Discover a different side of Lima on an evening food tour that blends local landmarks with delicious tastings. You’ll explore the neighborhoods of Miraflores, Barranco and Chorrillos with stunning views along the Pacific coast.
The enclosed balconies of the rococo-style buildings in the historic center are a sight to behold. But the architecture here goes beyond aesthetics.
Many visitors are surprised to find that Lima – the contemporary metropolis – has such a rich and vibrant history. Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro founded the city in 1535 on the Catholic holiday of Epiphany, calling it Ciudad de los Reyes (City of the Kings) to emphasize its royal heritage and to show that he had conquered the indigenous inhabitants of South America.
The pre-Inca Lima culture flourished here for a thousand years, building impressive huacas such as Huaca Pucllana and attracting pilgrims from all over the Andes to consult its oracle. The ruins of Pachacamac, once an important religious center, have also survived.
After the War of Independence, the city’s growth was accelerated by improved transportation that allowed migrants from the countryside to settle here. This urbanization transformed the city. Inner-city slums, variously known as tugurios, corralones and callejones, continue to occupy large areas of central Lima, often in squalid conditions.
Despite being in the tropics, Lima has a relatively mild climate due to its proximity to the ocean. The Humboldt Current off the coast moderates temperatures and creates a relatively dry atmosphere. This leads to two clearly-marked seasons: summer from December to April and winter from May through September/November.
In the summer, sunny days are plentiful and a cool breeze blows in from the ocean. On rare occasions, dense fog and drizzle (locally known as garua) may linger in the morning or evening.
However, most of the year is mild and dry enough for a swim on the beautiful beaches or for leisurely lunches and sunset walks along the picturesque malecon. Typically, you’ll need T-shirts or light tops and pants. The hottest month is February.
Parks & Plazas
As with every town and city throughout the world, Lima is filled with plazas and parks. Many have served since the city’s founding as important social, economic and political gathering places for the residents of Lima.
One of the best times to visit Peru is in its summer season between December and April when you can enjoy sunny days at its beaches, parks, and historic districts while also savoring a refreshing ceviche lunch.
For art lovers, you can’t miss the opportunity to stroll around Barranco to admire its amazing street-art. If you’d like to learn the backstory behind these pieces and see some hidden gems you can join a street art tour with a local guide.
Food & Drink
Few cities pride themselves as much on cuisine as Lima. It’s not uncommon for the taxi driver whisking you to your hotel to launch into small talk about his favorite spot to eat ceviche or sudado (fried pork belly).
Peruvian food is world-class, with dishes featuring ingredients you won’t find anywhere else. Expect to see 4,000 types of potatoes and 55 different varieties of corn on your plate. You might also try tiradito, thin strips of raw fish in a lime and chili sauce.
At Kjolle, a new Lima highlight, the chef uses unique local ingredients like olluco and kiwicha. Look for the tasting menu or a la carte options like paiche, grilled Amazonian fish with yuca and cocona. For a lighter option, try anticuchos de corazon, skewered beef hearts marinated in aji panca.
Although Lima is not a notoriously cheap city, the price of drinks and entry fees vary greatly depending on the venue. Expect to pay a fair amount for the best clubs in the city. To avoid the hassle of figuring out the local music scene, consider joining like-minded travelers from your hostel or reaching out to expat residents through Facebook groups who are willing to organize nights out.
Located in Barranco, this turn-of-the-century mansion is one of Lima’s best bars/clubs to catch live music. Multiple rooms decorated in different themes and a healthy dose of ambiance make it a fun place to party. This club plays techno/minimal/electro and has had such artists as Oliver Huntemann, Marc Romboy and Oliver Koletzki perform recently. This modern venue attracts an upmarket foreign and Peruvian crowd with more guys than girls.