What to Do in Lima

by Jean Phillips, editor

You have booked that bucket list tour of Peru which will take you to tall mountains, low canyons with Condors flying overhead to that wonder of the world, Machu Pichu. Anxious to start on the adventure, you feel a slight disappointment to find that your tour will begin in Lima-miles away from your desired destinations. Also, you won’t actually meet up with your tour guide and fellow travelers until the evening of your arrival. Conversely most tours end in the morning in Lima and abandon you until the farewell dinner. Do you just go to the hotel and while away the day reading a book or are you looking for local sites that don’t show up on most package tour itineraries?
This past November we embarked on a multi week tour of Peru. Like most tours the arrival day in Lima left us on our own. Wishing to maximize the time we had in Lima (and avoid a night’s hotel charge) we took a red eye from JFK in New York leaving shortly before midnight on Latam Airlines. After an uneventful flight we arrived before 7:00 a.m. local time somewhat tired, but looking forward to a day of touring in Lima.

Our hotel, Casa Adina Premijjum, 463 Avenida La Paz, is located centrally in the upscale Miraflores district of Lima. The hotel is a few blocks from Parque Kennedy, upscale shopping and fine dining. It is also within comfortable walking distance of a major Pre-Inca archaeological site and several pocket museums offering galleries dedicated to ancient indigenous artwork or more modern artists. A bit further away is the Barranco district, formerly the home to many turn of the 20th century seaside vacation homes for Lima’s wealthy families, but now the setting for art galleries, trendy shopping and fine dining (and nightclubbing).

The following are some of our top things to do in Lima:
1. Sample the excellent Peruvian cuisine at a local restaurant (don’t miss ceviche).
2. Tour the ancient pyramid complex of Huaca Pucllana.
3. See the fabulous collection of Peruvian artifacts and art at the Museo Larco.
4. View several thousand years of Peruvian textile history at the Museo Amano.
5. Visit the historic Plaza de Armas (main plaza) in downtown Lima-part of the UNESCO world site.
6. Stroll through the bohemian district of Barranco to visit art galleries and view the old seaside mansions of Lima’s upper crust of the early 20th century.
7. Visit the historic church and convent of San Francisco and see the extensive catacombs beneath.
8. Tour the National Museum of Archaeology, Anthropology and History and learn about the many Pre-Columbian civilizations that existed in Peru besides the Incas.
9. Walk along the Miraflores boardwalk on the cliffs above the Pacific Ocean.
10. Try hang gliding or surfing along the Miraflores beach.

Other articles in the issue examine some of these in depth.