When it comes to sightseeing in the city of Lima and discovering its rich historical and architectural heritage, the experience can be a great adventure. Spanish colonial houses and archaeological sites contrast with modern tall buildings in a cosmopolitan city. And even though a tour around the Peruvian capital may require a few days, here we suggest a 2-day tour for tight schedules.
Lima: History, Cuisine and Culture
Let's start the day with a juicy breakfast on the terrace of the Tierra Viva Miraflores Larco; we will need all the strength possible to accomplish our objectives of the day. We should start at Plaza Mayor or Plaza de Armas (Main Square), located in the center of Lima, 35 minutes away from our hotel. There we will find the Cathedral of Lima, built upon the palace of Sinchi Puma Prince of Cusco, opened to the public in 1540.
After that, you could walk two blocks in the direction of the Catacombs, inside the San Francisco Monastery, you will find impressive graves that lie underneath this church of baroque architecture, one of the best preserved in Lima (the admission price is S/. 7, and includes a guided tour).
You can get to the center of Lima by bus (take the Metropolitano Express C line in Benavides Station -located a few minutes walking from Tierra Viva Miraflores Larco- and get off at Jirón de la Unión Station) or by taxi, which you can call from our front desk.
Your visit to the tombs will end surely by lunchtime, therefore we recommend you to make a pit stop to grab a sandwich and a cold beer at El Cordano, a traditional bar-restaurant located next to the Presidential Palace. This place is so well-known that you can even see photos of former Peruvian presidents on its walls, collected during the past 100 years.
Continuing our tour, the next stop should be the Museo de Arte de Lima: MALI (Entrance fee: S/. 12), the city’s major fine-art museum located in Palacio de la Exposición, a renaissance style palace built in 1870. You can get there walking (approximately 20 minutes) from the Main Square. Information about current exhibitions can be found here. Afterwards, and only a 10 minute walk from there, the Magic Water Circuit –a group of interactive fountains where water, light effects and music combine to offer a show- comprises the Park of the Reserve (Parque de la Reserva). The Magic Water Circuit holds the record Guinness for being the "World's Largest Fountain Complex in a Public Park".
Before the day ends, we recommend you to take a taxi and move on to the bohemian district of Barranco, for an original “Chilcano” at Ayahuasca Bar (if you go from the Tierra Viva Miraflores Larco it is only a 10 minutes ride). Considered in 2010 as one of the best 35 bars in the world by the Condé Nast Traveller magazine, Ayahuasca is housed in a republican XIX-century mansion. The “Negrita sour” is a must-try cocktail as well as the various macerations made with exotic Andean and Amazonian fruits and Pisco.
After a well-deserved rest in our hotel in Miraflores, it is time for a ceviche at one of the stands at the Market of Surquillo. You can get there walking (15 minutes from Tierra Viva Miraflores Larco) or by taxi (5 minutes). If you are not a big fan of spicy meals, try to be careful with the amount of chili or “ají” they put in your dish; you can warn your waiter when ordering.
To witness a more contemporary historic place, you could go back to Miraflores and find Tarata Street, a pedestrian street where a monument has been lifted in memory of the victims of the terrorist attack that took place there back in the 90’s.
Moving forward, and across of Tarata, we reach Larco Avenue, where a stop for a “churro” filled with manjarblanco, chocolate or vanilla cream in the mythical Manolo’s Café is a must. A few steps from there we arrive to Kennedy Park, a busy square where we can find beautiful Andean handicraft markets and souvenir shops.
In the afternoon we can go back to Barranco, this time to enjoy the sunlight and take walk down the Bajada de Baños, a walkway that reaches the sea and that is surrounded by restaurants. If you crave for something new, like Anticuchos, after that, there are many restaurant choices for lunch around the Puente de los Suspiros (or Bridge of Sighs), like Tío Mario or Javier, both with a magnificent view of the sea.
A walk through Barranco's shore looking at the amazing sunset is the perfect way to finish the day and start to make plans for the evening.
Now that you know a bit more of Lima, take some time to discover the entire cultural and historical heritage as well as the rich cuisine this city has to offer. A rewarding experience that you can complement with your stay at Tierra Viva Miraflores Larco hotel. Book now entering here and seize your day!