Spending a weekend in Lima Peru, will amaze you in many ways. As the capital city of Peru, Lima used to be a stop-over place for travellers on their way to Machu Picchu or to visit Cuzco, but nowadays a stay for 48 hours in Lima, Peru or longer is worth it. It has become a destination on its own, and rightly so. This is a city of nine million inhabitants, Lima is often called the food capital of South America. Lima, Peru is a megacity that can seem intimidating at first, but give it a chance and you will discover a rich culture, deep roots, fantastic food and heaps of history.
Staying in Lima
There are many choices to suit all budgets and styles.
Day 1 of Your Weekend in Lima, Peru
In the morning
A great place to start your 48 hours in Lima is the Larco Herrera Museum, named after the significant Peruvian archaeologist Rafael Larco. Built on the site of a pre-Columbian temple, the Larco Herrera Museum is arguably the best museum in the city. It has informative exhibitions on Peru’s ancient civilizations and displays include ceramics, mummies, metal artefacts and a unique collection of erotic pottery. You will need the entire morning to explore the museum and learn some more about the history and culture of Peru. The museum’s café is the perfect place to have lunch and have your first taste of great Peruvian food.
In the Afternoon
After lunch, find your way to Lima’s historic city center. The central Plaza Mayor is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There you can see Peru’s government buildings and admire the incredibly detailed architecture. Try to make it there before noon and watch the very formal changing of the guard. If you miss it, you will have a second chance at 5pm. The one building on Plaza Mayor that you shouldn’t miss is the Cathedral of Lima, where the conquistador Francisco Pizarro is buried. Another highlight is the Basilica of San Francisco. The monastery still works and has a collection of old Spanish religious scriptures. Underneath the church you can take a tour of the spooky catacombs, which house 25,000 human skeletons.
In the Evening
Dinner usually doesn’t start until late in the evening in Lima, so you may want to take a nap before heading out again and exploring Lima’s nightlife in Barranco, the city’s Bohemian district.
Day 2 of Your Weekend in Lima, Peru
In the Morning
Get up early on your second day. The Pachacamac ruins are located about 30km south of Lima. This fascinating collection of pyramids, plazas and temples was built by the Incas and used to be one of the biggest religious centers on the coast of Peru. It is well-worth spending a few hours there, exploring the sites.
In the Afternoon
Travel back to the city and back to Barranco. In the afternoon, it looks completely different than it did when it was dark last night. Go for a walk around and enjoy the beautiful 19th-century buildings and atmosphere. This is where many writers and artists live. It is a green and vibrant district and a large number of bars, restaurants and cafés. The library at the central square is worth checking out and the bridge, the Puente de Los Suspiros, is often called the most romantic place in Lima.
In the Evening
Next, get in a taxi and go to Miraflores, a neighboring district. There are amazing views of the Pacific Ocean from the Parque del Amor (Love Park), take a look at the statue called “The Kiss” and walk to Larcomar, a large entertainment center. Grab some typically Peruvian food in one of the restaurants in Larcomar. A nice place to spend the last hours of your 48 hours in Lima is the Circuito Magico del Agua, which opens at dusk. It is a stunning show.
A Side Trip to Cuzco
If you have the time, make sure that you go and spend some time in the colourful and enticing Cuzco, just an hour away by place from Lima. This is where you will get to know a lot more about the Inca history as well sample some amazing food.
Peru is a stunning country and Lima is one of just many cities to explore