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best things to do in lima peru south america

A Guide to the Best Things to Do in Lima Peru

Photo by chanks1965 from Pixabay

Lima, the vibrant capital of Peru, is a city that seamlessly blends the past with the present. With its rich history, stunning architecture, and a culinary scene that has gained worldwide recognition, Lima offers a plethora of experiences for travelers. From ancient archaeological sites to bustling markets and world-class restaurants, there’s no shortage of things to do in this South American gem.

Here is a comprehensive guide to the best things to see and do in Lima Peru.

Discover the Historical Heart of Lima

Historic Centre of Lima

Historic Centre of Lima, also known as the Ciudad de los Reyes, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it’s a must-visit for history enthusiasts. The area is home to beautifully preserved colonial buildings, including the Government Palace and the Cathedral of Lima. Stroll through the charming streets, soak in the architecture, and visit the picturesque Plaza de Armas.

Basilica and Convent of San Francisco

This stunning monastery is not only an architectural gem but also houses a network of catacombs that were once used as a burial site. The church and monastery are known for their ornate Baroque and Moorish architecture, and a guided tour offers fascinating insights into their history.

Larco Museum

To delve deeper into Peru’s pre-Columbian history, a visit to the Larco Museum is essential. It boasts an extensive collection of pre-Inca ceramics, textiles, and gold and silver artifacts. The museum is also set within a beautifully restored viceregal mansion with lush gardens, making it a cultural and visual delight.

Culinary Delights

Lima is often hailed as the culinary capital of South America, and its diverse food scene is not to be missed.

Try Ceviche

Lima is renowned for its ceviche, a delicious dish of fresh fish or seafood marinated in lime juice and mixed with onions, chili peppers, and cilantro. For an authentic experience, head to local cevicherias like El Mercado or La Mar.

Barranco Food Tour

The bohemian district of Barranco is home to numerous culinary gems. Join a food tour to savor various Peruvian delicacies, including anticuchos (grilled skewers) and picarones (sweet potato donuts).

Gastón Acurio’s Restaurants

Gastón Acurio, a Peruvian celebrity chef, has been instrumental in promoting Peruvian cuisine globally. Visit one of his restaurants, such as Astrid y Gastón or Panchita, for an exquisite dining experience.

Explore Lima’s Coastal Beauty


One of Lima’s most upscale neighborhoods, Miraflores is the perfect place for a leisurely stroll along the Malecón, a scenic cliffside promenade offering breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. Paragliding is a popular activity here, allowing you to take in the coastline from a new perspective.

Parque del Amor (Love Park)

This charming park is dedicated to love and is adorned with romantic sculptures and mosaics. It’s an ideal spot to watch the sunset, with the iconic El Beso (The Kiss) statue as a focal point.


This modern shopping and entertainment complex is built into the cliffs of Miraflores, offering a variety of shops, restaurants, and a cinema. It’s a great place to unwind and enjoy the view.

Immerse in Lima’s Arts and Culture

MALI – Museo de Arte de Lima

The Museo de Arte de Lima houses an extensive collection of Peruvian art, spanning from pre-Columbian to contemporary pieces. It’s a fantastic place to appreciate the country’s artistic heritage.

Magic Water Circuit

Located in Parque de la Reserva, this spectacular water fountain complex holds the Guinness World Record for the largest fountain complex in the world. At night, the fountains come to life with colorful light displays, making it a magical experience for visitors of all ages.

Music and Dance Shows

Lima boasts a vibrant cultural scene, with numerous theaters and venues offering traditional Peruvian music and dance performances. Catch a lively Marinera dance show or enjoy a traditional folk music performance.

Experience Lima’s Street Markets

Mercado Central

Lima’s central market is a bustling hub of activity where you can sample a wide range of local foods, from tropical fruits to freshly caught seafood. Don’t miss the chance to try exotic fruits like lucuma and chirimoya.

Surquillo Market

This market is a great place to immerse yourself in the everyday life of Lima. It offers a diverse range of products, from fresh produce to traditional Peruvian ingredients, and you can pick up some souvenirs here as well.


Known as the “fabric district,” Gamarra is a massive commercial area where you can find clothing, textiles, and accessories at bargain prices. It’s a shopping haven for those looking to update their wardrobe or buy gifts.

Day Trips from Lima


Located just outside Lima, the Pachacamac archaeological site is a testament to Peru’s ancient history. Explore the well-preserved ruins, including temples, palaces, and pyramids.

Ballestas Islands

Often referred to as the “Little Galápagos,” these islands are a haven for wildlife enthusiasts. Take a boat tour to see sea lions, penguins, and a variety of bird species in their natural habitat.


For a deeper dive into pre-Columbian history, visit Caral-Supe, the oldest city in the Americas. It’s a fascinating archaeological site that predates the Inca civilization.

Lima – Where Tradition is Today’s Trend

Lima is a city of contrasts, where ancient history coexists with modern life, and where culinary traditions are elevated to art forms. Whether you’re exploring its historical heart, savoring its culinary delights, or soaking in its coastal beauty, Lima has something to offer every traveler. Don’t miss the chance to experience the best of Peru’s capital city and create memories that will last a lifetime.

The Travel Pub

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