The best things to do in Lima, Peru

The best things to do in Lima, Peru

Are you dreaming of a getaway filled with rich history, vibrant culture and thrilling adventures? You might be pondering where to venture next for that perfect mix. Look no further than Lima, Peru – a treasure trove of experiences waiting to dazzle your senses and create everlasting memories.

From ancient ruins nestled amidst the cityscape to mouthwatering culinary delights, your travel thirst will surely be quenched here.

Did you know the Magic Water Circuit in Lima has set records for being the largest fountain complex in the world? This stunning attraction lights up the night skies with colors and patterns that dance with the water, capturing hearts from around the globe.

Dive into this post to uncover more must-see spots and activities that make Lima an unforgettable destination on any traveler’s map. Get ready; excitement awaits at every corner!

Key Takeaways

  • Lima has a record – breaking fountain complex, the Circuito Magico Del Agua, with 13 fountains that light up at night.
  • Museo Larco is famous for its vast collection of pre – Columbian art and unique exhibit of ancient erotic pottery.
  • The district of Barranco offers a bohemian vibe with street art, galleries, and live music in bars and clubs.
  • You can go paragliding along the coast for stunning views or swim with sea lions at Islas Palomino.
  • Enjoy Peru’s diverse cuisine like ceviche or lomo saltado and explore local markets for crafts and textiles.

Top Attractions in Lima

Experience the rich history and culture of Lima by visiting top attractions such as Museo Larco, Miraflores, Circuito Magico Del Agua, MALI – Museo de Arte de Lima, Barranco, and more.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to explore these iconic landmarks during your visit to Lima!

Museo Larco

Explore Museo Larco for a deep dive into Peru’s rich history. This famous museum is home to a massive collection of pre-Columbian art. You’ll see ancient pottery, gold and silver artifacts, and textiles that tell the story of Peru’s past civilizations.

Stroll through beautifully landscaped gardens before entering the galleries.

Don’t miss the exclusive exhibit that showcases erotic pottery from ancient times – it’s unique! The museum offers guided tours in several languages, making it easy for you to understand and appreciate what you’re seeing.

Enjoy refreshments at the onsite cafe after your tour surrounded by stunning colonial architecture.

Museo Larco lets you touch an ancient world thousands of years old. Take pictures or just soak in the atmosphere surrounded by history and beauty at one of Lima’s most cherished landmarks.


Discover Miraflores, a vibrant district in Lima offering breathtaking ocean views and picturesque parks. Stroll along the stunning Miraflores boardwalk, where you can savor the cool sea breeze and capture postcard-worthy sunset photos.

Immerse yourself in the bustling Kennedy Park, a lively hub filled with local artisans and street performances. Don’t miss out on Paragliding above the Pacific coast for an adrenaline-pumping adventure with panoramic vistas of the coastline below.

Indulge in a diverse shopping experience at Larcomar, an upscale mall perched atop cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

Circuito Magico Del Agua

Explore the enchanting Circuito Magico Del Agua for a magical experience in Lima. Witness 13 illuminated fountains dancing to music, creating a mesmerizing water show. Marvel at the tallest fountain reaching up to 80 meters high and capture memorable photos of this captivating spectacle.

The interactive nature of these fountains makes it an engaging attraction suitable for all ages, providing an unforgettable evening filled with lights, sounds, and awe-inspiring displays.

Don’t miss this captivating nighttime adventure during your visit to Lima.

MALI – Museo de Arte de Lima

Discover the vibrant art and history of Peru at MALI – Museo de Arte de Lima. This renowned museum houses an extensive collection of Peruvian art, showcasing the country’s rich cultural heritage.

From ancient artifacts to contemporary masterpieces, MALI provides a fascinating insight into Peru’s artistic evolution. Don’t miss the opportunity to delve into the stories told through these captivating works, offering a deeper understanding of this diverse and captivating nation.

Immerse yourself in the creativity and talent that have shaped Peru’s artistic identity throughout the centuries.

Uncover the wonders of Peruvian art and immerse yourself in its rich history at MALI – Museo de Arte de Lima. This prominent museum offers visitors an enchanting journey through Peru’s artistic legacy, from pre-Columbian artifacts to modern-day creations.


Explore Barranco, the bohemian district of Lima known for its vibrant art scene, colorful buildings, and lively nightlife. Immerse yourself in the creative energy as you wander through streets adorned with eye-catching street art and murals.

Visit quaint galleries and boutique shops showcasing local craftsmanship while taking in the unique atmosphere that makes Barranco a favorite among travelers seeking artistic inspiration.

Indulge in delectable Peruvian cuisine at charming restaurants tucked away in this eclectic neighborhood, or sip on refreshing cocktails at trendy bars where live music fills the air.

Huaca Pucllana

Explore the ancient ruins of Huaca Pucllana to delve into Peru’s rich pre-Columbian history. This archaeological site, located in Miraflores, showcases the impressive adobe brick structures built by the Lima culture around 500 AD.

As you wander through this historical complex, marvel at the ceremonial pyramids and learn about the rituals and traditions of the ancient Peruvians. The site also offers guided tours for a deeper understanding of its significance to Peru’s cultural heritage.

Immerse yourself in an unforgettable journey through time as you uncover the mysteries and architectural prowess of Huaca Pucllana. Feel the palpable connection to Peru’s ancient civilizations while exploring this remarkable landmark.

Museo Convento San Francisco y Catacumbas

Discover the fascinating history of Lima by exploring the Museo Convento San Francisco y Catacumbas. Wander through the impressive Saint Francis Monastery, known for its beautiful architecture and extensive library.

Descend into the eerie catacombs beneath the church, where thousands of human bones are arranged in artistic patterns, offering a unique and slightly haunting experience.

Uncover layers of history as you admire colonial art and intricate wood carvings within the monastery. The catacombs provide a glimpse into Lima’s past, shaping an unforgettable part of your journey to this vibrant city.

Plaza de Armas (Plaza Mayor)

Explore the Plaza de Armas to immerse yourself in Lima’s history and culture. Admire the grand architecture of the Government Palace and Cathedral of Lima, both offering fascinating insights into Peru’s colonial past.

As you stroll through this historic square, appreciate the vibrant atmosphere complemented by street performers, local vendors, and captivating colonial buildings. Take a moment to relax on a bench or enjoy a refreshing drink at one of the nearby cafes while taking in the bustling energy and charm of this iconic landmark.

Step into Peruvian history as you visit Museo Convento San Francisco y Catacumbas located near Plaza de Armas. This historical site provides an intriguing glimpse into Lima’s past with its catacombs filled with thousands of human remains dating back centuries from Spanish colonial times.

Miraflores Boardwalk

Stroll along the Miraflores Boardwalk, soaking up breathtaking ocean views and the refreshing sea breeze. Discover vibrant parks, beautiful gardens, and a range of entertainment options lining this picturesque coastal promenade.

Enjoy an evening walk or indulge in delightful local cuisine at one of the boardwalk’s many restaurants while taking in the captivating sunset over the Pacific Ocean.

Discover unique shops and artisan stalls along the Miraflores Boardwalk, offering a chance to find distinctive souvenirs and treasures to remember your time in Lima. Immerse yourself in local culture as you explore this bustling district’s array of shopping and dining experiences.

Centro Historico de Lima

Explore Centro Historico de Lima, the colonial heart of the city and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Discover the Plaza de Armas (Plaza Mayor), surrounded by historical buildings like the Government Palace and Cathedral of Lima.

Immerse yourself in Peru’s rich history as you wander through the charming streets lined with colorful colonial architecture and ornate balconies. Visit the Museo de la Nación to delve deeper into Peru’s ancient civilizations, showcasing impressive artifacts that reveal fascinating tales of its past.

Indulge in authentic Peruvian cuisine at local eateries nestled within this vibrant district, where mouthwatering flavors blend with traditional ambiance for an unforgettable dining experience.

Uncover hidden gems such as Aliaga House, one of Lima’s oldest colonial mansions still inhabited by descendants of Spanish conquistadors. Embark on a walking tour to witness centuries-old churches and palaces that hold stories waiting to be unraveled at every turn.

El Parque del Amor

At El Parque del Amor, you can enjoy the beautiful view of the Pacific Ocean and take romantic strolls along the seaside. The highlight of this park is the iconic sculpture “El Beso,” symbolizing love and passion.

Admire colorful mosaic walls adorned with love quotes from famous Peruvian poets while taking in stunning ocean vistas. This is a perfect spot to relax, unwind, and witness breathtaking sunsets over the water.

Lima attractions Lima tourism Lima travel Lima activities Lima landmarks Explore the Plaza de Armas Discover history of Peru’s ancient civilizations Visit Museo Larco collection pre-Columbian art Take walking tour in Lima Circuito Magico Del Agua Paraglide above Pacific coast Visit Circuito Magico Del Agua Day trip to Paracas Huacachina Meander along malecón Colonial center of Lima

Circuito Magico del Agua

Experience the captivating magic of the Circuito Magico del Agua, a must-visit nighttime attraction in Lima. Marvel at 13 illuminated water fountains, including the mesmerizing “Tunnel of Surprises” and the awe-inspiring “Fantasia.” The interactive nature of this dazzling display makes it perfect for families and couples alike.

Don’t miss the chance to witness one of these fountains shooting water up to 80 meters into the air. Immerse yourself in this enchanting spectacle that perfectly blends music, lights, and dancing waters, creating a truly unforgettable experience during your visit.

Satisfy your senses as you explore each unique fountain’s design while learning about their significance within Peru’s culture, adding an extra layer of depth to your travel experience.

Paraglide above the Pacific coast

Soar above the breathtaking Pacific coast of Lima for an exhilarating paragliding adventure. Feel the rush of adrenaline as you glide through the skies and take in sweeping views of the pristine coastline and azure waters.

Experience the thrill of flying high above Miraflores, a district known for its stunning cliffs and panoramic ocean vistas. Whether you’re an experienced paraglider or trying it for the first time, this unforgettable activity offers a unique perspective of Lima’s natural beauty.

Embrace the freedom of flight and create lasting memories as you float above the coastal landscape, making your visit to Lima truly exceptional.

Adventure and Outdoor Activities

Experience the thrill of surfing and paddle boarding along Lima’s beautiful coastline, or take to the skies with an exhilarating paragliding adventure above the Pacific coast. For more outdoor activities and adventures in Lima, read on!

Surfing and paddle boarding

Surfing and paddle boarding are exhilarating outdoor activities you can enjoy in Lima. Catch some waves along the Pacific coast, especially at popular surf spots like Punta Hermosa and Pucusana.

If you’re new to surfing, there are plenty of schools offering lessons for beginners. Alternatively, paddle boarding offers a more relaxed experience as you navigate the calm waters near Miraflores or Barranco.

Whether you’re a seasoned surfer or trying it for the first time, these water sports provide an unforgettable way to immerse yourself in Lima’s coastal beauty.


Soar over the Pacific coast for an exhilarating experience in Lima. Enjoy breathtaking aerial views as you take part in paragliding, one of the thrilling outdoor activities available to tourists.

Feel the rush of wind and adrenaline as you glide above the stunning coastline, creating unforgettable memories during your Lima vacation. Experience the beauty of Lima from a unique perspective while engaging in this adventure activity.

Swimming with sea lions

Swim with sea lions off the coast of Lima for an exciting adventure. Join a guided tour to Islas Palomino where you can interact with these playful marine creatures. Take a dip in their natural habitat and witness their graceful movements in the water.

Don’t forget your waterproof camera to capture this memorable experience.

Discover the thrill of swimming alongside sea lions near Lima’s coast, offering an unforgettable encounter with these fascinating animals. Participate in a guided tour at Islas Palomino to immerse yourself in the ocean world shared with these friendly mammals while capturing amazing moments through underwater photography.

Beach hopping

Discover the stunning beaches along Lima’s coastline, perfect for a day of relaxation and fun. Explore La Herradura, known for its calm waters ideal for swimming and water sports activities.

At Cerro Azul Beach, sunbathe on golden sands and watch local fishermen at work. Don’t miss Punta Hermosa Beach, famous for its consistent waves, making it a paradise for surfing enthusiasts.

Immerse yourself in the vibrant beach culture and enjoy the fresh seafood served by local vendors while taking in breathtaking ocean views.

Food and Culture

Sample the diverse flavors of Peruvian cuisine, from ceviche to lomo saltado. Immerse yourself in the local culture by shopping at bustling markets and visiting galleries and boutiques.

Sampling Peruvian cuisine

Indulge in an exploration of Peruvian cuisine, a delightful fusion of flavors from around the world. Savor the national dish, ceviche, a zesty combination of fresh fish marinated in lime juice and spiced with chili peppers.

Delight in traditional Lomo Saltado; tender strips of beef stir-fried with onions, tomatoes, and french fries—served alongside steamed rice. Don’t miss trying Cuy (guinea pig), a local delicacy known for its crispy skin and succulent meat—a truly unique culinary experience! Finally, treat yourself to Alfajores – crumbly cookies sandwiched together with creamy caramel filling – the perfect dessert to top off your Peruvian food adventure.

Shopping at markets

Explore the bustling markets in Lima to discover a rich variety of traditional crafts, textiles, and artisanal goods. Experience the vibrant atmosphere as you stroll through colorful stalls brimming with handmade souvenirs, intricate jewelry, and unique Peruvian fabrics.

Immerse yourself in the local culture as you barter for authentic alpaca wool products or ornate ceramics, adding a touch of Peru to your keepsakes. Don’t miss out on sampling regional delicacies at the market eateries such as ceviche or empanadas while enjoying live music and lively street performances.

Engage with locals and artisans who are passionate about sharing their craft and enriching visitors’ experiences.

Visiting galleries and boutiques

Discover Lima’s vibrant art scene by visiting galleries and boutiques scattered throughout the city. Immerse yourself in Peruvian culture through the lens of local artists, showcasing a range of traditional and contemporary pieces.

Explore the Barranco district, known for its bohemian charm and numerous art galleries that exhibit diverse works from both established and emerging talents. Don’t miss out on browsing boutique shops offering unique handicrafts, textiles, and jewelry, providing an authentic taste of Peru’s artisanal craftsmanship.

Embrace the opportunity to engage with passionate creators while adding distinctive items to your collection as you continue to delve into Lima’s rich cultural tapestry.

Learning Spanish

Explore the rich culture of Peru by learning Spanish during your visit to Lima. Immerse yourself in the local language to enhance your experience and connect with the vibrant heritage of this beautiful country.

Engage in interactive Spanish classes offered at various language schools or through personalized one-on-one sessions with experienced tutors. Practice your new linguistic skills while conversing with locals, ordering traditional Peruvian cuisine, and navigating the charming streets of Lima.

Embracing the opportunity to learn Spanish will not only enrich your travel experience but also foster a deeper understanding and appreciation for Peru’s fascinating history and diverse cultural tapestry.

Nightlife and Entertainment

After a day full of sightseeing and adventure, the nightlife in Lima offers a vibrant and lively atmosphere. Enjoy rooftop meals with breathtaking views, dance all night at the city’s hottest clubs, or catch an exciting show or concert to end your day on a high note.

Enjoying rooftop meals and cocktails

Indulge in delightful rooftop meals and cocktails while soaking up the stunning views of Lima’s skyline. Savor traditional Peruvian dishes paired with refreshing pisco sours, immersing yourself in the local culinary scene.

With a mix of modern ambiance and historic charm, these rooftop bars offer an unforgettable experience that perfectly complements your exploration of Lima’s vibrant culture and nightlife.

Unwind at rooftop establishments like Huaringas Bar or Cala for a laid-back atmosphere and unparalleled vistas, creating lasting memories against the backdrop of Peru’s bustling capital.

Dancing all night

Indulge in the vibrant nightlife of Lima with live music, irresistible rhythms, and pulsating beats that will keep you on your feet until the early hours. From salsa to electronic music, Lima’s diverse clubs cater to all tastes.

Experience the excitement at Barranco’s trendy bars or head to Miraflores for chic rooftop lounges offering panoramic city views. The dynamic local dance scene features traditional Peruvian styles like marinera and huayno intertwined with modern moves, making for an unforgettable night out.

Immerse yourself in the energetic atmosphere as locals and tourists come together to revel in the infectious melodies and lively ambiance of Lima’s bustling nightlife scene. Whether it’s a cozy lounge or a high-energy club, there’s something for everyone here – a perfect way to end an exhilarating day exploring this captivating city.

Seeing shows and concerts

Indulge in Lima’s vibrant nightlife by catching a live show or concert. Experience the energy of Peruvian music and dance performances that showcase the rich cultural heritage of the region.

The city offers various venues where you can enjoy traditional folk music, contemporary pop concerts, and thrilling dance shows. Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere and celebrate the artistic diversity that defines Lima’s entertainment scene during your visit.

Witness captivating performances at local theaters or open-air venues – a perfect opportunity to appreciate Peruvian performing arts firsthand. Enjoy an evening filled with rhythm, melody, and dynamic choreography as you delve into Lima’s colorful entertainment offerings.

Day Trips and Must-See Attractions

Experience the ancient ruins in the modern city, explore the Catacombs in San Francisco Church, and take a day trip to Paracas and Huacachina for an unforgettable adventure. Enjoy a tour of the Aliaga House and visit the Larco Museum to delve into Peru’s rich history and culture.

Paracas and Huacachina day trip

Embark on a captivating day trip from Lima to Paracas and Huacachina. Witness the breathtaking Paracas National Reserve, home to diverse marine wildlife and striking coastline landscapes.

Take a boat tour to the Ballestas Islands where you can spot sea lions, penguins, and an array of bird species in their natural habitat. Next, discover Huacachina, a picturesque desert oasis surrounded by towering sand dunes.

Engage in adrenaline-pumping activities like sandboarding or take a buggy ride across the mesmerizing dunes for an unforgettable experience.

Catacombs in San Francisco Church

Explore the eerie catacombs beneath San Francisco Church to witness a hidden side of Lima’s history. The underground tunnels are home to thousands of human bones, providing insight into colonial-era burial practices.

These labyrinthine catacombs offer a unique and macabre experience, attracting history enthusiasts and curious travelers alike. Admire the architectural marvels that house these catacombs while learning about the religious significance they hold in Peru’s past.

Venture deep into the subterranean network below San Francisco Church for an unforgettable encounter with Lima’s haunting history. Marvel at the intricate bone arrangements while contemplating the centuries-old traditions that have shaped this intriguing site.

Aliaga House tour

Experience the Aliaga House tour, one of Lima’s oldest colonial houses inhabited by the same family since 1535. Immerse yourself in history as you explore this well-preserved mansion, appreciating its Spanish colonial architecture and impressive collection of art and artifacts.

Gain insight into the city’s rich past as knowledgeable guides lead you through rooms adorned with original furniture and decor, offering a unique glimpse into Lima’s historical heritage.

Uncover the captivating stories behind each room at Aliaga House, from its elegant courtyards to its centuries-old library. Delve into Peru’s fascinating history and culture firsthand as you step back in time within this remarkable residence that has withstood over four centuries of change.

Ancient ruins in the modern city

Explore the ancient ruins within Lima, witnessing the remnants of Peru’s pre-Columbian civilizations. Visit Huaca Pucllana, an archaeological site offering a peek into the history and culture before Spanish influence.

Delve into the Basilica y Convento de San Francisco to encounter historical catacombs and a library displaying centuries-old texts. Immerse yourself in the rich heritage of Lima by exploring these modern-day reminders of its ancient past.

Larco Museum visit

Discover the ancient treasures of Peru with a visit to the Larco Museum, showcasing an impressive collection of pre-Columbian art. Immerse yourself in the rich history and culture as you marvel at intricate pottery, textiles, and jewelry.

Explore the museum’s beautiful gardens adorned with vibrant bougainvillea, adding to the enchanting ambiance of this historical gem. Don’t miss the chance to witness over 5,000 years of Peruvian history through captivating artifacts that provide a window into the country’s ancient civilizations.

Magic Water Circuit tour

Marvel at the enchanting water and light displays at Lima’s renowned Magic Water Circuit. Witness 13 illuminated fountains, each with its distinctive choreography set to music. The ambiance is truly magical as you stroll through this captivating park, offering a visual spectacle that leaves an unforgettable impression.

The interactive nature of the fountains allows you to engage with the water in various ways, making it a must-see experience during your visit to Lima.

Discover traditional folkloric dances performed against a backdrop of illuminating jets or take a leisurely boat ride across one of the shimmering pools for an immersive encounter with these mesmerizing displays.


In conclusion, Lima, Peru offers an array of attractions and activities to make your visit memorable. Discover the historical sites such as Museo Larco and Barranco, experience thrilling adventures like paragliding over the Pacific coast and sampling the rich Peruvian cuisine.

The practicality and efficiency of these options make them ideal for travelers seeking a fulfilling experience. How will you incorporate these tips into your Lima itinerary? Consider how embracing the history, adventure, culture, nightlife, and day trips can enhance your journey in Lima.

Embracing these experiences can lead to a deeper appreciation for this vibrant city.

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