Lima, Peru

The once-called City of Kings, founded in 1535, is the gateway to Peru's main attractions. Lima is a large, sprawling and somewhat confusing amalgamation of distinct neighborhoods. Downtown Lima has been washed clean, colonial buildings are being restored, peddlers have been dispersed and lots of flowers abound. There is no shortage of fine museums and magnificent pre-Colombian collections here, such as the Gold Museum (pre-Colombian gold, silver, and copper works), the National Archaeology and Anthropology Museum (art and archaeology), the Amaro Museum (textiles), Museo de la Nacion (archaeology), Enrico Poli and Silver Collection (pottery, colonial artifacts, oil paintings), and the Larco Herrera Museum (pre-Colombian art). Or venture out to the wealthy district of Miraflores for sunny beaches, modern residences and gardens.

Lima Peru Art Museum

Getting There

AIR:
Domestic and international flights arrive at Jorge Chavez International Airport.
Approximate flight times:
To Lima from London is 20 hours (including stopover in Miami), from Los Angeles is 6 hours, from Miami is 5 hours and from New York is 9 hours. Direct flights from Europe take 14 hours.

International airports:
Lima (LIM) (Jorge Chávez International) is 16km (10 miles) northwest of the city (travel time - 25 minutes). The Urbanito Shuttle, and the Mitsui Remisse taxi service, are recommended for getting into town - book one of these at the stand inside the terminal, rather than using an independent taxi from outside the terminal . Airport facilities include a duty-free and handicrafts shop, banks, coffee shops and restaurants.
Cuzco (CUZ), located in the south, receives flights from La Paz (Bolivia).
Departure tax: US$25 from Lima's airport; US$10 from other airports. Transit passengers are exempt.

Eating

Dining out is one of the finest aspects of visiting Lima. Whether it's the local comida criolla (spiced meats, seafood, or poultry) or international cuisine, Lima's many restaurants serve an excellent repast. Cebicherias--small restaurants specializing in fresh seafood-are especially popular.

Restaurants:

Costa Verde. Playa Barranquito, Costa Verde, Miraflores. An expensive restaurant with an incredible quantity of prized and good dishes. Included in the Guiness Records. Check for buffet, brunch or tea times.
La Rosa Náutica. Espigón 4, Costa Verde, Miraflores. Built on a pier, this is a fine and expensive restaurant, but with excellent quality of food. Try the tea time while you watch the sunset.

Nightlife

Nightlife in Lima centers around the peñas, bars offering folk music, jazz, and Peruvian Creole, which can be described as a combination of European musical forms with native Peruvian, Spanish, and African rhythms and instruments.

Lima Nightlife

Weather

Lima has brilliant sunshine from December to May, when humidity goes up to 70 percent. The year-round temperature is characterized by a spring-like mildness. From June to November the weather becomes cloudy and humidity reaches 90 percent.

Things to see in Lima

Casa de Aliaga
Casa de Aliaga is the only colonial house in America which is still occupied by the same original family (Jerónimo de Aliaga was one of Pizarro´s soldiers). It maintains its colonial style and has a ceiling of the early Lima times. Located at Jr. de la Unión 224, beside Government Palace and the Central Post Office.

Plaza de Armas
The Plaza Mayor is surrounded at the north by the Government Palace, an impressive house where the President lives. A visit to it is worthwhile. Try to watch the change of guard at 11:45 am everyday. At the east you will find the Archbishop's Palace, built in this century with a superb balcony; we will find the Cathedral at the right hand of it. In front, there is the Municipal Palace, with an arcade corridor in the ground floor and two "suspicious" canyons in the balcony recently found in the square. Between the Municipalidad and the Government Palace, there is a big statue of Francisco Pizarro on his horse, a statue claimed to be offensive to the city.

Plaza San Martín
From the Plaza Mayor we take the Jirón de la Unión, a long pedestrian street (full of shops and restaurants) that connects with the Plaza San Martín, a big square built in the beginning of this century. At the centre, there is an statue of General San Martín, the Argentinian liberator of Peru built for the Independence 100th anniversary in 1921. In the surroundings, there are arcaded buildings with shops, night clubs, restaurants and hotels.

San Francisco Monastery
The church and monastery of San Francisco, notable for its baroque architecture and catacombs is situated in the corner of Jr. Ancash and Jr. Lampa. The church was built in the 17th century with the famous Sevillian tiles. It counts with an extensive old library that offers some rarities: José de Rivera's paintings, a "hidden" (not often seen) museum of religious art and the well-visited catacombs (under the religious complex), said to contain the remains of 70,000-90,000 people. It is preferable to take a guided tour, also available in English).

Pachacamac
Pachacámac, the "king" of all the Lima's archaeological sites, is located at 30 km. south of Lima, by the Panamerican Highway, in the left turn-off to Lurín. A pre-inca and Inca group of temples, plazas and urban zones, dominates the Lurín valley and all the area of present Lima. At the entrance there is a site museum which explains you the development of this area. From here you can take a long circular dirt road to visit the different pyramidal buildings ending at the Temple of Sun, in the top place of Pachacámac. Day trips to Pachacamac, an important pre-Inca citadel, is a great introduction to the Inca culture and the secrets of Machu Picchu and you'll want to allow at least a half day to visit this major site.

Lima beaches

Museums

Rafael Larco Museum
The Rafael Larco Herrera Museum is a private institution that offers one of the most incredible ceramics collection to be found anywhere.
Address: Av. Bolívar 1515. Pueblo Libre. Lima 21 - PERU

Art Museum
It exhibits far more than art. Its collection ranges from colonial furniture to Pre columbian artifacts as well as canvases spanning 400 year of Peruvian art.
Address: Paseo Colon 125.

National Museum Anthropology & Archaeology
It used to be the best collection tracing the prehistory of Peru chronologically, starting with the earliest archaeological sites to the arrival of Spaniards.
Address: Plaza Bolivar, Av San Martin and Vivanci in Pueblo Libre

Gold Museum
Two separate collections in the same private building, owned by the Mujica Gallo family. The incredibly rich Gold Museum is in a huge basement vault. The thousands of gold pieces range from ear plugs to ponchos embroidered with hundreds of solid gold plates.
Address: Alonso de Molina 100

Amano Museum
Its fine private ceramics collection is arranged chronologically to show the development of pottery throughout Peru's various pre-Colombian cultures.
Address: Retiro 160

The Capybara adventure trip starts and ends in Lima:

 

  • Peru Family Adventure - Capybara

    11 Days  | 

    Peru  | 

    Adult: US$4299 , Child (15 & under): US$3799

    ACTIVE 2 - 3
    • ACTIVE 1

      What's The Rush?

      I’m not a triathlete, but I’m in decent shape and I’m not looking to experience a place just through a bus window. I’m happy to slow down on the trail, soak it in and breathe in the fresh air.


    • ACTIVE 2

      Leg Stretcher

      Sure, I own some hiking boots, they’re even worn in, but they don’t go on long trips. I like my creature comforts and I like to give a range of activities a go.


    • ACTIVE 3

      Earn Your Lunch

      I stay active on vacation so that I can eat and drink what I like without feeling guilty. I season my trips with a little fresh exercise.


    • ACTIVE 4

      Challenge Accepted

      I’ll let my trusty guides sweat the small things, so I can focus on my goal. Getting to the top, reaching the end, achieving my dreams! Sure, it’ll be tough, but the views will be worth it.


    • ACTIVE 5

      The Ultimate

      I’ve put in the hard yards and now I get to reap the rewards. I’m a seasoned adventurer, not afraid to get my boots wet.


    • Read more about the Active Range

    4.68 out of 5 (from 151 reviews)

    Don’t let people tell you Peru isn’t suitable for families! Venture into the Amazon to view an array of wildlife and soak up the Inca history as you explore Peru with your family.

Optional Lima City Tour (add US$90)

We recommend this 5-6 hour tour if you've time to spare in Lima before your departing flight. You'll arrive in Lima around lunchtime and your guide will collect you from the airport and drop you back at the airport that evening ready for your departing flight, or at your accommodation in the city. During this tour you'll see the best spots in Lima, learn about the history and traditions of the region and taste the fares of Lima; the gastronomical capital of Latin America!

Trip Reviews

  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 16211 reviews)

    Awesome

    Just returned from two weeks travelling with Active Adventures in Patagonia and it could not have been better. The scenery was spectacular, the days and evenings varied and interesting and we ate and were treated like royalty. Everything was first class on our trip including our tour leader Arturo Rojas who was professional and just awesome in every way. We had a group of 15 trekkers and we very quickly became fast friends. I'm sure there are many companies out there but from my experience I don't think you can go wrong with Active Adventures. I'm already looking forward to my next trip with them.
    Bill Murphy Review Image
    – Massachusetts, United States
    Condor, January 2017
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 16211 reviews)

    Simply said: Excellent

    We’ve booked our trip with Active Adventures from NZ but ended up with Galakiwi Adventures as the implementing party. A bit confusing at the beginning but it turned out quite well.
    Our trip through the Galapagos Islands started in San Cristobal, followed by Floreana, Isabela and ended in Santa Cruz.
    We booked an all-inclusive trip and it turned out to be a very good decision. In fact we realized only after a few days how convenient is was to have everything organized for you and how much time you can actually safe. Starting with swimming gear that is provided as part of the package. Transportation to the ferry, getting on & off, having the transportation ready when you arrive, all those organizational aspects are taken care off which makes travelling from island to island very easy and smooth. Then hotels are ready, check in & out done super fast, luggage’s pick up etc. all organized. Lunch and/or dinners arranged in advance to maximize the vacation time and reduce wasted time to a bare minimum. What else to say besides that the organization was simply said excellent!!!
    Then we had Zambo our tour guide, a fantastic & very knowledgeable person.
    Not only questions from adults were not a problem for him, our kids and the other families kids who were also part of the group constantly came up with all sorts of questions and somehow, Zambo always had an answer.
    All of this made it a great vacation; we enjoyed it a lot
    Thomas Mueller Review Image
    – Sai Kung, Hong Kong
    Tortuga, April 2017
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 16211 reviews)

    Barb's Review

    Our guides (we had 2 because of the split of trail that the team choose to take) were very knowledgeable, attentive, and extremely personable and made the trip wonderful!
    Barb Calhoun Review Image
    – California, United States
    Jaguar 2017, May 2017
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 16211 reviews)

    Amazing Trip

    The Peru Jaguar trip we took in May, was the most exciting and adventurous trip we have ever made in our lives! At 70, I was skeptical as to whether I could complete the Inca Trail or not. With Johan's help and support, I not only accomplished my goal, but was extremely satisfied with our total active adventure trip. It seemed as if every time I turned my head, there was another exhilarating scene to photograph. The rest of the trip included the amazon rainforest, and spending the night with a local family on Lake Titicaca which was great. I would highly recommend this trip to anyone wishing to explore the world's unknown places that only a few select get to experience. Our guide Erick Farfan was an exceptional young man who went out of his way not just for us, but the entire group. I've never had someone so attentive to every detail to make all of us happy. His choice of restaurants allowed all of us to experience the local foods and were all very tasty. Kudos to Erick, Johan and the rest of the crew for making my experience once in a lifetime which I will never stop talking about.
    Bob Rosson Review Image
    – Texas, United States
    Jaguar 2017, June 2017
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 16211 reviews)

    Peru in June 2017

    It is easy to love Peru traveling with Active Adventures! Cynthia was absolutely fantastic, made sure all went smooth and really took care of us. Great memories were made.
    Michele Gerards Review Image
    – New Jersey, United States
    Jaguar 2017, July 2017

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Why travel with Active Adventures?

Above all, we aim to be amazing hosts. We're proud of our kiwi roots, and our professional, warm and relaxed style of running trips around the world is unforgettable.

We're VERY picky about who we select to work in our team, and we have people from all over the world lining up to guide our trips. So we get to hire the absolute BEST in the business.

As soon as you get off the plane, we've got all the details of your vacation covered – top notch meals, comfortable transport & accommodation, amazing guides and INCREDIBLE service.

Whether you’re new to adventure travel, or you’ve never travelled in a group before, you’ll find yourself arriving home positively different from when you left.

With our small groups (no more than 14), you'll get to know our team, your fellow travellers, and have the flexibility and freedom to do as much (or as little!) as you like.

It's all about getting there under your own steam – on foot, in a sea kayak, or by bike. What better way is there to experience mind blowing scenery? If it's your first time, no worries – our expert guides have got you covered.

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