Things to do in Lima
While it's not necessarily within Lima's city limits, Machu Picchu is often considered as a must-do for the city. And it most definitely is. Located over 1,000 kilometres from Lima, the best way to reach the ancient Inca city ruins is by flying from Lima to the nearby town of Cusco, and then catch the train from there to Machu Picchu.
But Machu Picchu isn't the only ruins worth seeing in Peru. Closer to Lima you'll find the Pachacamac ruins, an archaeological city with buildings and temples dating back as early as 200CE (Common Era). Once an important pilgrimage centre, Pachacamac contains a range of pyramids, temples and plazas as well as a museum where ancient remains found on the site are displayed.
Even closer to the city, Lima has a number of historic sites worth exploring. The ancient Huaca Pucllana ruins are wonderfully preserved considering its trendy neighbours within the upscale Miraflores district. Lima's most famous church, the Monastery of San Francisco, is a magnificent display of Baroque-style architecture, not to mention the spooky catacombs that lie below. You can also delve even further back in time at the Larco Museum, which houses artifacts dating back 300 years.
But for all its history, Lima is a modern city too, which can be best seen at the multi-level Larcomar complex, built magnificently on the cliffside underneath Miraflores. For more must-dos in Lima, check out our recommendations below.
Dating back to 1450, this historic site was once the city of the Inca Empire, the largest empire in pre-Columbian America. Today, it is one of South America's most popular attractions.
Everyone who goes to Lima raves about Parque de la Reserva, or Park of the Reserve, if you're not confident with your Spanish. Not just any old park, Park of the Reserve spans over 7.5 hectares and contains 13 distinct fountains, altogether creating the largest fountain complex in the world, according to Guinness World Records.
If you only have a day or even a few hours to spare in Lima, the best place to spend them are at Miraflores. Perched on cliffs along the coastline, the view from the upmarket suburb of Miraflores is hard to beat.
Since 1774, the Monastery of San Francisco has remained an icon of Lima. It has survived several earthquakes and still remains a noted architectural marvel, commonly regarded by some as one of the highest examples of Spanish Baroque.
The Municipal Palace of Lima has experienced more makeovers than a Hollywood has-been; unlike a D-grade movie star, millions of people line up to view and tour this opulently decorated government attraction. Packed with history, charm and to-die-for flourishes, you won’t be able to walk away.