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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)

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

Barranco

4.5/5Wonderful!(3 area reviews)

Barranco
Downtown Lima featuring heritage architecture and street scenes

Cercado de Lima

4.5/5Wonderful!(8 area reviews)

Cercado de Lima

Top hotels in Lima

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Wyndham Costa Del Sol Lima Airport
Wyndham Costa Del Sol Lima Airport
4 out of 5

Located in Callao, this family-friendly hotel is 2.6 mi (4.2 km) from Minka Shopping Centre, and within 6 mi (10 km) of Costa Verde and Leyendas Park. Plaza ...

4/5Very Good! (1,985 reviews)

"Hotel was what we needed for a bad situation. They kept us comfortable while we were on Lock Down. The management was professional and compassionate. They gave food and water for people stranded at the airport terminal. Good Job"…"

Reviewed on 1 Apr,2020

Wyndham Costa Del Sol Lima Airport
Holiday Inn Lima Airport
Holiday Inn Lima Airport
3.5 out of 5
Av. Tomas Valle s/n esq Av. Faucett, Centro Aereo Comercial - Callao, Callao
Free cancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
SG$161
per night
11 Apr-12 Apr

Situated in Callao, this hotel is 2.5 mi (4.1 km) from Minka Shopping Centre and within 6 miles (10 km) of Plaza Norte Peru and Plaza San Miguel Mall. Costa ...

4.4/5Wonderful! (886 reviews)

"Note the the hotel is located near the airport transportation is required."…"

Reviewed on 16 Mar,2020

Holiday Inn Lima Airport
Hyatt Centric San Isidro Lima
Hyatt Centric San Isidro Lima
4.5 out of 5
Avenida Jorge Basadre 367, San Isidro, Lima, PE
SG$255
per night
1 May-2 May

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. Lima ...

4.9/5Exceptional! (53 reviews)

"My stay was awesome, the hotel is new, modern, elegant, really good service but the best part was the food simply amazing really good food, don’t forget to try the rooftop bar, I’ll definitely stay here again"…"

Reviewed on 1 Feb,2020

Hyatt Centric San Isidro Lima

Popular things to do 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.

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.

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.

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.

Jiron de La Union
Image for Jiron de La Union

Jiron de La Union

4/5(1 review)

Wander down one of the city’s most historic boulevards to get a sense of the local culture and see the churches and plazas that surround it.

Top activities in Lima

Wildlife of Palomino Islands Half-Day Tour
Image for Wildlife of Palomino Islands Half-Day Tour

Wildlife of Palomino Islands Half-Day Tour

90% of travellers recommend
SG$161
Per adult
Lima Classic City Tour & San Francisco Catacombs
Image for Lima Classic City Tour & San Francisco Catacombs

Lima Classic City Tour & San Francisco Catacombs

90% of travellers recommend
SG$43
Per adult
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

86% of travellers recommend
SG$217
Per adult
Half-Day Highlights Tour of Lima
Image for Half-Day Highlights Tour of Lima

Half-Day Highlights Tour of Lima

80% of travellers recommend
SG$51
Per adult
Bohemian Barranco & Colorful Callao: Lima City tour
Image for Bohemian Barranco & Colorful Callao: Lima City tour

Bohemian Barranco & Colorful Callao: Lima City tour

100% of travellers recommend
SG$65
Per adult
Pre-Columbian Sites and Larco Museum with Dinner
Image for Pre-Columbian Sites and Larco Museum with Dinner

Pre-Columbian Sites and Larco Museum with Dinner

86% of travellers recommend
SG$123
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

Read travel guides and advice on visiting Lima

Image for Lima cuisine then and now

Lima cuisine then and now

Appreciating Lima’s evolution as an international food city
Lima cuisine then and now
Image for How to Spend a Weekend in Lima

How to Spend a Weekend in Lima

Find inspiration for how to spend a weekend in Lima to enjoy all the attractions of the city and make the most of your time.
How to Spend a Weekend in Lima

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