While Lima is sometimes overlooked for larger South American cities or just visited in transit to one of the country’s more pastoral destinations, Peru’s capital is a fascinating city and a great holiday destination. Beneath the city’s almost perpetual fog there is a stunning oceanfront, a lively night scene and a wealth of cultural treasures to be explored.
Jorge Chávez International Airport (LIM), which is sometimes known as Aeropuerto Internacional Jorge Chávez serves Lima and is Peru’s main domestic airport. The airport is conveniently situated in Callao which is just 7 miles from Lima’s historic centre and 11 miles from the Miraflores district. On average, the flight from London to Lima takes 15 hours and 10 minutes and flights stop at either Spain or at a US airport along the way. Flight price are fairly stable at £550 – £600 for much of the year. However, during the popular holiday months return flights to Lima are closer to the £700 mark.
Things to Do in Lima
No trip to Lima is complete without exploring the city’s impressive central square, Plaza Mayor (sometimes called Plaza de Armas). With roots in the early 14th Century, this large square has served many purposes from an open air theatre through to a ring for bull fights. Today, the Plaza is decorated with pretty gardens and important buildings, such as the baroque Palacio de Gobierno and the Palacio Arzobispal. If you are in the square at midday, be sure to watch the ceremonious changing of the guard at the Palacio de Gobierno.
While Lima is by no means the centre of pre-Colombian Peru, there are a number of adobe pyramids, called huacas. San Isidro is home to the Huaca Huallamarca and Huaca Juliana. In Miraflores you will find Huaca Pucllana which is a scared pyramid dating back to the Fourth Century.
There are plenty of fascinating museums to visit whilst in Lima. While it is unlikely that you will have time to explore all of the museums in Lima during a single trip, the Muso Larco and the Museo Pedro de Osma are not to be missed. Housed in the mansion of an 18th-century viceroy, the Museo Larco is home to an excellent collection of ceramics. The Museo Pedro de Osma is situated in a stunning mansion and has a fascinating collection of paintings and other artwork.
Hotels in Lima
One of the great things about Lima is that there is an abundance of accommodation. Much of Lima’s accommodation is situated in the San Isidro, Miraflores and Barranco neighbourhoods. All of these locations are safe and have great nightlife and shopping facilities. While room rates are higher in Lima than they are in other parts of the country, especially for the city’s most luxurious hotels, if you book in advance and do your research, it is possible to get a bargain.
If you are looking for somewhere special to stay in Lima and have a large budget, there are some truly amazing accommodation options in prime locations such as Country Club Lima Hotel and the Crowne Plaza Lima. The Crowne Plaza Lima is situated near the cathedral and the Country Club Lima is not too far from the Plaza Mayor.
There are plenty of low-cost accommodation options too in Lima, most of which line the safe and quiet streets of Barranco and Miraflores.