Lima has a developed tourism industry, characterized by its historic center, archeological sites, nightlife, museums, art galleries, festivals and traditions. Lima is home to restaurants and bars serving local and international cuisine.

Info Lima


Lima is the capital and the largest city of Peru. It is located in the valleys of the Chillón, Rímac and Lurín rivers, in the central coastal part of the country, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Together with the seaport of Callao, it forms a contiguous urban area known as the Lima Metropolitan Area. With a population of almost 10 million, Lima is the most populous metropolitan area of Peru and the second largest city in the Americas (as defined by "city proper"), behind São Paulo and before Mexico City.

Lima was founded by Spanishconquistador Francisco Pizarro on January 18, 1535, as Ciudad de los Reyes. It became the capital and most important city in the Spanish Viceroyalty of Peru. Following the Peruvian War of Independence, it became the capital of the Republic of Peru. Around one-third of the national population lives in the metropolitan area.

Lima is home to one of the oldest higher learning institutions in the New World. The National University of San Marcos, founded on May 12, 1551, during the Spanish colonial regime, is the oldest continuously functioning university in the Americas.

In October 2013, Lima was chosen to host the 2019 Pan American Games. It hosted the December 2014 United Nations Climate Change Conferenceand the Miss Universe 1982 pageant.

In October 2015, Lima hosted the 2015 Annual Meetings of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund.

POPULATION : • City 8,852,000
• Metro 9,752,000
FOUNDED :   January 18, 1536
LANGUAGE :   Spanish
AREA : • City 2,672.3 km2 (1,031.8 sq mi)
• Urban 800 km2 (300 sq mi)
• Metro 2,819.3 km2 (1,088.5 sq mi)
ELEVATION :   0-1,550 m (0-5,090 ft)
COORDINATES :  12°2′36″S 77°1′42″W
SEX RATIO :  Male: 50.12
 Female: 49.88%
DIALING CODE :   +51 1


Lima has a developed tourism industry, characterized by its historic center, archeological sites, nightlife, museums, art galleries, festivals and traditions. Lima is home to restaurants and bars serving local and international cuisine.

The Historic Centre, made up of the districts of Lima and Rímac, was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1988. Some examples of colonial architecture include the Monastery of San Francisco, the Plaza Mayor, the Cathedral, Convent of Santo Domingo and the Palace of Torre Tagle.

A tour of the city's churches is a popular circuit. A trip through the central district visits churches dating from the 16th and 17th centuries, the most noteworthy of which are the Cathedral and the Monastery of San Francisco, said to be connected by subterranean catacombs. Both contain paintings, Sevilian tile and sculpted wood furnishings.

Also notable is the Sanctuary of Las Nazarenas, the point of origin for the Lord of Miracles, whose festivities in the month of October constitute the city's most important religious event. Some sections of the Walls remain and are frequented by tourists. These examples of medieval Spanish fortifications were built to defend the city from attacks by pirates and privateers.

Beaches are visited during the summer months, located along the Pan-American Highway, to the south of the city in districts such as Lurín, Punta Hermosa, Santa María del Mar (Peru), San Bartolo and Asia.[80]

The suburban districts of Cieneguilla,Pachacamac and the city of Chosica, are tourist attractions among locals. Because they are located at a higher elevation than Lima, they receive more sunshine in winter months, something that the city and frequently lacks under seasonal fog.


In the pre-Columbian era, what is now Lima was inhabited by Amerindian groups under the Ychsma polity, which was incorporated into the Inca Empire in the 15th century. In 1532, a group of Spanish conquistadors led by Francisco Pizarro defeated the Inca ruler Atahualpa and took over his Empire. As the Spanish Crown had named Pizarro governor of the lands he conquered, he chose the Rímac valley to found his capital on January 18, 1535 as Ciudad de los Reyes (City of the Kings). In August 1536, rebel Inca troops led by Manco Inca besieged the city but were defeated by the Spaniards and their native allies.

Lima gained prestige after being designated capital of the Viceroyalty of Peru and site of a Real Audiencia in 1543. During the next century it flourished as the centre of an extensive trade network that integrated the Viceroyalty with the rest of the Americas, Europe and the Far East.  However, the city was not free from dangers; the presence of pirates and privateers in the Pacific Ocean lead to the building of the Walls of Limabetween 1684 and 1687. Also in this last year a powerful earthquake destroyed most of the city buildings; the earthquake marked a turning point in the city's history as it coincided with a trade recession and growing economic competition with cities such as Buenos Aires.

In 1746, another powerful earthquake severely damaged Lima and destroyed Callao, forcing a massive rebuilding effort under Viceroy José Antonio Manso de Velasco. In the later half of the 18th century, Enlightenment ideas on public health and social control shaped development. During this period, Lima was adversely affected by the Bourbon Reforms as it lost its monopoly on overseas trade and its control over the mining region of Upper Peru. The city's economic decline left its elite dependent on royal and ecclesiastical appointment and thus, reluctant to advocate independence.

A combined expedition of Argentine and Chilean patriots under General José de San Martín landed south of Lima in 1820 but did not attack the city. Faced with a naval blockade and the action of guerrillas on land, Viceroy José de la Serna e Hinojosa evacuated its capital in July 1821 to save the Royalist army.Fearing a popular uprising and lacking any means to impose order, the city council invited San Martín to enter Lima and signed a Declaration of Independence at his request.However, the war was not over; in the next two years the city changed hands several times.

After independence, Lima became the capital of the Republic of Peru but economic stagnation and political turmoil brought urban development to a halt. This hiatus ended in the 1850s, when increased public and private revenues from guano exports led to a rapid development of the city. The export-led expansion also widened the gap between rich and poor, fostering social unrest. During the 1879–1883 War of the Pacific, Chilean troops occupied Lima, looting public museums, libraries and educational institutions. At the same time, angry mobs attacked wealthy citizens and the Asian population; sacking their properties and businesses. The city underwent renewal and expansion from the 1890s to the 1920s. During this period, the urban layout was modified by the construction of broad avenues that crisscrossed the city and connected it with neighboring towns.

On May 24, 1940, an earthquake destroyed most of the city, which at that time was mostly built of adobe and quincha. In the 1940s, Lima started a period of rapid growth spurred by migration from the Andean region, as rural people sought opportunities for work and education. The population, estimated at 0.6 million in 1940, reached 1.9 million by 1960 and 4.8 million by 1980. At the start of this period, the urban area was confined to a triangular area bounded by the city's historic centre, Callao and Chorrillos; in the following decades settlements spread to the north, beyond the Rímac River, to the east, along the Central Highway and to the south. The new migrants, at first confined to slums in downtown Lima, led this expansion through large-scale land invasions, which evolved into shanty towns, known as pueblos jóvenes.


Lima's climate is between mild and warm. Despite its location in the tropics and in a desert, Lima's proximity to the cool waters of the Pacific Ocean leads to temperatures much cooler than those expected for a tropical desert and can be classified as a mild desert climate(Köppen: BWn). It is neither cold nor hot. Temperatures rarely fall below 14 °C (57 °F) or rise above 29 °C (84 °F). Two distinct seasons can be identified: summer, from December through April; and winter from June through October. May and November are generally transition months, with a more dramatic warm-to-cool weather transition.

Summers are warm, humid and relatively sunny. Daily temperatures oscillate between lows of 18 °C (64 °F) to 22 °C (72 °F) and highs of 24 °C (75 °F) to 29 °C (84 °F). Occasional coastal fogs on some mornings and high clouds in some afternoons and evenings can be present. Summer sunsets are colorful, labeled by locals as "cielo de brujas" (Spanish for "sky of witches"), since the sky commonly turns shades of orange, pink and red around 7 pm. Winter weather is dramatically different. Grey skies, breezy conditions, high humidity and cool temperatures prevail. Long (1-week or more) stretches of dark overcast skies are not uncommon. Persistent morning drizzle occurs occasionally from June through September, coating the streets with a thin layer of water that generally dries up by early afternoon. Winter temperatures vary little between day and night. They range from lows of 14 °C (57 °F) to 16 °C (61 °F) and highs of 16 °C (61 °F) to 19 °C (66 °F), rarely exceeding 20 °C (68 °F) except in the easternmost districts.

Relative humidity is always very high, particularly in the mornings. High humidity produces brief morning fog in the early summer and a usually persistent low cloud deck during the winter (generally developing in May and persisting into late November or even early December). The predominantly onshore flow makes the Lima area one of the cloudiest among the entire Peruvian coast. Lima has only 1284 hours of sunshine a year, 28.6 hours in July and 184 hours in April, which is exceptionally little for the latitude. Winter cloudiness prompts locals to seek for sunshine in Andean valleys located at elevations generally above 500 meters above sea level.

While relative humidity is high, rainfall is very low due to strong atmospheric stability. The severely low rainfall impacts on water supply in the city, which originates from wells and from rivers that flow from the Andes. Inland districts receive anywhere between 1 and 6 cm (2.4 in) of rainfall per year, which accumulates mainly during the winter months. Coastal districts receive only 1 to 3 cm (1.2 in). As previously mentioned, winter precipitation occurs in the form of persistent morning drizzle events. These are locally called 'garúa', 'llovizna' or 'camanchacas'. Summer rain, on the other hand, is infrequent and occurs in the form of isolated light and brief showers. These generally occur during afternoons and evenings when leftovers from Andean storms arrive from the east. The lack of heavy rainfall arises from high atmospheric stability caused, in turn, by the combination of cool waters from semi-permanent coastal upwelling and the presence of the cold Humboldt Current and warm air aloft associated with the South Pacific anticyclone.

Lima's climate (like that of most of coastal Peru) gets severely disrupted in El Niño events. Coastal waters usually average around 17–19 °C (63–66 °F), but get much warmer (as in 1998 when the water reached 26 °C (79 °F)). Air temperatures rise accordingly. Such was the case when Lima hit its all-time record high of 34 °C (93 °F).  Cooler climate develops during La Niña years. The all-time record low in the metro area is 8 °C (46 °F), measured in winter 1988.

Climate data for Lima

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 25.8
Daily mean °C (°F) 22.5
Average low °C (°F) 19.1
Source : World Meteorological Organization (UN)


The urban area covers about 800 km2(310 sq mi). It is located on mostly flat terrain in the Peruvian coastal plain, within the valleys of the Chillón, Rímac and Lurín rivers. The city slopes gently from the shores of the Pacific Ocean into valleys and mountain slopes located as high as 1,550 meters (5,090 ft) above sea level. Within the city are isolated hills that are not connected to the surrounding hill chains, such as El Agustino, San Cosme, El Pino, La Milla, Muleria and Pro hills. The San Cristobal hill in the Rímac District, which lies directly north of the downtown area, is the local extreme of an Andean hill outgrowth.

Metro Lima covers 2,672.28 km2(1,031.77 sq mi), of which 825.88 km2(318.87 sq mi) (31%) comprise the actual city and 1,846.40 km2 (712.90 sq mi) (69%) the city outskirts. The urban area extends around 60 km (37 mi) from north to south and around 30 km (19 mi) from west to east. The city center is located 15 km (9.3 mi) inland at the shore of the Rímac River, a vital resource for the city, since it carries what will become drinking water for its inhabitants and fuels the hydroelectric dams that provide electricity to the area. While no official administrative definition for the city exists, it is usually considered to be composed of the central 30 of 43 districts of Lima Province, corresponding to an urban area centered around the historic Cercado de Lima district.The city is the core of the Lima Metro Area, one of the ten largest metro areas in the Americas. Lima is the world's second largest desert city, after Cairo,Egypt.


Lima is the country's industrial and financial centre and one of Latin America's most important financial centers, home to many national companies. It accounts for more than two thirds of Peru's industrial production and most of its tertiary sector.

The Metropolitan area, with around 7,000 factories,leads industrial development, thanks to the quantity and quality of the available workforce  and transport and othernfrastructure. Products include textiles, clothing and food. Chemicals, fish, leather and oil derivatives are manufactured and/or processed. The financial district is in San Isidro, while much of the industrial activity takes place west of downtown, extending to the airport in Callao. Lima has the largest export industry in South America and is a regional hub for the cargo industry.

Industrialization began in the 1930s and by 1950, through import substitution policies, manufacturing made up 14% of GNP. In the late 1950s, up to 70% of consumer goods were manufactured in factories located in Lima.

The Callao seaport is one of the main fishing and commerce ports in South America, covering over 47 hectares (120 acres) and shipping 20.7 million metric tons of cargo in 2007.The main export goods are commodities: oil, steel, silver, zinc, cotton, sugar and coffee.

As of 2003, Lima generated 53% of GDP.Most foreign companies in Peru settled in Lima.

In 2007, the Peruvian economy grew 9%, the largest growth rate in South America.The Lima Stock Exchange rose 185.24% in 2006 and in 2007 by another 168.3%,making it then one of the fastest growing stock exchanges in the world. In 2006, the Lima Stock Exchange was the world's most profitable.

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit 2008 and the Latin America, the Caribbean and the European Union Summit were held there.

Lima is headquarters to banks such as Banco de Crédito del Perú, Scotiabank Perú,Interbank, Bank of the Nation, Banco Continental, MiBanco, Banco Interamericano de Finanzas, Banco Finaciero, Banco de Comercio and CrediScotia. It is a regional headquarters to Standard Chartered. Insurance corporations based in Lima include Rimac Seguros, Mapfre Peru, Interseguro, Pacifico, Protecta and La Positiva.


Lima is made up of thirty densely populated districts, each headed by a local mayor and the Mayor of Lima, whose authority extends to these and the thirteen outer districts of the Lima province.

The city's historic centre is located in the Cercado de Limadistrict, locally known as simply Lima, or as "El Centro" ("Downtown") and it is home to most of the vestiges thecolonial past, the Presidential Palace (Spanish: Palacio de Gobierno), the Metropolitan Municipality and (Spanish:Consejo municipal metropolitano de Lima), Chinatown and dozens of hotels, some operating and some defunct, that cater to the national and international elite.

The upscale San Isidro District is the city's financial center. It is home to politicians and celebrities. San Isidro has parks, including Parque El Olivar, which is home to olive trees imported from Spain during the seventeenth century. The Lima Golf Club, a prominent golf club, is located within the district.

Another upscale district is Miraflores, which has luxury hotels, shops and restaurants. Miraflores has parks and green areas, more than most other districts. Larcomar, a popular shopping mall and entertainment center built on cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean, featuring bars, dance clubs, movie theaters, cafes, shops, boutiques and galleries, is also located in this district. Nightlife, shopping and entertainment center around Parque Kennedy, a park in the heart of Miraflores.

La Molina, San Borja, Santiago de Surco and Jesús María, home to the American Embassy, the exclusive Club Polo Lima, the country's most prestigious university, Universidad Del Pacifico and one of the largest parks in Lima, El Campo De Marte, are the other four wealthy districts.

The most densely populated districts lie in the northern and southern ends of the city (Spanish: Cono Norte and Cono Sur, respectively) and they are mostly composed of Andean immigrants who arrived during the mid- and late- 20th century looking for a better life and economic opportunity, or as refugees of the country's internal conflict with the Shining Path during the late 1980s and early 1990s. In the case of Cono Norte (now called Lima Norte), shopping malls such as Megaplaza and Royal Plaza were built in theIndependencia district, on the border with the Los Olivos district (the most residential neighborhood in the northern part). Most inhabitants are middle or lower middle class.

Barranco, which borders Miraflores by the Pacific Ocean, is the city's bohemian district, home or once home of writers and intellectuals including Mario Vargas Llosa, Chabuca Granda and Alfredo Bryce Echenique. This district has acclaimed restaurants, music venues called "peñas" featuring the traditional folk music of coastal Peru (in Spanish, "música criolla") and beautiful Victorian-style chalets. Along with Miraflores it serves as the home to the foreign nightlife scene.


A bohemian beach-side neighborhood known for its nightlife.


A city on the coast. Districts include Callao, La Perla, La Punta, Bellavista, Ventanilla, Carmen de la Legua y Reynoso and Mi Perú

Central Lima

Includes the Centro Historico, Plaza Mayor (Plaza de Armas) and Plaza San Martín, churches, colonial architecture, the presidential palace, congress, and shopping streets. La Victoria.

Eastern Lima

This districts of La Molina, Cieneguilla, Ate Vitarte, Santa Anita, San Juan de Lurigancho, Lurigancho-Chosica and Chaclacayo

Western Lima

Chorrillos, San Isidro, Magdalena del Mar, Pueblo Libre, San Miguel, San Luis, Jesús María, Breña


An upscale touristy neighborhood with restaurants, nightlife, and hotels. It is the most touristy district of Lima. Main travel agencies, major hotels, airlines offices and foreign embassies are located here. When shopping, the district is good for original paintings, antiques (Av. La Paz), and inexpensive handicrafts (Av. Petit Thouars).

Southern Lima

A large area containing the districts of San Borja, Santiago de Surco, San Juan de Miraflores, Villa María del Triunfo, Villa el Salvador, Pachacamac, Lurín, Punta Hermosa, Punta Negra, San Bartolo, Santa María del Mar and Pucusana.

Northern Lima

Known as 'Lima Norte' or 'Cono Norte', this area includes the districts of Comas, Carabayllo, Puente Piedra, Santa Rosa, Ancón, San Martín de Porres, Los Olivos, Rímac and Independencia.

Prices in Lima



Milk 1 liter $1.15
Tomatoes 1 kg $1.00
Cheese 0.5 kg $4.00
Apples 1 kg $2.30
Oranges 1 kg $1.10
Beer (domestic) 0.5 l $1.30
Bottle of Wine 1 bottle $7.60
Coca-Cola 2 liters $1.82
Bread 1 piece $0.70
Water 1.5 l $0.75



Dinner (Low-range) for 2 $20.00
Dinner (Mid-range) for 2 $40.00
Dinner (High-range) for 2 $
Mac Meal or similar 1 meal $4.50
Water 0.33 l $0.45
Cappuccino 1 cup $2.30
Beer (Imported) 0.33 l $2.15
Beer (domestic) 0.5 l $1.55
Coca-Cola 0.33 l $0.70
Coctail drink 1 drink $6.00



Cinema 2 tickets $12.00
Gym 1 month $70.00
Men’s Haircut 1 haircut $5.50
Theatar 2 tickets $60.00
Mobile (prepaid) 1 min. $0.13
Pack of Marlboro 1 pack $2.60



Antibiotics 1 pack $7.00
Tampons 32 pieces $8.00
Deodorant 50 ml. $4.20
Shampoo 400 ml. $5.70
Toilet paper 4 rolls $1.70
Toothpaste 1 tube $1.60



Jeans (Levis 501 or similar) 1 $47.00
Dress summer (Zara, H&M) 1 $42.00
Sport shoes (Nike, Adidas) $85.00
Leather shoes 1 $75.00



Gasoline 1 liter $1.04
Taxi Start $1.80
Taxi 1 km $1.50
Local Transport 1 ticket $0.50

Tourist (Backpacker)  

35 $ per day

Estimated cost per 1 day including:

  • meals in cheap restaurant
  • public transport
  • cheap hotel

Tourist (business/regular)  

146 $ per day

Estimated cost per 1 day including:

  • mid-range meals and drinks
  • transportation
  • hotel

Transportation - Get In

Transportation - Get In

By plane

  • Jorge Chávez International Airport (IATA:LIM),   +51 1 511-6055. The airport is located in Callao, a seaport city northwest of Lima, located 11km (7mi) from the central historic core and 17km (11mi) from Miraflores.

The airport is well connected with most cities in South America as well as some North Americanand European cities. Flights arrive daily fromAmsterdam, Bogotá, Madrid, Medellín, Miami, Quito, Santiago de Chile and Toronto. There are also regular flights from Atlanta, Fort Lauderdale, Houston and Newark. From May 2016, there will be three flights a week from London Gatwick.

Lima is the hub for many national domestic flights and is served by LAN Perú, LC Perú, Avianca Perú, Peruvian Airlines, and Star Perú.

The airport has wifi (WIGO), and you should pay a fare.

Airlines and destinations

Latam Perú is the only national carrier that flies internationally.

  • LATAM Perú (Arequipa, Bogotá, Brasília, Buenos Aires-Ezeiza, Cajamarca, Cali, Caracas, Cartagena de Indias, Chiclayo, Córdoba (Argentina), Cuzco, Guayaquil, Iquitos, Iquique, Juliaca, La Paz, Los Angeles, Madrid, Medellín, Mexico City, Miami, Piura, Pucallpa, Puerto Maldonado, Punta Cana, Quito, Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Santiago, São Paulo-Guarulhos, Tacna, Tarapoto, Trujillo, Tumbes.
  • LATAM Airlines (formerly LAN & TAM Airlines) serves Los Angeles, New York-JFK, Santiago, Easter Island, Sao Paulo
  • Avianca Peru (formerly Taca Peru) serves many Latin American cities including Arequipa, Asunción, Bogotá, Buenos Aires-Ezeiza, Cancún, Caracas, Chiclayo, Cuzco, Havana, Juliaca, Guatemala City, Guayaquil, La Paz, Medellín, Miami, Montevideo, Piura, Puerto Maldonado, Quito, Rio de Janeiro-Galeão, San José (Costa Rica), San Salvador, Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Santiago, São Paulo-Guarulhos, Tarapoto and Trujillo
  • Europe is served by Air Europa, British Airways (from 4th May 2016), Air France, Iberia and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
  • USA is served by American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, JetBlue, United Airlines, Spirit Airlines and LATAM
  • Canada is served by Air Canada
  • Other Latin American airlines include Copa Airlines (Panama), Aeroméxico, Interjet (Mexico City), Viva Colombia (Bogota); Avianca Holdings (El Salvador, Colombia and Costa Rica); Gol (Brazil); LATAM (formerly TAM Airlines & LAN Airlines) (Brazil, Chile &USA); Sky Airlines (Santiago de Chile) and Aerolíneas Argentinas (Buenos Aires)

Other Peruvian airline domestic destinations include:

  • LC Perú (Andahuaylas, Arequipa, Ayacucho, Cajamarca, Chiclayo, Cuzco, Huancayo (Jauja), Huánuco, Huaraz, Tingo María, Trujillo)
  • Peruvian Airlines (Arequipa, Cuzco, Iquitos, Pucallpa, Piura, Tacna and Tarapoto. And to La Paz, Boliva internationally)
  • Star Peru (Cuzco, Huanuco, Iquitos, Pucallpa, Puerto Maldonado, Tarapoto)


Arrival at the airport can be chaotic. Most flights from overseas arrive in clumps either early in the morning or very late at night, which means that getting through immigration and customs can be tremendously time consuming; the time between arrival at the gate and exiting customs can range from 20-90 minutes.

The area immediately outside of customs is typically crowded, full of people waiting for arriving passengers. It's not uncommon for entire families to show up to greet a returning family member and the crowd is further swelled by pre-booked car and taxi service drivers holding up signs with passengers' names; in recent years, a large area where passengers can stand freely and scan the crowd to look for people and not be accosted has been cordoned off in front of the customs exit.


Be wary of taxi drivers at the airport: if you need transportation from the airport you should avoid using the informal taxis outside that will accost you. Instead, you should either hire it inside the customs reception area (at somewhat inflated fees, as these companies, currently Green Taxi, CMV, and Mitsui, pay a premium to locate their desk there), or book one ahead of time online with a reputable company. It is best to use a certified ground transportation supplier so you can always be on the safe side. That being said, once you leave the grounds of the airport, things get much cheaper rather rapidly and a trip to Miraflores shouldn't cost you any more than 25 soles but it is obviously not as safe and secure.

Express airport bus

An express bus to Centro and Miraflores leaves from in front of the Arrivals hall; ask at the airport information desk.

Car rentals

Car rental is available at the airport via Hertz, Budget, and National, but unless you have experience driving in extremely challenging environments you should avoid driving yourself in Lima.

Transportation - Get In

By bus

Most companies have their terminals lined up along Paseo de la Republica (north & south) in La Victoria, not Lima's nicest district. However. Other stations are in the outskirts of La Victoria (Av. Javier Prado and and along Paseo de la Republica), which is better. There you find some of the more reputable companies like Cruz del Sur, Tepsa, Ormeño, CIAL, Linea, ITTSA, Movil Tours, Flores and Civa. Some of the same companies have multiple terminals in La Victoria, service to/from "Gran Terminal Terrestre Plaza Norte"in Túpac Amaru in the northern part of town; and in/around Acotongo in the southern part of town.

If you are staying in the North Lima area or close to the airport, there is a modern bus terminal: "Gran Terminal Terrestre Plaza Norte" which is very convenient. It should take you around 10 minutes to get there from the airport by the Avenida Tomás Valle in a combi or taxi (there are no buses along the whole length of this avenue).

Regular buses run up and down the roads Panamericana Sur/Norte (the local name for the Panamerican Highway), Carretera Central, Interoceánica Sur, Interoceánica Norte, amongst others:

  • South: Pisco, Ica, Nazca, Arequipa, Tacna, Cuzco, Puerto Maldonado, Juliaca, Puno,Moquegua, Ilo.
  • North: Huaraz, Chimbote, Trujillo, Chiclayo, Piura, Cajamarca & Tumbes.
  • East: Huancayo, Cerro de Pasco, Huánuco and Pucallpa.

Companies and terminals

Some of the major bus companies and their terminal locations:

  • CialAv. Republica de Panamá 2469-2485, La Victoria,  +51 1 207-6900.
  • Civa/ExclucivaPaseo de la República 575, La Victoria (Corner of Paseo de la República & Av 28 de Julio),  +51 1 481-1111. They also have another terminal for their 'Excluciva' brand at Javier Prado Este #1155
  • Cruz del SurAv Javier Prado Este 1109, La Victoria (Javier Prado Este & Nicolás Arriola in La Victoria),   +51 1 311-5050, 431-5125, toll-free: 72-0444 or 0801-1111.Serves Arequipa, Ica, Cuzco, Puno, Chiclayo, Trujillo, Pisco, Arequipa, Tacna, Cuzco,La Paz, Santiago, Buenos Aires, Cali, Nazca, Guayaquil, Quito, Bogotá and Máncora.
  • Transportes FloresPaseo de La Republica 627 & 688, La Victoria (Paseo de La Republica & Av 28 de Julio),  +51 1 332-1212, 424-0888. They also have another station at 28 de Julio No 1246.
  • ITTSAAv. Paseo de la República 809,  +51 956 487-989. Goes from Lima only to Chimbote, Chiclayo, Piura, Sullana, Talara and Trujillo in the northern regions of the country
  • Movil ToursPaseo de la Republica 749, La Victoria (Frente al Estadio Nacional. Front of the National Stadium), +51 1 716-8000. They also have another station nearby at Javier Prado Este 1093, La Victoria in front of the Clinica Ricardo Palma & next to a KIA car dealership.
  • OltursaAv. Aramburú 1160, San Isidro (SE of the intersection Av Republica de Panama next to the Derco Center car dealership.),  +51 1 708-5000.
  • OrmeñoAv. Javier Prado Oeste Nº 1057, La Victoria - Lima 13+51 1 472-5000, 472-1710
  • TEPSAAv Javier Prado Este 1091, La Victoria (west of the interesection of Javier Prado Este & Paseo de la Republica.),  +51 1 617-9000, 990 690-534.


Transportation - Get Around


If going further, a taxi ride between adjacent neighbourhoods costs about 7-10 soles (US$2-3), if you speak Spanish well enough. A longer ride may cost from 24-34 soles (US$7–10). A reasonable price for a taxi service between the airport and Miraflores is about 65 soles (US$25), but may cost more from within the airport. By custom, taxis do not have meters; rather, the fare should be negotiated before boarding the taxi, or, if you order by phone, at booking time. If asking for a ride on the street, don't be fooled into getting into the cab before a rate is negotiated. Be very discerning about which taxi you choose and avoid hailing random cabs off the street as much as possible.

Caution is advised when using taxis in Lima. In Lima the shared taxis are prohibited, but there are some taxis colectivos pirata, and it might not hurt to look if there's someone hiding on the back seat or the trunk before entering.

First time travellers to Peru need nerves of steel with regard to the traffic. Lima harbours the most lunatic drivers in the world and taxi drivers are among the worst.

Maintenance of any mechanical object in Peru, (including taxis) is only performed once it has already ceased to function. Many cars are in very poor, even unsafe, condition. It's very common to see cars and taxis with missing windows or body parts.

If you don't know a trusted taxi, it's wise to use the public transport.

Public transport

Lima's public transport network consists of a single metro line, modern buses, coasters and combis (which are called "micros" by the locals). The system can be confusing for foreign tourists.

For example, to go from the airport to Magdalena, Miraflores or Surco, you can take the big blue bus called "Las Flores 18" (IM-18). The fare is 2 soles (Miraflores) or 2 soles 50 (Surco).

On the side of every bus or van you will see the names of the major avenues it travels along. Conductors generally lean out the door of the bus yelling the destinations. If this doesn't make sense, ask the conductor. Also here be aware of pickpockets.

Metropolitano is a modern rapid transport bus system, operated with fully wheelchair-accessible articulated ("bendy") buses. Express routes have their own dedicated lanes on expressways. Rechargeable cards are used as tickets with a minimum purchase price of 5 soles.

Corredores Complementarios are part of an integrated transport system. There are 2 corredores: Tacna - Garcilaso - Arequipa (corredor azul - blue) and Javier Prado - La Marina (corredor rojo - red).

Line 1 of the Lima Metro currently serves 33 stations through 11 districts. Line 2 is under construction, and several more are planned in the near future.







For some reason it is very hard to change money other than Euros and U.S. Dollars in Lima. You can't even change the currency from neighbouring countries in normal money exchanges and banks. You might find more flexible exchange offices at the airport, but they often charge ridiculous service fees and exchange rates.

Changing money in Miraflores can be done safely with cambistas on the street, but you must follow a few simple rules to avoid being cheated. First, make sure that the cambista is wearing the vest-uniform indicating that he or she is an authorized, licensed cambista. Always ask for the exchange rate ("tipo de cambio"). It is worth it to compare with several cambistas, especially if you are changing a significant amount of money. Some scammers do tricks with their calculators in your face and you won't notice, so the best way to know how much you should be getting is to bring a calculator yourself or use the one in your cellphone. Finally, make sure that the bills the cambista gives you have his or her seal ("sello") stamped on them - that way, if by chance one of them turns out to be counterfeit you can come back and complain. It is rare to get counterfeit notes from a cambista, but asking for the seal helps maintain the incentive for honesty and acts as insurance for you.


As anywhere, your best bet is usually to simply draw money from an ATM. There are banks dotted all over Lima and some of them have guarded ATMs. Chances are your bank will charge you a fortune every time you withdraw money so it is better value to get as much as possible when making a withdrawal. BCP and Scotiabank cajeros generally allow withdrawals up to 700 soles. Interbank has been known to charge insane fees (around $18 for a $50 transaction).

Always be cautious when using an ATM, as you may be followed and targeted for a robbery.


Musical instruments

If you are interested in purchasing Peruvian folk musical instruments, there are a number of stores selling charangos, quenas, antaras, etc. on Ca. Cantuarias. If you have the time, a number of these stores can help you find a teacher to learn how to play your purchase.


Your best bet is to head for Av. Petit Thouars in Miraflores, which is full of handicrafts stores. Alternarively, go to Av. La Marina in Pueblo Libre.


The main supermarkets are Wong, Metro, Plaza Vea, Vivanda and Tottus. These can be found all over.


Gastronomy has been, since the days of the Spanish vice royalty, an essential aspect of life in Lima. During the last few years, the city's dining reputation has experienced a huge leap in the eyes of the world, due in part to the International Summit of Gastronomy (Madrid Fusión) in 2006, which declared Lima to be the "Gastronomy Capital of the Americas". The offerings in Lima are nowadays more varied and cover a wide range of types and cuisines, both regional and international.

Despite the wide range of choice in Lima's many restaurants, ceviche is surely number one on the list of dishes you must get to know, not only because it happens to be the Peruvian national dish, but because of its unparalleled delicious taste. With the increasing interest in the Peruvian cuisine, ceviche is quickly making its way onto tables all over the world. But if you want to enjoy the real thing, don't miss it during your stay here in ceviche's Mecca. There is at least one cevichería in every neighbourhood. Moreover, most criollo restaurants include ceviche on their menus; indeed the dish is so popular that it is even offered at many of the more upscale nouvelle-cuisine restaurants.

In some places, Peruvian food tend to be spicy and heavy. Try it and ask if any dish is picante (spicy), which usually means it is going to be very spicy! A full meal may be really heavy even if it's perfectly nice and well-prepared with fresh ingredients.

A second must goes to Asian cuisine, both Chinese and Japanese, which predictably, have a strong Peruvian influence. Chifas - that is, Chinese restaurants-, which can be counted by the hundreds if not thousands, are usually down-to-earth neighbourhood eateries, offering a fare rich in seafood and chicken. Japanese restaurants, on the contrary, are less widespread, and more upscale and expensive. Their forte is, of course, a year-round supply of the freshest and most varied seafood.

Travelers longing for a delicious falafel or shwarma sandwich will be pleased to learn there is an excellent café in Parque Kennedy that serves these type of Middle Eastern foods at reasonable prices.

There is a heavy presence of fast-food chains such as KFC, Pizza Hut, McDonald's, Subway, Papa John's and local chain Bembos all over the city. Places such as Burger King, Chili's and TGI Friday's are scarce, but can be found around Miraflores. Also, you shouldn't miss Peruvian-style hamburgers at Bembos, and traditional Peruvian sandwiches in if you want to give your everyday fast-food a local twist.

Sights & Landmarks

  • The historic downtown, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • The Circuito Mágico del Agua (Magic Water Tour), a fountain and light display in the Parque de la Reserva and Parque Fermín Tangüis.
  • The Parque del Amor (Lovers' Park) in Miraflores.
  • The Costa Verde, Lima's impressive green coast stretches between San Miguel and Chorrillos.
  • The tourist-friendly districts of Barranco, Miraflores and Santiago de Surco.
  • The historical sites of Pueblo Libre, including the Cruz del Viajero, a monumental Christian cross dating from the era of the Conquistadores.
  • Lima's best shopping malls: Plaza Norte, Jockey Plaza, Larcomar, Mall Aventura Plaza, Real Plaza Salaverry.
  • Historical churches: Lima´s Cathedral, Santo Domingo (San Martín de Porres), Santa Rosa (Santa Rosa de Lima), Nazarenas (Señor de los Milagros), San Francisco.
  • Museums: Museo nacional de Arqueología, Antropología e Historia (Pueblo Libre), Museo de Arte (Paseo Colón), Museo Pedro de Osma (Barranco), Museo Rafael Larco (Pueblo Libre).
  • Parque Kennedy in the center of Miraflores. This park is right in the entertainment district and is famous for the huge amount of cats that live there.

Museums & Galleries

Lima is home to the country's highest concentration of museums, most notably the Museo Nacional de Arqueología, Antropología e Historia del Perú, Museum of Art, the Museo Pedro de Osma, the Museum of Natural History, the Museum of the Nation, The Sala Museo Oro del Perú Larcomar, the Museum of Italian Art the Museum of Gold and the Larco Museum. These museums focus on art, pre-Columbian cultures, natural history, science and religion. The Museum of Italian Art shows European art.

Things to do

  • Bike Tours of LimaCalle Bolivar 150, Miraflores+51 1 445-3172. M–F 9:30AM–6PM; Sa, Su 9:30AM–2PM. A variety of 'public' and private bicycle, walking and food tours of Lima by English-speaking guides. Prior booking is required. Currently number 1 activity in Lima on Tripadvisor. Biking tours US$35–US$90, other prices vary, pay in U.S. Dollars.
  • The Lima Gourmet CompanyMiraflores, Lima, Peru,  +51 1 446-6829. 24. A combined city and culinary tour of Lima. Travelers will visit a local market, have a hands-on cooking class and try different Peruvian dishes while they tour the city's main districts and historical points of interest. Great if you don't have much time in Lima.
  • Folkloric dance showsHeroes de Tarapacá 168 (First left off Av. Brasil from Plaza Francisco Bolognesi),  +51 1 7156960, e-mail: . Almuerzo: Fr, Sa 1:00PM–5:30PM; Noches de Foclore: Tu, W 9PM–12:15AM; Th 9:45PM–1:35AM; F, Sa 10PM–2AM. Live shows of local dance with dinner or lunch included. Choose between Almuerzo (lunchtime) Shows, Noches de Folclore (folklore evenings) and periodic special shows. Range from 39.50–68 soles per person.
  • Mirabus bus and road train toursTourist information booth in Parque Kenedy, Miraflores,  +51 1 242-6699. Information booth open every day 9AM–7PM. Various themed day and night bus tours of Lima and the surrounding region, including excursions to Caral and Pachacamac. They also operate a road train around the main sights of Centro. Most bus tours: adults 70 soles, children (4–10 years) 50 soles, under 4s free. City centre road train: adults 5 soles, children (4–10 years) 3 soles, under 4s free. Other prices vary from 10–220 soles per person.
  • Surfing the waves of the Pacific Ocean in Miraflores Beach
  • Paragliding over the reefs of Miraflores Beach
  • Visit Pachacamac in Lurin (1/2 hour from Miraflores), a sacred pre-Inca citadel.
  • Go to Mamacona (Lurin, behind Pachacamac) and live the emotion of a live show with Caballo Peruano de paso and the beautiful dance Marinera. Tickets in Mirabus, central park of Miraflores.


  • Pisco Sour is the national drink of Peru, made with Pisco, a brandy made of grapes. It is highly recommended that all visitors to Peru try this drink at least once. Visitors might be amused to learn that Chileans claim Pisco Sour is their own, but it isn't true. There are some variations that are offered in several bars around town. Just be careful; the fresh and sweet flavour makes it very easy to drink too much, and you can so easily get drunk on it.
  • Inca Kola is the most popular soft drink in Peru, one of few sodas that Coca Cola couldn't defeat (until they bought the company). It's a yellow-fruit flavored drink that tastes like hierba luisa.
  • Jugos You can find great fresh fruit drinks all over Lima. Starting from 0.50 soles for a fresh orange juice at the market to some more expensive ones. Surtidos, containing several different fruits, are quite tasty.
  • Chicha Morada A refreshing, purple, non-alcoholic drink high in antioxidants. It's made by boiling purple corn with pineapple, cinnamon, clove, and sugar.
  • Starbucks Coffee is predictably widespread if you really need your daily caffeine fix.

Safety in Lima

Stay Safe

If you witness a crime being committed, do not intervene unless you are really sure of what you are doing: many criminals, even pickpockets, carry guns, knives, etc. and may use them if feeling threatened.

In general, a tried and true technique for staying safe in Lima is to simply maintain a low profile. Leave your fancy watch at home, don't wear a fine suit and don't carry a laptop when hailing taxis on the street, and keep a relaxed, friendly, smiling attitude. If you do need to go out dressed like a gringo, call a taxi rather than hire one in the moment - the few moments you wait and the few extra soles you pay will be worth it.


While there is not much violent crime against tourists, opportunistic theft is rampant. Watch out for pickpockets constantly. If you carry a purse, a camera, a backpack or just a pair of sunglasses hang on to them at all times. In crowded areas, put your back pack on your front and hold shopping close to you. Just keep your eyes open and be aware of people around you. In any case, if someone extremely friendly approaches (even wanting to stretch your hand), just try not to talk that much, and they'll go away. It's normal to find polite people around trying to help tourists, but stay away from the extremely friendly ones.

Football violence

Avoid the surroundings of football (soccer) stadiums before and after big matches, since "barras bravas" (hooligans) can be very violent. Ask for advice if you plan to go there or thereabouts. Very infrequently, but occasionally even in nicer tourist areas, gangs of young supporters of rival football clubs, or strikers involved in a labor dispute may brawl. If you find yourself caught in the middle of such a confrontation, just try to move out of the way, preferably behind a closed door. These youths generally do not carry lethal weapons, and the worst that is likely to happen is that someone will get hit with a rock before the police arrive to break it up.

Districts of note

Some areas of Lima are safer than others: Miraflores and San Isidro have large populations of well-to-do and wealthy Peruvians, not to mention large tourist groups, so they have a large police presence to protect the population. Other districts, such as La Victoria, are much more dangerous. Visitors would be well advised to stay out of these areas unless accompanied by an experienced native or visiting busy areas during daylight hours. Downtown Lima is normally well patrolled but be careful anyway. Callao (the port, technically a different city) is rather rough: ask for advice before going there if you plan to. The area around the airport is generally safe and well guarded but use common sense while carrying your luggage outside the airport.


Staying safe for adults can also require an understanding of the sexual climate of Peru. In general Peru is a relatively conservative country in the sense of male and female roles, but at the same time Peruvians are extremely open to friendships with foreigners. Thus, some males can find themselves suddenly the object of flirtation by attractive young Peruvian women, but then be suddenly rejected for having violated some unwritten line of conduct in, say, discussion topics. Women can find themselves the object of unwanted looks and stares, but at the same time the risk of violence and rape is probably not as high as in many other countries.

A problem that can arise is the Peruvian concept of the pepera, found at certain night clubs or pubs. Peperas are usually attractive women aged 16–25 that deliberately entice foreign tourists and then spike their drinks with sleeping pills and rob them once they're unconscious. Usually peperas work in groups of two, although smaller and larger groups exist as well. Male "peperos" also spike the drinks of women but robbery is often accompanied by rape. Peperas in general are found in dense tourist areas, such as Parque Kennedy in Miraflores as well as the Plaza de Armas in central Lima. One locale in particular that is notorious for dangerous peperas is the Tequila Rock discoteca in Miraflores and its sister in Pueblo Libre (La Marina). As of July 2013 cases of drink spiking, working with bar staff, occurred in Albazos restaurant y pisco bar (Berlin 172 in Miraflores).

Another cultural concept worth learning is the "brichera" (or "brichero"). There are two types of bricheras: the first type are women that are genuinely looking to meet foreign men in the hopes of dating or marriage or even a quick fling. The second type are women that search for foreign men with the implicit purpose of exchanging sex for small gifts or money. This second type of brichera is risky, especially for foreigners lacking local sensibilities, since it involves prostitution. These bricheras do not use contraception reliably, and therefore pose a higher risk for transmitting STDs (Sexual Transmitted Diseases). If you decide to have a fling, make sure to use a condom.


Another important point to be taken into consideration is that you should not pick up just any taxi, especially when you are leaving the airport. It is not unusual to hear news of taxi drivers cheating tourists by charging them 100 or even 200 soles for normal rides, which is well in excess of the maximum fare limit of 50 soles. Even though Peruvian taxi drivers normally increase their fares for gringos, it is not usually such a massive difference. It is most advisable to use one of the official taxi companies inside the airport with set fares to ensure your safety.

Taxi drivers have also been known to participate in robberies, express kidnappings or serve as get away vehicles. While the overwhelming majority of Lima's taxistas are honest hard working people trying to make a living, you should be alert if you are going to hail a taxi on the street, especially if you appear to be wealthy and / or a foreigner. Your safest bet is to have your hotel call a taxi for you or keep the numbers of official taxi companies ("radio taxis", which are marked with registered numbers) handy. Lima's tourist information centers will be willing to call one for you as well.

Peru - Travel guide