So you’re travelling to Lima — smart choice! This guide will give you everything you need to know about Lima travel, from getting to and from the airport and around the city, to the best Lima books to read and the cool local spots you should check out!
Taxi: It’s highly recommended that you avoid street taxis from outside the airport. Instead, arrange for one of the company taxis. Taxi Green has reasonable prices and is safe for visitors; however, you’ll still need to negotiate the price before you accept the ride.
Airport to Miraflores, Barranco, or San Isidro: S/.70 to S/.100 PEN ($25 to $35 USD)
Airport Shuttle: Airport shuttles can usually be arranged through your travel agency or hotel.
Public Transit: The Metropolitano Express Bus travels to and from downtown Lima from Miraflores, Barranco, and San Isidro. You can purchase a card worth S/. 5 PEN ($2 USD) — each time you use the card, the fare is then deducted from the credit. One fare is S/. 1.50 PEN ($0.50 USD).
Hours of operation are: 05:00-23:00
Taxi: Avoid taking street taxis, which may not be safe. Instead, opt for a designated company taxi; Taxi Satelital is the most popular. You will need to negotiate the price before accepting a ride, but as a general rule, from Miraflores, Barranco, and San Isidro districts to downtown Lima (and vice versa), the cost should be about S/. 20 to S/. 50 PEN ($7 to $18 USD). Within these districts, taxis cost about S/. 10 to S/. 15 PEN ($3.50 to $5 USD).
Walking: Miraflores, Barranco, and San Isidro (where most of the hotels are located) are generally safe to walk around at any time and are a great way to explore the city (be warned, however, that there are long distances between the districts). As with travelling anywhere, take common sense precautions with your personal safety and belongings. Lima is a big city with almost 9 million inhabitants — like in any other big city, you need to be careful. Avoid walking around downtown Lima after 10pm.
Cycling: On Sunday mornings, you can rent bicycles from Kennedy Park in the centre of the Miraflores district, or take a bike tour to downtown. Urban Adventures also offers biking tours to Miraflores and Barranco.
There are a few quintessential things you should experience in Lima. The first is to check out the museums. Lima has many great museums to visit, such as the Larco Museum, Gold Museum, Lima Art Museum (MALI), and Mario Testino Gallery (MATE).
Concerts and theatre shows are also a great way to get to know the real Limeños. Locals of all different ages frequently go to bars to have a drink and take in a concert. Costs vary; some concerts are free, others are usually between S/. 20 and S/. 50 PEN ($7 to $18 USD). Theatre tickets cost anywhere between S/. 50 and S/. 100 PEN ($18 to $35 USD). Tickets for cultural events can be purchased from Teleticket and events happen year-round, especially in the Barranco and Miraflores districts.
Foodies will love the Mistura Gastronomic Fair, which happens in September. This is one of Latin America’s biggest culinary events, where visitors can enjoy all types of Peruvian cuisine from all over the country in one place. Tickets are S/. 15 PEN before September, and S/. 25 PEN if you buy last-minute ($5 to $9 USD). You can buy tickets online from Teleticket, or at the Teleticket booths at the Wong and Metro supermarkets in Lima.
Lima is also a great city for runners. You can go jogging by the seashore in Miraflores, which has the best view of the Pacific Ocean. The district’s many parks are excellent for walking or running at any time of day.
Looking for more things to do? Urban Adventures offers tours in Lima, all led by local experts that will give you a taste for local life in the city:
Get your hands on the blueprint to modern Peruvian life on this Lima tour that puts you in the shoes of locals. Admire the colonial balconies, hit the local market and see the great variety of fruits and vegetables reflecting the rich biodiversity of Peru and finish with the national drink, the Pisco Sour.
Lima Coast Biking Tour
A blast of sunshine and sea air is a legitimate antidote to travel stress. Add in some cycling-induced endorphins, public art, and boho neighbourhoods and you’ve got yourself a winning Lima tour.
Lima Night Bites and Sights
There’s more to Lima than plazas and Pisco Sours. This is a city with a bohemian vibe, killer street food scene, and non-stop nightlife. Get a history lesson along with your cocktail as you explore the soul of the city and discover Lima’s oldest bars and best food stalls.
Lima Home Cooked
Get a taste for local life and local cuisine with this Lima food tour that takes you out of the touristy restaurants and into a local home. Learn to make ceviche and the perfect Pisco Sour, and get your shopping fix in a local market filled with foodie goodies. Then settle in for a fun family meal with new friends.
Get your Lima fix with The Motorcycle Diaries. This movie based on Che Guevara’s life shows you Cusco, Machu Picchu, and the Amazon river—and how magnificent they really are.
Lucho Quequezana‘s album “Kuntur” is a great way to get you in the mood for your trip. The young musician is considered one of the country’s strongest representatives of Peruvian music.
The Last Days of the Incas by Kim MacQuarrie will make you eager to learn more about Peru’s ancient history and modern discoveries. The book tells the story of the Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire, of the modern search for the Incas’ lost city of Vilcabamba, and of the discovery of Machu Picchu.
Cochineal Red by Hugh Thompson is another book that dives into the rich history of Peru, starting with the Incas and working back to ancient civilizations from 4,000 years ago. You’ll see the Inca Empire and the history of Peru in a whole new way.
If you want to get in the loop for what’s going on in Lima, check out Oveja Negra, which lists movies, concerts, and other cultural events that are happening in the city.
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