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Lima is the center of culture and financial activity in Peru, considered by many as the food capital of Latin America. If you plan a trip to Peru,  visiting “The City of Kings” is a must. The country is filled with natural beauty and amazing things to see and do, but its capital is definitely one of its most beautiful cities. 

Continue reading this article to find out more about this bustling city and the 10 great things you should do while visiting it. 

Beautiful rock formations that run alongside the coast and the mountains in the background in Lima

📸@foodandfootprints

Explore the culture of Lima: Visit a Local Market

Lima is a city full of history and its folklore is very varied. The Department of Lima is “a small Peru” itself. The city gave birth to the “criollismo” as a refined combination of the native and the Hispanic and has left its stamp in all activities.

Discover the “real” Peru through its products and people visiting one of its local markets.

📸@mrs__ehhyew

If you want to take an incredible glimpse into Peruvian culture visit one of its local markets during your visit. The Handicraft Market or “Feria Artesanal”, the Inca Market, The Surquillo Market, the Mercado Central, and Polvos Azules market are our suggestions.

Peruvian handicrafts are beautiful and non-expensive and symbolize the ancient Inka civilization. Most of it is still made only by hand and uses natural materials. At these markets, you can purchase items made by lamb, alpaca and baby alpaca wool, silver jewelry with semi-precious stones, items made of leather or Andean textiles….and much more.

A visit to Lima will not be complete without visiting one of these can’t-miss markets. You will Fall in love with beautiful and handmade products from all the regions of fascinating Peru and also helping the locals industry.

Visit the Catacombs in San Francisco Church

There is no doubt that exploring the Catacombs in San Francisco Church is one of the best things you can do while visiting Lima. Built-in the late 1600s, the charming Spanish Baroque church one of the Most Impressive buildings to visit in Lima, its catacombs, which used to be the original cemetery in Lima with about 75,000 people buried there are the main attraction unless you are incredibly claustrophobic. 

A step back in time to and must-visit in Lima to learn about the history of colonial Peru.

📸@museocsfcatacumbas
The Monastery of San Francisco is recognized for its Spanish Baroque architecture and its catacombs located under the building.

📸@museocsfcatacumbas

Relax on the Beach or Have Fun Surfing

Lima’s beaches might not be the best ones in the world, but there is no way you can visit the city without relaxing on its relaxing rocky shores, while indulging in a cold cerveza, and admiring the ocean views. And if you want to surf, just travel outside the city to get to the best waves in Chorrillos. This is one of the world’s longest left-hand, sand -bottom point breaks with the possibility of rides of over 1km.

Read More: Best time to visit Peru Highlights

Escape to the southern part of Lima for perfect beaches and waves

📸@taniagroe

Explore Lima’s Best Neighborhoods

If you are passionate about street art and lovely galleries, then you can’t miss exploring Lima’s stunning oceanfront neighborhood, known as Barranco. Wander around its beautifully arranged streets, admire the colorful murals and 19th-century colonial mansions, explore the galleries and pay a visit to MATE, Mario Testino Museum, where you can see amazing photography. 

‘Pasito a paso’ exhibition of traditional costumes at @museomate.

Indulge in the Peruvian Cuisine 

Visiting Lima without indulging in the local cuisine is a big no. Many believe that Peruvian cuisine is the best in South America, but this is a matter of taste. Lima, however, is also known for hosting a multitude of high-end restaurants, but this doesn’t mean you should skip tasting its delicious street-food. Whether you want to go for the famous dishes like ceviche or you are more adventurous and ask straight for cuy, which is a guinea pig, Lima’s cuisine will amaze your taste buds. 

Read More: Peruvian Food: Top 10 Popular Dishes You Must Try

Causa Peruana by @lamarcebicherialima

Search for Street Art

We’ve already mentioned Barranco as a fantastic neighborhood for street art enthusiast, but the whole city is filled with incredible works of local and international street artists. So, when visiting Lima, spend some time searching for and admiring the beautiful murals spread all over the city. 

Street art in Barranco neighborhood
Located just south of Miraflores along the Pacific Ocean, is Lima’s artsy, bohemian district

📸@joosjoosm

Get Closer to the Peruvian History

If you want to get closer to the history of Peru, make sure you add the Natural History Museum to your must-visit list. Make sure you check the schedule before heading towards the museum, because it’s open during the whole week, but there are different hours each day. 

Get an Adrenaline Boost while Paragliding

If you are an adrenaline seeker and surfing isn’t enough for you, then consider paragliding in Lima. The city is perfect for this activity because of the strong winds and tall cliffs. And, of course, the views are mesmerizing. 

Bird’s eye view of Lima city and Miraflores beach

📸 @parapuertomiraflores

Dance Like Nobody’s Watching

Lima is welcoming all kinds of travelers, including party animals who want to indulge in the Latin rhythms and more. People in Lima know how to have fun, and there is always a party going on no matter the day of the week. So, if you want to dance like nobody’s watching, go for it!

Enjoy a Day Trip to Huacachina

Lima is amazing, but if time permits, you should also explore its surroundings. The charming town of Huacachina, for instance, is a great choice. Surrounded by beautiful dunes, this town promises adventure but also an oasis of tranquility. The town is a desert oasis built for the Peru elite many years ago. for the more adventurous, try a dune buggy and sandboarding or take a walk around the lake and stop for breakfast, lunch or dinner in one of the restaurants, bars, and cafes that surround the lake.

breathtaking views from de Dunas at Huacachina.

📸paudonnelly

These are ten of the things you should do while visiting Lima. Peru’s fascinating capital has now become a destination on its own and there are plenty of other amazing activities and places to see for travelers who plan to stay more in the city.

 With a rich history behind it, amazing cuisine, and a remarkable laid-back vibe, Lima is one of the most beautiful capitals in South America. You should definitely stay at least two days in Lima to explore this beautiful city and taste the best Peruvian cuisine.

Ready to start planning your trip? Check our sample trip South American Essentials – Culture, Cuisine, and Photo Safari or contact us and we send you a custom tour for you!

Clara Barciela ❣️⁠
Founding Partner & Director Across Argentina & South America
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About us! Clara & Maria

We believe South America is one of the most unforgettable places on earth – and we want you to help you fall in love with the continent just like we have.
Born and raised in Buenos Aires, we founded Across South-America to help guests experience the ‘real’ South America – without compromising on comfort. A decade later, and Across South-America is a well-known boutique travel agency crafting outstanding vacations for couples, friends and families from all over the world. Our main point of difference is that we’re local experts. South America is our backyard. . Read More
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