Lima is more than just a stopover on your way to other destinations in Peru. This cosmopolitan capital offers plenty of history and culture to keep you enthralled for at least a few days. And let’s not forget the fact that Peruvian food is award-winning on so many levels. Here are our top tips on what to see when you visit the exciting South American city of Lima. Don’t forget to plan for a few of these when you book your next trip to Peru.
The historic center of Lima will definitely be a highlight of your trip. It is a UNESCO World Heritage listed area with the central post office building, the Cathedral of Lima and the Presidential Palace. Take your time to admire the intricate wooden balconies, stop by Plaza Bolivar and admire San Pedro’s gold altars. Don’t forget to spend some time relaxing in Lima’s central plaza, the Plaza de Armas.
The Larco Museum is full to the brim with pre-Columbian art which is stored in an 18th Century building built over a 7th Century pyramid. There is so much history in the building and the amazing artifacts it holds. You might be surprised to learn that the most talked about aspect of the museum is a collection of erotic pottery. (Yes, there really is such a thing!)
Saint Francis Monastery
The Saint Francis Monastery and Church, with its catacombs, make an enjoyable stop on your tour of Lima. Over 30,000 people have been buried in the catacombs, and today you can wander through the crypts filled with skulls and other human remains. The building also represents a wonderful example of colonial architecture in Lima and houses over 25,000 books, detailed wooden carvings and a large collection of colonial paintings.
Museo de Oro
Lima’s Museo de Oro is a great way to spend a morning or an afternoon. It showcases many fabrics and decorations of the pre-Colombian era, some of which are over 2,000 years old. It also holds an interesting collection of antique and modern weapons and firearms from various continents around the world.
Parque de la Reserva
If you happen to be in the city in the evening, it is worth stopping by the Magic Water Circuit at Lima’s Parque de la Reserva. The 13 fountains are a great modern addition to many of the traditional things to do in this busy city and even made it into the Guinness Book of World Records. Do try to time your visit to coincide with the Fantasia Fountain water show which occurs later in the evening.
Making a change from the sophisticated center of Lima, Barranco offers a charming respite with its bohemian atmosphere. Walk the Bridge of Sighs overlooking the ocean and enjoy a coffee in one of the trendy cafes and eateries. The Museum of Contemporary Art (MAC) and the Museo Pedro de Osma are both located there and come highly recommended.