Lima is a bustling city rich in history and culture with plenty to see and do. My Russian and I recently spent a week in Peru with another couple and had three days to explore this wonderful city. Below are my picks of the top 5 must do’s in Lima.
1. STROLL THE MIRAFLORES BOARDWALK
Along the coast of the central town of Miraflores you’ll find a long stretch of beautiful boardwalk. Enjoy shopping at the Larcomar open air mall, stop for a light snack at the creperie overlooking the ocean or make your way down to the shore and watch the surfers ride the waves of the Pacific. There are also several parks scattered along the path where it’s not uncommon to find live music being played, dogs running around and couples affectionately embracing on a quiet bench.
2. EAT GUINEA PIG
You cannot visit Peru without trying one of its most popular cuisines. Cuy, or guinea pig, may be viewed by Westerners as a furry pet, but in South America, and particularly Peru, it is a traditional delicacy. Cuy is often prepared on a parilla, or open fire grill, and served with fried yuca. I tried it while dining at La Tranquera and I’ll be honest, it was not my favorite, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to taste it just once!
3. ATTEND A FUTBOL MATCH
It’s common knowledge that South Americans are CRAAAAAAZY about soccer. I attended a match while in Madrid and thought that crowd was wild, but the Lima fans were on another level. We attended a game between two local clubs, Universitario and Sport Loreto, at the Estadio Monumental. Although this was a small time match, the die-hard fans with their painted faces and noise makers stood the entire time cheering and chanting as though it was a championship game!
4. VISIT PARQUE DE LA RESERVA
This park is located in central Lima directly across from the national soccer stadium. Here, you’ll find a number of fountains that are beautiful during the day and become living light shows at night. The entrance fee is only 4 soles (just over $1) and the park is open from dawn to dusk. Sadly, the park had closed early the night we visited, but we managed to catch a glimpse of the fountains through the gate. If you’re ever in Lima, arrive early and enjoy a pleasant afternoon in this serene oasis!
5. GO ON A FOOD TOUR
Peruvian cuisine is rich and diverse. Even if you’re averse to guinea pig, you’ll find plenty of delicious alternatives. While it can be fun to discover the different flavors on your own, if you’re pressed for time or don’t know where to start, I highly recommend signing up for a food tour. We booked through Food Walking Tour Peru and tried everything from parihuela, a spicy seafood soup, to mushroom ice cream and just about everything in between! Our guide Hari was very knowledgeable about the background of various Peruvian dishes as well as traditional flavors and spices. He also offered passionate insight on the complicated history of Peru.
What’s on your list of things to see and do in Lima? Share your comments below!