With a metropolitan population of over 12 million and a land area quadruple that of New York, Lima is far and away Peru’s largest city. There’s a lot to love about Lima and a lot to drive you crazy. In keeping with the old maxim, Lima is what you make of it. So go forth and make the most of it! Below are some of my favorite things to do in Lima
1. Wander the historic center.
As one of Latin America’s oldest historic settlement, Lima has an expansive and well-preserved historic core to rival any on the continent. Its focal point, La Plaza Mayor, is surrounded on all sides by colonial-era government buildings and churches, including Lima’s main cathedral.
2.Go for a stroll along the Malecón.
The Malecón is a picturesque clifftop walkway stretching 6 miles along the edge of Miraflores with gorgeous panorama views of the ocean and beach. Parks, cafés, artwork, and landmarks dot the entire way making it one of the most pleasant spots in Lima.
3. Connect with the ancients at Huaca Pullcana.
In the middle of an affluent Miraflores suburb lies the ruins of an enormous adobe pyramid constructed by the ancient Lima culture between 200 and 600 BC. Entrance costs 12 sol. An informative guided tour is included in the price. For the best lighting, visit in morning or early afternoon.
4. Peer into pre-Colombian Peru at the Larco Museum.
The Larco Museum houses Peru’s most impressive collection of pre-Colombian treasures and artifacts within an ornate 18th century mansion. The museum’s most popular exhibit is its erotic section, which displays rather explicit sculptures, vessels, and other archaeological finds.
5. Wander the streets of Barranco.
Barranco, Lima’s bohemian cultural district, has been home to Peru’s most illustrious artists and writers since the 19th century. Centered around a green florid plaza, the district’s folksy turn-of-the-century architecture gives it a small town feel that sets it quite apart from the rest of Lima.
6. Pet the kitties at Kennedy Park.
Lima’s hip Miraflores neighborhood is centered around one leafy Kennedy Park, which is home to an usually large resident cat population. There you can find felines basking on the sidewalks and napping amongst the foliage. The cats are fed and cared for by a local NGO and welcome the attention of visitors.
7. Paraglide off a cliff.
Miraflores’s Parque Raimonde has become a hotspot for paragliding thanks to the its exceptional location between city, beach, and ocean. Those without experience can still participate in tandem paragliding – strapped to an experienced instructor. The experience costs around $60 for 10 minutes, a true bargain compared to the cost of paragliding elsewhere.