Lima was once the glittering hub of the Conquistadores’ empire. Today it is often written off as stopover on the way to the Inca’s Amazon treasures, but the city is an attraction in its own right.
You should start at the National Museum of Archaeology, Anthropology and History of Peru (museonacional.perucultural.org.pe), in Plaza Bolívar s/n Pueblo Libre.
At Metro Travel we don’t normally recommend museums, but this one is a bit special. Absolutely rammed with Inca and pre-Inca treasures, the museum gives a breathtaking insight into the civilizations wiped out by the Spanish. It is a great place to begin or end a visit to Peru.
If you’ve been there before, how about trying some of Lima’s whitewater rafting — particularly on the Urubamba River. It’s about four hours drive so it’s best to chose a two-day package that offers pick-up and return to Lima (from about $50).
And if you’re looking to cap off your night — it’s all about the food. The country’s incredibly diverse geography, history of immigration and thousands of years of indigenous farming means Lima is in the centre of a land that has both superb ingredients and the creative chefs to turn them into unique and delicious dishes.
Metro brings you the best food and insider tips for your trip to Lima.
Best Supper Spots
Astrid y Gaston (astridygaston.com) serves French-influenced Peruvian food. Try the duck over lucuma, a subtropical fruit that is very popular as an ice cream flavouring.
At La Hamaca (+511 242 7978), not only are the dishes splendid (try the spicy chicken soup), but the house, which looks like a cinematically art-directed Mexican hacienda, is exuberant.
Best Insider Tip
For a truly authentic experience of old sophisticated Lima, head to the Taberna el Queirolo (+511 460 0441) in the neighbourhood of Pueblo Libre. Enjoy a traditional pisco in an elegant 17th-century colonial building only yards from the Anthropological Museum.
James Higgins’s Lima, a Cultural and Literary History, is the finest book on Lima in English.
Mario Testino is rarely associated with his home city, but in Lima, the fashion photographer has photos of more than 100 Peruvian artists, giving a unique insight to the city and the people.