Also known as the Garden City, Lima represents coastal Peruvian life at its absolute best. We concluded our journey to Peru with a few days in Lima, and thoroughly enjoyed exploring this modern city and having an incredible culinary experience there. Note that the city is expansive and thus not walkable, so choose a neighborhood and explore that area by foot, whether it’s seaside Miraflores, artsy Barranco, or the old, historical city center. Read on for all of the details for what to do, where to sleep, and what to eat in Lima, Peru.
Where to Stay
Miraflores is a central, safe, and bustling neighborhood in Lima, and also happens to be on the coastline and the home to many of the city’s best restaurants. We stayed at the Hilton Miraflores, which had a beautiful rooftop infinity pool overlooking the city that we happily soaked in every evening during sunset. The concierge team was also incredibly helpful with scoping out last-minute reservations, especially on New Year’s Day when much of the city was sleeping.
Where to Eat
La Mar Cebicheria – This little ceviche spot on the northern edge of Miraflores has people queuing up well before lunchtime, so stake out a spot at the bar for the most instant gratification. I opted for the catch of the day ceviche here, which came with steamed sweet potato and sweet corn and was a meal in itself. Grab a pisco cocktail and a scoop of fresa gelato for dessert and you can’t go wrong here for lunch.
El Pan de la Chola – My absolute favorite breakfast in Peru, hands down. This little bakery and breakfast spot boats freshly baked bread and croissants, wonderful coffee and fresh juices, and drool-worthy avo toast. Skip the hotel breakfast and head here, you’ll want to come back every day.
Huaca Pucllana – In the ruins of an old ceremonial pyramid that rises above Lima, this dinner spot was a home run both in ambiance and food. We had a lighter meal here and went with a few salads (featuring the regional speciality, quinoa) and also a beautiful beef carpaccio.
Canta Rana – Small and decidedly unfussy, this lunch spot in Barranco was a little local haven . Grab an icy cold Cusquena and order the pulpo imperial – it’s a mix of grilled octopus and octopus ceviche and was fresh and delicious.
Central Restaurante – I have already written about my incredible experience at Central, the #1 restaurant in Latin America, but I am happy to sing its praises again and again. It’s on the adventurous side, so I wouldn’t recommend it to picky eaters or vegetarians, but was a once in a lifetime experience that I will not soon forget.
What to Do
Barranco – This artsy, up-and-coming neighborhood south of Miraflores might have been my favorite neighborhood in Lima. Have lunch at Canta Rana, and spend an afternoon meandering through the colorful, graffiti-splashed streets. Don’t miss Tostaduria Busseti for coffee (sit in the back courtyard), Dedalo Art Gallery, PPPP, and the area around the pedestrian bridge for mid-day strolling.
Larco Museum – I would head back to the Larco Museum for the exterior by itself. This absolutely stunning, sun-drenched building is whitewashed and covered with every variety of bougainvillea, and is a feast for the eyes. The museum itself tells the story of Peru’s history, and the Inca civilization.
El Malecon – After grabbing breakfast at El Pan de la Chola, spend a morning meandering through the seaside park, El Malecon, which goes for miles along the coast. The park is filled with gorgeous views of the ocean, eye-catching art installations, and if you’re feeling adventurous, you can go parasailing off of the Lima cliffs here as well.
Historic Center of Lima – Get to know the beating heart of this historic city by exploring the old historic city center. Start at Plaza Mayor, and don’t forget to explore the old cathedral and surrounding area.