(Lee este post en español aquí)
Not very long ago it was only considered a city to stop-by on your way to Cusco, however, over recent years Lima has become a tourist attraction itself: a cosmopolitan city that combines history, tradition and modernity. If you are only going to spend 3 days in Lima, make sure you include these activities in your travel plans:
Begin the day visiting the Historic Center of Lima (considered World Heritage by UNESCO since 1988). Start the walk at Plaza Mayor (also known as Plaza de Armas) observing the Government Palace, the Municipal Palace, the Archbishop’s Palace and the Cathedral of Lima, as well as the colonial balconies that decorate almost every building in the area. Don’t miss the changing of the guard at the Government Palace at 11:45 am.
Continue the walk to the Monastery of San Francisco and enter its catacombs (the city cemetery in colonial times).
Eat “chifa” for lunch (Chinese-Peruvian food) at Capon street, the largest Chinese neighborhood in Peru, or have a “tacu-tacu con lomo” at the Bar Cordano, where you will be able to see famous (or infamous) Peruvian politicians pass by.
In the afternoon, continue walking by the Palace of Justice and the Plaza San Martin, and drink a traditional Pisco Sour at the Gran Hotel Bolivar.
Start the night visiting the Magic Water Circuit and finish your first day in Lima watching a folkloric music and dance show at Brisas del Titicaca.
Start your second day visiting the Larco Museum, where you will learn about the more than 5.000 years of Peruvian pre-Columbian history.
Eat lunch at one of the ceviche restaurants on La Mar street and walk along the Miraflores boardwalk and its parks. If weather permits, try paragliding over the sea, starting at Raimondi park.
Continue the tour at Larcomar shopping mall. Walk by Larco Avenue towards Kennedy park and visit the handicraft markets on Petit Thouars street.
Finish the night having dinner at the Huaca Pucllana restaurant with a view of a pre-Columbian pyramid built by inhabitants of the Lima culture.
Kick off your third day in Barranco district, visiting Mario Testino’s photography exhibition at MATE, and the colonial art exhibition at Pedro de Osma Museum.
Stop for lunch at Juanito Bar.
Spend the afternoon buying art and decoration objects at Dedalo, cross the street to Lucia de la Puente gallery to marvel with local artists’ collections, and have a walk by the Bajada de Baños and the Bridge of Sights (Puente de los Suspiros).
Start the night drinking a “chilcano” and a Peruvian appetizer at Ayahuasca or Picas, and finish the night listening to a live rock or salsa concert at La Noche, or dancing until your feet hurt at El Dragón.
Welcome to Lima!