A Guide to Exploring Lima, Peru
As the capital of Peru, Lima is a great city to learn more about the Peruvian culture, try local and Michelin-Starred food, and experience historical and cultural sights. Keep in mind that if you are traveling from the Northern Hemisphere, the seasons are opposite in Peru, so be sure to pack accordingly.
Where to Stay
The Hilton Lima Miraflores and El Pardo DoubleTree by Hilton are both are in central locations in Miraflores, the trendy neighborhood of Lima, with the top restaurants, bars, and shopping nearby. Both are very upscale and comfortable hotels with excellent service. The Hilton even has a scenic rooftop pool and hot tub that overlooks the city. The breakfast is also delicious at both properties, featuring food with local flavors. Try the Custard Apple fruit at Social Restaurant & Bar.
Where to Eat
Central is currently listed as the #6 restaurant in the world, so make sure to book your reservations here in advance. The Michelin-Starred restaurant is by world-renowned chefs Virgilio Martínez and Pía León, and features a 16-course tasting menu that takes you through different altitudes. From 20m below sea level to 4,100m above it, the menu offers an array of seafood, meats, corn, and potato that showcases local flavors. The wine and cocktail menu is also good, and a typical Pisco Sour is a must.
Mercado 28 is a local market full of different kiosks, so many flavors can be catered to. Vendors range from Amazonian dishes to Sushi. Asian food has a huge influence in Peru and is infused with Peruvian flavors to create the Nikkei cuisine. The atmosphere is also very lively, with TV screens everywhere to watch soccer games. A couple of must-try dishes are the Arroz con Pato, rice with duck, and Lomo Saltado, which is a common beef dish in Peru.
Where to Drink and Dance
The bar Ayahuasca is in the Barranco District, and this converted mansion features many rooms of different décor. The menu is vast and features an array of Piscos, Mules, and more. Try a Pisco Sour here.
After drinks at Ayahuasca, head to El Dragón to dance the night away. It features live and Spanish music, so it’s a great place to learn to Salsa.
Where to Tour
Huaca Pucllana is an ancient pyramid located in the heart of the city in the Miraflores district. It was created between 400 AD and 700 AD and represented a ceremonial site for the Incans. They do guided tours in English to learn about history and culture, and there are even some alpacas and llamas to pet there.
Kennedy Park, also famously known as cat park, features many street vendors and artists. This park honors John F. Kennedy and is in the heart of the city, which makes it a great venue to watch Peruvian soccer games.
Ica is a day trip about 5 hours from Peru, but it is totally worth it. In Ica you can sandboard and ATV around the sand dunes. The center of the dunes leads to a lagoon, where you can lay on the beach, try the restaurants, and buy gifts.
Overall, Lima is a great city to experience food, history, and nightlife. The locals of Lima are very welcoming and eager to give advice, so just reach out for local favorites. Lima is just a snapshot of activities to do in Peru. If you have more time, take the opportunity to head to Cusco to visit Machu Picchu and the mountainous city too.