Machu Picchu, Cusco, Sacred Valley, Lima, Chiclayo & Trujillo
For travelers who give it time, Lima gives travelers a chance to experience a city that is vibrant, dynamic, full of history, culture, museums, boutiques, and that offers amazing Pacific sunsets. The cherry on top - Lima is a melting pot metaphor come to life and reflected in its internationally recognized cuisine. Browse our destination guide below for essential facts, travel tips, and top attractions for a Lima tour.
At A Glance
As the international gateway to Peru, Lima is an unavoidable stop for travelers planning a trip to Machu Picchu. But there are reasons to stick around. Spend a day or two here to experience the electrifying mix of old and new, meet Peruvians from every corner of the country and with ancestry from all over the work, and work your way through a long list of must-eats including ceviche, lomo saltado, causa rellena, and more. In Lima, you can choose to relax in the cosmopolitan atmosphere of the capital city or pack your itinerary full with visits to historic plazas and churches, 1,000-year-old adobe ruins, world-class restaurants, buzzing nightlife spots, and and renowned museums and galleries.
The city of Lima was founded by Francisco Pizarro in 1535, but the area around it was settled by indigenous populations for thousands of years before the arrival of Spanish conquerors. Today, the modern city has expanded in all directions.
Peru’s earliest human settlements found hospitable ground in the fertile soils of the river valleys within the present-day department of Lima. Along the Río Chillón, not far from Lima city, archaeologists have excavated stone tools dating from approximately 7500 BC.
3500-1800 BC - El Paraiso is occupied as an economic and religious center in the Chillon Valley several kilometers from present-day Lima.
1500 - 300 BC - The Chavin culture flourished in an Andean valley in modern-day department of Ancash. They build several huacas (temples) using a distinctive architectural style and motifs.
100 to 650 AD - The Lima culture built the Maranga pyramid complex in what are now the districts of Cercado, San Miguel, and Pueblo Libre. Lima ceramics display a distinctive style with white, red, and black colors and marine animals like fish and octopus. The Lima culture also built Huaca Pucllana in what is now Miraflores.
800 to 900 AD - The Huari culture, based in modern-day Ayacucho and the southern highlands, briefly expands to the coast.
900 to 1470 AD - The Ichma (or Yschma) culture was a loose confederation of curacazgos (chiefdoms) that occupied the Lurin and Rimac valleys. They were conquered by the Inca Empire in 1470, during the reign of Pachacutec.
1535 - After the fall of Cusco, conquistador Francisco Pizarro establishes a new city on the banks of the Rimac River, 13 kilometers east from Callao.
Founded on the date of the Feast of the Epiphany, the city was known as Ciudad de los Reyes, or City of Kings and was planned with a central plaza, church, and surrounding streets laid out in a rectilinear grid pattern.
1536 Siege of Lima - Coinciding with the siege of Cusco, Inca rebel forces surround the Spanish settlement for several months. With the help of native allies, the Spanish soldiers are able to repel the attack. Manco Inca retreats with his forces to Vilcabamba, where he and his successors continue to resist Spanish rule until 1572.
1542-43 - The Viceroyalty of Peru is created, but not officially recognized until Viceroy Francisco de Toledo arrives in 1572. The Real Audiencia is created to represent the Spanish king in the administration of the colony.
1551 - The National University of San Marcos is founded; still in operation today, it is the oldest university in the Americas.
1600s - As the center of an extensive trade network linking the Americas to Europe and Asia, Lima becomes the wealthiest city in the Americas.
1684-1687 - Lima city walls are built.
1700s - The Bourbon Reforms, a series of political and economic measures intended to restore the power of the Spanish crown and reduce the influence of native-born elites, lead to the eventual decline of the Viceroyalty of Peru.
1746 - A major earthquake demolishes Lima and the port of Callao. Many of the oldest buildings in today’s Lima date to this period of post-earthquake reconstruction.
1821 - South America's struggle for independence from the Spanish Crown begins in the early 1800s. However, the political and religious elite of Lima are beneficiaries and dependents of the colonial system, and they remain loyal to the Spanish Crown. In July 1821, Argentina’s General Jose San Martin sails into the capital in 1821 and declares the independence of Peru on the 28th of July. The war does not formally end until the final defeat of royalist forces in the Battle of Ayacucho in 1824.
1850s - After independence, Lima experiences an economic lull. But at mid-century, guano exports revive the city’s coffers and provide funds for the construction of public buildings, markets, hospitals, and prisons. The first stretch of railway in South America, between Lima and Callao, is built in 1850.
1881-1883 War of the Pacific against Chile - In a dispute over territory and natural resources, Chilean forces occupy the capital of Peru for 3 years and loot many of the city’s treasures during that time.
1890s-1920s urban renewal and expansion - Lima’s most iconic buildings were constructed during this time, often in an ostentatious, neoclassical style that recalls the wealth and prosperity of the early colonial period. Big avenues are constructed to connect to coastal settlements such as Miraflores and Barranco.
1930s - 1990s - Industrialization and rural migration spark a demographic explosion in Lima. The population increases from 600,000 residents in 1940 to 1.9 million residents in 1960, 4.8 million in 1980, and 6.4 million in 1993. Settlements expand outward from the historic center and from the coastal areas, eventually filling the space in between.
1990 - Alberto Fujimori is elected president, partly in response to the rise of violent guerrilla movements and economic turbulence. Fujimori maintains power for 10 years until he is forced to resign in a bribery scandal in 2000.
In the 21st century, Lima is enjoying a prolonged period of political and economic stability. In 2015, Lima’s metropolitan population was estimated at 9.8 million residents, representing about 1/4th of Peru’s total population. The most populous districts are located north and east of the historic center of Lima.
Situated on the desert coast of Peru, the city of Lima occupies an oasis-like valley watered by the Rimac River. The Pacific ocean is to the west and the foothills of the Andes to the east. Sandy 70-meter-tall cliffs separate the Pacific shore from the westernmost edge of Lima city.
The port of Callao provides a natural harbor which for many centuries provided the main connection to trading ports in Europe and Spain. Today, Callao continues to operate as one of the busiest ports in the Americas and a port of call for many South American cruise ships.
The elevation of Lima city gradually increases in proportion to distance from the Pacific shore. Average elevations for key districts and places:
- Miraflores - 79 m
- Barranco - 65 m
- Lima Centro - 161 m
- Jorge Chavez Airport - 34 m
- Callao - 7 m
Peru is quite close to the equator, but the cold water Humboldt Current flows up from Antarctica and interacts with air temperatures to keep things cool.
The Andes Mountains are a second factor affecting the climate. The tall peaks, which begin to rise not too far from the coast create a rain shadow effect that prevents rain clouds from forming. This is why much of Peru’s coast is desert. In Lima, the result is a temperate climate with high humidity around the year.
During the winter months, the city of Lima is covered by constant gray fog called garúa. Travel some kilometers north or south of the city or up into the foothills and you’ll experience the sunny skies that typify the rest of coastal Peru.
Officially named the Jorge Chavez International Airport (code: LIM), the Lima airport is the central transit hub for many travelers at the start or end of a trip to Peru. The airport is located in the Callao district, about 20 km from the popular Miraflores district. For travelers with an early morning or late night flight out of Lima, the Wyndham Costa del Sol Airport Hotel provides maximum comfort while in transit. Lima airport website: https://www.lima-airport.com/eng
Historic Center of Lima
Alongside Arequipa and Cusco, the historic Lima center presents the best preserved example of Peruvian colonial architecture and urban planning. Officially founded in 1535, and supplied by gold and silver from the Andean highlands, Lima quickly grew to become the wealthiest city in the Americas. Today, the historic core forms just a small section of a sprawling, sometimes chaotic city, but it remains the best place to trace the evolution of Peru’s biggest city back to its beginnings.
If the Lima historic center represents the city’s past, Miraflores embodies its vibrant present and ever-evolving future. Home to the must-sees Parque Kennedy and the coastal Malecon, as well as an endless number and variety of cafes, restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and hotels for all budgets, it’s no surprise that Miraflores is a favorite place for visitors to Lima.
Bohemian is usually the first word used to describe this Lima district. With its tree-shaded streets, colorful wall murals, graceful colonial homes, and a few galleries, Barranco presents yet another side of Lima you won’t want to miss. Spend a relaxing afternoon at a cafe or restaurant by the Puente de los Suspiros, walk down the Bajada de Baños to check out the beach, or dance the night away with Lima locals at a live music bar.
Whatever you do, don’t miss out on Lima’s many excellent museums. Among the best: the Larco Museum, the Lima Museum of Art (MALI), and the National Museum. Scattered throughout Lima’s different districts, you can museum hop and see the city’s many faces at the same time.
Lima Parks and Plazas
In South America, parks and plazas are social spaces where people gather to rest, chat, read, snack, and spend time with family and friends. Throughout Peru, parks and plazas are also often the stages for cultural entertainment and political events. Whatever Lima district you find yourself in, make time to see the main park or plaza and get a glimpse local life.
Lima is not just the political capital and economic headquarters of Peru, it is also a cultural mecca. Art galleries, historical buildings, museums and even markets all add different threads to the story of Peru’s creative and artistic development over the course of centuries.
Peru has a long history of migration from other parts of the world including Asia, Europe, and Africa. Add to that recent internal migration from the Andes, Amazon and coastal regions to the capital city. The result is a true melting pot of backgrounds and cultures, which you’ll see gathered in Lima. The majority of Peruvians are mestizos, descendants of couplings between European and indigenous ancestors going back to the conquest of Peru.
Peruvians can be exceptionally polite and make it a point to acknowledge people when joining or leaving a group. Learning some simple phrases can help you show respect for the culture.
- Hello/Good day = Buenos dias
- Good afternoon / night = Buenas tardes / noches
- Nice to meet you = Mucho gusto
- See you later / Goodbye = Hasta luego / Adios
When hospitality workers and tour guides make an extra effort to make sure your trip is great, tipping is a great way to show appreciation.
Dine like royalty in the “City of Kings”
If you travel for the food, you’ll be delighted with Lima's exceptional dining scene. Peru is in the midst of a gastronomic boom and the capital city is its epicenter, filled with an endless variety of delectable treats for your tastebuds.
Visit ancient temples
Peru’s most modern and dynamic city is also home to some of South America’s oldest civilizational remnants. Witness this contrast with a visit to Huaca Pucllana, the 4th century adobe temple surrounded by the high-rises. Yet more temple ruins are scattered through Pueblo Libre and San Miguel districts. Thirty kilometers outside of Lima, Pachacamac temple has been an important temple complex for millennia.
Stroll the seaside promenade
El Malecon provides one of Lima’s most scenic landscapes. Stretching about 10 km along the clifftops that separates the Pacific Ocean from the city, this promenade is the place to go for sunsets, to get some exercise, or to try your hand at paragliding.
Shop 'til you drop
The best souvenirs from a trip to Peru include exquisite handwoven textiles, soft alpaca wool sweaters, artful ceramics, colorful chullos (Andean hats) and knitted scarves. Stock up in Lima’s markets at the end of your trip. But if Lima is your first stop, you can just browse the shops and get an idea of what you’ll see later on; you’ll be better prepared to spot a unique item during your travels.
The majority of travelers to Lima stay in one of three main areas: airport, coastal districts, or historic center. The Wyndham Costa del Sol Hotel is located directly across from the Lima airport and is a great option if you have a morning flight to Cusco or back home. The coastal districts of Miraflores, Barranco, and San Isidro are popular for travelers who wish to explore the modern and trendy side of Peru's capital city. Lastly, the historic center is ideal for travelers who wish to stay within walking distance of Lima’s most important architectural monuments and religious festivals.
The following are our top choices for hotels in Lima city.
JW Marriott Lima Hotel
Avenida Malecon de la Reserva 615, Miraflores, Lima
The glass sculptured JW Marriott Hotel Lima is awe-inspiring. From your windows, sweeping views of the Pacific unfold for an equally breathtaking experience. Located just opposite Parque Salazar and overlooking the gardens that border Lima's Pacific Ocean beaches, this luxurious Lima hotel features all the amenities and services a guest could hope for during their Peru vacation. The gardens, shopping, gambling, dining, and museums that surround this 5-star establishment will beckon you. Experience a new era of luxury while you explore Lima's opulent past and catch a glimpse of its future.
Casa Andina Select Miraflores
Calle Schell 452, Miraflores, Lima
One of the new additions to the famous chain of hotels Casa Andina, the beautiful Casa Andina Select Miraflores is ideally located right in the center of Lima’s modern district. It is only a couple blocks away from Parque Kennedy where you can find many excellent restaurants, shops, and bars, and is close to the modern Larcomar shopping mall. The hotel offers the perfect combination of great service, excellent amenities, and good location, all at an affordable price. Guests will find a fully equipped health center, bar, and business center for their convenience.
Calle Atahualpa 199, Miraflores, Lima
The brand new Allpa Hotel, opened in July 2010, is located in the heart of the popular Miraflores neighborhood and close to many of the main attractions in Lima. Comfortable, chic, and convenient, this smart hotel is an excellent option for savvy travelers who want a great value hotel with all the modern amenities. Crisp white walls, cleanliness, and a contemporary touch characterize this modern and minimalist hotel. All rooms are spacious and tastefully decorated, creating a comfortable resting area for guests. Try the excellent Italian restaurant located in the hotel’s lobby.
Calle Manco Capac 838, Miraflores, Lima
For its prime location, hospitable staff, and friendly atmosphere, Casa Wayra is top-rated among 2-star Lima hotels. This bed & breakfast lodge is located in the bustling Miraflores district and in close proximity to restaurants, shopping centers, and the Malecón that overlooks the Pacific Ocean. Nightly rates for each of the 8 rooms – available in categories from single to quadruple – are unbeatable compared to similar hotels. Family-style common areas include a living room, dining room, terrace, and garden that round out the laidback appeal of this charming Miraflores hotel. Wireless internet is available in all rooms.
Avenida Federico Gallesi 198, San Miguel, Lima
Close to the airport, this homey, quiet, and family-friendly hotel is perfect for a one night transit in Lima. Located only one block from the ocean, the hotel is relatively new and comfortably styled. Rooms are cozy and the bar area is a great place to relax and catch up with fellow travelers. Mami Panchita also offers a great English book exchange.
Where to eat
Peruvian and fusion cuisine
Av. La Paz 1079, Miraflores
Tel: 221-9393 | http://amaz.com.pe/
($-$$) Menu choices range between US$10-30
Amazonian cuisine is the focus of this popular restaurant. Specialties are a mix of typical Peruvian food and Amazonian dishes. Open daily for lunch and dinner. Reservations recommended.
Astrid & Gaston
Calle Cantuarias 175, Miraflores
Tel: 444-1496 | http://www.astridygaston.cl/index.htm (Spanish)
($$-$$$) Prices vary US$ 25-100, depending on meal and drink selections
Consistently voted among the best restaurants in South America, Acurio’s flagship restaurant provides an emblematic dining experience in Lima. Sophisticated and chic best describe both the restaurant and its clientele. Reservations recommended.
Brujas de Cachiche
Calle Bolognesi 472, Miraflores
Tel: 447-1133 | http://www.brujasdecachiche.com.pe/en (English)
($$) Starters and main courses US$ 15-45; desserts US$ 7; cocktail US$8-10
This classy restaurant serves delicious Peruvian regional cuisine. Choose from a range of starters, entrees, and desserts and pair it with wine or a drink from the bar. Recommended dishes include lomo saltado (the best!), sancochado and rocoto relleno. Reservations recommended.
Calle Santa Isabel 376, Miraflores
Tel: 242-8515 | http://centralrestaurante.com.pe/en/index.php (English)
($$-$$$) Pricing varies by meal and drink selections, US$ 35-140
Gourmet dining that showcases Peru’s exceptional diversity in regional products from the mountains, rainforest, and sea. Recommended dishes include tuna tataki and chocolate moelleux. Reservations recommended.
Embarcadero 41 Fusion
Calle San Martin 533, Miraflores
Tel: 255-8552 | http://www.embarcadero41.com/
($) Main course options between US$12-16
Casual with great service, this chain restaurant serves Peruvian classics with a fusion twist. Popular midday dining option. Open daily from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Reservations recommended.
Calle 2 de Mayo 298, Miraflores
Tel: 242-5957 | https://es-la.facebook.com/RestaurantePanchitaLima
($$) Meal prices range between US$ 20-25
Panchita presents traditional criollo (creole) cuisine with a modern twist. Enjoy generous portions of classics such as anticuchos, pastel de choclo and cochinillo. Open daily for brunch, lunch, and dinner. Bank cards accepted. Reservations recommended.
Espigon 4 beach circuit, Miraflores
Tel: 445-0149 | http://www.larosanautica.com/ (English)
($$) Spend US$ 25-35
Enjoy a cozy dining experience with spectacular views at this restaurant built at the end of a pier on the Lima coast. Recommended dishes include nikkei (Peruvian-Japanese fusion) and funghi crayfish risotto. The classic chicken florentine is also great. Reservations recommended.
Circuito de Playas (Playa Barranquito), Barranco
Tel: 247-1244 | http://www.restaurantecostaverde.com/costaverde_portada.php?lan=en
($$) Main courses US$15-35
An upscale seafood restaurant located just south of Miraflores. Expansive lunch and dinner buffets are a chance to indulge in just about any seafood craving; or make a selection from the regular menu. Reservations recommended.
Camino Real 101, San Isidro
Tel: 440-5200 | http://malabar.com.pe/ (Spanish)
($$-$$$) Pricing varies US$ 25-100, depending on meal and drink selections
Malabar’s unique culinary style features Peruvian dishes made with ingredients native to the Andes and Amazon. Voted among the top restaurants in the world by international publications. Reservations recommended.
Ceviche (pronounced “seh-BEE-chay”) - raw fish marinated in onions and lime juice and seasoned with salt and hot peppers - is one of Peru’s trademark dishes, and in the coastal city of Lima, you’re guaranteed to get it fresh.
La Mar Cevicheria
Avenida La Mar 770, Miraflores
Tel: 421-3365 | http://www.lamarcebicheria.com/lima/ (Spanish)
($$) Meals range between US$ 20-25
Yet another Acurio enterprise, this upscale cevicheria with stylish design and moderate pricing is an ideal spot to sample ceviche and other seafood dishes made in the traditional Limeño style with the trademark Acurio edge. Arrive early or fashionably late; otherwise be prepared to wait a while for seats, as reservations are not taken.
Calle San Martin 595, Miraflores
Tel: 225-8078 | http://puntoazulrestaurante.com/local-sanmartin.php (Spanish)
($) Ceviche options start at US$ 10
This casual, brightly decorated cevichería is popular for lunch and dinner. Order the classic ceviche with chicha morada to drink, or select another seafood option from the menu. Cash only; open daily. Reservations recommended.
Chifa is the name of Chinese-inspired Asian dishes prepared with Peruvian ingredients. With origins in the in the late 19th century, chifa restaurants were serving fusion cuisine before the term existed! Ask your waiter for recommendations.
Chifa Hou Wha
Calle Carlos Tenaud 490, Miraflores
Tel: 440-0442 | http://www.chifahouwha.com.pe/ (Spanish)
Visit the website for menu listing and pictures. This chifa has great service and better food. Open for lunch and dinner. Walk-ins and reservations accepted.
Avenida República de Panama 5915, Miraflores
Tel: 445-3997 | www.chifainternacional.com (English)
Located opposite the Via Expresa in Miraflores, this gem serves up classic chifa favorites for a moderate price. Enjoy your arroz chaufa (Chinese-Peruvian fried rice) with an ice cold Inca Kola. Visit the website for photos of food options. Reservations, walk-ins, and delivery available. Open daily and bank cards accepted.
Wa Lok Restaurant Oriental
Avenida Angamos Oeste, 700, Miraflores
Tel: 447-1329 | http://www.walok.com.pe/?lang=en (English)
Situated next door to a lively casino, this place has all the favorites, including duck, seafood, and dumpling dishes. Open daily. Check out the website for a complete menu and pricing details.
Snack like the locals at any of the casual eateries listed below.
La Lucha Sandwich & Cafe
Mariscal Oscar R. Benavides 308, Miraflores
Tel: 241-5953 | http://www.lalucha.com.pe/ (Spanish)
($) Sandwiches (US$4-7); drinks (US$ 3-4)
A favorite for sandwiches with piles of ingredients stuffed into freshly baked bread. Complement your meal with a freshly squeezed juice and some crisp fries while enjoying the view of Parque Kennedy across the street. Cash only.
La Mora Pasteleria
Av. La Encalada Monterrico 715, Miraflores
Tel: 436-2713 | http://www.lamorapasteleria.com/ (Spanish)
($) Order a sandwich or pastry and beverage for US$ 5-10
Pick from a variety of sandwiches, empanadas, and delicious desserts at this European style cafe. Open daily; bank cards accepted.
Comandante Espinar 847, Miraflores
($) Sandwiches between US$ 6-10
Pair your sandwich with your choice of 10 delicious sauces.
La Gran Fruta
Av. Reducto 1350, Miraflores
Tel: 241-0949 | http://www.lagranfruta.com.pe/ (Spanish)
($) Order a meal and beverage for between US $10-15
This chain serves a number of sandwiches, juice blends and healthy snacks. Casual environment, walk-ins welcome, and bank cards accepted.
Tel: 242-8110 or 242-6779 | http://www.mangosperu.com/ (Spanish)
($-$$) Order a meal and beverage for US$ 10-30
Fantastic meals with an ocean view. Choose from a diverse menu that includes upscale versions of typical Peruvian dishes; or enjoy the well-assorted lunch buffet. Open daily; walk-ins and reservations welcome; bank cards accepted.
San Antonio Cafe
Av. Vasco Nunez de Balboa 770, Miraflores
Tel: 241-3001 | http://www.pasteleriasanantonio.com/ (Spanish)
($) Order a sandwich and cappuccino for US$ 8-12
This popular bakery and cafe serves a variety of sandwiches, beverages, and desserts. Eat-in or place your order to-go. Open daily and bank cards accepted.
Recavarren 298 Miraflores
($$) Order a drink, starter and main course for about US$ 20
This is a certified organic restaurant that serves seasonal and vegetarian food, tofu, and whole-grain muffins baked with natural sugar substitutes. Comfortable and contemporary set-up with a small coffee shop at the entrance. Open Monday - Saturday, closed Sunday.
Jr. Chiclayo 815, Miraflores
Tel: 445-2522 | http://www.madrenaturaperu.com/
($) Main courses between US$ 5-10
This vegan-friendly bakery, cafe and health food store surrounds a nice courtyard. Try one of many delicious juices. Closed on Sunday.
Calle Independencia 587, Miraflores
($) Main courses between US$ 5-10
Restaurant and organic food store. Raw and vegan food is served from midday to late afternoon in a relaxed, quiet environment. Open Monday - Saturday, closed Sunday.
Sabor y Vida
Recavarren 156, Miraflores (just south of Av. Pardo)
Tel. 445-1447 | https://www.facebook.com/SaboryVida/info
($) S/.10 menu (less than US$4)
Breakfast and lunch are the focus, with sandwiches, salads, fresh fruit, and juices on the menu. Cash only and open daily.
Av. Angamos Oeste 598, Miraflores
Desserts; also an Italian restaurant
Calle 2 de Mayo, 701, Miraflores
Desserts: assortment of pies (crispy apple, strawberry, lemon, mango, etc.) and pastries
Maga - Mis Suspiros
Av. Benavides 1113, Miraflores
Desserts: suspiros (mousse), alfajores, flan, arroz con leche (rice pudding), pie
Calle Lima 401, Miraflores (in front of Parque Kennedy)
Desserts: ice cream
Bar & Lounge
Av. San Martin 130, Barranco
Tel: 104-4745 | http://www.ayahuascarestobar.com/
Bar and lounge, late night dance club
Calle Bolognesi 472, Miraflores (a part of Brujas de Cachiche restaurant)
Tel: 447-1133 | http://www.brujasdecachiche.com.pe/en (English, click “Bar” tab for drink pricing)
Lounge and cocktail bar
Circuito de Playas, Barranco
Tel: 252-9187 | http://calarestaurante.com/ (Select English or Spanish)
Restaurant, bar, lounge overlooking the sea
Lima has two clearly marked seasons, summer and winter, with transitional periods in between.
- January to March
- warm, humid days and spectacular sunsets
- Temperatures: 28-29 C during the day, 19-21 C at night
- June to October
- damp, cool days with light drizzle
- Temperatures: 17-18 C during the day, 12-15 C at night
Best time to visit the city of Lima
Lima is a year round destination. Summer (December to March) is the best time to enjoy the outdoors or one of Lima’s famous sunsets. It’s also an ideal season if you wish to travel further down the coast to Ica and Paracas. Winter (June to September) is overcast and humid, but this doesn’t interfere with visits to the city’s top historical and cultural attractions.
Even if you’re not spending a lot of time in the city, you’ll probably transit through Peru’s principal gateway, the Lima Jorge Chavez International Airport. Taxis are the easiest way to get into the city. Taxi kiosks are to the right as you exit customs. You can also arrange an airport pickup/dropoff in advance through your Lima hotel.
Guided tours of Lima usually include transportation between sites. For sightseeing without a guide, the Mirabus and Turibus offer convenient tour bus service to the city’s top attractions.
If you prefer to explore on you own, the Lima Metropolitano provides the easiest and fastest way to move around the city while avoiding getting stuck in traffic.
Taxis are yet another option for cheap transportation; the only problem is that taxis in Lima are not metered and you must negotiate a fare before getting into the taxi. If you don’t speak Spanish, your hotel concierge can help do this for you.
Like in any big city, you should take standard precautions to stay safe while exploring Lima. Some areas of Lima city are safer than others, but the most highly touristed areas are fairly safe, especially in daylight hours. In the evening hours, stick to well-lit major streets for extra safety.
Carry local currency (Peruvian Nuevo Sol, or Soles for short) in small denominations to pay for taxis, tips for guides, small purchases, and meals at cafes and restaurants. Vendors rarely have change for larger bills, so it’s best to have small change. Larger balances at shops, restaurants, hotels, and some tour agencies can be paid with credit card. As of August 2015, $10 USD is roughly 30 Soles.
You can find money exchange offices and ATMs throughout Lima. Ask your bank about international banking fees.
What is the population of Lima?According to UNData, the population of Lima in 2007 was 8.473 million, almost 30% of the total population of Peru. The INEI (Peru’s National Statistics Institute) the population of Lima in 2015 is estimated to be 9.752 million.
When is Mistura?First celebrated in 2008, Mistura is now renowned as South America’s biggest food festival and it takes place annually in September. It a must-see event for anyone who loves food. Even if you miss Mistura, the city of Lima is the best place to be to sample widely of Peru’s best dishes.
How far is the Lima Airport from ___ ?The Lima airport is located in the province of Callao. Approximate distances (and drive times) are as follows:
to/from historic city center: 12 km (20-25 minutes)
to/from Miraflores: 19 km (30-40 minutes)
to/from Barranco: 22 km (40-45 minutes)
*Drive times may vary depending on traffic conditions.
What can I expect at the Lima airport?The Lima airport is fairly easy to navigate. First step after landing is to go through immigration. Your passport and Andean Migration Card (TAM) will be stamped with a maximum permitted stay, usually 90 or 183 days. Keep the TAM with you passport because you will have to return when you leave the country. Pick up any luggage at baggage claim and continue through a final luggage check at customs.
When you exit the baggage area, you will see an area of certified taxis, such as the Green Taxi service. The drivers will have identification badges and set fares to key destinations should be listed.
If you are traveling with Peru For Less, one of our representatives will be waiting for you here. look for the person holding a sign with your name on it.
Departure tax: As of 2011, the departure tax is included in most international flights. If it’s not, the airline agent will tell you to pay an additional tax and will direct you to the teller window. In Cusco and Lima, departure taxes range from $5 for domestic flights to $31 for international flights.