48 Hours in Lima, Peru

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Peru is a country in South America with a great diversity of places to visit. Lima, the capital city, can be large and luxurious or colorful and peculiar, referring to the great cultures of its past and present. Although many places in Peru such as Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley are much more visited, its capital should not be forgotten. Any visit to Lima offers a wide variety of treasures to discover. 

Day 1 | Culture and history where the city began at 9:00 am 

The first morning could be spent getting to know some of Lima’s culture. For this, it is best to start by visiting downtown. The Plaza de Armas is said to be where the city was founded, so it should be the first place to visit. At the eastern side of the plaza stands the Metropolitan Cathedral of Lima, built in 1535 over an Inca place of worship. Its baroque, gothic, neoclassical, and romantic styles are the result of centuries of transformation. The Palacio del Arzobispado, next to the cathedral, has a museum of religious art and is the current residence of the archbishop of Lima. 

Two blocks northwest of the Plaza de Armas is the convent of Santo Domingo, and two blocks northeast is the Basilica of San Francisco, where it’s worth visiting Diego de la Puente’s version of The Last Supper. On this walk it’s essential to watch the famous balconies of Lima. In many buildings you can see balconies that were built both in the viceregal era and during the Republic and are part of the architectural heritage of Peru’s capital. They are of Moorish architecture and stand out from the colonial architecture of the city.

At noon, it’s recommended to stop for lunch at the Cordano Bar, considered a tradition in Lima.

Day 1 | Museum and tradition at 1:00 pm

In the afternoon of the first 48 hours in Lima, a visit to the Museo Larco is highly recommended. This museum is full of pre-Hispanic artifacts, dating back more than 5,000 years ago. It’s a collection started by Rafael Larco Hoyle in 1923. Something curious about this museum is that you can visit its reserve with more than 30,000 additional archeological pieces. 

The visit to the museum can take a couple of hours, and afterwards, it’s highly suggested to visit the museum gardens and have a bite in the cafeteria or visit the Taberna Queirolo, five minutes away from the museum.

Day 1 | Promenade and local food at 6:00 pm

To end the day, take a stroll through the streets downtown to enjoy the nightlife and the best restaurants. Another option is Lima’s promenade, which is gigantic and full of parks and restaurants. Your Lima hotel will most likely be located nearby so it’s an excellent option to end the day. Typical Peruvian food, as well as stores with local crafts, are worth the walk.

Day 2 | Ancient ruins in the city at 9:00 am

In the district of Miraflores, there’s a spot that visitors would not expect to find in the middle of the city. Huaca Pucllana, the remains of a civilization more than 1,500 years old. Belonging to the Lima culture, this ceremonial center has a pyramid and different areas that can be visited, as well as an exhibition hall with further explanation of what can be found at the site.

Ten minutes away from the archaeological site is the Surquillo Market, perfect if you want to visit a typical Peruvian market. To try a delicious Peruvian ceviche, a stop at Punto Azul or El Verídico de Fidel is perfect to satisfy anyone’s appetite as the afternoon approaches.

Day 2 | Art, Shopping, & Love at 2:00 pm

The streets of the Barranco district are full of art worth visiting. Walking towards the promenade, is Larcomar, an open-air mall where Peruvian fashion makes its main appearance, as well as some great shopping. Lima is full of parks, and walking north is the Parque del Amor, a colorful refuge for couples in love. It has a magnificent view of the sea and the benches made of mosaic are inspired by the Park Güell in Barcelona. Its main attraction is the sculpture “El Beso” by Peruvian sculptor Victor Delfin.  

Day 2 | Sunset & Parks at 7:00 pm

Another essential park to visit is the Chinese Park, which is decorated with different kiosks and bridges inspired by Chinese culture. 

The promenade is the best place to enjoy the sunset. If preferred, it’s possible to walk for a while, or stop at one of the viewpoints, parks, or restaurants. Lima is completely facing west, so it’ll be an unforgettable experience from any point, while overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

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