48 hours in Lima
For many, Lima
is the gateway to a Peruvian adventure and their first encounter with some of Peru’s celebrated cultural offerings. The country’s pre-Columbian civilisations, colonial history and mouthwatering cuisine come to life in bustling Lima. Here’s how to make the most of 48 hours in the city.
Start the day in Lima’s centre, Plaza Mayor, which is flanked by the Palacio Arzobispal, Palacio del Gobierno and the Cathedral, all with the same grand neo-colonial architecture a reminder that Lima was once the most prestigious city in the Spanish Americas.
It’s time for a coffee – and it can only be at one place, Bar Cordano. With over 100 years of history, the bar has been frequented by Presidents, artists and poets. Stepping through the doors is like stepping back in time. Around the corner from the main square is the Monastery of San Francisco. Not for the faint hearted, the Monastery houses a catacomb containing thousands of skulls and bones, serving as a burial place until 1808. It’s estimated that 25,000 bodies were laid to rest there.
Emerging into the sunlight, it’s time for your first foray into Peruvian Cuisine. Located in Miraflores is Mercado Surquillo, one of the most authentic limenam food markets with beautifully presented fruits and vegetables, fiery chillies, colourful corn and odd-shaped tubers. The highlight of the market and the reason for many to visit are its cebicherias (ceviche bars). Sitting down with the locals to enjoy a causa (layers of prawns and mashed potato) and a tongue-tingling leche de tigre (catch of the day marinated in lime juice, chilli and red onion) is an experience like no other.
After lunch, it’s time for a walk, and Lima’s boho district Barranco is the perfect place for a stroll. Boutique shops, cosy cafes and colourful street art line its boulevards. Barranco has some great museums, such as the permanent exhibition of the world-famous Peruvian fashion photographer Mario Testino at MATE, which is particularly striking.
Start the day with a morning at the Larco Museum, a privately-owned gallery that plays home to the finest gold, jewellery and ceramics from the Pre-Columbian Peruvian civilisations. The Larco is the perfect way to get acquainted with Peruvian art before continuing your adventure through the Sacred Valley and onto Machu Picchu.
Having sampled local ceviche yesterday, it’s now time to learn why Lima has a reputation as one of the world’s leading gastronomic cities. At Central, currently ranked the fifth best restaurant in the world, Virgilio Marinez Veliz combines native Peruvian ingredients with the most cutting-edge gastronomic techniques to celebrate the diversity of Peruvian cuisine. He introduces flavour and textures otherwise not known to the Western palate.
Amazed and delighted from lunch, it’s time for another walk. Lover’s Park in Miraflores, known locally as El Parque de Amor, is the perfect place to watch the paragliders take off on their flight over the city. The manicured gardens and colourful mosaic benches provide some calm from the hustle and bustle of the city centre.
Almost hidden among the modern buildings of Miraflores rises an adobe pyramid, Huaca Pucllana. Begin your evening with a guided tour of the 1500-year-old pre-Incan site before settling into dinner at the on-site restaurant which offers an incredible view of the impressive building.
48 hours in Lima provides a colourful, fascinating and flavoursome introduction to Peru. With your head full of knowledge of the Wari, Nazca and Inca cultures and your palate awakened to new flavours, it’s time to move on to your next Peruvian destination!
Need more inspiration to discover Lima & greater Peru? Find our suggested itineraries in Peru here
or check out our 2019/20 South America Tailor-made collection
to discover more in this spectacular region. Alternatively, enquire now
, call (AU) 1300 295 049 or (NZ) 0800 238 368 or see your travel agent to custom make your own tailor-made itinerary.