Lima has become the unofficial gastronomical capital of South America. The city boasts world-renowned chefs such as Gastón Acurio and Virgilio Martínez, who recently received the Chef’s Choice Award, a title that makes him the best chef in the world. Lima is also the only city to have two restaurants ranking in the top 10 of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants, Central Restaurante and Maido.
Maido, Calle San Martin 399, Miraflores 15074, Peru, +51 1 4462512
The food is so good in Lima that it must be listed twice. There are many traditional Peruvian dishes that must be tried, but no one should leave Peru without trying some ceviche in Lima. The dish was invented by Peruvians and perfected in Lima. With the expansive Pacific Ocean just west of the city, there is no shortage of fresh fish and cevicherias. You can enjoy the dish at the smelly fishing docks in Chorrillos, a bustling market, or at a fine dining restaurant in Miraflores. The options are endless.
If you want to go out and experience Peruvian nightlife, Lima is a must stop. While there are bars all over the city, most of them are concentrated in Miraflores, Barranco and the historic center. If you head to Pizza Street in Miraflores or La Plaza in Barranco, you’ll find plenty of music and dancing going on all night. Peruvians don’t head out until about 11pm, so plan on staying out late. Lima also has boutique bars such as Ayahuasca, which is an old colonial-style mansion turned into a three-storey, carnival-fun-house of a bar.
Ayahuasca, Av San Martin 130, Barranco 15063, Peru, +51 1 2476751
Surfers must not miss out on the opportunity to spend time in a capital city that also has some of the best waves in the world. Short boarders can enjoy a day at Punta Roquitas with its punchy crossed-up sections, while long boarders will want to head down to Playa Wakiki. Both breaks are only a short walk down from the boardwalk in Miraflores. If those aren’t enough, visitors can catch bigger waves in Chorrillo’s, which is the home to La Herradura, a world class, left-hand point break.
Standing in Plaza de Armas, staring at the large colonial-style buildings, you’ll feel the history of the City of Kings and be transported to the past when this city was Spain’s capital of South America. To the east of the plaza resides the Palacio Arzobispal, which has ornate Moorish-style balconies, something very unique to Peruvian architecture. In the Northeast is Palacio de Gobierno, a grandiose baroque-style building that serves as residence for Peru’s president.
Check two things off the Peru to-do list in one trip: eat Chifa (Chinese-Peruvian food) in Barrio Chino. Head to the busy neighborhood of Barrio Chino, where you can enjoy the Chinese décor and then sit down and enjoy some Chifa.
Museo Del Pisco
Going to Peru, you must drink pisco. Since that’s the case, why not go to a museum to learn all about the Peruvian spirit while also enjoying some of the country’s famous cocktails? One part museum and one part bar, Museo Pisco is a must visit.
An oddity that must be visited is Peru’s pre-Columbian pottery-porn museum. The museum holds some of Peru’s pre-Colombian art and is most famous for its erotic pottery.
Paraglide Over Miraflores
Knock it off the bucket list and enjoy Peru’s beautiful coastal landscape at the same time. It cost around $70 for 10 minutes.
Bike along the Malécon de Miraflores
The Miraflores boardwalk runs parallel to the Pacific Ocean, providing you miles of stunning views. Rent a bike from one of the many rental companies and enjoy a bike ride up and down the coast.
Underneath Lima’s San Francisco de Lima Basilica and Convent, lays the burial site of over 25,000 bodies. Tours of the underground catacomb are offered daily for around $10.
You’ll be hard-pressed to find any mall with a more beautiful view. Lima’s upscale outdoor mall is located on the Miraflores cliff, overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
The Bohemian Charm of Barranco
The small barrio is sandwiched between up-scale Miraflores and Chorrillos to the south. The neighborhood is so small you just might miss it, but filled with so many things to do an extra day is needed in Lima to explore this tiny neighborhood. Barranco provides an escape from the pervasive greyness of Lima with colorful houses and murals lining its streets. A short walk from the plaza, you come to La Puente de Los Suspiros (the Bridge of Sighs), which at night looks like a Disneyland Pinterest photo.