How To Spend 24 Hours in Lima, Peru's bustling capital

Cathedral of Lima
Cathedral of Lima | © David Stanley/Flickr
Brandon Dupre

Lima is a sprawling, gridlocked Metropolis that can be intimidating to get around in. Buses fly around the city with recklessness, swerving in-and-out of the ubiquitous traffic. Everything moves so quickly it can make your head spin and make crossing a street a death sentence. Mix these ingredients up and a drink at the hotel lounge may sound more appealing. But don’t let it as Lima has a lot of unique things to offer. If only for 24 hours, here is what you need to do in the Peruvian capital.

9:00 am

If you’re not jet-lagged and are in the mood for some exercise, go surfing. Peru has a rich surfing history and some of the best waves in the world. If you’re in Miraflores, just take the stairs down the cliff to the ocean and you’ll find plenty of companies offering surfboard and wetsuit rentals. For those visitors who don’t know how to surf, fear not, every rental company will also offer lessons. Boards will be about $8 each for the day and lessons will be around $20.

11:00 am

Keep the adrenaline going and go paragliding off of the Miraflores cliff, just above where you had been surfing. If the sun is out, you’ll have a beautiful view of the Pacific Ocean and Lima’s beach neighborhoods. It cost around $50 for 10 minutes.

Paragliding over Peru’s coastline

1:30 pm

Take a taxi and head to Plaza De Armas in Lima’s historic center. Here is where you’ll find Lima’s most breathtaking colonial architecture. Francisco Pizarro established the center in the 16th century to serve as the capital of Colonial South America. Though not one building remains from that period, the center is nonetheless stunning. To the east of the plaza resides the Palacio Arzobispal (Archbishop’s Palace), 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. Wander the streets and enjoy the intricately carved balconies and colonial-style buildings.

10:00 pm

If you still have energy after the long day, go to Pizza Street just off of Parque Kennedy. The street is lined with bars and it is always busy. People don’t start going out until 10 or 11 in Lima, so prepare for partying into the morning.

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