When flying in, most travellers arrive at Lima, that is - like almost every other tropical megacity - a juggernaut.

Plaza Mayor en Lima
One of the more picturesque parts of Lima: Plaza Mayor - the Main Square - with view of the Cathedral and the Palacio Arzobispal - the Archiepiscopal Palace - to its left.

Most travellers hang out exclusively around the area of Miraflores, which is understandable since it's the most Europeanized part of Lima. But there are other parts of the city worth exploring. While doing so,  you should be a bit prudent - just like in any other Latin American metropolis. It's a big city with the typical economic imbalance, so be a little careful. If you're not sure, better take only pre-ordered cabs, ask locals where it's safe to go at night (most of the time they are more cautious than we would be). If you stick to the global rules of not flashing your money or other valuables and use common sense, you'll be fine.


Pueblo Libre and San Miguel

Jesus Maria

Centro Historico


Right behind Miraflores along the Pacific Ocean leads the way to Barranco, that used to be a suburb and is now one of the most popular areas especially to the party crowd. There are cute little alleys leading to small bars and restaurants overlooking the Ocean.

Hilarious scenario in Barranco: As the groups of tourists arrived, the two guitarreros jumped up and played some cheesy tunes with lots of 'ayayay' in it. As soon as they go their little tip, they just crashed - like running out of batteries; until the next group showed up.

One of the many, many delicious Peruvian dishes: "Anticuchos" - beef heart skewers. And "El Tío Mario" makes the best ones.

Walking from the must-see Puento de los Suspiros, the bridge of sighs, further South along the Avenida Pedro de Osma, there are two fantastic museums not to be missed: First there is the MATE, showing superstar photographer Mario Testino's work like his ingenious photographs of indigenous constums, arranged in high fashion style. An entire room is dedicated to his 'model' and friend Lady Diana Spencer.

Photo by Mario Testino on exhibit at the MATE
From the Mario Testino's series "Alta Moda", i. e. High Fashion - pun definitely intended.

A couple of steps further down you'll get to the Pedro de Osma Museum, the former villa of the Osma family built in 1906. There is the ancient Peruvian furniture on display and artefacts such as paintings of the baroque Cuzco school.

Pedro de Osma Museum
Pedro de Osma Museum - beauty on the inside, beauty on the outside.

About 4 miles South of Barranco, a truly unique spectacle can be witnessed El Salto del Fraile near Chorrillos at the Playa La Herradura. Fernando Canchari (42) has disguised himself for 24 years as a "fraile", a friar. He is incarnating the tragic story of a friar - of course an unfulfilled love - and jumps seven days a week from the cliffs delighting many national and international tourists.

Pueblo Libre and San Miguel

Lima is offering its 9 million inhabitants surprisingly vast green spaces like the Parque de las Leyendas with the adjacent Zoo not far from the Plaza San Miguel. Don't miss the local animals from the three territories Sierra, Jungle, and Coast and the replica of Machu Picchu.

The zoo is not only worth a visit for the varieties of local animals. Strolling in the shade of the abundant flora is a treat for the senses, too.

Peru is synonymous to Inka and hence gold. And gold is to be found at the Museo de Oro in the very Western outskirts of Lima. Closer to the city center - and housing an even more impressive collection - is the private Museo Larco. Since it's private collection, the entrance is a bit more pricy, but absolutely worth it.

Inka Gold at the Museo Larco
Treasures at the Muso Larco.

Just about a mile to the East, the Museo Nacional de Antropología Arqueología e Historia presents a vast collection of Peruvian artefacts, there included the wonderful woven wallhangings from the Paracas Necropolis.

If you want to try really good, really cheap Peruvian streetfood, walk from the museum about one mile down South along the Pedro Torres Malarin and Jirón Castilla and you'll get to the Mercado de Magdalena. There you get Ceviche as a starter - which for a medium sized stomach might be enough - and then fried fish with all sort of's a feast and it will cost you about five bucks.

Souvenir shopping: Halfway between the museum and the Mercado de la Magdalena is the Avenida de la Marina where you find an incredible choice of little stand and stores ('Mercado Indio', Indian market) selling leather goods and sweaters and ponchos made of alpaca and baby alpaca as well as all sort of knick knack you might want to take home - at much better prices than anywhere else in Lima.

Jesus Maria

Jesus Maria is not touristy at all, but a centrally located, pleasant, middle class neighborhood.

You might want to stroll through the Campo del Marte and admire the mosaic mural along the Northern part of Avenida Salaverry. This beautiful mosaic shows a typical scene from every Peruvian region.

Part of the national mosaic along Avenida Salaverry
Scene from Cusco...

paracas mosaic
...and from Paracas.

Special tip: After admiring the murals, turn right into Avenida 28 de Julio. On the left side of the street is a covered market where they sell all sort of superstitious mumbo jumbo. It's amazing - and a bit creepy.

marcado de curanderos
Doña Trini does her magic using a black guinea pig on a very busty Shakira lookalike.

From here it's just a stone throw to the historic center.

Centro Historico

Getting to the historic center from the South, you first cross the very nice Parque de la Exposición. Here you find the Museo Metropolitano de Lime, the museum of the city of Lima, and the MALI - Museo del Arte de Lima where contemporary art is exhibited.

Entrance hall of the MALI

My favorite art museum is the small but very nicely and informatively documented exhibition at the Museo del Arte Italiano, showing mainly classic modernity.

Museo de Arte Italiano
A nice set up explaining the beginning the painting en plein air.

If you are into history and colonial art and artefacts, don't miss the many churches surrounding the Plaza Mayor. At the refectory of the Monastery of San Francisco - only to be visited with a guided tour - nobody less than the great Spanish baroque painter Zurbarán refectory . My favourite church was Convento Santo Domingo, though, that focusses on the 'local' saints like Santa Rosa de Lima, but mainly on San Martin de Porres. The guided tour is very informative and from the bell tower you have a great view of Lima.

convento santo domingo
Convento Santo Domingo

window at convento santo domingo
A decorative window introducing the three main do-gooders of Lima: San Martin de Porres, Santa Rosa de Lima, and San Juan Masias.

Great view across the Rímac river - a neighborhood where you shouldn't necessary venture by yourself.

iglesia de santa rosa de lima
Another beautiful church in the dusk: Iglesia de Santa Rosa de Lima

Of course these are only three of the many, many churches you'll see all over Lima since Perú is a catholic country and people are very religious.

Do you want to read about all the other beautiful places I've visited in Peru? 
Then go to the main post and take your pick!

If you choose to pin this post, please use this picture:

No comments:

Post a Comment

For the required assignment of the comment personal data will be stored, namely name, e-mail and IP address. By submitting the commentary you agree with it. More in the privacy policy in the sidebar.