For travelers, Lima is merely the gateway to renowned national treasures of Peru, be it Machu Picchu in Cusco or Lake Titicaca in Puno. It’s true that the capital city is home to the Andean nation’s main international airport, but Lima is worth more than a short stopover. An award winning culinary scene, archaeological sites, and Colonial style architecture surrounded by urbanized areas, and near constant views of the Pacific Ocean make Lima a thrilling introduction to your Peru journey, if not the main destination.
It is the gateway to the country as most travellers to Peru will enter and exit through the city’s modern airport.
The city is located on the Pacific in the central coastal area of the country. It is a large sprawling conurbation whose metropolitan region has a population of over 11 million people.
For travelers who give it time, Lima offers travelers a chance to experience a vibrant, dynamic city that is full of culture, history, museums, boutiques, and amazing Pacific sunsets. The cherry on top, Lima is one of the food capitals of the world, with mouthwatering cuisine that will delight your taste buds..
Lima has a mild desert climate where temperatures rarely fall below 14 °C (57 °F) or rise above 29 °C (84 °F).
Summer is from December to April and Winter June to October.
In Summer you may well get colourful sunsets whilst in winter the skies are generally overcast with a high probability of drizzle.
The city boasts some of the finest museums on the continent.
Two of the most popular museums are:
The Larco Museum, (Av. Bolivar 1515, Pueblo Libre, Lima) which houses a fascinating collection of gold, silver and textiles from pre Columbian times. The building itself, a colonial mansion is built on a pre Columbian pyramid site.
The Archaeology, Anthropology and History Museum (Plaza Bolivar, Lima) Peru’s oldest museum housing textiles, figurines, stone tools, ceramics and metalwork dating back to Pre Columbian times.
Peruvian gastronomy is famous region wide and is getting itself known on the world stage. Lima has three restaurants in the World’s 30 best restaurant list of 2018 These are:
Central: (Santa Isabel 376. Miraflores, Lima) A culinary journey through Peru from the Pacific Ocean to the peaks of the Andes. Ingredients are foraged from all over the country.
Maido: (Calle San Martín 399, Miraflores – Lima) Where Japan meets Peru. They call this fusion, where the two cultures meet in harmony and create a third reality the Nikkei Experience.
Astrid y Gaston: (Av. Paz Soldán 290, San Isidro, Lima) This restaurant is responsible for helping to transform contemporary Peruvian cuisine to what it is today.
Most tourists stay in the districts of Miralfores, San Isidro and Barranco, where there is a wide variety of hotels. These districts are ideal for exploring on foot and have plenty of dining options.
Walking in Lima or even a bike tour
One of the best ways to explore the Lima city is on a guided walking tour. At Orange Nation & SAM Corp we can include a guided walking tour into your itinerary which takes in the principal sites of Lima like the Central Market, Congress and Plaza Mayor.
As in most big cities we recommend you go out with just what you need and leave any jewellery or valuables in the hotel safe.
Water Fountains, lights and music: (Parque de La Reserva Lima)
Tuesday to Sunday, the fountains in Parque de La Reserva provide visitors with great spectacle with lights and set to music.
Monasterio de San Francisco, (Plazuela San Francisco, Lima). A visit to the bone lined catacombs is not for the faint hearted.
Museum of the Inquisition, (Plaza Bolivar, Lima) Another place not for the faint hearted. All means of “persuasion” used by the Inquisition are shown.
If you are planning a trip to Peru you might want to consider a stop in Lima at the start or end of your tour, we recommend to spend 1 or 2 days.
Contact Orange Nation and we can plan your trip of a lifetime to Peru and Machu Picchu
Lima Airport (Jorge Chavez International Airport)
Even if you’re not spending a lot of time in the city, you’ll probably transit through Peru’s principal gateway, the Lima Jorge Chavez International Airport. To arrive in the city’s popular Miraflores and Barranco districts, you must take a 40-60 minute transfer, depending on traffic.
The airport is located in the Callao district, about 6 mi (20 km) from Miraflores. For travelers with an early morning or late night flight out of Lima, the Wyndham Costa del Sol Airport Hotel provides maximum comfort while in transit.
Is Lima safe for tourists?
Like in any big city, you should take standard precautions to stay safe while exploring Lima. Some areas of Lima city are safer than others, but the main tourist areas are fairly safe, especially in daylight hours. In the evening hours, stick to well-lit major streets for extra safety.
How can I get from Lima to Cusco?
To get to Lima from Cusco, you need to make your way to Jorge Chavez International Airport of Lima, and board a 1 hour flight to Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport of Cusco. Some travelers prefer to travel to Cusco by bus, the bus ride to Cusco takes approximately 23 hours and the route through the mountains consists of very high and windy roads.
Some important safety tips include:
If you’re heading to Lima, there are some things you are going to make sure you have:
Sun Protection; If it’s the summer, you’ll definitely need to bring sunblock as the UV index can be quite strong in this city so even if you don’t’ usually burn, in Lima you likely will. Don’t forget to bring your sunglasses as well.
Clothing; For clothes, t-shirt, shorts, comfortable, loose-fitting pants and sundresses are perfect. If you want to do some exercising along the coast, pack some athletic wear as well. A sweater, jacket and light rain jacket for layering should be added during the winter months (May-October). A bathing suit in the summer (December-April) is a good idea as well.
Footwear; City boots or comfortable walking shoes with support are a must.
Documents; Of course don’t forget to bring your passport as well as copies of your passport as backup. It is also good to have all confirmation codes and tickets organized and protected in a designated compartment or folder.
Electronics; In terms of electronics, don’t forget your mobile phone, Peru power adapter, camera and portable charger.
Personal items; Other things to always carry around include a first aid kit, sanitizing wipes, hand sanitizer and travel toilet paper (public restrooms often don’t have it).
Guided tours of Lima usually include transportation between sites. For sightseeing without a guide, the Mirabus and Turibus offer convenient tour bus service to the city’s top attractions. If you prefer to explore on your own, the Lima Metropolitano provides the easiest and fastest way to move around the city while avoiding getting stuck in traffic.
If you prefer taxis, your hotel can call you a secure taxi. Please keep in mind the taxis are not metered, so it is best to negotiate your fare before hopping in. If you don’t speak Spanish, your hotel concierge can help do this for you.
Carry local currency (called Soles) in small denominations to pay for taxis, tips for guides, small purchases, and meals at cafes and restaurants. Vendors rarely have change for larger bills, so it’s best to have small change. Larger balances at shops, restaurants, hotels, and some tour agencies can be paid with a credit card. As of April 2023, $10 USD is roughly 36 Soles.
There are money exchange locations all over the tourist districts, called Casa de Cambio (House of Change). In Miraflores, you can find them all along Avenida Larco, which is the main avenue connecting the popular Parque de Kennedy to the coastal outdoor malls and parks. As of May 2023, $1 USD equals s/. 3.37 soles.
Commun Sence Tips
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It was perfect! On the first day we had a great time exploring the Sacred Valley and see the main attractions and learn about the history of this beautiful place.
I would definitely recommend the short Inka trail, I think it was the best way to get to know Machu Picchu and the surrounding area. We arrived at Machu Picchu when most of the crowd was gone and it felt really special.
You won’t regret booking with this tour company, especially if Liz Montesinos is your guide. My boyfriend and I did the 4 day Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu and Rainbow Mountain (private) tour. The tour covered everything; from transportation, hotels, meals, tickets and entrance fees, to stops at local places we would’ve never known to go or check out. We did a private tour because for us we felt this would help us get the most out of our time and experience in Peru
Best mix of adventure, history and nature: Sacred Valley & Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
4-day trekking option seemed too intense for us, but we still wanted to experience the entrance to Machu Picchu through the ancient Inka trail, so we opted for Orange Nation’s combination of Sacred Valley & Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. I couldn’t be more happy about our decision.
We booked and paid the deposit to Orange Nation / Sam travel for the 4 day Inca Trail and Machu Pichu trip back in 2019. But we couldn't travel in 2020 and 2021 - but the company honoured our agreement and so we came back in 2022.
You won’t regret booking with this tour company, especially if Liz Montesinos is your guide. My boyfriend and I did the 4 day Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu and Rainbow Mountain (private) tour. The tour covered everything; from transportation, hotels, meals, tickets and entrance fees, to stops at local places we would’ve never known to go or check out. We did a private tour because for us we felt this would help us get the most out of our time and experience in Peru. This tour had so many incredible things and places packed into 4 days.
My girl and i did the Machu Pichu trek tour with Orange Nation. It was seriously the most amazing experience that we'll never forget. Gorgeous views! The long trek was worth the amazing view. The tour guide was friendly and very knowledgeable. We considered other tours but chose Orange Nation because we liked the idea of smaller groups and this was definitely worth it. I will be using Orange Nation again next year when I come back to Peru!
Wow, what a wonderful trekking experience! My trip to Peru was amazing thanks to this awesome tour that i took with Orange Nation. I did multiple tours with this company. I'm a solo traveler and everyone in my group was always still friendly and did not make me feel left out. I loved going off the beaten track with this company. It's much better to pay extra to go off the path for the quality experience of this amazing guided tour They definitely helped guide us and gave us a quality experience with a small group and paid special attention to each one of us. I highly recommend using Orange Nation for your next tour in Peru!
Has one of the most outstanding meal services. Our chefs have been highly trained to prepare the best peruavian and International food our treks. You should be prepared to not only have a superb trekking experience, but also a culinary one. "The food has been the highlight for all our hikers"
10/10 Amazing experience
If you’re thinking about which agency to use, look no further- Ray and Jimmy went well above and beyond and made this a memorable, safe, fun, and professional experience.
Ray is the most knowledgeable guide I’ve ever had in any country for any excursion - during both the Short Inka Trail and the actual tour of Machu Picchu, Ray’s expertise shined through in his ability to give us a detailed background on every aspect of the history, climate, nature, flora, animals.. anything!
Likewise, Ray and Jimmy were truly the friendliest, kindest hosts that I could have imagined our group having.
Thank you both so much and I will definitely book with you again if (when) I come back!
Did the 2 day Inca trail with Ray and Jimmy they were great and knowledgeable. Ray not only guided us along trail to Machu Picchu but also was an excellent photographer and taught us the history. It was a group of 10 and we had a great time. Even everything going on in Peru, we always felt in good hands.
Short Inca Trial (2-Day)
This tour was the perfect experience for our (group of 10) short trip to Peru. The trail was sometimes challenging, but the views and history made it all worth it. Ray and Jimmy were our guides and imparted sooo much knowledge about the history of Peru, Inca, and beyond. I would definitely recommend!