LimaCopyright: Christian Vinces/Shutterstock.com
LimaOn the coastline of Peru, fringed by the blue waters of the Pacific Ocean, lies one of South America’s best-kept treasures. The vibrant city of Lima reveals itself to the world through the colors of its colonial facades, the flavors of its exquisite gastronomy, but most of all, through the hospitality and warmth of its people.
The CityPeru's capital encompasses thousands of years of history. Founded in 1535 by Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro, the "City of Kings" as it is known, was once the political, administrative, and religious heart of South America, although its origins date far further back than the colonial presence in the country, evidenced by the large number of archaeological sites in the area. Today, Lima is a sprawling metropolis with a hectic lifestyle that knows how to keep a good balance when it comes to embracing the new without letting go of the old. There are plenty of reasons for you to make Lima your next destination, even if it's just a quick stop on your way to Machu Picchu.
Do & See
Kick off your visit to Lima with a walk around the colorful and bustling city center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site--home to many historical buildings and churches. Delve into the country's rich past in one of the many museums around. Once you’ve soaked up the local history, explore the city's districts: Miraflores on the beachfront is the trendy one, while Barranco is more artsy and bohemian. Day trips to ancient sites in the surroundings are always fun too.
Stretching from the Andean Mountains to the Amazonian jungle to the fresh waters of the Pacific, the Peruvian cuisine is a true reflection of the country's incredible biodiversity. Lima, as the center of it all, presents you with a top-notch gastronomic experience. Known as the “Gastronomy Capital of Latin America," this city is a genuine culinary hot spot. From tiny holes-in-the-wall to three restaurants on the list of the world's best, food here is a serious matter. At the forefront is the good old ceviche, the country's national dish. Also worth trying is the lomo saltado (stir-fried beef), anticuchos de corazón (skewers of grilled hearts), and the ají de gallina (spicy chicken stew), this apart from the popular fusion cuisines Nikkei and Chifa. Discover the top restaurants in Lima, Peru:
Due to its geographical position, Peru produces some of the best coffee beans in the world. And, like most Latin Americans, Lima residents also enjoy taking their time and chatting over a good cup of coffee. Here are some of the best cafes in Lima, Peru:
Bars & Nightlife
When it comes to partying, Limeños surely know how to have a good time. In Lima, nightlife kicks off around 11 pm, and most bars and clubs are located in Miraflores and Barranco. From local watering holes and fancy cocktail bars to the traditional peñas, there is something for every mood around here. And the pisco sour – Peru's national drink – still reigns supreme. Be aware that some nightclubs might be brothels in disguise and also that prostitution is legal in Peru. If possible, avoid the city center at night. Here are the best bars and nightclubs in Lima, Peru:
Shopping may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Lima, but visitors soon discover that the city has no shortage of stores guaranteed to get your money’s worth. From your typical western malls to more traditional markets, the shopping scene in Lima is diverse and fits any kind of budget. Avenida de la Paz in Miraflores is known for its antique shops. Designer boutiques can be found at Calle de Los Conquistadores in San Isidro. Craft shops abound, offering that colorful handmade souvenir you desperately want to take home. Bargain hunters, that's your cue! And no trip to Peru is complete without that soft baby alpaca garment.