Lima, Peru’s capital city, is a historic hub of culture. Explore the city’s colonial center to see grand buildings, grandiose gardens, and awe-inspiring architecture!
If you’re looking for something a little more adventurous, book a day trip to Pachacamac, one of the most important archeological sites in South America. This ancient site has ruins that were once used by Incas and is full of mystery!
Plaza Mayor, or “Plaza de Armas” as it is known in Spanish, is Lima’s oldest public square and one of the city’s main attractions. The plaza is surrounded by important historical landmarks including the Presidential palace, Cathedral of Lima, Government Palace and Archbishop’s palace.
The north side of the square is dominated by the Government Palace (Palacio Gobierno), a building originally built in 1535 by the founder of Lima, Francisco Pizarro. This neo-colonial structure has been the site of many historic events, including Peru’s independence.
Also located on the western side of the square is the bright yellow Municipal Palace, the seat of the municipal government in Lima. Its neo-colonial facade mirrors those of other buildings in the square, while its interior pays tribute to the French Renaissance.
There are lots of great things to see and to do in Lima, including this amazing pyramid ruins called Huaca Pucllana. The adobe structure is a seven-tiered pyramid that served as a ceremonial and administrative center for the Lima culture during the 5th century CE.
Today, it is surrounded by a large wall that divides the site into two sections. One section has benches and deep pits where people would perform ceremonies, sacrifices and offerings.
Today, you can explore the ruins while visiting a small garden that grows plants that were important for the people that lived there. This includes quinoa, sweet potatoes, avocados, yucas and lucumas among others. There’s also a pen of camelids, llamas and alpacas that you can view as well.
One of the best places to see ruins in Lima is the city’s Puruchuco Ruins, once a palace to an Inca ruler. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a great place to start your exploration of Lima.
The ruins themselves are a bit out of the way for most visitors, but it’s worth making the trip to see them. The area also offers some of Peru’s most awe-inspiring scenery.
The nearby Nazca Lines, some of the oldest drawings etched into the earth, are another must-see. Seeing these lines up close is one of the best ways to get a feel for their design and purpose.
For a break from the bustle of Lima's city center, check out Cieneguilla and its surrounding areas. These quiet spots are home to plenty of green spaces, restaurants, and playgrounds.
If you're looking for something to do in Lima that's a bit more unique, consider visiting a microteatro. These theater houses play short 15-minute skits.
Whether you're an expert in the arts or just want to experience Peruvian culture for a change, a microteatro is a great way to spend an afternoon!
Another great thing to do in Lima is to go to China Town. You can try chifa, pick up amulets and charms, or even learn about your zodiac sign!
A short ride from the center of Lima is Antioquia, also known as the “People of Colors”. In 2003 this town launched an economic and social development project that would give a boost to its tourist potential.
- A great way to enjoy Antioquia is by strolling through the colorful streets of this magical corner. Here, houses are decorated with angels, flowers and animals painted on their facades.
- The town also has a Museum of Art, with a great collection of works by Peruvian artists such as Fernando Botero and Pedro Gomez. In addition, there’s also a large statue of Botero to admire!
- Another of the most enjoyable things to do in Lima is to take a walk or ride a bike along the beautiful cliffside Malecon. It stretches for several kilometers along the coast and has many parks to explore.