Lima is a cultural jewel with unique museums and a captivating history, a patchwork of cultures and a rapidly changing city. Lima is the synonym for haute cuisine, a top gastronomy that sets worldwide standards. Lima is at the heart of all the culinary influences of the entire country – the best ingredients of the coast, the Andes, and the rainforest are thrown into one pot in Lima. It’s also the courage to be creative that drives this city forward. Lima has overcome its bad reputation for quite some time now. Yes, the coastal fog sticks to the city’s rooftops 300 days a year and yes, Lima is still swamped by a gigantic chaos of traffic – but if you want to get to know Peru, you need to see Lima. In 48 hours. We’ll show you how to make the best of your time here:
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Lima in 48 Hours
1. Cliff, Ocean View & Lovers | 10 AM
The best place to get grounded in Lima is definitely the Malecón. You have a sensational panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean, the coastal highway, and the cliff from this promenade. If you want to take in the sea of houses and the adjacent Andes from above, book a paragliding flight at Malecón and rise up. There’s a modern shopping center called Larcomar with many bars and restaurants at the end of the large Avenida Larco. From here you can reach the well-frequented „Parque del Amor“ (Park of Love), where Lima’s loved-up youth hangs out. Sports facilities and green parks decorate the lanes of the Malecón and invite you to linger.
2. Culinary Treasure & Ceviche Legend | 1 PM
It’s about a 20-minute walk from Malecón to Surquillo market — the most famous culinary paradise in Lima. Start your tour by tasting the various types of exotic fruit. Ask the market women about the best way to open them. Herbs, nuts, snacks made from local ingredients, spices, and vegetables can also be found in abundance on this market. If you really want to honour your first day in Lima, stroll over to the market’s Cevicheria called „Cevichano“ and treat yourself to your first Peruvian ceviche (Peru’s national dish)! An aromatic fish broth is served as an appetizer, and you can nibble on „Canchita“, roasted corn, while you wait.
3. Old Villas, Artist Flair & Angel Trumpets | 3 PM
The best way to get to Barranco from Miraflores is by taxi. You can also jump on a bike and cycle along the Malecón to the artists‘ quarter. Barranco looks like a „city within the city“, with its old mansions and colonial buildings from another era. Graffiti is just as much a part of the picture as are the street artists who you’ll encounter along the Bridge of Sighs or on the way to the coastal highway. Our tip: Visit the art museum MATE in its stylish white villa! The museum was founded by Peruvian fashion photographer Mario Testino and has a good mix of modern art and photography.
4. Sunset & Anticuchos | 6:30 PM
Stay in Barranco to round off the evening. Restaurant Javier has outdoor seating, allowing you to enjoy the sunset while tasting the Peruvian cuisine classic „Anticucho“ (Grilled Meat Skewers).
5. Ayahuasca Bar | 8:30 PM
Barranco has a lively bar and pub scene. If your jet lag hasn’t kicked in yet, we recommend the hip yet traditional ayahuasca bar in an old mansion! Raise a glass of Pisco Sour (the national drink of Peru) and toast to your first day in Lima.
6. Paradise inside a megacity | 10 AM
Don’t miss the „Museum Larco“ in the charming district Pueblo Libre. The entrance fee of 30 soles is well worth it: The museum holds the most impressive treasure of archaeological finds that Peru has to offer. Set aside enough time for the tour to also admire the heavenly garden with its cacti and vine plants. We would also like to point out the erotic pottery of the Moche culture — the moods of the museum guests suddenly turn very relaxed in these showrooms 😉
7. Lunch like the locals | 1 PM
„Typical Peruvian food“ – this is what’s on the menu after the museum visit! Just stroll through the streets of the quiet neighborhood of Pueblo Libre, preferably in the direction of the main square, and you’ll find something along the way. A lunch menu (8 to 15 soles) usually consists of a soup or appetizer, a main course, and a delicious soft drink.
8. Join the hustle & bustle | 2 PM
The historic city center is a must-see when visiting Lima. The Plaza Mayor is surrounded by the government building, the town hall, and the cathedral. Two blocks away is the Church of San Francisco, which is popular with visitors for its walk-in catacombs. The center is always hectic, as you will notice when you walk up the alley Jiron de la Union to get to San Martin square. This square is also called „White Square“ because of its white buildings.
9. Street Food & China Town | 4 PM
The central market „Mercado Central“ with the adjacent Chinese quarter lies southeast of the Plaza Mayor. Experience the hustle and bustle of the street vendors and savor typical Peruvian street food at one of the „carritos“ (street stalls). Any recommendations? Of course: Papa con huevo (potato with egg), choclo con queso (corn with cheese), anticuchos (grilled meat skewers), or sweet churros (deep-fried dough with manjar filling)!
10. „Circuito Magico de Aguas“ Water Park | 6 PM
In the evening, you can have a whale of a time in the „Parque de la Reserva“, a large park with illuminated water fountains. The park attracts many urban families, especially on weekends. The extensive park offers great photo opportunities, and if you bring a towel, you can stand inside the spraying fountains!
11. Pisco in the tavern | 9 PM
Wind down your last evening in Lima in an old tavern. The pisco bars „Queirolo“ and „El Bolivariano“ in the Pueblo Libre district are almost legendary.
Who is writing?
Hola! I’m Nora, Co-Founder of ALL ACROSS PERU. I cannot live anymore without Ceviche, mountain air and cumbia sounds. On this blog I share all my travel insights for Peru!