When it comes to Peru there is much to see and do, and in Lima this is particularly evident. But, with its chaotic backdrop and intimidating size, it can be overwhelming for travelers once they have set foot in the city. This is the capital and it does tend to terrify as much as it will enthrall, but don’t worry because under the hard shell you will find a welcoming and warm city to enjoy.
One of the most important things to do in Lima, especially if you don’t have a lot of time, is be sure to sample some of the amazing food the city has to offer. Known as the South American Gastronomic Capital, this city has good reason to be proud of its food. When it comes to the Peruvian dish of ceviche, this is the place to try the dish which is made with shellfish and/or raw fish that is marinated in lime juice. It’s a simple dish with just a bit of onion, cilantro and hot pepper added but the result is exquisite. You don’t have to go to a gourmet restaurant to try this. There are many smaller places in the city where it can be sampled or, even better, head to the beach in Chorrillos, a subsection of Lima.
If you’ve got time for more traditional types of tourist excursions, check out the Museo Larco in Pueblo Libre. This is one of the best museums in the city and houses an impressive collection of pre-Columbian, the finest in silver and gold from ancient Peru and, quite notably, a fascinating display of erotic art. It’s also worth taking the city tour on which you can see some of the most impressive examples of colonial architecture as well as take a tour of the catacombs under the Church of San Francisco.
Many people don’t realize the strong influence that African culture has had on Peru. As in many other areas of the world, the former presence of slaves in the country brought with it the culture of those people in the form of music, dancing and food. Lima is full of things to do but one of the top attractions is visiting a specialized restaurant that has dinner shows complete with dancing and music to get a greater feel for the history of Peru. Some of these restaurants will feature other typical dances of the country as well.
By heading to Barranco, you can experience a more Bohemian part of Lima. This is a beautiful section of Lima right on the water where there are a multitude of cafes, bars and artsy types of shops. An outdoor food festival on the weekends allows you to sample many of the dishes that Peru has to offer.
What many people do is stay in Miraflores, and this is often a good idea. It is one of the safer neighborhoods with many hotels and restaurants making it a good home base for seeing the many sights located elsewhere. The city has gotten safer in recent years but it’s still a large city where you should exercise the care you would in any other place this size.