Things to do in Lima Peru | We will go straight to the point about this issue, the following list of premium activities was written by real locals, who are experts in history and travel; you will find our list very useful.
Keep in mind that Lima is one of the most cosmopolitan capitals in Latin America, with a population that exceeds 11 million, so there will always be many other options, below we tell you everything you have to do in Lima.
- 1. Join our FREE tour in Lima historic center
- 2. Explore the Historical Center and Plaza de Armas
- 3. Try the best Pisco Sour
- 4. Explore the Huaca Pucllana temple
- 5. Visit the Kennedy Park
- 6. Do a street art tour in Barranco
- 7. Discover the best Museums in Lima
- 8. Visit the Bodega y Quadra archaeological site
- 9. Don’t miss the must-see colonial Churches in Lima
- 10. Explore the Love Park
- 11. Visit the House of Peruvian Literature
- 12. Visit the church of Santa Rosa de Lima
- 13. Visit the Magic Circuit of Water
- 14. Check the Change of Guard in Lima
- 15. Unveil the Catacombs of San Francisco
- 16. Palomino islands and the Sea Lions
1. Join our FREE tour in Lima historic center
Join our best free walking tour in Lima organized by a pioneering company, 100% local guides, book on free tour Lima, see our awesome reviews on free walking tours Lima reviews, and don’t forget to leave some tip to your guide at the end of the tour. You can also follow us on Instagram.
Note for Peruvians: At the moment the free tours are only for non-Peruvian tourists; However, you can book the classic city tour of colonial and modern Lima.
2. Explore the Historical Center and Plaza de Armas
Lima is an ancient city that was inhabited by pre-Hispanic societies who used to base their economy on agriculture and fishing, alongside the valley of the Rimac river. In 1535 the Spaniards arrived at this valley, and since then many things changed in the economy and idiosyncrasy of the locals.
The current city still keeps the architectural city design from the colonial period, such as the Baroque and Neoclassic style on the buildings. Below we mention the most essential activities for you to visit in Lima.
3. Try the best Pisco Sour
Try Peru’s national drink, the most famous Pisco-based cocktail—if you don´t know what Pisco is, well it is very simple, it is a sort of white grape-based distilled spirit, similar to the Italian grappa.
Pisco Sour is the name of the cocktail, the ingredients are Pisco, lime juice, sugar syrup, egg white, and ice cubes; your bartender will either blend it or shake it for you, and top it off with some Angostura bitters.
Where to try the Pisco Sours?
We have two recommendations, make your way to Hotel Maury, many historians say that the first Pisco Sour was created by the bartenders from this hotel at the beginning of the 20th century; However, if you are looking for a Bar, make your way to Cordano Bar, the first Bar in Peru.
4. Explore the Huaca Pucllana temple
If you wish to see any archaeological site related to pre-Hispanic societies, you should visit the Huaca Puccllana temple, which dates back to the 5th century AD; it used to be a big ceremonial center, where the ancient Peruvians would do the rituals for many deities.
At Huaca Puccllana’s archaeological site, you will also find an awesome Peruvian food restaurant.
5. Visit the Kennedy Park
It is located in the heart of Miraflores district, during the afternoons and weekends, there are local artists and painters, who exhibit their works, as well as, groups of musicians who play music online; there are also activities for kids.
6. Do a street art tour in Barranco
Barranco is the most colorful, bohemian, and republican district in Lima, you will see Graffities, old Bars from the 50s and the best Peruvian seafood culinary.
7. Discover the best Museums in Lima
The Larco Museum is the best gallery of pre-Columbian history in Lima, it has the most complete explosion of Lima’s pre-Hispanic history, and it is an excellent place to learn about the great cultural, social, economic, and technological achievements, that many civilizations had before the arrival of the Spanish in 1535.
If you want to explore much more, then fill your experience in Lima by visiting the Lima Art Museum, normally known as MALI—Museo de Arte de Lima, it has a collection of art objects, which are more than 3,000 years old.
The entrance for both museums is about 35 Soles—10 USD per person, please bring local currency.
8. Visit the Bodega y Quadra archaeological site
Museo de Bodega y Quadra is the only archaeological site in the Historic Center of Lima, the remains date back to the pre-Colombian and colonial periods of Lima city history; pay about 1.5 USD pp.
9. Don’t miss the must-see colonial Churches in Lima
You can visit either the Cathedral of Lima or the Church of Santo Domingo, both churches are fully decorated with colonial paintings, that depict the daily lifestyle of the colonial society in Lima; the entrance fee is approx 5 USD for any of these churches.
10. Explore the Love Park
It is located in the Miraflores district, right on the cliff—Malecon de Miraflores, once you get to this park, you will have the best panoramic view of the pacific sea, you will see the statue of El Beso—the Kiss, which was inaugurated the past century on the 14th of February—this date in Peru is dedicated to love and friendship.
11. Visit the House of Peruvian Literature
The building dates back to the beginning of the 20th century, designed by Rafael Marquina, this place was originally a train station; but as time went by, buses became more popular than trains; therefore, it is not used anymore as a train station, but as a library known as La Casa de la Literatura Peruana.
12. Visit the church of Santa Rosa de Lima
Visit this church dedicated to the first woman saint in the American continent, known as Santa Rosa de Lima; it is free to access.
13. Visit the Magic Circuit of Water
Explore the top place for entertainment, where you will see the best visual combination of lights, music, and water fountains; if you have kids, you should take them to this park, you have our word, and they will love this place.
Some people also call this place El Parque de la Reserva, the park itself can be visited throughout the day; however most people visit this place to see the play of light, the first show starts at 7 pm; the entrance fee is about 1.5 USD pp.
14. Check the Change of Guard in Lima
Every day from around 11:45 am – 12:15 pm, there is a cool event happing at the Plaza de Armas in Lima, known by locals as El Cambio de Guardia, you can experience this military event for free.
15. Unveil the Catacombs of San Francisco
Don’t miss the catacombs of San Francisco, which date back to the colonial period; it has been calculated, that there are about 35000 people, who have been buried in this cemetery during 300 years—the colonial period; pay about 5 USD to access.
16. Palomino islands and the Sea Lions
You can’t miss this amazing spot located near Callao port, hire any tour company and explore these Islands, where you will see a lot of wildlife, especially Sea Lions.