Lima Tourist Attractions

Lima, The City of Kings

It is situated in the central part of the Peruvian coast, on the shores of the Pacific Ocean and it is the country’s most important city. Metropolitan Lima is a city of contrasts between the colonial, republican and modern styles. It was founded by the Spanish conqueror Francisco Pizarro, on January 18, 1535, as The City of Kings, and was the capital city of Peru’s Vice-royalty, during the Spanish colony. Later on, on July 28, 1821, after the declaration of Peru’s Independence, it became the Republic´s capital city.

Lima’s Historical Center conserves important places of the colonial time period, like the Plaza de Armas (Main Square), the Government´s Palace, the Basilica Cathedral, the Archbishop’s Palace, Lima’s City Hall, the Desemparados Station, San Francisco’s Church and Monastery, the Plaza San Martín, the Paseo de la República and the Reserve’s Park, among many other places which shelter a great historical, architectural and monumental wealth. Given the architectural and historical value of its monuments, Lima’s Historical Center has been declared by the UNESCO, as Humanity’s Cultural Patrimony.

Like any great and highly populated city, Lima has reached a notable urban development and the city’s modern neighborhoods are present in all districts of its Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western sectors, with the districts of Miraflores and San Isidro up front, as they have become Peru’s financial center, with public and private banks´ headquarters, large and modern hotels, tourist and commercial companies, as well as the Larco Mar Commercial Complex and the best shop and boutique chains, with an impressive view of the Beach Circuit. In that modern infrastructure, stands the beautiful El Olivar Forest; the city’s lung, which covers several hectares sowed more than four centuries ago, with olive trees, and which has been declared as a National Monument, in 1959. Miraflores also offers you hand gliding flights, between the cliffs and the sea.

Caral, Cradle of the Andean Civilization

200 kilometers north of the city of Lima, lies the Sacred City of Caral, the most important and ancient archaeological site of all known civilizations on this continent, which was the seat of the first Andean civilization which, along with Mesopotamia, Egypt, India, China and Central America, was one of the original cultural centers, in the world.

The Sacred City of Caral, with more than 5,000 years of antiquity, was declared Humanity’s Cultural Patrimony, by the UNESCO, for its contribution to the civilizations´ formation process and for the architectural complexity of its pyramidal buildings and squares, its layout and urban extension made of groups of small one floor constructions, located as much in its upper sector, as in the lower one, which served as houses for the people who worked in the pyramids and even, as residences for the city’s priests and rulers themselves. These constructions have a quadrangular layout, and dimensions varying between 49 and 80 square meters. For example, a “residence” is composed of a set of enclosures interconnecting among themselves.

In general, the houses have a main entrance pointing to the North and another behind, which communicates with patios or open spaces, and some of the rooms have long seats or small platforms (Shady 2003).

Archaeological Complex of Pachacámac

31 kilometers south of the city of Lima and a 45 minute trip by bus, on the South Panamerican Highway, there is the ancient pre-Colombian Oracle of Pachacámac; a Sanctuary or Shrine to the God of Fire and Son of the Sun. It is an archaeological complex considered as Humanity’s Cultural Patrimony and one of the central coast’s most important ceremonial centers. Its construction is attributed to the Lima culture, during the 4th and 5th century a.D.

Pachacámac was an ancient pre-Incan civilization, the development center of which was located on the right margin of the Lurín Valley, near the river bearing the same name, and very close to the sea. Its main buildings stand out, like the Temple of the Sun, Pilgrims´ Square, Painted Temple, Old Temple, Taurichumbi’s Palace, the Aqllawasi (Women’s Palace), the Uhle Cemetery and “Adobitos” Compound, along with its pyramids and ramps.

The city was completely built with adobes (Sun-dried mud bricks) and its enclosures, palaces, squares and temples have been restored. Meanwhile, the Incan part of the archaeological complex (1440 – 1533) remains the best preserved.

The Sanctuary of Pachacámac covers an area of about 492 hectares, with some protected natural areas, like the carob tree forest and a lagoon. In addition, it possesses a site museum which shelters an interesting collection of archaeological pieces.

Peru’s Gold and World’s Weapons Museum

It might be the most frequently visited museum in Lima, for its important collection of gold objects proceeding from different pre-Hispanic and Incan cultures, some of which with more than 3,000 years of antiquity, such as pieces of jewelry and goldsmith work, in gold and silver, with inlaid precious stones. We will have a chance to contemplate gold objects, such as the Tumi or Ceremonial Knife, bracelets and masks from the Chimú culture, pieces made in gold from the Moche culture, necklaces, ear pendants, scepters and sandals, among others.

The museum has a special gallery, where gold and silver objects and ornaments of the Incan culture are exposed. There is a large quantity of pieces made by Incan goldsmiths, worked in gold, silver, copper and bronze, such as utilitarian and decorative items, jewels, objects for rituals and many others of great artistic and historical value.

It is also known as the weapons´ museum, because it displays very ancient war objects and accessories of different time periods and origins. This collection of weapons is considered as one of the best in its kind, as one can appreciate old weapons from different civilizations and places in the world, along with contemporaneous ones.

Peru’s National Archaeology, Anthropology and History Museum

It is our country’s oldest state museum, founded 1822. It shelters an immense wealth of cultural patrimony and is the seat of the State’s Museums National System.

In this museum, we’ll get familiarized with pre-Incan and Incan history, with samples of remains of the Chavín, Paracas, Nazca, Wari, Mochica, Chimú and Tiahuanaco cultures, to then go on to the Incan time period which ends in 1535. Each culture is represented by different archaeological and anthropological evidences, such as different types of ceramics, textiles, metals and artistic objects of historical value, along with a photo and documentary gallery, as well as photographic material from the Colonial and Republican time periods.

Larco Archaeological Museum

Without a doubt, it is another one of the largest, most complete and organized museums which contains a great archaeological, historical, anthropological and ethnical wealth, with remains dating back to between 8000 and 2000 b.C., 45,000 pieces or objects from pre-Hispanic and Incan cultures, exposed in its nine exhibition halls: The Gold and Jewels´ Hall, with precious and astonishing Incan objects; the Stone Hall, with rustic elements from the pre-Ceramic; the Vault’s Hall, wits didactic exposition of the production process of pre-Colombian ceramics; the Metals´ Hall presenting the development of pre-Incan and Incan metallurgy and goldsmith work; the Cultures´ Hall, with an evolutionary exhibition of cultures in pre-Colombian Peru; the Textiles´ Hall, displaying samples of the evolution of cultures in pre-Colombian Peru; and finally, the Erotic Hall, showing pieces with erotic themes, from pre-Colombian cultures.

The Nation’s Museum

This museum shelters an immense historical wealth in its six exhibition halls, dating from quite remote time periods (1800 b.C.). It possesses thousands of archaeological objects proceeding from our pre-Hispanic, Colonial, Republican and contemporary culture’s evolutionary process, as well as popular, modern and ethnographic art pieces. It also presents ceramic objects from different cultures, scale models and replicas of Peru’s main archaeological sites, thus turning itself into one of the country’s most important cultural centers which, in addition, has a bookshop and souvenir shop, as well as conference and cultural exhibition halls.

Peru’s Gold Museum Hall

The exhibition starts with a map made by Theodore de Bry and published in 1592, based on illustrations of Le Moyne, official painter of the French expedition which, in 1564, marched off to colonize Florida and Virginia. In the sequence, a chronological line presents magnificent metallic objects elaborated by Peru’s ancient cultures, as well as their evolution, in comparison with the rest of the world.

In its eight halls, the Peru’s Gold Museum Hall shows pre-Colombian objects in gold and other precious metals, from Northern Peru’s pre-Incan cultures. In the exhibition, you will have a chance to admire the beauty and complexity of pre-Colombian art and understand, beyond its lavishness, the symbolic and sacred value it holds, within the predominant role played by metals and customs, as well as the rituals and lifestyle of pre-Colombian cultures.

You will have the opportunity of walking through the exhibition, while listening to the Discovery audio guide which will transport your imagination, to the Sicán, Chimú and Lambayeque’s time periods. It will be an unmatchable experience and a unique way to get introduced to the ancient Peruvian peoples´ vision of life.


Enrico Poli Museum

This private museum possesses a remarkable collection of gold and silver objects proceeding from pre-Hispanic cultures, including the Lord of Sipán’s jewels, along with Incan jewelry and ceremonial goldsmith work, dating from the Formative Period (2000 b.C.), to the beginning of the Republican Period. There is a valuable collection of pieces of ceramics, textiles, metal objects, carved wood, furniture, sculptures, altars and paintings of well-known artists, as well as of the famous Cusco’s School of Art.

There are prized relics of Incan religious silversmith work, chalices, patens, crowns, aureoles, jars, fountains and staffs, along with garments and fabrics embroidered with gold and silver threads. This museum’s archaeological patrimony, in ceramic and stone objects, is impressive, as well as in objects and pieces of the Colonial and Republican periods (End of the 18th to beginning of the 19th centuries).

Peru’s Central Reserve Bank Museum

This museum presents an important collection of Peruvian archaeology, with objects in gold, ceramics and textiles, proceeding from different pre-Colombian cultures, since their origins and all the way to the Incas, as well as a picture gallery, with paintings from ancient and contemporaneous Peru, of well-known Peruvian artists and of Cusco’s School of Art. It possesses remains of pre-Colombian and popular art, along with Peru’s Numismatic Museum, in which are exposed coins, bills, medals, decorations and baptismal cards, dating back from the Colonial Period, on to the Independence, Republican and contemporaneous time periods, since the origin of the foundation of the Minting House.

Legends´ Park

It is one of Lima’s most emblematic and favorite places for any Peruvian or foreign visitor who wishes to connect with nature and cohabitate for a few moments, with Peru’s representative ecosystems´ biodiversity, and get to know our cultural and archaeological wealth.

The park is divided into sectors, to represent Peru’s three main natural regions: The Coast, Mountains and Jungle; each one of them with its own diversity of flora and fauna, which will help you understand better its different habitats and ecosystems.

Its zoo shelters a broad variety of wild and domesticated animals from Peru, along with animals from other continents, which have adapted to life in captivity. There is a countless quantity and variety of animals which cohabitate in perfect harmony with the spaces that were conditioned for them. Every animal eats in accordance with its diet: Fruit, vegetables, beef and fish meat, as well as baby sprouts of certain plants the buffalos eat, for example. The annual consumption of vegetables is of 150,000 kilos, 160,000 bananas, 34,000 kilos of fish and 21,000 kilos of beef viscera and meat.

There is a botanical garden which contains a great diversity of native flowers and plants, grouped according to their habitat, on a surface of nearly 5 km², which allows you to get to know the importance of protecting our biodiversity. As far as the botanical part is concerned, you will have a chance to observe a broad diversity of native flower species, such as the amancaes, or trees, like the quina, as we have a botanical garden which shelters different kinds of plants ordered according to evolutionary criteria, along almost five hectares of extension, which are permanently renewed, thus allowing visitors to understand the importance of their conservation, for the up keeping of our biodiversity.

The Green Coast’s Beach Circuit

Lima’s inhabitants enjoy an interesting circuit of beaches, on the Pacific Ocean’s coast, which are interconnected by the highway that runs along the shoreline, uniting six districts of the metropolis. That highway stretches at sea level, at the foot of the cliffs that border the city, offering a route that allows us to observe, being by day or at dusk, a magnificent panorama of fifteen (15) beaches; each one of them with different characteristics. Some are ideal for surfing, swimming and summer recreation, as some are not recommendable. However, the sea breeze attracts us there, at whatever time of year, to have a refreshing walk during the day or in the evening.

The circuit called Costa Verde (Green Coast), includes beaches of the districts of San Miguel, San Isidro, Miraflores, Barranco and Chorrillos. On the way, we’ll have a chance to see some of the following beaches: La Herradura, Marbella, Los Delfines, Orrantia, Punta Roquitas, Miraflores, Makaja, Barranquito, Agua Dulce, Pescadores, Club Regatas, Caplina, La Pampilla, Waykiki and Redondo.

In addition, this circuit offers you delightful places, to taste the most delicious Peruvian gastronomy and the famous pisco sour.

Water’s Magical Circuit

The Reserve’s Park, very close to the center of the city of Lima, welcomes us to delight us with its wonderful spectacle of water fountains, colorful lights and fantasy. The impressive Water’s magical circuit is the World’s greatest fountain complex which displays thirteen beautiful ornamental fountains, with attractive light effects. It has also won a Guinness Record for its huge and showy ornamental fountain system built with top technology.

This circuit is located inside the Reserve’s Park, National Historical patrimony, which has been revitalized, with the imposing joy the Water’s luminous fantasy gives it. Each one of the 13 cybernetic fountains has its own name, design and show, forming different figures with the waters´ swaying movement and the colorful light effects. In addition, one can appreciate a central geyser which rises 80 m. high, with a great central dome and a crown of vertical sprinklers and a colorful spray screen, to receive laser projections. It is a very entertaining and pleasant show for all ages.

Barranco, Tourist District

Barranco is Lima’s bohemian district, where well known literary people and artists reside. In other words, it is a perfect place to relax, with beautiful sunsets and unending nights. Its colonial and republican style streets, jetties, parks and small squares, make an unavoidable contrast for a night stroll. It is said that, in Barranco, the nights are young, especially on very highly frequented weekends, due to the presence of excellent entertainment places, such as Creole dens (Peñas), discotheques and tourist restaurants.

Each year, on October 31, in Peru and especially in Lima, the Creole Song’s Day is celebrated, with poise, poetry, happiness, guitar and percussion box (Cajón). It is a great day to go to traditional restaurants and dens, and enjoy good food accompanied by a Peruvian pisco or a refreshing beer.

Gastronomical Tourism

Another way of doing tourism is visiting and enjoying the delicious and excellent Peruvian food, in Lima’s best spots, with a broad variety of the most sought for dishes of our national gastronomy, from the coast, mountains and jungle, as well as from the North, Center and South. The Peruvian food is among the most exquisite, as much in the traditional cuisine, as in the Novo Andean Fusion preparations. In Lima and on the Peruvian coast, dishes based on fish, seafood and produce of the rich sea prevail, and one of our emblematic dishes for export, is precisely the Ceviche prepared with many varieties of fresh fish and seafood; a true delight for the most demanding palates. And if you prefer, you can choose dishes based on pork, beef, sheep, goat and alpaca meat; the latter being of preference for its quality and low fat content. In the same way, you can taste dishes based on bird meat, such as chicken, turkey, duck and finally, the delicious Cuy (Guinea pig).

As a complement, the unavoidable aperitif for any Peruvian dish is the famous Pisco Sour elaborated with the variety and excellent quality of the aged, mature and traditional Peruvian Pisco produced in the vine plantations, on our coast.

Consult us so that we might give you the most adequate combination, in Lima’s best traditional restaurants and “peñas show” (Show lounges or pubs).

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