Lima, Peru is one of the unknown gems of South America. The capital of Peru is the only capital in the world positioned on a coast, which makes for some amazing views of the Pacific Ocean from just about anywhere in the city. Lima is also a city very rich in culture, as it has an exciting history of traditions that continue to influence the city today. Furthermore, much of this culture continues to shape the landscape, architecture, and even entertainment in Lima to this day. There are many places to check out, however, I narrowed it down to the best ones to check out. Below are the places you should move to the top of your Lima itinerary.
You will surely find yourself in Plaza Mayor if your plan is to see many of the top attractions in Lima. The plaza was originally used as a general street market before transforming into a bull-fighting ring, until ultimately landing on an every day plaza. Plaza Mayor is a large courtyard that is considered the historical center of Lima because of it’s location and significance to the city. Some cool sites around this plaza include the Government Palace, the Cathedral of Lima, the Municipal Palace, to name a few. Fear not, you will also find several shops and restaurants around Plaza Mayor. The plaza draws upon European influence to the city, representing a pedestrian zone with minimal traffic so that everyone can enjoy the sights without being bothered. Plaza Mayor attracts both the locals and tourists, as it features a centerpiece fountain where everyone meets up to socialize. Plaza Mayor is called the “birthplace of Lima” because of its surrounding government buildings and other landmarks. You can learn a lot more about the history of Lima by visiting Plaza Mayor, so make sure to put it high on your list!
Museo de Arte de Lima
Art has played a major role in the history of Peru and the Museo de Art de Lima, or MALI, is a destination that shows you exactly why. The MALI has a large collection of Peruvian art spanning a period of more than 3,000 years. This museum gives a great reflection of the art evolution of not just Lima, but Peru overall. MALI is located in Lima’s historic center and is housed in what was originally known as, the Palacio de la Exposición. Its architecture is just as impressive as the art inside, as there are multiple floors in the museum that showcase a wide variety of art. You can view a wide array of paintings, sculptures, traditional handicrafts and clothing. Also, the museum holds many stationary exhibits that host international and local artists.
Address: Parque de la Exposición, Paseo Colon 125, Cercado de Lima Lima 1, Peru | Hours: Tues-Sun 10AM–7PM | Phone: +51 1 3310126 | Web: www.mali.pe | Price: $
One of the great things about Lima is its vast history and our next place to add to your Lima Itinerary, Huaca Pucllana, showcases this. Huaca Pucllana is one place that will give you a taste of the many storylines of the city’s history. Huaca Pucllana is a historical archaeological site and is actually home to a giant clay pyramid that was constructed between the years of 200 AD and 700 AD. An interesting thing about this destination is that it’s located in the middle of the city, surrounded by many modern buildings. This site has been preserved throughout the years and now holds guided tours explaining the historical significance. Upon entry you will find a small museum with information about some of the items recovered at the site. Along the tour, you’ll get the opportunity to go around the entire site and see exactly how the site was used and what is was used for. You’re also allowed to climb atop the pyramid which was once used as an important ceremonious site. Huaca Pucllana is significant because it’s location helped shaped the cultural activity that’s a part of Lima today.
Address: cuadra S/n, Calle General Borgoño 8, Miraflores 15074, Peru | Hours: Wed-Mon 9AM-5PM, Wed-Sun 7PM-10PM | Phone: +51 1 6177148 | Web: huacapucllanamiraflores.pe | Price: $
The main tourist area of Lima is called Miraflores. This is the perfect location for tourists since its the part of the city located directly along the coast. Larcomar is uniquely built into the side of the cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean and is one of the largest shopping centers in Lima. There are several viewing platforms on the top level to take advantage of the views. Larcomar is a popular destination as it has many familiar shops for international visitors that can provide information about the surrounding area. For all you eaters out there, don’t you worry, there is also a large food court that has many sit-down restaurants. Furthermore, there are several halls and event spaces that hold a variety of exhibitions and fairs. One day while visiting Larcomar you might see a public photography exhibit while the next day you might see trade show booths presenting handmade crafts from all around Peru. You never know which you’re going to get, which makes Larcomar the perfect destination to add to your Peruvian Itinerary.
Address: Malecón de la Reserva 610, Miraflores Lima 18 | Hours: Open 24 Hours | Phone: NA | Web: NA | Price: Free to walk around
In addition to Larcomar, another popular destination is Miraflores. Here you will find many international travelers spending a lot of time, as Parque Kennedy is located in the center of Miraflores. There are countless shops and restaurants surrounding the park. The best part is, there are also several bars that provide great nighttime entertainment. Within the park you will discover many vendors selling cultural handicrafts and local food carts. Here, it is okay to barter with them for the best price! Parque Kennedy is a destination for any and all ages, for there is a small play are for children to enjoy. Art is a common mainstay around Parque Kennedy. They host numerous outdoor exhibits and have many statues around the park. For all you people updating your instagram regularly, there is access to public Wi-Fi, which is made available to you while enjoying the outdoors.
Address: Diagonal, Miraflores Lima 18, Peru | Hours: Open 24 Hours | Phone: NA | Web: NA | Price: Free
Well, Did You Add These Spots to Your Peruvian Itinerary Yet?
Lima has many beautiful places that make for a great destination to explore. All around the city you will uncover a seamless blend of culture, history, and modern attractions that continue to draw millions of people to the city. Lima’s scenic beauty is accompanied by fun leisurely activities, entertainment, and education. It’s an easy city for getting around so you should be able to accomplish many of the must-see attractions in a short weekend trip or spend a bit more time at each if you’re in Lima for an extended time.
*Bryan Shelmon is a guess contributor who has spent a lot of time in South America and knows the region quite well