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30 FUN Things to do in Lima, Peru (2024 Guide!)

30 FUN Things to do in Lima, Peru (2024 Guide!)

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Lima, the capital and biggest city in Peru, has a ton of excellent activities on offer, which makes choosing what to do in this city of almost 10 million people no easy task.

Lima is huge, and there are many different areas, including the hip Barranco neighborhood and the upscale Miraflores district (my personal fave!). Each offers various activities, so knowing what to do here in a short amount of time is of the utmost importance. This is especially true for first-time visitors with only one day in Lima. Of course, you want to make the most of your time in this bustling, energetic city!

I was fortunate enough to spend a whole month in Lima, exploring the different neighborhoods, trying out the best activities, and eating at the most delicious restaurants. So, I believe I’m more experienced than most to share my top 30 things to do in Lima.

This is your complete guide to Lima, Peru! In this blog, I’ve done the research for you and narrowed it down to the best things to do in Lima to help you have the best time possible.

Don’t have time to read the full article? Some of our top choices of things to do in Lima are:

  1. Learn the city’s history on this walking tour
  2. Swim with sea lions on this boat tour
  3. See the Magic Water Circuit at Parque de la Reserva
  4. Get dressed up and enjoy this gourmet food tour
  5. Enjoy a free walking tour in the trendy Barranco neighborhood

Lima, Peru FAQ

Things to do in Lima

1. Downtown free walking tour

Our guide on our free walking tour in Miraflores, Lima, Peru
This is the best way to learn about the city when you first arrive!

I’m starting this list with a fantastic free thing to do in Lima – a free walking tour of this beautiful city! I love free walking tours and always try to join one in the city I’m visiting because they’re an easy way to meet like-minded tourists.

A free guided tour of downtown Lima is the best way to see and learn about the history of this part of Lima; seeing as most tourists stay in the ‘safer’ areas of Miraflores or Barranco, the hustle and bustle of downtown can be a bit intimidating. On a free tour, your guide will safely guide you around the top attractions like the Plaza de Armas and the changing of the guards at Government Palace. 

Several different companies operate free walking tours in downtown Lima. Personally, I really enjoyed the one I did with Lima by Walking! Another highly recommended company is a new one called Strawberry Tours. Most of these companies also offer free walking tours in Barranco, which I also did.

One thing to note about free walking tours is that they tend to attract large numbers of people, making the tour less intimate, and it can be harder to ask the guide questions. If you prefer, you can book a paid downtown walking tour in Lima, and these are a great option if you would like to have more of a one-on-one experience with the guide. 

Note: It’s important to remember that free walking tours are not actually “free,” and you are expected to tip your guide at the end! This is how they make their living!

2. Swim with Sea Lions 

A few people swimming with sea lions in Lima, Peru
We loved this experience and never expected it in Lima!

It’s pretty cool that you can join an incredible wildlife encounter like this one just 15 minutes from downtown Lima. I loved this tour because it was so different from anything else the city offers. 

On this tour, you will be driven to the port at Callao (about a 15-minute drive from downtown Lima with traffic), where you will board a short boat ride to the Palomino Islands. These unique islands are home to over 10,000 sea lions, penguins, and other sea birds.  

Once you anchor near the main island, you will be treated to literally hundreds of sea lions sunbathing on the island and swimming in the water. This is where you will jump off the boat and into the ocean to swim with them! 

Sea lions are notoriously playful and curious creatures, and these are no different – they will come very close to you! When I did this tour, sea lions were swimming around my feet and bumping into them under the water. It made me a little nervous, but it was also one of my favorite experiences in Peru

Many different companies operate a swim with the sea lions day trip from Lima, but I loved this one that we did. It is with a well-established company which has been running these tours for several years!

Their tours are competitively priced at $72 USD, and they use a speed boat to take you to the island, which means less time on the water and no motion sickness (a huge plus for me!) If you’re nervous in the water, your guide gets in the water with you, making you feel at ease. A wetsuit and life jacket are also included in the price. 

You can book the same tour we did online in advance!

3. Eat fantastic ceviche

A plate of ceviche in Lima
I love ceviche so much!

The number one Peruvian dish and a dish the country has become renowned for – Ceviche is typically made from fresh raw fish cured in either lemon or lime juice. It originated in Peru and thankfully there are heaps of great places to sample this dish in Lima. 

Some of my favorite places to eat ceviche in Lima are:

La Canta Rana in the Barranco neighborhood, is tucked away down a small side street but you won’t be able to miss it as there are typically long queues outside, expert to wait up to an hour for a table. The service is good, the interior is cozy and casual, and it’s definitely one of the top places to try ceviche in Lima.

La Mar on Avenida La Mar in the Miraflores district is a high-end restaurant that dishes up several different ceviche options, all with a unique twist. You just have to try their Asian/Peruvian fusion ceviche!

Chez Wong is a hidden gem in the center of La Victoria. There are no menus in this modest restaurant and you will simply be served whatever ceviche the chef has prepared that day. 

4. Take a Surf Lesson

A man surfs on the beach in Lima, Peru
Be aware, the water is freezing!

You may not know this, but Lima sits on the coast, and the Pacific Ocean offers some really great waves for beginner surfers. But the water here is surprisingly cold, averaging about 59 Fahrenheit (15 Celsius), so definitely pack a wetsuit or hire one there if you plan to go surfing in Lima. 

In the neighborhood of Miraflores (where most tourists to Lima tend to stay), you can walk down to the beach and have a surf lesson! You can either book a surfing lesson online in advance that includes hotel pick-up or just head to the beach and negotiate a price with an instructor – there are dozens of vendors offering both group and private lessons here.

If you’re after an active tour in Lima, then surfing could be perfect! Plus, most surf lessons are just 90 minutes long, so it’s easy to squeeze into your Lima itinerary. 

5. Go on a food tour 

A selection of Peruvian food on a food tour in Lima, Peru
I think this was my favorite tour!
Dessert on a food tour in Lima, Peru
Everything we tasted was fantastic!

I bet you didn’t know that Lima is one of the top foodie destinations in the world! From ceviche to plantains to lomo saltado, the food in Lima is diverse and delicious! And the best way to try it all? On a food tour in Lima, of course! 

We went on an evening food tour with Lima Gourmet Company, and it was one of the best tours we’ve ever done! Our guide was friendly and knowledgeable, and we ate (and drank) so many yummy things! 

On this food tour in Lima, we visited four different restaurants and sampled various dishes at each one. One of the restaurants had the best view – overlooking the Huaca Pucllana ruins! But this tour wasn’t just about eating; we also learned a lot about Peru’s history and how Peruvian cuisine has come to be.  

Lima Gourmet Company offers both evening and daytime tours. Tours last approximately 5 hours and include lots of food and drinks. You also have an English-speaking guide and an air-conditioned van to transport you. Just be sure to book in advance as this is easily one of the most popular things to do in Lima, and with such great reviews, these tours book up quickly! 

6. See the Magic Water Circuit 

The Magic Water Circuit in a range of colors in downtown Lima, Peru
How cool is this?!

The Magic Water Circuit is a large water fountain (in fact, it’s the largest outdoor water fountain complex in the world!) right in the heart of Lima. It’s essentially a choreographed light display across 13 fountains, complete with music and it’s really cool! It’s located in Parque de la Reserva, near the National Stadium. It happens every night from Tuesday to Sunday!

The light show happens every 30 minutes once it gets dark and the last one is typically around 10 pm, although this can be earlier depending on the season. You can purchase tickets at the gate when you arrive or book a guided tour. 

If you want to join a guided tour to the water circuit then this one is highly recommended. It starts with a comprehensive walking tour around the historical center before heading to the show. The tour ends with dinner at a local restaurant. It also includes all of your transport with hotel pick-up and drop-off. 

7. Go paragliding

A person paragliding on the cliffs in Lima, Peru
This is the best way to enjoy the rugged coastline of Lima.

You can go paragliding in Lima from the Miraflores neighborhood. In fact, it’s one of the activities the city is best known for! From up in the air you’ll have a view of the coastline and city – and it’s stunning!

Along the Malecon in Miraflores, you’ll find a large grassy area where paragliders always take flight! There are a few different companies that operate here. You can book a tandem paragliding flight at the booth when you arrive or book online in advance. During the peak season in Peru, it is recommended to book in advance to avoid missing out, though.

Paragliding prices vary depending on the season but expect to pay around $75 USD for a ride. You can book a flight online in advance with a highly-rated company here.

8. Eat at one of the best restaurants in the world!

A boa bun at Astrid Y Gaston in Lima, Peru
Photo credit: Astrid Y Gaston
A seafood dish at Astrid Y Gaston Lima, Peru
Photo credit: Astrid Y Gaston

A couple of the world’s 50 best restaurants are located right here in Lima! Astrid y Gaston is one of my personal favorites and it has won countless awards. Set within the 300-year-old Casa Moreyra (a former plantation house) the restaurant serves up a unique tasting menu of dishes including Peking-style guinea pig bao, grilled octopus with a pseudo-cereal salad, and lucuma gnocchi. It’s definitely an up-market establishment and the prices reflect that. 

The restaurant first opened in 1994 and many excellent chefs have taken the helm here including Gaston Acurio, who opened the restaurant. He is known as the patron saint of modern Peruvian cuisine!

Astrid Y Gaston is located on Avenida Paz Soldán in the San Isidro district. Advance booking is essential as this is an incredibly popular restaurant.  

Another world-class restaurant in Lima is Central. This restaurant won “best restaurant in South America” in 2021 and is overall #4 in the world! Of course, with awards like that, this restaurant is very difficult to visit. We spent over a month in Lima and were never able to snag a booking, so we can’t personally comment on how good the food is. With that said, the waitlist should be enough of a testament!

So, plan in advance and book an incredible culinary experience at one of these top-rated restaurants in Lima!

9. Hang out with Cats in Kennedy Park 

A cat relaxes in Kennedy Park in the center of Lima, Peru
I could not believe this park was real at first!

You’re probably questioning why I’m telling you to “hang out with cats”, well, Kennedy Park in the Miraflores neighborhood is home to dozens of stray cats. In fact, these cats are the park’s claim to fame!

Several years ago, there was a rodent problem at Kennedy Park (also known as Parque Kennedy), so cats were brought in as a form of pest control. Obviously, the cats bred, and now the number of cats who live in and around Parque Kennedy is pretty much out of control. But don’t worry; these cats are fed and taken care of, so they aren’t wild and feral. 

Visitors to Lima just love these cats! They’ve become a tourist attraction in their own right and are some of the city’s most famous residents! As a result, this is undoubtedly one of the most popular things to do in Lima, Peru.  

Kennedy Park is also a beautiful park to just walk through and explore. All around the park are heaps of shops and restaurants that you can check out. It’s a vibrant area well worth checking out.

10. Bike around Miraflores and Barranco 

Miraflores coastline with views of the bike path on a bike tour in Lima, Peru
The entire coastline has bike paths to enjoy!

Miraflores and Barranco are two of Lima’s trendiest and most upper-class neighborhoods. And, this is likely where your hotel will be located.

With that said, these neighborhoods are large, and there is a lot to explore here.

The best way to cover a lot of ground in these areas while getting up close to the attractions is on a bike tour! This bike tour of Lima goes through both Miraflores and Barranco, it lasts approximately three hours and stops at the best tourist attractions. What’s great too is that you will be spoiled with some incredible ocean views.

If you prefer, you can rent a bike and explore independently. But I think going on a guided bike tour in Lima takes away the stress of planning what sights to see, and you will also get lots of fun snippets of information along the way!

Why We Book Tours with Viator

Viator is a trusted online booking system for tours around the world! We almost always book our tours using Viator for a couple of reasons:

  • Free cancellation on most tours – Most of the tours on Viator allow you to cancel and get a full refund up to 24 hours in advance. This is handy in case plans change, or if booking an outdoor activity, the weather forecast is looking grim.
  • Reserve now and pay later – You can secure your spot on some of the most popular tours well in advance and not pay until closer to the day of the tour.
  • Lowest price guarantee – If you happen to find the same tour at a lower price elsewhere, Viator will refund you the price difference.
  • Pay in your chosen currency – Avoid costly international transaction fees by choosing to pay in your home currency.
  • Peace of mind – When booking with tour operators you find in person on the street or in small booking offices, you are often promised one thing and given another. This online platform holds tour operators accountable with a written description of inclusions as well as the opportunity for customers to leave reviews.

Check out the Viator website here! Or, for more info, read our detailed review about Viator here.

11. Visit the Pachacamac Ruins 

The Pachacamac Ruins near Lima, Peru
There is a rich history in Peru.

About an hour’s drive from downtown Lima (and only 30 minutes from Miraflores) is the Pachacamac Ruins of Lima. The city was first settled by the Incas in A.D. 200 and was a functioning city for over 1,200 years. 

This is one of the most popular things to do in Lima because it includes a fascinating history lesson and gives you an insight into the Incas who lived here thousands of years ago!

I love hiring a knowledgeable guide to take me around historical sites because, without one, I miss the significance of these sites. This tour is a guided experience around the Pachacmac Ruins, guaranteed to satisfy even the most knowledgeable history buff! The tour is approximately 4 hours long and includes transport to and from the ruins.

This Pachacamac Ruins tour is a great warm-up for exploring the Inca ruins if you plan to head to Machu Picchu later on your vacation!

Related Read: If you want to see more ruins, be sure to hike the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu while in Peru!

12. Enjoy fresh seafood on the water at La Rosa Náutica 

A table at La Rosa Náutica in Lima
Photo credit: La Rosa Náutica
Raw tuna at La Rosa Náutica, Lima
Photo credit: La Rosa Náutica

When you’re exploring the waterfront in the Miraflores district, you can’t help noticing a large building at the end of a pier near the Malecon – this is a restaurant called La Rosa Nautica. It is the only restaurant in Lima to enjoy such a unique setting in the middle of the ocean.

La Rosa Nautica is famous for its seafood! Which isn’t surprising considering its location. It’s not too expensive either. You can get a main for around 30-45 soles ($8 – $13 USD), including fresh seafood.

It is a casual restaurant, but they will not let you in if you’re wearing “beach attire.” So, no flip-flops, swimsuits, or board shorts. A reservation is recommended but not required.

13. Barranco Graffiti Tour 

Street art in Barranco, Lima
This shows the weight on women’s shoulders in Peru!

I think no vacation to Lima is complete without visiting Barranco, the trendiest neighborhood in the city. Here, you’ll find tons of bars, cute restaurants, street art, as well as musicians and artists lining the cobblestone streets.

The best way to learn about Barranco and ensure you don’t miss any attractions is to join a walking tour. You can do various free walking tours in Barranco, including a bar and graffiti walking tours. These tours are fun, social, and, did I mention, free. So, they’re ideal for cash-strapped tourists to the city!

I did both of these tours and must relay that they both had lots of different information and things to show!

14. Visit the Huaca Pucllana Ruins 

Huaca Pucllana Ruins in downtown Lima, Peru
These ruins are downtown which is cool!

Did you know there are some ancient ruins to be explored right in the city of Lima? Huaca Pucllana is a historic site consisting of clay pyramids with seven platforms. While it isn’t a massive site, it is still impressive especially considering it is right in the middle of a modern city!  

You can visit on your own and pay the entrance fee of 15 Soles (approximately $4.50 USD) or go on a guided tour for $31 USD. You can also visit the ruins at night, which is pretty cool. These after-dark tours operate Wednesday through Sunday from 7 pm until 10 pm.

There are restaurants next to the ruins which look out over the ruins and make for a bucket-list-worthy dining experience.  

This tour is a dining experience overlooking the ruins! It includes a driver to pick you up and drop you off, a three-course meal, a cocktail, and views of the ruins! We ate at this restaurant once during our time in Lima and it was an amazing experience! The food was delicious, the atmosphere romantic, and the ruins’ views were the cherry on top of an incredible evening. 

15. Explore the Larcomar

The Larcomar in Lima, Peru
Talk about ocean views!

The Larcomar is, in my opinion, the coolest shopping center in the world! It is home to hundreds of high-end shops like Calvin Klein, Hugo Boss, Levi’s, and more! There are also lots of nice restaurants and bars here, and Mangos has some delicious food as well as amazing ocean views. Popular, next door to Mangos, is another great place for a cocktail with an ocean view.  

But the unique thing about this shopping center is that it’s built in a cliff. That’s right, not on a cliff or under a cliff, IN a cliff and hanging over the edge with spectacular ocean views. 

Even if you’re not in the mood for shopping, Larcomar is a great place to check out while you’re in the area.

16. Huacachina and Ica Day Trip from Lima

Bailey and I hang out of our dune buggy in Huaccahina
The dune buggy tour in Bailey and I did in Huacachina is so much fun!

You’ve probably come across the town of Huacachina on your Instagram feed. This small town, or “Oasis,” as it is called, is centered around a lake and palm trees in the middle of mountainous dunes. It’s incredible and breathtaking. 

I love Huacachina, Peru. It’s one of my favorite places in South America!

From Lima, you can join a day trip to Ica (the larger coastal city next to Huacachina) and visit Huacachina. It is a long day, as the drive is 3.5 hours each way. Each tour from Lima includes different activities, but my best advice would be to choose one that includes a good amount of time in Huacachina and maybe even pisco tasting at a vineyard in Ica (where they make pisco!) 

In Huacachina, the most popular thing to do is go on a sandboarding and dune buggy tour which involves jumping in a specially designed buggy and flying around the dunes. It’s fast-paced and exciting, and the views are great too! You’ll also stop at various points where you’ll get to try sandboarding (a unique sport similar to snowboarding, but you’re boarding on sand instead of snow.)  

We also recommend enjoying a drink at one of the lakefront bars in Huacachina and simply taking a stroll around the Oasis (aka the lake).

Most tours combine a visit to Huacachina and Ica with the Ballestas Islands (I’ve written more about that below). This particular tour is highly rated, reasonably priced, and easily one of the most exciting full-day tours in Lima.  

However, if going all the way to Huacachina on a day trip seems too tiring, then just jump on the bus and stay in Huacachina for a couple of nights. There are a few good hotels in Huacachina to choose from, and I would recommend spending at least two nights.

Then you can book individual sandboarding or dune buggy tours right from Huacachina!

Hot Tip: If you want a party, stay at the Wild Rover in Huacachina, it is a hostel that promises (and delivers!) a party every single night. They also have a pool, which is necessary with the hot temperatures.

Related Read: Check out our guide to visiting Huacachina including all of the best things to do!

17. Party on Calle Berlin 

Bailey and Daniel have a drink on Calle Berlin in Lima, Peru
Bailey enjoys a drink on Calle Berlin in Lima, Peru

Calle Berlin is the place to go if you want to drink or party in Lima. Berlin Street, as it’s also called, is located in the Miraflores district.

Any time of day and any day of the week, there are tons of bars to choose from lining the street. Some of the best bars on Calle Berlin include WahiosMartiniand Houlihans. Late at night, you can find nightclubs, and most clubs here play either EDM or Latin beats music. But there are also Irish pubs (we loved Molly’s Irish Bar), nice restaurants, and trendy bars to check out too.

18. Ballestas Island (Poor Man’s Galapagos) and Paracas Nature Reserve Tour 

Seals on the Ballestas Island (Poor Man’s Galapagos) in Peru
The wildlife is in abundance here!

The Ballestas Islands are home to tons of wildlife; they are located off the coast of the town of Paracas, which is en route from Lima to Ica. They are part of the Paracas Nature Reserve.

There is so much wildlife on the Ballestas Islands that it has been given the hilarious nickname “the poor man’s Galapagos of Peru!” Similar to the Galapagos Islands, you can see the Blue-footed Booby bird and penguins, seals, and sea lions! 

A tour here from Lima to Paracas involves a 3-hour drive and then a short 30-minute boat ride. The tour of the islands is done completely on the boat; unfortunately, you can’t get off and explore the island on foot.

It’s worth noting pick-up from your hotel for these tours can be as early as 4:30 am, so if you’re not a fan of early mornings, this may not be the tour for you!

For this reason, the boat tour of the Ballestas Islands is often combined on a full-day trip from Lima with a visit to Huacachina and Ica. However, if you are more interested in wildlife and the beaches near Paracas, there is this awesome full-day Ballestas and Paracas tour from LimaThis tour allows more time to explore the Paracas Nature Reserve, the oldest marine reserve in Peru – you will visit the Flamingo Viewpoint, Playa Lagunillas, Playa Roja, and more!

Related Read: There is another “Poor Man’s Galapagos” in Ecuador too!

19. See the Nazca Lines 

The Nazca Lines as seen from the air in Peru
You don’t realize how big they are until you see them!

If seeing the magnificent Nazca Lines is on your bucket list, you’re in luck; you can go on a tour to visit these historic etchings in the sand from Lima! On this Lima day tour, you will spend a lot of time on a bus, but you will get to check off seeing the Nazca Lines from above!

The Nazca Lines are a series of lines and shapes drawn in the desert in Southern Peru; they are believed to have been etched over hundreds of years between 500 B.C. and 500 A.D. There are more than 300 figures and more than 10,000 lines as part of the Nazca Lines. And they cover a huge area of 1,000 sq km and can even be seen from the air.

If you’re short on time, this tour probably isn’t for you as it involves a lot of travel – it’s a whopping 18-hour day! But if this is on your Peru bucket list, don’t hesitate to join a tour! 

20. Study Spanish 

studying a spanish notebook on a mayan textile
Just studying away!

Peru is said by many to be the best place in the world to learn to speak Spanish because it doesn’t use many slang words, nor does it have many regional dialects. Peruvians also speak slower than many other native Spanish-speaking countries. So it’s no wonder Lima, the country’s capital city is one of the most popular destinations to learn Spanish. 

You can learn Spanish as part of a group course across various levels (from beginner to expert level) or hire a private tutor. Joining a Spanish group course is a great way to meet like-minded people, and the CESA Languages Abroad School is an in-demand course located in Miraflores. They offer small group sizes so you can benefit from the tutor’s full attention, and they also arrange excursions around Peru.

Peruwayna is another of the best Spanish schools in Lima and is also located in Miraflores; they offer excellent tutors, cool classrooms, and library and computer facilities. If you sign up for one of their courses, they will also allow you to stay with a local Peruvian family so that you can fully practice your Spanish. 

21. Make chocolate 

Bailey makes chocolate at the Choco Museo in Lima Peru
I was so surprised at how easy it is to make!

Did you know that Peru is a producer of some of the world’s highest quality cocoa beans, and they are the main ingredient in chocolate?! Right here in Lima, you can learn about making Peruvian chocolate on a guided tour and then make your very own! 

We did this tour at the Choco Museo in Miraflores. For only $25 USD per person, we were able to join a 2-hour workshop that included an explanation and demonstration of exactly how chocolate is made. We made chocolate bars to take home (they were delicious) and drank some tasty hot chocolate during the tour. 

This is one of the best value tours in Lima because it is social and fun, plus you get tons of chocolate to take home with you! If you have a sweet tooth, this short Lima tour is ideal! 

You can sign up online for the chocolate-making experience. Tours run every day. 

22. Learn to cook Peruvian cuisine 

Ingridients on a cooking class in Peru
This was a highlight and a skill I’ll always have!

Instead of just eating all of the wonderful food in Lima, you can learn how to make it yourself on a guided cooking class experience! Once you’ve done a cooking class, you’ll be able to make the dishes whenever you want back at home.

This particular cooking class goes for 4 hours and includes a visit to the local market to buy local ingredients. You can choose between making four different dishes (they even have a vegetarian option!) This is one of the best things to do in Lima and comes highly rated with 5/5 reviews!

Round trip pick up and drop off to and from your hotel is included in the tour price of $65 USD.

23. Visit the Marcahuasi Stone Forest

The Marcahuasi Stone Forest near Lima, Peru
You don’t see something like this every day!

The Marcahuasi Stone Forest is a hidden gem near Lima, and it is often overlooked by tourists, which is a shame. At this mystical site, you can explore monolithic stone forms and revel in spectacular scenery from the many viewpoints along the hiking trail.

Because it’s not known to many visitors, you will often have the place pretty much to yourself. The area is popular with alternative folk who come here because they believe there are special vortexes that emit healing energy. 

Did you know – these unique stone formations are thought to be over 10,000 years old and were formed by wind erosion?

It’s a long drive from Lima to the stone forest (over 3 hours). The drive once you reach the town of Chosica is winding and steep and not for the faint-hearted. If you plan to drive here yourself, you will need to rent a 4WD vehicle. It’s worth noting, too, that the elevation gain is intense; by the time you reach the start of the hiking trail, you will have gained approximately 3,353 meters (11,000 feet) in elevation. The hike through these mysterious rock formations will take most people between 1-2 hours to complete. 

Because of its distance from Lima, I highly recommend booking a guided tour to Marachausi stone forest like this one. It includes all transportation as well as breakfast and snacks; it’s a long day at 12 hours but at least you can nap in the car!

24. Fountains and Folkloric Show 

Folkloric Dance on a tour in Lima, Peru
The dancing is amazing to watch but we also go to join in later in the night!

One of the best cultural activities in Lima is this dinner and live show. You’ll eat a huge Peruvian meal while watching a variety of live entertainment including traditional music and dance.

I have to be honest, before I attended the show myself I had very low expectations. But the truth is that I was blown away! The food was incredible, and there was a massive selection of dishes. The dancers were brilliant too and performed various well-rehearsed dances with elaborate costumes and music. We loved that they involved the audience a lot during their routines!

This is one of the Lima activities that many people miss but shouldn’t! It’s an amazing way to spend an evening and is something totally different that you won’t experience anywhere else.

The tour that I did also visited the Water Fountain Light show – so it’s a full evening of entertainment! Transport and a guide are included too, so you can just sit back, relax, drink, eat, and enjoy the show! It costs $99 USD and lasts around 5 hours.

25. Drink cocktails at Intro Cafe Bar 

Many locals and tourists will tell you the best cocktails in Lima can be found at Intro Cafe Bar in Miraflores.

This is the number one restaurant in Lima according to TripAdvisor. And we have to agree because not only is the service friendly, the food great (we loved their pizza), but it’s a really social place and a great place to hang out in the evening. That’s because when it starts to get dark local DJs blast tunes and everybody has a good time. 

If you go, make sure to try their Passionfruit Pisco Sour, it’s so good!

Intro Cafe Bar is located on Avenida Larco in the Miraflores district. They are open daily from 8 am to 1 am.

26. Drink Craft Beer 

Lúpulo Peruvian Draft Bar 2
Photo credit: Lúpulo Peruvian Draft Bar 2
Lúpulo Peruvian Draft Bar
Photo credit: Lúpulo Peruvian Draft Bar 2

We were surprised to see so many craft beer breweries in Lima, particularly in Miraflores. We love craft beer, and all the breweries we tried here were fantastic! BarBarian and Lúpulo Peruvian Draft Bar, both in Miraflores, were two of our favorites.

For true beer lovers, join this craft beer tour held in Miraflores. For only $55 USD, your tour guide will take you to the best breweries in the neighborhood, and you will get to sample a minimum of 14 different beers – now that’s what I’m talking about!

27. Pisco Sour and Cocktail Tasting Tour 

Two pisco sours on a table while tasting Pisco in Lima, Peru
I love pisco sours a little too much!

Pisco is the spirit of Peru! This clear alcohol is most commonly used in Peru’s national cocktail – the Pisco Sour! The cocktail gets its name from Pisco (the spirit) and the sour mixers used in it – typically lime. To me, Pisco Sours are delicious.

You can join a guided tour in Lima that takes you to try Pisco Sours from different bars. You will get to try different variations of the Pisco Sour cocktail as well as some other traditional (and delicious) Peruvian cocktails. This 4.5-hour experience will cost you $82 USD.

Alternatively, this particular Lima Pisco tour also takes you to the Magic Water Fountain Show I described earlier before trying lots of Pisco and eating some street food! This is a highly recommended tour in Lima and is ideal for those tourists who want to have a couple of drinks while learning about the culture of Peru. The price and length of this tour are very similar to the first one mentioned.

28. Ride in an open-air bus

An open air bus in Lima city carrying tourists
The cool breeze saves you when it’s hot!

The walking tours I mentioned earlier are great, but they involve a lot of walking. So, if you want to sit back, relax, and take in the best sights Lima offers, I highly recommend joining a city bus tour. There are a few different buses and routes you can do for less than $30 USD. If you’re not familiar with these tours (they’re available in most major cities around the world) – they are on large double-decker buses with the top deck open, so you can take in all the views.  

This particular company operates four different city tours around Lima: a historical tour, a Miraflores tour, and a Barranco tour, and they even offer an evening fountain light show tour! Which is very cool! The tours last for around 3-4 hours, and you can hop off and visit some of the best attractions in Lima like Kennedy Park, San Martin Square, Plaza de Armas, and more! And then hop back on when you’re ready.  

I should note they aren’t the most in-depth of the Lima tours on this list but are a great option if you’re short on time and want to cover lots of ground. 

29. Eat Churros at Manolo

Having a coffee and churros at Manolo
Coffee and churros!

Manolo, a cute little cafe just a 5-minute walk from Kennedy Park, claims to have the “best churros in Lima!” It has been around since 1968, and they must be doing something right because every time I passed, the place was packed. I, of course, sampled their famous churros and I have to admit they are really delicious! Try the dulce de leche or vanilla flavors!

The coffee here is also really good! Believe us, we lived just a block away from this place and ended up visiting on most days during our month-long stay in Lima.

Manolo is located on the main road Avenida Jose Larco in Miraflores, Lima. It has extensive opening hours and is open from 7 am to 10 pm on Monday to Thursday, open until 11 on Friday, from 8 am to 11 on Saturday, and from 8 am to 10 pm on Sunday.

30. Visit the Museo Convento San Francisco y Catacumbas

The Museo Convento San Francisco y Catacumbas in  Lima Peru
This is one crazy place to visit!

Built over 300 years ago, the Museo Convento San Francisco y Catacumbas has fascinatedly survived several earthquakes since its establishment. And it was once the largest church in the Americas. 

This beautiful yellow building is one of the best-rated museums in Lima. It features a world-recognized library with thousands of antique books and, of course, the infamous catacombs used for burials before the existing cemetery was built. In fact, over 70,000 people are buried in the catacombs!

Guided tours are offered here on a first-come-first-serve basis and last 45 minutes; the tours can be conducted in English or Spanish. The entrance fee is 15 soles ($5.60 USD) per adult, and it is open from 9 am – 6 pm every day. 

Where to Stay in Lima, Peru

view from above of the outside of the JW Marriott Hotel Lima
Photo Credit: JW Marriott Hotel Lima

If you’re spending some time in Lima, you’ll need a place to stay! Lima is a big city with many accommodation options. However, I definitely have my favorite spots and am happy to share those with you. Keep reading for my top hostels and hotels for each budget range.

Luxury – $$$

JW Marriott Hotel Lima is located in the Miraflores district right behind the Larcomar shopping center, with amazing views of the ocean. The location is perfect! The rooms are luxurious and have everything you’d expect from a Marriott Hotel, including a fitness center, pool, restaurant, and super helpful staff. Guests also rave about the hotel’s breakfast!

Rooms start at around $200 USD, but you can find the best rates on

Mid-range -$$

Larq’a Park Rooms is a beautiful hotel with amazing reviews. The hotel is in a heritage building right next to Parque Kennedy, and the rooms are modern, clean, and comfortable. They have a nice common area where you can enjoy the complimentary continental breakfast.

Although we’ve included it as mid-range, it could easily be considered a budget option because rooms start as low as $41 USD. Click here to snag this awesome deal!

Tierra Viva Miraflores Centro is my top pick in Miraflores, Lima. The hotel has a 9.2 on, and it’s no wonder since the staff are so attentive and sweet! It’s perfectly located in a quiet and safe area within walking distance of many restaurants, cafes, and shops. Rooms are super clean and come with either a king bed or two singles.

Stays here include breakfast and cost only $70 USD per night. You can book your stay at Tierra Viva Miraflores Centro online here.

Budget – $

Selina Miraflores is part of the well-established Selina chain. They have hostels all over Latin America, and I’ve personally stayed in lots of them. The Selina in Miraflores is a beautiful hostel with a modern, colorful aesthetic and super clean rooms and bathrooms. The whole place has a nice, easygoing vibe that makes it easy to meet people.

It’s also in a great location, with prices starting at $10 USD for a bunk and $45 USD for a private room. You can book Selina Miraflores on either or Hostelworld.

Pariwana Hostel is the most popular and famous party hostel in Miraflores. It’s the perfect hostel to let loose and meet other travelers. Plus, prices are super reasonable, with dorms costing less than $20 USD and private rooms less than $70 USD.

If you want to party and have fun in Lima, you can book the Pariwana Hostel on Hostelworld. Or, if you’re booking well in advance, you can also do so on

Thanks for reading!

Bailey and Daniel take a selfie while swimming with sea lions in Lima
Thanks for reading!

So there you have it, a whopping 30 of the best things to do in Lima, Peru. I have included an activity for every type of traveler and for every budget on this list, and I just know you’re going to love your time in Lima. It’s one of my favorite cities in South America! If you have any questions or comments, be sure to leave them below and we will get back to you!

Be sure to also read the rest of our Peru blogs. Some, in particular, you might like are:

How to Spend 3 Days in Lima, Peru – An Ideal Itinerary

Visiting the Amazon in Puerto Maldonado, Peru

Ultimate guide to trekking in Peru

Ultimate guide to Huaraz, Peru