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Things to do in Lima

With nearly 9 million inhabitants, Lima is a combination of many cities, mixing the high end luxurious neighborhoods with the less developed outskirts. In between, one can find the historical district with its many places to visit. Lima is known as the best city in Peru to try the local cuisine.

Here are some things to do while you visit Lima.

Soak up the atmosphere in Plaza de Armas (or Plaza Mayor)

It is the main square in Lima and is bordered by Cathedral of Lima, the Municipal Palace (City Hall) and private office buildings. You can visit the Cathedral and the museum inside. Admission to the Cathedral is US$1.50 for an adult.

Visit an ancient temple: Huaca Pucllana

If you don’t have time to travel to Machu Picchu, then you’ll be pleased to discover that Lima has its fare share of ancient ruins. This one is right in the Miraflores District and has been restored. The temple was built around 500 AD. Admission is US$2.50 for adults and the ruins can be visited from Wednesday to Monday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

A quite different museum: Larco Museum

It is housed in a former mansion built on the site of a former pre-Colombian Temple. But what sets this museum apart are the following interesting things: visitors are allowed into the store rooms where they can see items which are not on display; and there is a special room dedicated to the erotic archaeological treasures (a collection of ceramic pots portraying sexual acts). The admission is US$10 and visitors can also see ceramic, textile and precious metal artifacts within the museum.

Learn about the Peruvian history at the Aliaga House

It is as old as Lima itself and comprises a collection of Peruvian art and artifacts. You can see here the sword of Jerónimo de Aliaga used in the conquest of Peru. Tours cost US$40 per person and take about an hour.

Take the catacombs tour at the Church of San Francisco

It’s impossible not to walk for several blocks in Lima and not stumble upon yet another Catholic Church. You’ll recognize this one by the swarms of pigeons residing on the patio. It was built in the late 1600s in baroque style. You can visit the adjoining monastery which comprises a collection of ancient religious texts. The catacombs, however, are the attraction for the visitors. They comprise about 75,000 bodies, many of them exposed. Entrance fee is US$2 and the catacombs tour lasts about 45 min.

Must try food: Ceviche

It is the national Peruvian food and most likely it will appeal to those who enjoy seafood. Ceviche is made with raw fish, lime or lemon juice, onions, chili peppers and sometimes herbs.

Take a scenic train ride

If you happen to visit Lima between April and November, why not consider a scenic train ride all the way to the Central highlands. The Lima to Huancayo train route is magnificent but, unfortunately, not very reliable (it shut down some years ago but now is running again).

>>read more about Train Travel in Peru

The Magic Water Circuit

More than 12 fountains “dance” to music and light. The ticket costs US$1.50 and the show starts at 4 p.m.

Surf

The waves around Lima are safe for any surfer, but places such as Pico Alto and Cerro Azul are recommended for the advanced surfers.

Photo credits: Plaza de Armas , Huaca Pucllana , Larco Museum , Aliaga House , Church of San Francisco , Ceviche , Train trip , Surfing