de Lima include the shopping and historical sites. Make a stop by Plaza San Martin or Plaza de Armas de Lima while you're exploring the area.

Cercado de Lima

Top hotels in Lima

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
BTH Hotel
BTH Hotel
4 out of 5
The price is SG$126 per night

Located in San Isidro, this boutique hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of La Rambla San Borja, Grand National Theater of Peru and Museum of the Nation. Lima Convention ...

4.4/5Excellent! (624 reviews)

"Friendly staff specially Waldin. The only recommendations I have is for the loft bed to be a king and more softer."…"

Reviewed on 16 Mar,2020

BTH Hotel
Hyatt Centric San Isidro Lima
Hyatt Centric San Isidro Lima
4.5 out of 5

Located in San Isidro, this luxury hotel is 0.7 mi (1.2 km) from Lima Golf Club, and within 3 mi (5 km) of Huaca Pucllana Ruins and Magic Water Circuit. Larco ...

4.9/5Exceptional! (59 reviews)
Worth every penny

"Very nice hotel in a quiet safe area"…"

Reviewed on 7 Mar,2020

Hyatt Centric San Isidro Lima
El Pardo DoubleTree by Hilton
El Pardo DoubleTree by Hilton
4 out of 5
Jr. Independencia 141 Miraflores, Lima, Lima
The price is SG$146 per night

Located in Miraflores, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Miraflores Central Park and Kennedy Park. Huaca Pucllana Ruins and Costa Verde are also within ...

4.4/5Excellent! (316 reviews)

"This was our first time in Peru for a family trip. Great hotel for a family of four. They provide robes and slippers in the room which we appreciate. This hotel is within walking distance of ancient ruins."…"

Reviewed on 23 Mar,2020

El Pardo DoubleTree by Hilton

Popular places to visit in Lima

Plaza San Martin
Image for Plaza San Martin

Plaza San Martin

4/5(10 reviews)

Visit one of the most important parts of the city with a poignant statue of Peru’s liberator surrounded by elegant buildings.

Larcomar Shopping Center
Image for Larcomar Shopping Center

Larcomar Shopping Center

4/5(13 reviews)

Spend the day at this award-winning shopping center with an innovative design on the edge of a cliff that overlooks the Pacific Ocean.

Plaza de Armas de Lima
Image for Plaza de Armas de Lima

Plaza de Armas de Lima

4/5(21 reviews)

Visit the birthplace of Lima. It has an antique fountain at its center surrounded by a majestic cathedral, a palace and colonial buildings.

Bridge of Sighs
Image for Bridge of Sighs

Bridge of Sighs

4/5(7 reviews)

Make a wish. If you can cross the entirety of this bridge while holding your breath, it will come true.

Huaca Pucllana Ruins
Image for Huaca Pucllana Ruins

Huaca Pucllana Ruins

4.5/5(16 reviews)

This pyramid was the hub of activity for an ancient civilization. Now, it stands as an example of architectural ingenuity and a tribute to the Lima Culture.

Church and Convent of San Francisco
Image for Church and Convent of San Francisco

Church and Convent of San Francisco

5/5(2 reviews)

Visit this 17th-century monastery complex with a temple and an eerie underground cemetery. It is also home to a convent, an illustrious library and two churches, in Lima’s historic center.

Top things to do in Lima

Half-Day Pachacamac Ruins Tour
Image for Half-Day Pachacamac Ruins Tour

Half-Day Pachacamac Ruins Tour

SG$69
Per adult
82% of travellers recommend
Wildlife of Palomino Islands Half-Day Tour
Image for Wildlife of Palomino Islands Half-Day Tour

Wildlife of Palomino Islands Half-Day Tour

SG$158
Per adult
90% of travellers recommend
FD Tour Pachacamac, Barranco, Downtown and Magic Water Park
Image for FD Tour Pachacamac, Barranco, Downtown and Magic Water Park

FD Tour Pachacamac, Barranco, Downtown and Magic Water Park

SG$208
Per adult
86% of travellers recommend
Half-Day Highlights Tour of Lima
Image for Half-Day Highlights Tour of Lima

Half-Day Highlights Tour of Lima

SG$49
Per adult
80% of travellers recommend
Trending Flavors: Miraflores Walking tour + food and drinks
Image for Trending Flavors: Miraflores Walking tour + food and drinks

Trending Flavors: Miraflores Walking tour + food and drinks

SG$63
Per adult
100% of travellers recommend
Lima Airport Arrival Transfer
Image for Lima Airport Arrival Transfer

Lima Airport Arrival Transfer

SG$42
Per adult

Reviews of Lima

4.1

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
13
5 - Excellent 26.53061224489796%
4 - Good
27
4 - Good 55.10204081632653%
3 - Okay
9
3 - Okay 18.367346938775512%
2 - Disappointing
0
2 - Disappointing 0%
1 - Terrible
0
1 - Terrible 0%

3/5 - Okay

Verified traveller

5 Jan 2020

Very safe and clean in some areas, unsafe, ugly in other areas. Dining options are far away from each other and public transport is only by bus and unreliable.

4/5 - Good

Mark

10 Dec 2019

MATE....Mario Testino art museum is well worth a visit

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

23 Nov 2019

Lima is not only a beautiful city, but also a paradise for foodies; a hidden gem with lovely people and vibrant life!

3/5 - Okay

Eugen

26 Sep 2019

Good for a day visit (at least main square, but bad traffic and pretty rundown.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

21 Sep 2019

Really enjoyed Lima, go to barranco, the artisan district is lively and fun! History in downtown is good to.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

27 Aug 2019

Lima changed & improved a lot since I last visited 22 years ago. The areas around the hotel felt safe and easy to get around. I didn’t worry about looking at my phone in public which I would have done years ago. Nice bohemian vibe near bridge of sigh

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