The Best Travel Guide to Lima
Provided by: Christian Vinces/

Plaza de Armas (Plaza Mayor)

There is no better way to start your visit to Lima than where it all began. The Plaza de Armas or Plaza Mayor is the birthplace of Peru's capital and still the city's main hub. Around the square, you'll find many of Lima's historic landmarks such as a 17th century Cathedral, the Government Palace (the official residence of Peru's president), the Archbishop's Palace, the Municipal Palace, the Palace of the Union, and the Casa del Oidor – it's a great place to admire many of the colonial architectural gems Lima boasts. Embellishing the center of the plaza is a beautiful 1650 bronze fountain, set on what once was the grounds of the city's gallows. At noon, walk to the Presidential Palace to watch the traditional changing of the guards and just a few minutes from there is the historic Gran Hotel Bolivar, where many Hollywood stars, singers, politicians and famous authors have stayed. The list includes: former American President Nixon, Ernest Hemingway and Mick Jagger, among others.
Read more

Lima's Churches

The amount of churches in Lima can be overwhelming to a first-time visitor. Wherever you look, you'll find great religious buildings rich in both architectural detail and history, especially when walking around the city center. We have selected 5 of those well worth visiting: 1. Catedral de Lima. In the city's main square, the cathedral is not only Peru's most important catholic church but also the first one ever built, dating back to the foundation of Lima in 1535. Inside the cathedral lie the bones of the city's conquistador, Francisco Pizarro. 2. Basílica y Convento de San Francisco (pictured). A curious fact about this church is that it was built on top of catacombs which served as a cemetery during colonial times. A visit to its basement will surprise you with bones and skulls of around 25 thousand people. 3. Santuario de Santa Rosa de Lima. Erected in the exact place where Santa Rosa was born. Here, you can explore the grounds where the city's patron lived and treated the poor. 4. Basílica y Convento de San Pedro. Many consider it to be the most beautiful church in Lima. Check out its magnificent interior and see for yourself. 5. Parroquia Santa María Reina. Its unusual oval shape is the big draw here. Bonus: Basilica y Convento de Nuestra Señora de la Merced: even if you decide not enter this one, just take your time admiring the stone carvings on its beautiful facade.
Read more

Larco Museum

Showcasing over 45,000 artifacts that span over 5,000 years of Peruvian pre-Columbian history, this museum is a true cultural experience not to be missed while in Lima. Its location is as historic as the treasures on display inside. It was built over a 7th century pre-Columbian pyramid and is housed in a 18th century vice-royal mansion. Ceramics, textiles, gold and jewels are presented throughout its rooms, but the most unique room here is, by far, the Erotic Gallery, where ceramic pieces depicting sexuality, fertility and maternity are shown. Pay a visit to its beautiful garden restaurant overlooking the pyramid for a taste of Peruvian cuisine.
Read more

Puente de los Suspiros (Bridge of Sighs)

A rich young woman falls in love with a street sweeper. Forbidden by her father to be with the love of her life, she spends her days sighing from her window hoping to see him again. That's just one of the legends surrounding the origins of this small pedestrian bridge's name. Today, legend has it that if you can hold your breath while walking the length of the entire bridge, which is 144-feet (44 meters) long, your wish will come true. This one is a truly breathtaking attraction in the artsy district of Barranco. Whether you decide to try your luck or not, a visit to the area will never be wasted, as it is home to many nice eateries and pubs. And if you keep walking past the bridge, you'll ultimately end up at the Barranco Beach.
Read more

Casa de Aliaga

Across from the Government Palace sits one of the city's historic jewels. Casa de Aliaga is not only the oldest colonial mansion in Lima, but also the oldest house in America, which was owned by Jerónimo de Aliaga since 1535, and still serves as a home for his descendants eighteen generations later. Richly decorated salons, vintage furnishings and some artifacts, including the sword used by Jerónimo de Aliaga when he conquered Peru are showcased here. Make sure to book a guided tour: Lima Tours:
Read more

Barrio Chino

Home to a large Chinese population, it would be only appropriate for Lima to have its own version of a Chinatown. This is the place where visitors come to try the authentic Chifa, the Chinese-Peruvian fusion cuisine. However, keep in mind that this is not much like your typical Chinatown: it is smaller, very chaotic and somewhat rough around the edges. But if you feel like venturing into the hustle and bustle of this neighborhood, you'll be rewarded with traditional dim sum, Peking duck and many other Asian delights.
Read more


Transport yourself back in time by the ruins of what once served as the most important religious center for indigenous people on the Peruvian coast. Situated 40 km southeast of Lima, the archaeological site of Pachacamac is a good day trip from the city where you get to explore the remains of pyramidal temples as well as other impressive ancient constructions. Below are a few companies offering tours from Lima to Pachacamac: Viator GetYourGuide On The Go Tours
Read more
View on map