Because Lima has the largest airport in Peru and is the capital of the country, most visitors find themselves there at some point or another, whether by air or overland from other destinations within Peru and South America. Whether you stop by the huge city before or after your trips to Machu Picchu, it is worth spending some time in the lively center where more than 8 million Peruvians call home. Here is an example of a great day to be had in Lima.
9 a.m. – Wake up slowly and slowly stroll out of your hotel or place of accommodation. Mornings are slow in Peru, and most stores and restaurants open at 9 or 10 a.m., sometimes later or not at all on the weekends and Sundays. Buy a stuffed meat and vegetable empanada pastry at the local bakery or bodega, and a glass of fresh juice. Take it to Parque Kennedy in the Miraflores district, then engage in some people watching as you enjoy your breakfast.
10 a.m. – When you are done eating, make way to Miraflores’ clifftop stretch of urban parks that hovers over the Pacific Ocean. This is a great way enjoyed by young and old alike, and it stretches from the San Isidro area down to Chorrillos. If you have the time and money, try paragliding off the cliffs with a trained professional for 15 minutes.
12 p.m. – Stop into one of many of Lima’s cevicherias which serve the national dish of fresh seafood cooked in a marinade of lime juice and other spices. It is usually paired with red onions slices, sweet potato, and corn kernels. Wash it all down wish some chicha morada, the deep purple corn juice drink perfect for a sunny afternoon. This experience should not be missed on any trips to Peru. Then, start heading to the historical city center.
1:30 p.m. – Spend the afternoon wandering the historical city center. The Plaza de Armas is a vibrant place to admire Lima’s colonial Spanish architecture and heritage. On the other hand, the Plaza San Martin is almost entirely white, making it a fascinating contrast to the Plaza de Armas. Take in the energy of the city and its local population.
10 p.m. – Peruvians like to start their nights late. Grab a drink in one of the downtown bars, or patron one of the more contemporary and hip discotecas in Miraflores or the bohemian Barranco neighborhood. Dance until the sun comes up, just as the locals do!