This is a peaceful spot away from the noisy downtown but still in the heart of the city: however, it is surrounded by some large and very commercial areas full of shops. So this is actually like an oasis in the city. It has a beautiful antique stones flooring and is surrounded by Republican-era mansions. One of these houses nowadays the Museo Nacional de Antropologia, Arqueologia e Historia (the history museum), which is definitely a must for all tourists. The square's central fountain dates from mid-1700's. There's also some very good restaurants in the area, so it is worth asking your guide about some suggestions for lunch time.
Local Expert tip: Remember you need to visit the Museo Nacional de Antropologia, Arqueologia e Historia, located in this square. Also you may want to make some urban exploration in the nearby areas.
Inaugurated in 1876, it links two Barranco streets, Ayacucho and La Ermita: it is a historic place since it survived the destruction caused by the War Of The Pacific (against Chile) in 1881. The name refers to the many romances that have started here. This bridge even managed to survive a great earthquake in 1940. There's a famous tradition about this place: if someone sees it for the first time and is able to cross it without breathing, his wish will be granted. Nowadays it is still a popular spot among locals and visitors, and it connects the main Barranco square with the Mirador de Barranco and it small and cozy bars.
Local Expert tip: A perfect place for taking a stroll with friends or with good company: also a great sight during day or night, and must for photography lovers. One of the places in Barranco that you cannot miss.
As a coastal city, Lima has a bunch of easily accessible beaches, that offer a complete experience to the visitor; sea, beaches, restaurants for all budgets and the possibility of practicing some nautical sports. These beaches are lined up and connected by a road that tours through several districts: San Miguel, San Isidro, Miraflores and Barranco, and are open to visitors during all the year, due to the benign, mild Lima weather. Some of the most popular beaches are Redondo, Agua Dulce and La Herradura, that can get really crowded in summer. Surfers come here during all the year too.
Local Expert tip: You may want to come walking from Miraflores cliffs, but it is probably wiser to take a taxi. And it may be even wiser to make sure that this taxi (or any other) will pick you up when you need it.
Paragliders have become a common sight in Miraflores, as soon as you get closer to the cliffs or to Larcomar area: there are several companies that offer paragliding both tandem flights and paragliding lessons. If you are interested you may want to investigate a little first, but you still have the possibility of simply approaching to the "paragliding port" at Raymondi Park(located by the cliff edge sides next to el Parque del Amor) and ask for some information. A regular flight may cost you some US $40 or US $50, and we think it's well worth, since this flight will provide you a privileged panoramic view of Lima beaches and cliffs, and the sea of course, flying over the coastal areas of Chorrillos, Barranco, Miraflores, Magdalena and San Miguel.
Local Expert tip: If you are really interested in this activity, get to the kiosk at Parque Raymondi's paragliding port and ask for further info: there are several instructors and flight schools than can offer paragliding outside Lima, to see other landscapes.
The Parque Central de Miraflores (Miraflores Central Park, aka Kennedy Park, too) is almost the heart of Miraflores' center: everything takes place around or very close to this place. Not only it has an amphitheater where many different shows take place daily, but there's food and desserts stalls and several fast-food places surrounding it; there's souvenirs vendors, street artists, and even a children's playground; this is also a space favored by families during the day and by friends (and couples) for taking a stroll. But this is also the home of some friendly 50 stray cats, who live and wander freely and safely here since the neighbors feed and protect them. There are surveillance cameras hidden at certain sports, and there is free wi-fi available.
Local Expert tip: Some additional info: there are restrooms available under the park, and other places like Cafe Haiti, Calle de las Pizzas or Cafe de la Paz are only one block away.
In a few years, this place has become quite a very popular and unbeatable attraction, for both locals and foreigners: located not far from Lima Downtown, in the traditional Parque de la Reserva, this complex of 13 fountains offers two very different sights, depending if you visit them during daytime or at night, when color lights and laser beams are on: this is currently a must-see while in Lima. It actually comprises two parks separated by Petit Thouars Avenue, but linked by a tunnel which displays some artistic huge photos of these fountains. It's a very cool place to visit with your family, and you may also find some artistic shows on weekends.
Local Expert tip: Be careful with the larger fountains: keeps your eyes open since you may end up getting accidentally wet if you are not aware. Despite there are sandwich stalls in this park, usually you have to wait in line to buy something, so you may want to sneak some snacks and/or beverages in your backpack or purse.
Lima's China Town is locally known as "Barrio Chino" and even as "Calle Capon", due to the old name of this street during the Vice Royalty times. Actually, Lima is home for the largest Chinese descendants community in South America, and its most notable landmark is the red Chinese Arch built at the entrance in 1971 to honor the friendship between China and Peru. Nowadays this is a Chinese-themed boulevard with many "chifas" (Peruvian-Chinese restaurants) and that features a significant oriental influence in its architecture; but there are also many different shops owned mostly by Chineses (or by their Peruvian descendants). Many China-related cultural activities are held here, like dance parades, and you can even buy a local newspaper print entirely in Chinese.
Local Expert tip: This is a daytime excursion. The China Town itself is a pretty safe place, but be careful when leaving to the surrounding streets. Anyway, it's best not to go there after 6pm.
This impressive Baroque church was built by the Society of Jesus during the 16th century, and nowadays it is still both a spiritual centre and as well as a religious art museum. Its architecture of three naves and dome (with Moorish-influenced carvings) houses stunning gold-leaf covered altars. It is usually open in the afternoons, since many Catholics come here looking for the Sacraments. So you may have a chance to sneak in and fully appreciate not only its art pieces and architecture, but the real daily life of this church. San Pedro is also one of the oldest and most traditional churches in Lima, and one of the most solicited venues for celebrating weddings.
Local Expert tip: San Pedro is located pretty close to Torre Tagle Palace, so it can easily be included in almost any sightseeing downtown city tour. Don't miss the San Ignacio de Loyola altar and the many paintings hanging on the tall walls.
This is by far the most visited place in Lima, this yellow-and-white 17th-century complex has witnessed most of Lima's historical episodes and survived a few massive earthquakes. The old Convent of Saint Francis houses a fine religious art museum that preserves some master pieces by Francisco Zurbar�n and other famed Spanish artists. There is a big, beautiful church built in the Colonial Baroque style and Moorish-style carved ceilings; the aforementioned museum; and the fascinating catacombs, where some 75,000 bodies lie. Tickets are on sale at the door, and you will have to wait a little for a guided tour in English.
Local Expert tip: Hundreds of pidgeons call this church home. They nest and rest on the fa�ade, and if you like birds you can buy small bags of rows of bird food outside. For taking pics, the best time is between 3pm and 5pm.
Lima's Plaza Mayor is the most important place to see regarding this city's history and current daily life... and lifestyle: Lima was founded here by Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro in 1535, in the land that previously was owned by indigenous Taulichusco chief. Nowadays you can admire its historical buildings, like Lima's Cathedral, the Archbishopric Palace, the Government's Palace, or the Lima Municipality, as well as an ancient brass water fountain. It's a good spot to start your explorations of this city. Adding its historical significance, the Independence of Peru was proclaimed here, in 1821. And you can find some very good restaurants in the vicinity.
Local Expert tip: You can take a ride on the many calesas (horse-pulled carriages) that circulate around the plaza. From here you can also take a short walk (along the Jiron de la Union) to other nearby attractions, like the more modern Plaza San Martin.