Places to visit in Lima, knowing that your adventurous spirit can never rest even in the midst of these very difficult times that humanity has been experiencing, we present this post that will help you discover the very best tourist sites in Lima, Peru.
Lima is a cosmopolitan city which majestically overlooks the vast Pacific Ocean. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Americas. Therefore, we will describe for you the very best places to visit in Lima, where pre-Columbian art, excellent archaeological sites, fabulous beaches, beautiful valleys, and exclusive nature reserves await you. In addition to all this, you’ll enjoy the capital’s exquisite cuisine and discover Peru’s colonial heritage.
In fact, the cosmopolitan city of Lima, also known as the City of Kings, is one of the best culinary destinations in Latin America. Moreover, it is at the present time the most important gastronomical destination in the world. And at the same time, it serves as the gateway to all the cultural and natural wonders of Peru, such as the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu, the ancient city of Cusco and the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Furthermore, through Lima you can access the gigantic Amazon River, the jewel-like Lake Titicaca, the enigmatic Nazca Lines, the incredibly deep Colca Canyon, the amazing Rainbow Mountain, and an untold number of other wonders.
This magical city, where the traditional and the modern coexist, is not only heir to Peru’s colonial history, but also heir to the legacies of the Incan and pre-Incan cultures which flourished here thousands of years before the Europeans arrived. All in all, it is also the perfect place to begin your South American adventure. Come visit the finest pre-Columbian art collections and the incredible archaeological sites while you enjoy some of the world’s most exquisite cuisine.
City of Kings, city of contrasts and of incredible nuances, Lima definitely deserves a spot high up on your list of “can’t-miss” destinations. Because Lima is not just a tourist destination; it is love at first sight for all globetrotters.
Best Tourist Places in Lima
The city of Lima has innumerable tourist sites. Here is a list of some of the finest from which you can choose.
Larcomar is an exclusive shopping center located high on the cliffs above the blue Pacific, and an incredible tourist site justly famous for its wonderful ocean views. Down below, the beautiful beaches of the Costa Verde will call to you with the sweet voice of a siren. Of course, for many Larcomar is the best place to start exploring the very finest of what Peru has to offer. And for others it is simply a wonderful place to shop.
Surely this is a big reason why Larcomar is so popular with so many travellers. In fact, this is why Larcomar is the first place that Limeños (whether they are your guide, your travel agent, or your taxi driver) will recommend to you as a great place to visit.
Not only is its location notoriously beautiful, but you will also be able to enjoy shopping in over 80 department stores featuring the world’s most exclusive brands. In short, you will easily be able to find everything from imported chocolates to traditional Peruvian crafts. Also, when touring Larcomar, you’ll eat delicious dishes at elegant restaurants with views out over the Pacific Ocean. Cinemas, bars, cafes, nightclubs, and a theater round out the bouquet of delights which Larcomar holds in store for you. Of course, all this gives Larcomar its air of sophistication which outstrips any other shopping center in Lima.
Without a doubt, Miraflores is one of the most exclusive and popular neighborhoods in the city of Lima. Both tourists and local people are very attracted to this elegant area and you’ll see why it is rated as one of the most wondrous places to visit in Lima. In fact, Miraflores has it all. There are a wide variety of hotels, beautiful beaches, exclusive restaurants, scenic boardwalks and a host of other tourist attractions which you can explore. What’s more, in Miraflores there are lots of different sports activities which you can partake in, such as biking, hiking, paragliding and surfing.
This is why Miraflores is practically the epicenter of the upper class. As a result, there are a great number of exclusive restaurants and bars, along with tons of fun tourist activities to enjoy in the parks and squares of this charming neighborhood. It is the perfect spot for visitors looking for a bit of tranquility, as well as for those intrepid travelers seeking the maximum in fun.
Offering a friendly, modern environment, Miraflores is a neighborhood of first-class infrastructure and welcoming people. There are cultural attractions, too. Also, come participate in the fascinating Gastronomic Miraflores Tour, and join in the Nightlife in Miraflores Tour where you are bound to be captivated by the impulsive rhythm of this amazing place overlooking the wide, wide Pacific Ocean.
Parque de la Reserva. (Reserve Park)
When the nightly Light Show of the Dancing Waters began on July 26, 2007, this incredible park inaugurated a new era and has become one of the most important tourist spots in Lima. Since its inception, it has seduced millions of travelers from all over the world and local people, too. There is no place in America quite like Reserve Park. So, stop by and enjoy a breathtaking spectacle of sights, colors and sounds in one of the most popular tourist destinations in the City of Kings.
Parque de la Reserva is an extraordinary place where beauty and modernity are melded perfectly together. Moreover, it is part of the city’s National Historical Heritage, and is sometimes referred to as the Exhibition Park. For this reason, in 1926 President Augusto B. Leguía ordered the engineer, Alberto de Jaxas Jochamowitz, to take charge of the commission that would finally design and build the city’s second great park. The stunning result was Exhibition Park. In fact, the team was made up of the ingenious architect Claudio Sahut, the renowned indigenous painter José Sabogal, and the sculptors Daniel Casafranca and Daniel Vásquez.
Thanks to the beauty and expansiveness of the Magic Water Circuit, you will be able to fall in love with all your senses. Every day, starting at 6:00 pm., a spectacular show of colorful laser lights and fantastic stereo sound kicks off; it will delight your eyes and ears. Enjoy a carefully choreographed presentation of water, music and light, a spectacle designed to captivate the senses of each and every one of its viewers. Each presentation in the Park is a unique expression and interpretation of Andean culture. Fall in love with this unprecedented aquatic achievement while you enjoy your vacation.
Plaza de Armas of Lima
Plaza Mayor or Plaza de Armas of Lima is the birthplace of the beautiful and ancient City of Kings. Therefore, the Plaza de Armas de Lima is the most prominent tourist spot in the city center. Also, you will find some of the finest architecture in all of South America right here. Similarly, along the square and on the surrounding streets you can observe the most exquisite balconies which were carved during the colonial era. What’s more, you can explore the city’s beautiful museums, lavish pre-Columbian temples, and enormous cathedrals which were built during the colonial era.
In addition, in the vicinity of the Plaza de Armas you can find the most opulent constructions which were built during the era when Peru was a Spanish vice-royalty. One of the most spectacular edifices built on the Plaza de Armas is the Government Palace which today serves as the place of residence for the president of the republic. The palace also serves as a venue for various meetings, reunions, and other government functions. Although the Palace facilities are not open to the public, special visits can be arranged at pre-established times and days. With this in mind, it should be remembered that the Government Palace of the city of Lima was the first mega construction that the Spanish constructed in Peru.
Also, on the Plaza there is the great cathedral of Lima. Although the architectural style of the building seems to date back to the founding of the city, it is actually relatively new, as it was built in 1924. This palace also serves as the home of the archbishop of Lima. Located on the same square we can find the Municipal Palace. Taken together, these are the reasons why the Plaza de Armas of Lima is one of those tourist sites that you really shouldn’t miss on your next adventure to Peru.
Surely, there are tourist sites in the world that are recognized for their majesty and their antiquity; without a doubt, one of these treasures is located in the City of Kings. The archaeological center of Huaca Pucllana was constructed as a ceremonial and administrative center by a prosperous pre-Incan civilization. Today it is an incredible tourist destination which happens to be located in the heart of Miraflores (close to Larcomar), which is one of the most exclusive districts in Lima. As a matter of fact, the magic of this site is most easily observed at sunset or at night when it is artificially illuminated.
Huaca Pucllana is an ancient pyramid of adobe and clay, dating back to the year 500 AD. It can be visited during the day or at night, and although we don’t know exactly why the pyramid of Huaca Pucllana was built, we do know that long ago an indigenous culture tamed the arid desert of the Peruvian coast. Certainly, the people of this culture, who lived where Lima is located today, were very advanced, and their skill and wisdom is displayed in the remarkable construction of their irrigation system. Specifically, it was via the canals of this system that water could transported from the inland rivers to this costal settlement.
At the Huaca Pucllana complex you can visit workshops where handicrafts are made, a small souvenir shop, and an exclusive restaurant which overlooks the whole complex. . Of course, there is also the museum which exhibits the ceramics, textiles, tools, artifacts and other remains that were found during the excavation of this site. Likewise, at dusk, the ruins are illuminated by electric light. When the lights come on, the contrast and context of the landscape change incredibly. In fact, it becomes the absolutely perfect setting for a romantic dinner or for a farewell supper after exploring the treasures of Peru.
Larco Herrera Museum
Herrera Larco Museum is one of Lima’s most precious treasures, and without a doubt, it is one of the most important museums on the planet. This incredible jewel is located in a colonial mansion which was built during the 18th century. The beautiful gardens that surround the museum will delight your eyes. So enjoy yourself as you wander through its wide corridors and pretty gardens, and travel back in time to 5,000 years ago. In this way, the Larco’s fascinating collection of pre-Columbian art will take on a life of its own, as you experience the deep, intimate relationship that pre-Columbian societies had with Mother Nature.
Since it was founded in 1926, the museum has been consistently characterized as one of the top ten tourist destinations in Lima. Also, it was one of the first museums in the world to have rooms with 100% virtual access. And in this way, the multidisciplinary research promoted by the father of Peruvian archeology, Rafael Larco Hoyle, was highlighted. Come in and move closer to the Andean worldview that will grant you understanding of the development of the pre-Columbian societies. Surprisingly, the erotic room of the museum offers a very interesting approach to sexuality.
In fact, it is one of the best places where the visitor will be able to make a connection with Peru’s ancient history and culture. Likewise, thanks to its very organized staff, the Larco Museum also travels around the world with incredible exhibitions which show the intricacies of ancient Peru. All visitors to the museum are invited to sample the very best Peruvian and international cuisine in a romantic and cozy atmosphere. Of course, here you’ll be able to rediscover the flavors, products and customs which come from the different regions of the country. By trying some delicious dishes, it will be easy for you to confirm that Peru is an extraordinary gastronomic destination.
Caral Archaeological Park
Caral was the cradle of Andean culture and the birthplace of the extraordinarily ancient civilizations of Latin America. By the same token, it was the capital of a brilliant civilization that developed north of the city of Lima almost 5,000 years ago. This culture ended up disappearing due to the devastating effects of climate change. Five thousand years ago, the development of Caral was contemporaneous with the development of the most ancient cultures of the Old World, such as China, Mesopotamia, and Egypt. Currently it is only possible to visit these ruins during the daylight hours. When you arrive there, you will probably have the place to yourself, and you’ll feel like one of the original inhabitants of Caral.
Caral is considered to be the oldest civilized city in the Americas, and it formed an important part of one of the most advanced cultures of its time. Still, mysteries abound. It is located in the Supe Valley on the north-central coast of Peru near the city of Lima, and it covers an area of approximately 66 hectares. The inhabitants of Caral based their economy on agriculture and fishing in the coastal waters of the Pacific Ocean. One thing that is clear is that the influence of the Caral culture stretched to the north of Peru, as it can be seen at the Ventarrón site in Lambayeque, as well as in the Chillón Valley and in the Rímac Valley.
For these reasons, Caral has been designated a World Heritage Site. Likewise, it was a large urban center whose inhabitants tamed the desert using advanced agricultural techniques and sustainable practices. Due to the very dry climate of the region, the complex is exceptionally well preserved. This site is impressive in terms of its design and in terms of the complexity of its architecture, as is demonstrated by its monumental stone platforms and its circular adobe patios. Currently, it ranks high on the list of Lima tourist destinations which are gaining in popularity.
During your next adventure through Peru, visit one of the seldom-visited treasures of the City of Kings. The archaeological center of Pachacámac is one of the best places to visit in Lima. Specifically, it is a pre-Columbian citadel with palaces, temples and pyramids of adobe and stone. Along the route through the picturesque Lurín Valley, you will be able to enjoy the splendor of Pachacámac while you also explore a finely tuned eco-tourism circuit that connects you directly with the wonders of Mother Nature.
Pachacamac, of course, was a ceremonial center for the Lima culture at the time it was built around 100 AD. Later it was expanded by the Waris before being taken over by the Incas. Unquestionably, since long before the coming of the Incas, it was the most important ceremonial center on the Peruvian coast. Adobe mud was the principle building material. Undoubtedly, the highlights of the archaeological center are the Temple of the Sun and the Acllahuasi, both of which were built by the Incas. Finally, don’t neglect to visit the museum that houses the remains found during the excavation of the site.
Located 31 km. to the southeast of the city center of Lima, Pachacamac will surprise everyone who ventures outside of the city to explore the myriad of passageways and patios within its palaces and temples. Several agencies in the city offer guided tours. Also, there is the possibility of touring the Pachacamac Sanctuary by bicycle. Undeniably, this option will be much more rewarding. We encourage you to visit the fascinating tourist sites in and around Lima and “wow-ed” by their beauty and their charm.
There are few places in the world quite like Barranco. It is one of the neighborhoods of Lima where the spirit of ancient Peru fits perfectly with old local traditions and newly arrive modernity. Atop the emerald cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean, you will marvel at the facades of the beautiful colonial houses. Surely, you’ll find some of the most exquisite cuisine in its upscale restaurants and be charmed by the nightlife rampant in its nightclubs. In fact, Barranco is one of the most popular tourist locations in Lima.
Therefore, on your next adventure, delight your eyes, your ears, and taste buds with all the novel treats that you’ll discover in each neighborhood of the Barranco district. World-class restaurants, cocktail bars and elegant peñas or guariques are tucked away amidst the opulent colonial buildings. This is why it is known as the Bohemian district of Lima, and today it counts itself as one of the most desired tourist destinations within the city. As far back as the 1800’s, Barranco had established a reputation as THE beach resort for the wealthiest people from high society.
Discover Barranco, the Bohemian cultural district of Lima. This area is packed with elegance which offers the traveler a unique touch of the artistic. In the cultural mosaic that is Peru, Barranco has a unique European flavor that shines through its lavish buildings and all along its narrow streets. It’s no wonder that this delightful combination has brought together Peru’s best poets, and its most brilliant artists and ideologues for countless generations. Probably it is the nightlife and artistic energy of this neighborhood that dignifies it with a wonderful aura all of its own. Finally, according to the opinion of thousands of travelers, this is definitely the most romantic district in the city.
La Costa Verde
The Lima Beach Circuit is better known as the La Costa Verde which translates as The Green Coast. La Costa Verde includes the beaches of Callao, San Miguel, Magdalena, San Isidro, Miraflores, Barranco and Chorrillos. Nowadays, La Costa Verde is one of the most popular places to visit in Lima. These beaches are incredibly popular local people. An often-repeated phrase in town during the summer months is: “There’s nothing better than having fun on the beaches of Lima and eating delicious ceviche.” All during the summer months of January, February, and March, the beaches are full of folks enjoying the sea and the sun.
This area is called the green coast because the light reflects off steep cliffs that overlook the Pacific in a very special way. These cliffs are covered with vegetation unlike any other in the world. In addition, there is a highway running along the Costa Verde which connects the districts and the most popular resorts of the capital city. Equally important to remember is that the most famous beaches are Punta Hermosa and El Silencio, both of which are in southern Lima. Finally, the beaches along the boulevard of Asia mix together luxury, fun and exclusivity in a manner worthy of the best resorts in the world.
Dare to explore these sun and fun beaches, and for sure you’ll be enchanted by the city and its people.
Museum of Art
The city of Lima has a large number of renowned museums, one of which is the Lima Art Museum that is better known as the Mali Museum. If you are a lover of history, you should definitely visit this museum the next time you are in Lima. Mali Museum is located inside the old Exhibition Palace which is a building of great historical importance because it hosted the very first major public exhibition in Peru. That is just one of the reasons why the Mali Museum has become one of the favorite places for tourists to visit in Lima.
Furthermore, the Palace of the Exhibition, where the Lima Art Museum (MALI) is located, is certainly one of the most beautiful examples of eclectic architecture in all of Lima. Actually, Mali houses a vast collection containing more than 17,000 pieces of Peruvian art. In fact, all of this is carefully arranged within special rooms that present pre-Columbian art, colonial art, Republican art, textiles, photographs, silverware, modern and fine art. Secondly, the very finest pieces in this collection were obtained starting in the year 1955, by the Patronato de las Artes de Lima. The largest single acquisition consisted of the complete works of the Peruvian painter, Carlos Baca-Flor, which were brought back from Paris, France.
Mali is to be found in one of the most dynamic and busy areas of the city. Therefore, you will find it easy to get to. That is why we recommend that you explore the Mali museum, and travel through time, back 3000 years. Additionally, you’ll be able to tour the newly renovated rooms which encompass themes starting with pre-Columbian art and progressing up to contemporary art. Lastly, you will be happy to hear that there are guided tours of the special exhibits available. In this way, take advantage of every moment of your stay in the City of Kings, and don’t miss out on one of the finest places to visit in Lima.
Cathedral of Lima
The Lima Cathedral is one of the focal points of the Catholic faith in Latin America. As one the most emblematic buildings in Lima, it is located in the heart of the city, and it also houses the very finest religious art museum. It is famous for containing the tomb of the Spanish Conquistador, Francisco Pizarro. Certainly, one of best ways to learn about the history of Peru is through its churches which have been repositories of history. So, do venture out and explore the opulence of the great Cathedral of Lima.
In fact, you will find it to be one the most outstanding religious edifices in the city. Located on the Plaza de Armas along with the Government Palace, it was here that the greatest events of the Catholicism in Peru have been commemorated. Additionally, it is one of the oldest and most lavish constructions in the Americas. Its incredible facade is captivating. Inside, where you are welcome to visit, you’ll find works of art which were brought over from Europe and which demonstrate the influence of the Renaissance and the neoclassical style. Both the main altar and the ceiling are precious jewels worth admiring. Also, you can find more than a dozen side chapels and there is an exquisite museum of religious art which you are sure to admire.
Despite its great age, the cathedral still retains its baroque façade. Throughout its history, this building has survived many earthquakes and has been rebuilt on numerous occasions. (In 1551, 1622, 1687 and 1746). Its last major restoration was in 1940. Important saints of the church have gathered here, including Santa Rosa de Lima, San Martín de Porres, San Juan Macías, and San Francisco Solano. In 1985, Pope John Paul II visited the Cathedral of Lima and he returned to visit it again in 1988.
The Park of Love
According to National Geographic, the Parque del Amor (Park of Love) is listed among the top romantic destinations in the world. Along the coastal strip or the boardwalk of Miraflores you can visit some amazing places. One such place is the Parque del Amor which is incredibly popular among teenagers and young adults. Indeed, the fabulous view out over the ocean, the beautiful flower beds, the colorful mosaics, and a statue of a couple embracing and kissing in the middle of the park call to mind romance. Without a doubt, its name is fitting: The Park of Love.
Certainly, the Parque del Amor has become a favorite location for couples. By the side of the sea, there are walls filled with touchingly romantic phrases, which contribute to making this park an outstanding meeting place for young lovers. These phrases are quotes from authors who have been deeply in love. For example: “My dream is a lost island” – Alberto Vega. “We will also know pain by loving each other” – Abelardo Sánchez León. “Sing my love, undress in the rain” – Rodolfo Hinostroza “You are above the infinite sea” – Augusto Tamayo Vargas. If these poetic couplets fail to get your romantic juices flowing, perhaps you are too old for the Parque del Amor.
There are lots tourist destinations around the world that are guarded by security personnel or technological robots. Instead, the Park of Love is protected by the sea breeze, the beautiful cliffs, and a colorful mosaic wall. Therefore, this is the ideal place to walk hand in hand with that special person. Finally, if you happen to visit the Parque del Amor on Valentine’s Day, February 14, you will be able to take part in the “Longest Kiss” contest which is held here annually among the couples in attendance.
Catacombs of San Francisco
The best way to talk about the Catacombs of San Francisco is to imagine that you have traveled back through time to the year 1546. Among the great edifices that exist in the historic center of Lima is the lavish Basilica and Convent of San Francisco de Lima. It appears to be a jewel, resplendent with the beauty of its façade and its intricate baroque-style stone doorway. So expensive was the material with which it was constructed that the church is considered to be one of the most lavish in the New World.
San Francisco Convent Museum and the Catacombs is a historical religious heritage site of the Franciscan Order which is sometimes known as the Twelve Apostles. This is one of their most precious and well-preserved treasures which consists of the above-ground structures and enormous underground galleries. “Catacombs” means “underground tombs.” After the Basilica was completed in the 17th century, many families belonging to the different brotherhoods and guilds evidently found it desirable to bury their dead under the altars and the side chapels of the Basilica. Albeit in the year 1821, the Liberator, General San Martín, prohibited the use of the Catacombs as burial chambers. Nevertheless, bodies continued to be buried there clandestinely.
Even though eventually this custom was lost, at one time the Catacombs of San Francisco housed more than 25,000 bodies. The sepulchral vaults and the masonry of the ceiling, floor and walls are made of lime, sand, pebble stone, brick and egg white. Thus they avoided diseases or unpleasant odors. Since 1950, the doors of the Catacombs of San Francisco have been open to the public. Take a break on your trip and explore the hidden tombs beneath the city of Lima. These catacombs are one of Lima’s most incredible tourist attractions.
Chancay Castle is one of the favorite places to visit in Lima. Even the local people really enjoy it. Picturesque is the word to describe this perfectly constructed palace on a cliff on the shore of the Pacific Ocean. However, it is located somewhat to the north of the city of Lima. To be more exact, it is in the city of Chancay, in the province of Huaral. The palace was built on a vast outcropping beside the sea, and it has fabulous halls that are well worth admiring. In addition, it has 250 rooms, exclusive terraces, and four towers. In fact, the opulent construction of the castle seems to seduce all the adventurers who come to visit it. Weekdays are the best time to visit, as it gets much more crowded on weekends.
Construction began on Chancay Castle in 1924, at the order of Consuelo de Amat y León, the great-granddaughter of the Viceroy of Peru Manuel de Amat. Actually, its infrastructure is vast and beautiful, encompassing some 15 thousand square meters. At present, the castle offers accommodations, a camping area, restaurants, swimming pools, beautiful views of the sea, and live music shows every weekend during the summer.
While you are enjoying the charms of the City of Kings, take some time out to visit the Chancay Castle, also known as the “Mother of Pearl Castle.” Without a doubt, this medieval-style castle will surprise you with its awesome details that show off the finest Peru’s history, culture, and romanticism. Every day, the best tourist places in Lima await your visit.
The Historic Center of Lima
The Historic Center of Lima is the living revelation of the finest architectural achievements that could be built in America during colonial times. Therefore, as you walk through its pre-Columbian streets, you will be strolling through what UNESCO has declared to be the Cultural Heritage of Humanity, and you will be living with the historical past. This Historic Center is the place where Francisco Pizarro founded the city of Lima in 1535. Today its beautiful squares, its monuments, and its imposing mansions with colonial and republican balconies amaze the world. And this is to say nothing of its multiple churches that house priceless works of art which are worthy of the reverence bestowed upon them by the Catholic Church. In the same manner, its restaurants and taverns full of flavor and tradition exemplify many more of the treasures that this tourist mecca has to offer.
All this is only part of the reason why Lima is love at first sight. Not only is Lima the only South American capital on the shore of the Pacific Ocean, but it is also a city brimming with history, culture, romance, and wonderful food. Moreover, the most illustrious examples of the very finest in Spanish monumental architecture are preserved in the center of the city. Traditionally, the most outstanding public historical monuments are represented by a large number of churches and convents, as well as the opulent mansions that preserve the Latin American Baroque tradition. In 1991, the Historic Center of Lima was declared a World Heritage Site.
Lima’s Plaza de Armas is very accessible, and you’ll delight in visiting the Cathedral, the Sagrario chapel and the Archbishop’s Palace. Similarly, the Church of Santo Domingo and the convent of San Francisco are within easy walking distance. With this in mind, you will probably be inspired to write your own story in the City of Kings, as you amble through its streets of yesteryear. Of course, the enthralling tradition, the opulent buildings and the lavish balconies will make your tour an unforgettable experience.
If you did not happen to have the opportunity to visit the Ballestas Islands, we invite you to sail from Callao to the Palomino Islands. These beautiful islands are the place closest to Lima where you can see sea lions, penguins and a vast quantity of sea birds in their natural state. In fact, more than 8,000 sea lions and a large number of penguins live on the Palomino Islands. Therefore, after having visited the most interesting tourist sites in Lima, do not miss the opportunity to take a walk through the sanctuary that protects the marine life of the Peruvian coast.
In addition, this ecological reserve will surprise you with its great and varied wildlife. The setting is ideal for lovers of ecological tourism, which is why travelers who want to escape the hustle and bustle of big city frequently travel to the Palomino Islands in order to relax with the sea lions. Also, during your boat ride out to the Palomino Islands, you will be able to view and appreciate the smaller islands of San Lorenzo, El Frontón and Cavinzas. None of the aforementioned islands are inhabited by humans.
During the summer months is the best time to visit this incredible tourist destination. If you feel like it, you can even swim right next to the sea lions. If what you are reading really catches your interest, then get ready! This experience could easily become the highlight of your vacation. Likewise, don’t forget your camera as you will want to keep your photographic images of this paradise forever. Are you ready for adventure? Surely sailing to the Palomino Islands off the coast of Peru is quite different than a traditional tour.
These islands can be reached from the docks of Callao and La Punta. Going to the islands will enable you to encounter wildlife, natural history, and the splendor of the Pacific Ocean.
Lima is a multicultural city. Have you ever wondered why Lima is the best tourist and culinary destination in Latin America? One of the reasons is because in Lima there are places as exceptional as Chinatown. A Chinatown in Lima? Of course. Chinatown is a fantastic place full of cultural and culinary miscegenation, where you will find its charms and facets revealed on its colorful streets. To the Incas we owe the delicacy cuy chactado which is deep fried guinea pig. But it is to the Chinese that we should give thanks for the best tasting chifa (Chinese food) in Latin America.
The first adventurers from China arrived in Peru in 1849. Principally, they came to work in the fertile fields of the big farms along the coast. When they finally got free of their debt, they stopped working in the fields and moved to the capital city. In Lima they settled down, set up their businesses and began to sell imported products directly from China. Since then, Chinatown has grown to become one of the most important tourist and culinary attractions in Lima.
Thanks to Lima’s Chinatown, the cuisine of Peru has merged with Asian cuisine and today seduces the most demanding of palates. Chinatown’s urban craziness invites you to taste its excellent chifas and chaufa de quinoa (Chinese Peruvian food). When you walk down Capón Street, you will enter its striking galleries full of the elements typical of Chinese culture You’ll be able to buy small Buddha ornaments for good luck, a toad for prosperity and a cat for fortune. If you want to try an innovative fusion of Chinese and Peruvian cuisines, we recommend that you visit the San Joy Lao, and order their new Chi Jau Cuy.
San Cristobal Hill
Every city around the world has excellent viewpoints, and Lima is no exception. The Cerro San Cristóbal viewpoint between El Rímac and San Juan de Lurigancho is not as high up as some others in the world, but its antiquity and its tradition make it one of the most important in Latin America. It is located over 409 meters above sea level. From the top you can see the city of Lima in all of its splendor. Views are best during the summer months when the weather is clear. In the winter it is usually pretty cloudy. There is huge cross built on the top which is a religious landmark for the city.
During Holy Week each year, a pilgrimage of the faithful takes place when thousands of people march up the hill from the city below. In fact, this tradition has been passed down from generation to generation. To climb Cerro San Cristóbal is to journey through its history and its mysteries. Even before the arrival of the Spaniards, this place was already a sacred place where homage was paid to the apus (Andean gods). As soon as the Conquistadors defeated the natives of Peru, this hill was renamed Cerro San Cristóbal.
You can decide how to explore it. There is the possibility of going to the top via tourist bus, or you can ride a bicycle. But if you are one of the most intrepid travelers, you will climb it on foot. We are sure that this choice will be the most challenging, but at the same time, the most rewarding. Whoever visits this important spot will also be able to enjoy the local museum in which there is a great collection of photos of Lima taken during the 1900’s. If you are one of those adventurers who love to explore interesting places full of history and tradition, take some time and visit this one.
Parque de las Leyendas “Legends Park”
The Parque de las Leyendas is one of the best zoos in Peru. Created more than 56 years ago, its facilities house more than 2071 animals of 215 different species. It was founded by Felipe Benavides during the government of Fernando Belaúnde. In fact, Legends Park was started because the Barranco Zoo was about to close and the animals there needed a new home. It is located in the San Miguel district, quite close to Miraflores and not too far from the historic center of Lima.
Why is it called the Park of Legends? The name of the zoo comes from Inca and pre-Inca legends that were illustrated by Sabino Springett on different walls inside the park. These paintings were removed around the year 2008. Currently only the texts are preserved in the famous “Courtyard of the Legends.”
The exhibits are divided into: Archaeology, Botany and Zoology. Similarly, the park houses 54 archaeological exhibits including monuments, temples, walls, paths and cobbled canals. There is a place where the Huacas are very noticeable. These monuments are part of a large pre-Hispanic center within the park.
Perhaps you are wondering if the Parque de las Leyendas is only for local people. In fact, Legends Park is a great place for tourists to visit, too. All three natural regions of Peru are carefully represented. We are very sure that it will be a very informative introductory guide to the destinations that you are planning to visit on your tour of Peru. Truly, the jungle region will provide you with valuable information about the jungle. Surely the mountains section will familiarize you with the Andes region. And the coastal region will teach you about the Peruvian coast. Go ahead and visit this incredible place.
Bridge of Sighs
Legend has it that if you make a wish and manage to cross this bridge while holding your breath, then the wish you made will come true. The question is: How true can this legend be? Bridge of Sighs is one of the most famous romantic tourist places in Lima and in Barranco.
There is a story told about the wealthy man’s daughter who was forbidden to see the man she loved because he was a simple worker. Because of the deep sadness in her heart, she watched from her bedroom window every day and sighed with such a melancholy feeling of longing that the people crossing the bridge could hear her. That is how it came to be known as the Bridge of Sighs.
Bridge of Sighs was built during 1876. Unlike other bridges built during that time, it is not opulent. But its history and the legend surrounding it have made it an important tourist spot in Barranco. Over the years the bridge has attracted people of all ages from all over the world. And little by little it became a point of artistic and philosophical contemplation for many artists, including writers as acclaimed as the Peruvian poets José María Eguren and Martín Adán, and many others, too. Where poets ponder and stories abound, there too lies love. For generations now, bohemians, romantics and travelers have come to pay homage to the legend of love at the bridge.
It is advisable to visit the bridge at sunset or a little after, when you can better appreciate the whole scene including the calm Pacific Ocean. Yes, if you are a romantic gentleman, the Bridge of Sighs is probably the best place to woo the person your heart yearns for. Are you fascinated by the Bridge of Sighs? Go ahead and take a look. It is very easy to get there on foot or by bicycle. This fascinating tourist spot is one of the best places to visit in Lima.
Huancaya and Nor Yauyos
Explore one of Lima’s little known Landscape Reserves, Nor Yauyos Cochas, which is one of the areas where some of the greatest scenic beauty of Lima can be found. It has views of the distant snow-capped mountains, lagoons of crystal-clear turquoise water, waterfalls and deep canyons. Nor Yauyos Landscape Reserve protects one of the most beautiful high Andean scenic view points in Peru. The source of the Cañete River forms numerous staggered waterfalls, such as those of the Cabracancha. There are crystal clear lagoons that look like mirrors of water. A few of the activities that you can do in this place are: hiking, horseback riding along the river, bird watching, kayaking, camping and fishing.
Nor Yauyos Cochas is a tourist site close to Lima of great landscape value. This reserve is also home to typical Andean flora and fauna such as: the Andean fox, vicuñas, the diving bird, herons and queñual forests. In fact, the main attraction of the reserve is the stretch of road between the towns of Huancaya and Vilca. Along these 20 km., the Cañete River forms impressive lagoons and waterfalls surrounded by forests. Also, you will be able to see the Papacocha Lagoon and the ‘Bosque del Amor’, both of which are natural attractions surrounded by cattails and waterfalls.
In Huancaya, four colonial stone bridges stand out, and you can also observe the stepped waterfalls of Cabracancha. Here is a place of such incredible beauty that the equal of it is rarely seen on our planet. Don’t neglect to visit the local museum here that houses mummies, ceramics, textiles, and much more. Likewise on this circuit, you can observe scenic wonders made up of rivers, waterfalls and emerald-colored lagoons. Since the water runs between stone steps and islets full of vegetation, the gorgeous landscapes surrounded by nature invite you to take walks of contemplation.