5 Best Things to Do in Lima

Lima is the capital of Peru and most likely the starting point of your journey through Peru. This enormous city on the Pacific Ocean has nearly 10 million inhabitants, making it the largest city in Peru. Despite being on the coast, don’t expect to lie on a towel on the beach in Lima. Compared to the typical weather in South America, Lima experiences relatively cool temperatures for much of the year, with an average daytime temperature of 21°C (70 °F). However, you may get lucky and experience higher temperatures. Luckily, there are plenty of other things to do for a fun first day in Peru. Here, you can read about what to do and where to stay in Lima!

How to get to Lima?

Many people pass through Lima during their journey through Peru. Most come from Huaraz, Huacachina or Cusco.

From Huaraz to Lima

From Huaraz, you can travel by bus to Lima in 8 hours. You can choose to travel during the day, but there are also night buses. Check all current departure times and reserve your bus ticket in advance. Prices vary and are largely dependent on how far back your seat can recline, ranging from 140° to 180°. If you book a night bus, it’s definitely recommended to choose a seat that reclines to 160° or 180°, as it will make your journey more comfortable.

From Huacachina to Lima

Take a tuktuk or taxi to Ica and catch a bus to Lima, which takes about 4.5 hours. Check current departure times and reserve a spot on the bus in advance.

From Cusco to Lima

There are many direct flights from Cusco to Lima daily, which will get you to Lima in 1.5 hours.

What to do in Lima?

Lima is a great city to rest after your flight, but there isn’t an overwhelming amount to do. Therefore, we recommend not staying too long.

#1 Explore the colorful neighborhood of Barranco

Barranco is by far the most creative neighborhood in Lima. There are many narrow, quiet streets where cars can’t go, which gives it a lot of charm. You’ll see cool street art everywhere, but the best graffiti creations are on La bajada de Banõs street. Don’t forget to walk over the Puente de Los Suspiros bridge at the end of this street. If you walk across the bridge and hold your breath, your wish will come true. Barranco is located just below the Miraflores neighborhood and is about a 10-minute taxi ride away.

#2 Taste Peruvian cuisine at Panchita

If you ask us, your first day in Peru is perfect for getting acquainted with Peruvian cuisine. We went to Panchita for dinner, which is known as one of the better and affordable restaurants in Lima. Go a little early because it’s crowded every night or make a reservation in advance if you want to secure a table. Our favorite Peruvian dish is lomo saltado, which is a mix of beef, tomato, onion, fries, and rice with a delicious sauce. It sounds strange, but it tastes super good! You’ll also find variations like lomo saltado with noodles instead of fries and rice or with chicken instead of beef.

#3 Watch surfers from El Parque Del Amor

El Parque Del Amor, or the Park of Love, is a nice addition to your day in Lima. The benches are made in the same style as the benches in the famous “Gaudi” park in Barcelona; Parque Gruel. From El Parque Del Amor, you have a great view over the coastline of Lima and the Pacific Ocean. You can often spot surfers from here, and the park is usually crowded. People are skating, picnicking, playing sports, and of course, you’ll see many couples in love.

#4 Join a free walking tour in Lima

This is a fun way to get to know Lima and Peru. You’ll learn about the culture and history of the city and the country. You’ll also get to taste some things like pisco sour and/or coffee. It’s not entirely free because a good tip is certainly in order. More information about this tour can be found here.

#5 Climb the Huaca Pucllana pyramid

In the middle of the busy city of Lima, you’ll find the Huaca Pucllana pyramid. Okay, don’t expect a pyramid like in Egypt, but it’s still a very special sight. This pyramid was built before the time of the Incas and is over 1600 years old. It’s interesting to be guided by a guide so that you actually learn something about this place. Huaca Pucllana is located in the Miraflores neighborhood, and the entrance fee is 15 soles / $4.

Note: Huaca Pucllana is closed on Tuesdays.

Where to stay in Lima?

Miraflores is the most touristy neighborhood in Lima and also the safest. There are many good restaurants, large supermarkets, and the best hotels. In #1, we also wrote about the Barranco district, which is really cool to visit, but because it’s quieter in the evenings, we still recommend Miraflores primarily.

Our favorite places to stay in Lima

Casa Porta is a charming accommodation in the Miraflores neighborhood. The rooms are nicely decorated, and there’s a cozy common area where you can enjoy a delicious breakfast in the morning. Also, Selina Miraflores is a great place to stay. It’s a large building with an amazing mural on the outside, so don’t forget to look up when you arrive. The double rooms are beautifully decorated with many cool details. They have both simple and luxury double rooms and a dormitory. The small-scale Belma Boutique B&B is one of the best accommodations in Lima, and the staff are incredibly kind and hospitable, always ready to help you with anything you need. The breakfast is excellent with lots of fruit, fresh juices, and delicious coffee.