About Lima, Peru
Lima is the capital city of Peru, founded in 1535 and now one of the largest cities in South America. The bustling city is often overlooked by travelers, seen only as the entry point to Peru and a stop on the way to the popular Machu Picchu. Lima, however, has transformed over the years into a city worthy of tourists’ attention.
The city is usually the starting and ending point of Peru tours, but is now also a prime destination in its own right. Lima is one of the country’s historic regions and continues to house important cultural and architectural landmarks such as the Huaca Pucllana and the Government Palace. It also sits perfectly on the coastal area between the Pacific ocean and the Andes, offering a number of beautiful beaches and a variety of water activities.
Apart from its natural and cultural wonders, Lima has evolved into a gastronomic hub that continues to attract food enthusiasts from all over the world. For these reasons and more, Lima tours have plenty to offer to travelers from all walks of life.
Let this Lima travel guide help you navigate through Peru’s buzzing capital city.
In And Around Lima
Lima, Peru is often reached through Jorge Chávez International Airport, the country’s main domestic and international airport. The facility is located in the port area of Callao, some 11 kilometers away from central Lima. It services most flights from major South American cities and some European and North American cities; it is also the main hub for domestic flights.
There are several transport options from the airport, primarily taxis and buses. Several visitors have complained about how chaotic the airport can get and cautioned about how unsafe the immediate area can be. It is recommended to take company taxis and make sure to negotiate the fare before hopping in. Known airport taxis are Taxi 365, Taxi Directo and Taxi Green; alternatively, you can also call cab companies Taxi Satelital or Taxidatum for airport pickups.
Of course, there are other ways ensure a smooth transit from the airport to your chosen accommodation in Lima. Booking Tailor Made Peru’s Peru Luxury Tours, for example, gets you a private roundtrip airport transfers and access to the the airport’s VIP lounge.
Like most major cities around the world, several vehicles ply the streets of Lima and traffic can definitely overwhelm the city’s visitors. Many informal taxis reportedly take advantage of tourists and public buses often get overcrowded. Getting around the city is definitely easier if you speak Spanish, which is Peru’s official language.
Apart from taxis, main transport in the city include a single metro line, modern buses, coasters and combis.
Best Time For Lima Tours
Temperature in Lima does not get too crazy and the city has only two seasons, summer and winter. Peak season for Lima tours is during the summer months of December to April; February is the hottest month, when the average temperature high straddles around 24°C. This period boasts of colorful sunsets from the city.
The colder months span from May through November, with August as the coldest at an average temperature of about 17°C. During this winter season, tourists are likely to see “la garua,” a misty sea fog that hangs over the city caused by warm winds interacting with the ocean’s cold
Traveling in Lima is possible all year, since the city gets relatively little rain, mostly in March and September. It is also important to note that Easter and other religious holidays are national Peruvian holidays, so some establishments may be closed.
Safety In Lima
Exploring a big city like Lima sure has its risks. Tips for Lima trips will always include those for safety, especially since there parts of the capital that are known to be more prone to pickpockets and petty theft. Below is a map of Lima district and its smaller regions:
Image grabbed from Wikipedia’s Lima page.
Miraflores, Barranco and San Isidro are generally the central hub for tourists, and where most accommodations are located. These regions are considered the safest, but it is advised to always be cautious especially when walking around at night.
Hailing a cab off the streets to explore the city can be unsafe; it is helpful to take note of the popular company taxis like Taxi Satelital and call for a cab service instead. Remember, always negotiate the cab fare before hopping in.
As a general rule, wearing fancy jewelry and carrying expensive stuff are discouraged in the city. It is recommended to maintain a low profile when touring Lima, and keep a friendly, smiling attitude.
A Day In Lima
Many tourists often spend limited lime in traveling Lima, mostly to begin or end their Peru exploration. If you only have a day in Lima, here some of the top sights in the city:
- Huaca Pucllana or the Pucllana Temple is a historical ruin in Lima’s Miraflores district.
- The Church of San Francisco is one of the best preserved colonial churches in the city.
- Lima’s Government Palace and Plaza de Armas sit in the city’s central square. The palace is on the plaza’s northern side and is the official residence and office of Peru’s president.
- El Malecon in Miraflores is a six-mile stretch of parks along the cliffs above the Pacific ocean
- The Magic Water Circuit in the city’s downtown area is an attraction best viewed late in the afternoon or at night, adorned with dancing water fountains, music and lights.
Among the most unique and interesting regions in Lima is the bohemian district of Barranco. Check out this district’s parks, street art and colonial architecture; walk around town for some interesting finds in craft shops or chill in one of its laid back cafes and bars. A day tour in this neighborhood is recommended for a slow and relaxed way to jumpstart your trip or end your Peru tour before heading off to your next
Alternatively, you can spend a day lounging at the beaches of Miraflores, Barranco and Callao. Some of Lima’s beaches are bathed with Pacific waves all year, making for good surf spots for beginners and advanced surfers. Certain areas also offer other activities such as paragliding.
Finally, Lima tours will not be complete without sampling the ceviche, raw fish marinated in lime juice and dressed with onions and chili peppers. The ceviche is said to be the star of Lima’s culinary repertoire, being a coastal city with abundant seafood supplies. A day for food trip in the city will definitely be a day well spent, given its continuously growing gastronomic scene.