The blend of the pacific ocean breeze, the warm weather and the architecture that are unique to Lima, Peru always keep my going back. Even though I was born there, when I visit Lima I am a tourist in my own home. There’s always a new restaurant to try or a new tourist attraction to visit. Of course, I also love visiting my family there and watching ZoZo create her very own memories with them. Since I visit Lima often, it is my pleasure to share my fave places to visit in in the City of Kings, as well as give you an insider’s look into the city and all it has to offer.
Besides visiting my family, I go to Lima, Peru for three reasons: food, shopping and warm weather. The beautiful thing about being in Lima is that everything is quite close in proximity, so you don’t have to travel too far from one place to the next. If you want to go above and beyond, you can drive to Punta Sal or take a flight to Cusco for super reasonable prices, even if its just for a weekend trip. The possibilities in Peru as endless, but for now let’s focus on the capital city, Lima.
One word: sunset. The best reason to go to Costa Verde is to see the sun set right into the edge of the Pacific Ocean. There is nothing like it.
Did I mention shopping? One of my go-to places to shop, and eat, in Lima is Larcomar, which is an outdoor shopping mall right on the edge of a cliff. At Mangos, one of my fave restaurants in the city, you can get a front row seat at the sunset during dinner. If you’re interested in sampling a wide array of Peruvian dishes, Mangos also offers all you can eat buffets throughout the day. They have delicious mojitos too!
From locals to tourists, Costa Verde, referred by many as “El Malecon”, is always bustling with people and activity. You can take surfing lessons, go for a serious shopping adventure, or simply go for a walk to enjoy the ocean breeze. There is never a dull moment in this corner of Lima, Peru.
The Parque De Las Leyendas is one of my favourite places in the world. I have so many amazing childhood memories here, mainly of my dad taking me there on Sundays for a visit on “daddy-daughter dates”. I was so amazed by the zoo this time as you can tell they have elevated their efforts in improving the overall visitor experience, from the appearance of the grounds to the educational opportunities.
Don’t mind my family and I gushing over how cute the penguins are at this zoo. I have to mention I was really impressed by the care of the animals. Truth be told, I am not TOO crazy about zoos and animals in captivity, however the animals there seemed healthy and well taken care of.
Once upon a time my dad took me to visit the animals at this zoo, and here I was bring my own little girl to the same zoo. Z loved it! She loved that she was able to freely walk around and feel like she was on an adventure as she explored all the animals.
El Centro De Lima (Downtown Lima) is a must-see. Especially if you’re a fan of grand architecture, you’ll be able to see some gems of South American Colonial style architecture. The buildings are simply stunning to look at!
The picture above was taken on Christmas Day when we went for a quick drive around downtown Lima. The central square was SO busy that day full of families making the best of their Christmas Day. You can see how beautifully the city lights up the area in celebration of the holiday season.
The Parque De La Reserva (Park of the Reserve) was revamped years ago by the city and turned into El Circuito Magico Del Agua (Magic Water Tour). It is honestly magical! Z had soooo much fun exploring the grounds and didn’t want to leave. Not only is it beautiful, but it is the perfect place to just go for a stroll and soak in a little everyday life in Lima.
This park currently holds a world record for the largest fountain complex in the world. The park also has a water laser light show that is stunning (I believe it happens hourly in the evenings, but don’t quote me). The show features Peruvian music and dances from various parts of the country, from the Amazon to the Andes.
The fountains are so incredibly stunning and the lights add something so majestic to them and the park as a whole. This is definitely a must-see if you’re in the city.
I visited MATE a few years ago and was left in awe of MArio Testino’s work. Being able to see it up close and personal was a true honour, especially if you are a fan of high fashion and/or photography. I will dedicate a post solely to his museum as there are so many mentions about the experience.
From Barranco, you can also walk all the way down to El Malecon and check out El Circuito de las Playas eventually making your way throughout Costa Verde, which I mentioned above.
During this walk, you can have a little ice cream as there is always a D’onofrio ice cream cart nearby or stop for a dip in the Pacific Ocean. If you don’t want to walk, there are plenty of cabs driving by that can give you a lift to your next destination.
As you can see, the warm weather and the ocean breeze can easily become your reasons to head to Lima, Peru too. There is so much more to Peru beyond visiting Machu Picchu (which is usually what people gravitate towards when in the country), so hopefully I expanded your horizon of all there is to see and do in Lima.
Have you been to Lima, or are you planning a trip there? Let me know the spots that you love or plan to visit in the comments below!