Only have a couple of days in Lima? No problem! You’ll have a ton of eating, drinking and sightseeing to squeeze in a little bit of time, but you can do it. Like most travelers, you’re probably passing through on your way to Machu Picchu, or any of Peru’s other popular tourist destinations. But just because Lima isn’t always broadcasted as a the main attraction, doesn’t mean you should stay in your hotel! Creeping up as an increasingly popular destination, Peru’s capital city has a ton of things to offer that you can’t find anywhere else in the country. Read on for how we think you should make the most of your time in Lima, Peru. Don’t blame us if it makes you want to extend your trip and stay longer!
Day 1 in Lima
Explore beautiful Miraflores! Start from Huaca Pucllana, incredible ruins that date way before the Incas right in the middle of the city. From here, head to Mercado Surquillo. In this local market, you’ll see how traditional Peruvian life takes place in most of the country.
Since the beautiful food at the market probably made you hungry, it’s time for your first ceviche. You can either stop at a market in or near the restaurant, or head back to the heart of Miraflores. Make sure to get a few dishes (ceviche, leche de tigre and arroz con mariscos are a good start), but eat with friends- the portions are huge! Order chicha morada and Inca Kola to drink: the two most popular beverages in Peru.
Explore Lima’s modern side as you move through Miraflores. Head to the Love Park, a romantic art-filled spot on the cliffs with sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean. Up for an adventure? You can go paragliding from right in front of the Love Park! Then, head further down the coast to Larcomar. The new development nestled into the cliffs is a great spot for people-watching, more snacking, some shopping, or even a quick beer with a view.
Next head to the bohemian neighborhood of Barranco. This is the perfect place to watch the sunset, but try to squeeze in a visit to Mario Testino’s MATE museum before!
Then, head to the main square for a dinner of anticuchos.
Afterwards, pop into any one of the many artfully-designed bars for a pisco sour (the national drink) and later into one of the clubs for a night of salsa dancing!
Head to Plaza Mayor downtown. While standing in the main square, you’ll be surrounded by some of the most impressive colonial-style buildings in the city. To one side, you’ll see the Catedral de Lima. Arguably one of the most beautiful cathedrals in the city, it also houses a vault of religious art inside. One another side of the square you’ll see the Government Palace & City Hall, where a changing of the guards happens every hour.
Walking past the architectural gems surrounding the plaza, head to the top destination in the city: the San Francisco convent and cathedral. Inside, you can see the beautiful courtyard, impressive art, mysterious underground catacombs & the chapel offering services daily. If you’re up for some madness, check out the Mercado Central, Lima’s biggest market! It turns into Chinatown at one end, so you get a two for one.
Downtown is great for trying some of Peru’s homestyle dishes, such as lomo saltado, aji de gallina or pollo a la brasa, but if you’re in Chinatown and interested in Peru’s fusion food Chifa, check it out!
Museo Larco is the most-visited museum in the city, and hosts the largest collection of pre-Inca artifacts. Any history buff won’t want to miss this stop. Younger travelers may be fine skipping it, and if so can stay downtown to check out the leafy Parque de la Exposicion. Within the park you’ll find large-scale art structures and the MALi (Museo de Arte de Lima).
Parque de las Aguas (Parque de la Reserva) is perhaps one of our favorite things to see in Lima. The world-class production of fountains and lights becomes a show once the sun goes down, and it easily rivals those at Disneyland. A must-see.
What do you still have left to try?! Perhaps make your last night a special one and make a reservation in one of the top restaurants in the world- three of them are in Lima! Make sure to try any of the 10 Best Dishes that you haven’t already had.
If you’re up for another night out, stay in Miraflores this time. Within walking distance of Park Kennedy are a ton of local bars, all with unique menus and equally unique vibes. Get to bed and be ready for the next leg of your adventure when you wake up!
Like the sound of this itinerary? If you want to make your two days in Lima the most fun and worry-free, remember that we can plan all of this for you! You can check out our Lima tours that visit all of these spots, and if you like the idea of us arranging it for you, don’t hesitate to contact our travel specialists at email@example.com. You’re on vacation, why should you have to worry about planning?