Colorful colonial architecture, high-class food and amicable people await you in the City of Kings. Almost ten million people live here, which can make your stay a bit confusing. We tell you all you need to know to keep an overview during your time in Lima.
Lima is an incredibly diverse city right at the beach with an impressive history. You can learn how to surf, or relax at the sea. Check out the city centre for buildings that are almost 500 years old and admire the old colonial buildings at the Plaza de Armas. In this area you will find heaps of museums to learn more about Limas past, or check out the more than thousand year old pyramids of Huaca Pucllana. Wander through the colorful and hip districts of Miraflores and Barranco or bike along the coastline for incredible views. Lima is a huge city, but buses go regularly and taxis are super cheap. So you will be able to see everything!
Where to Stay
Lima has 43 districts, to decide where to stay is not always that easy. The safest and most popular tourist destinations are along a line though, close to the most important sights. Barranco and Miraflores are furthest south and closest to some of the most beautiful beaches of Lima. Here you will find a colorful vibe with heaps of restaurants, cafes, bars and a vivid nightlife. And most important: A wide range of hotels and hostels for a cheap price. Further North, next to the district of Miraflores, lies San Isidro. This is the financial district, hence a bit more expensive. If you are looking for a more luxuries stay and fancy restaurants you will find them here. ‘Pueblo Libre’ is situated further to the west and has a calm and historical vibe in a residential zone. Here you find heaps of old buildings, museums and parks. The historical centre though is situated in the district Central Lima. You will find the central square Plaza de Armas, beautiful colonial buildings and heaps of history in every corner. Central Lima has the reputation of being a bit sketchy at night time, so if you decide to book here make sure to stay in the more touristy zones.
Peru’s cuisine is as diverse as the rest of the country. Have some Ceviche or Lomo Saltado in one of the plenty restaurants in Barranco or Miraflores, or look out for a lunch deal being offered basically everywhere throughout the city. Here you will find a soup, a main dish and drinks for about US$ 2 in total. Explore the Inca and Surquillo Market for delicious bites like Empanadas. Try some fruits that you have never seen before and drink some freshly squeezed juices. Believe us, they are even better here than at home.
Mr. Blue Sky
Limas weather doesn’t have extremes as other countries might have. Still, between December and April it can get up to 28°C or 83°F, whereas the months between May and November are usually cooler and cloudier. Same counts for the ocean, if you want to swim the warmest months are in between December and April. The most rain usually falls in August. But in average only for 4 days, which is not a lot.
The official currency of Peru is ‘Soles’. 3.4 Soles are about US$1, 3.7 Soles are 1€. You will find plenty of money exchange possibilities especially in the touristy zones, but make sure that the rate is correct. It might be cheaper to pick up cash at a bank or bring some with you to Peru. Look out for official banks, since you might have to pay high fees otherwise. Especially in the touristy zones you will be able to pay with US-Dollars as well. But if you pay with Soles, the exchange rate is on your side.
Health and Safety
Make sure to have a travel insurance when you come to Peru to prevent high costs in (knock on wood) the case of an accident, illness, or other emergency. Talk to your doctor if you need any additional vaccinations for your trip, like yellow fever or rabies. It is wise to have a first aid kid and your own small pharmacy on you, with classic medicine, like anti diarrhea drugs, antihistamines or ibuprofen.
Try to stay in safe zones while you are in Lima. Avoid going to districts like El Callao and Cerro San Cristobal. Don’t walk in the dark by yourself and only bring your most important valuables with you. Leave your passport in the hotel and don’t carry too much cash on you. Pickpockets and scammers are also around, like in every city that has tourism. So compare taxi fares and tour prices before you book them. You don’t have to feel unsafe, just be careful. Then you will have a great time for sure!