Lima is the capital city of Peru and it’s also the South American food capital! Ceviche is one of the most famous plates, but my personal favourite is Lomo Saltado. It’s a juicy steak stir fry smothered in onions and tomatoes. It’s a dish you’ll never forget! Besides the food, this central costal region will have you feeling like you’re in multiple countries at once. One moment you’re surfing along the Costa Verde and next, you’re in the Sechura Desert, which is the second largest capital city desert after Cairo in Egypt.
I had a wonderful conversation with a lovely lady from Lima herself. She broke down the ins and outs of the city and truly gave me the “inside” scope of what to do when visiting here! So let me tell you, this guide didn’t just come from outsider research, it came from someone who knows what’s good!
Here are the best things to do when you catch yourself in Lima, Peru!
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Exploring Historical Sites
Captain Jerónimo de Aliaga y Ramírez founded Lima in 1535 and received a beautiful colonial home as a gesture of appreciation. A total of 17 generations of the Aliaga family have lived in this home! This breathtaking mansion has survived numerous earthquakes and since then has also been rebuilt to follow the changing architectural trends. Casa De Aliaga has been a part of Lima’s history for almost five centuries and when you come to visit it, you’ll understand why!
Huaca Pucllana is a 22-metre high pyramid built by the pre-Incan Indigenous coastal civilization that resided in the region between 100 CE to 650 CE. During this time, it was an administrative site for the surrounding irrigation zone. Today, this is a huge tourism attraction includes a museum that displays found ceramics and artifacts, a workshop and restaurant that overlooks the view!
If you’re a lover of all things spine-chilling and creepy, you need to visit the Catacombs of Lima! Located under the San Francisco de Asís Convent, a lot of dark stories and legends are held here. This underground vault was used to bury what is believed to be 25,000 people during the colonial era. Because cruel and tortuous killings happened during this time, there is believed to be spirts that walk these halls, along with the legend of the monk, a watcher of visitors. Feeling creeped out yet?
This is the first food market in Peru and it’s located at Balboa Strip Mall in Miraflores, a quick 20 minute drive from Lima! There is a total of 18 food stalls, all in which you can enjoy Peruvian drinks, traditional foods, coffee and deserts! They’re open morning to night, so you can enjoy a delicious Peruvian breakfast, or the city’s lively nightlife!
This is a Peruvian restaurant and bar located in Pueblo Libre, a small town 15 minutes south of Lima. Here you can find the two dishes, Ceviche and Lomo Saltado! I also love garnishing everything with their well-known spicy, pickled red onions! This was the only restaurant she shared with me so I think it means something!
I came across María Zuñiga, owner of Casa Zúñiga from watching a review done by the famous YouTube food vlogger, Mark Wiens. He says she is the master of Peruvian food, and after watching the video, I think you’ll feel the same! María’s restaurant is located in Parque de la Amistad, a quick 20 minute drive from Lima! And may I say…of course she makes the signature Lomo Saltado!
Surfing In Costa Verde
Team Surf Peru provides all adventurers the chance to learn to surf the beautiful waters of Costa Verde! Their friendly waves makes it a great place for beginner surfers to learn and come back from their trip proudly saying they can surf! Make sure to check them out!
Lima hosts a night time water show that is truly magical (hence the name “magico”)! This 45 minute show has an exceptional display of waters that are choreographed to music and light designs displayed against the swirling, twirling waters from various fountains! Some reviews even say that this is better than the Disney Water Magic show! This is a great event to visit when exploring the city’s nightlife! The show takes place between 4 p.m. and 11 p.m. each day!
If you’re visiting Lima with the love of your life, you have to visit the Love Park! It’s located on the cliffs of Chorrillos overlooking the crystal blue Pacific Ocean. The mosaic, colourful tiled walls have been filled with love quotes for years! You can also find a well-known statue of two lovers embracing one another. Love is totally in the air here!