Things to do in
Lima

Expect vibrant flavors, colonial architecture, and bohemian neighborhoods against the cool Pacific breeze.

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Our most recommended things to do in Lima

From Lima: Full-Day Paracas and Huacachina Bus Tour

1. From Lima: Full-Day Paracas and Huacachina Bus Tour

Your adventure begins with an early-morning pickup from your hostel or hotel. From here, travel to Paracas, a beautiful small town by the sea, on a spacious bus where you'll be able to relax for the 4-hour ride. Once in Paracas, begin a 2-hour boat tour of the Ballestas Islands, a smaller version of the Galapagos. Spot sea lions, penguins, and plenty of birds up close and all in their natural habitats. You may even get the chance to see a dolphin or two. Around lunchtime, it's time to move on from Paracas to Huacachina, a natural oasis located in the Ica Desert, home to the biggest sand dunes in South America. Enjoy some free time here. Explore and have lunch at one of the local restaurants around the oasis. Following lunch, it will be time for 2 hours of exhilarating dune buggy rides and sandboarding. Dune buggy up the sand dunes and sandboard down these giant hills of sands, a once-in-a-lifetime experience in the only natural desert oasis in South America. In the evening, board your bus back to Lima. Once onboard, sit back and relax on the comfortable seats while you enjoy a movie on board. You will later be dropped off directly at your hotel/hostel upon arrival in Lima.

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From Lima: Ballestas, Nazca Lines, & Huacachina Oasis

2. From Lima: Ballestas, Nazca Lines, & Huacachina Oasis

Start your adventure by departing Lima in the early morning. Travel for around 300 km on the Pan-American highway until you reach Paracas Bay, a very important place for Peruvian history which is full of wildlife.  Enjoy a boat tour to the Ballestas Islands and watch out for birds, sea lions, dolphins, and penguins. Then head to Pisco Airport and take a 45-minute flight over the Palpa desert to see the Nazca Lines. Stop at the Huacachina Oasis, and take some time to eat lunch and walk around. Test your skills at sandboarding for an additional cost or just enjoy free time at the pool drinking Pisco Sours. At the end of the adventure, head back to Lima via the same route.

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Lima: 15-minute Paragliding Tour with HD Video

3. Lima: 15-minute Paragliding Tour with HD Video

Feel like a bird as you soar over Lima and over the 4 best beaches in the south of the city on a 15-minute paragliding flight that includes a complimentary HD video of your experience. Meet your group at the meeting point and be transferred to the taking off-site. Strap on to your paraglider and take off, getting a bird’s eye view of Lima. Fly over the best beaches in the south of Lima: Playa Arica, Playa Frontero, Playa los Octopus, and Punta Hermosa. Your landing site will be at Playa San Pedro, the same as the take-off location. After you land, get transferred back to the meeting point where this experience began. Check your email the next day to receive an HD video of your paragliding tour.

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Lima: Swim with Wild Sea Lions at Palomino Islands

4. Lima: Swim with Wild Sea Lions at Palomino Islands

Meet your friendly crew then sail to the islands of Callao, travelling through the "El Camotal" underwater, open sea and passing by San Lorenzo Island.  At 11:30 AM, reach the farthest point, Palomino Island, which houses a large colony of sea lions. Here, you can freely swim alongside these great animals in neoprene suits. Then, at 12:35 PM, you will return to the meeting place in Calloa at Calle La Mar 229. Your return will begin through impressively shaped cliffs and islets. You will have the chance to enjoy a snack on board before arriving at the pier in Callao at 1:00 PM.

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Lima: Barranco and Miraflores Bike Tour

5. Lima: Barranco and Miraflores Bike Tour

Starting from the local partner's shop in Miraflores, cruise along bike paths to explore Barranco. After a short safety briefing from your instructor, start your 3-hour guided tour. See picturesque old streets and feel the sea breeze in your hair. Stop at the famous Bridge of Sighs to make a wish. In Miraflores, you'll learn about La Huaca Pucllana and Itchma, the pre-Inca civilization that existed in the area from around 300 to 700 A.D. Pass the Faro de la Marina lighthouse, then continue to the Park of Love and Larcomar Shopping Center. Afterwards, stop in a nice cafe bar for a refreshment, before returning to the local partner's shop.

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Lima: 2-Day Tour to Paracas, Pisco Vineyards, and Huacachina

6. Lima: 2-Day Tour to Paracas, Pisco Vineyards, and Huacachina

Day 1: Lima - Ballestas Islands - Huacachina Start with early pickup from your hotel in Lima or meeting point. Travel to Paracas, beautiful small town by the sea, on a 4-hour journey. Upon arrival in Paracas, begin a 2-hour boat tour of the Ballestas Islands. These islands are said to be a smaller version of the Galápagos. See sea lions, penguins, birds, and even dolphins up close in their natural habitats. After the boat tour, head to Huacachina, the only desert oasis in South America. Spend 2 hours getting your thrills with dune buggying and sandboarding on some of the highest sand dunes. Then, transfer to your accommodation in Huacachina. Use your free time to grab some food or maybe a beer. Relax after an adrenaline-filled evening and rest up for the next day. Day 2: Huacachina - Lima Leave Huacachina and head off to a 2-hour pisco vineyard tour. See how pisco, Peru's national drink, is made from the grape to the bottle and try lots of free samples. Spend the whole day enjoying Huacachina. Catch some sun by the pool or grab some lunch around the oasis for the perfect end to this trip. Travel by air-conditioned bus back to Lima, and get dropped off either at your hotel or the original meeting point.

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Lima: Private Nazca Lines & Huacachina Oasis with Lunch

7. Lima: Private Nazca Lines & Huacachina Oasis with Lunch

Start your tour at 5:30 AM with a freshly prepared, delicious breakfast, on your journey from your hotel in Lima to Ica. Board a Cessna 208 Caravan and fly over the famous Nazca Lines, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Admire the incredible, ancient geoglyphs from above and wonder at their meaning. View and take photos of the whale, the astronaut, the monkey, the hummingbird and many more of the glyphs. Land and travel to the oasis and sand dunes of Huacachina in V8 modified dune buggies. Push your body to its limits, as you practice sandboarding down the dunes of the desert. Visit a small chocolate factory and taste some of the famous, traditional Peruvian chocolates.  Explore a rural area in the outskirts of Ica. Learn about the production of Pisco, wines and fruit liqueurs at a local winery and sample as many as you like. Indulge yourself with a traditional Peruvian lunch, made from fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Try delicious delicacies such as sopa seca and pollo saltado, chicken stir-fry. Return back to your hotel in Lima by 7:00 PM.

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From Lima: Nazca Lines and Ica Desert Day Trip with Lunch

8. From Lima: Nazca Lines and Ica Desert Day Trip with Lunch

Begin your journey of the Ica Desert with a bright and early hotel pickup, where you will be greeted by your guide who will take care of you throughout the day.  Head straight to Nazca, whereupon you'll stop at Kilometer 50 of the South Pan-American Highway to enjoy a breakfast consisting of juices or hot drinks, accompanied by artisan breads from the area. Next, head to the airfield in Nazca, where you'll pass through security before boarding a small plane to view the famous Nazca Lines from up above. Sit back and relax on your 45-minute flight, as you view the incredible collection of giant geoglyphs — designs or motifs etched into the ground — that were created by the ancient Nazca culture. Tuck into a delicious traditional lunch upon landing before heading to your final stop, the Huacachina Oasis. This natural lagoon is surrounded by palm trees and desert dunes, from where you can watch the sun setting over the sand. Pump up your adrenaline and hop into sand buggies, and sandboard down the perfect dunes before returning to Lima late in the evening.

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Lima: Water Magic Circuit, Downtown and Catacombs Night Tour

9. Lima: Water Magic Circuit, Downtown and Catacombs Night Tour

Visit the historic side of Lima and explore its streets at night. After pickup at your hotel, admire the illuminated Cathedral of Lima, an architectural jewel that has a Renaissance-style facade. Stroll around the Main Square, see beautiful buildings like the Government and Municipal Palace, then experience the nightlife of the colonial side of Lima on Chabuca Granda boulevard. Try local desserts and typical drinks, and visit a unique chocolate museum at night. Later, head to the San Francisco Convent and its famous catacombs. Discover a unique part of Lima underground with corridors full of history and beautiful paintings. See the library, various rooms, the main cloister, and a work of art made of wood and stone. Explore a network of tunnels and underground rooms, and find remains of people who lived hundreds of years ago. Next, make your way to the Magic Water Circuit, the Guinness World Record holder for the biggest complex of water fountains in a public park. The fountains have different forms and sizes, and release jets of water up to 80 meters (262 feet) into the air. Have your camera ready to capture a magic show of light, color, music, and images. Finally, enjoy panoramic views of a pre-Inca site called Huaca Pucllana, a huge complex made of clay and mud beautifully illuminated at night considered a ceremonial center of Lima culture. The tour concludes with drop-off at your hotel in Lima.

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Lima: City Highlights Small Group Tour

10. Lima: City Highlights Small Group Tour

After being picked up from your hotel, the tour begins by visiting one of the most important squares of Peru. San Martin Square is surrounded by balconies, Acestrals' homes, colonial residences, and beautiful palaces. Following this, visit one of the most significant avenues of Lima, Jiron de La Unión. The tour then continues to the square of Lima or 'Plaza Mayor'. Here you can view cathedrals, the government palace, city hall, and wonderful balconies decorated uniquely with an Arabic influence. The tour concludes with a trip to one of the oldest catacombs of America, the 'San Francisco Monastery'.

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Frequently asked questions about Lima

What top attractions are a must-see in Lima?

Planning Your Visit

  • When should I go?

    Peru's peak tourist season is from December to April, when the weather is warmer with clear skies. If you don't mind the crowds, visit then, because from June to December, the city is covered with a thick, gray fog.

  • What should I wear?

    You don't need to dress for particularly warm or cold weather if you go during the high season. If you decide to go on the walking trails around archeological sites, remember to bring walking boots and maybe even some blister relief!

Good to know

  • Language
    Spanish, Quechua and Aymara
  • Currency
    PEN (S/.)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (-05:00)
  • Country Code
    +51
  • Best time to visit
    While the weather is typically always dry, the best temperatures and clear skies are found from December to April, which also means there are more crowds.

Other Sightseeing Options in Lima

Want to discover all there is to do in Lima? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Lima

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 1,390 reviews

It's worth getting up early and the bus ride. The Winery sat in the middle of a neighborhood? My guide explained everything in a fun way! I really enjoyed it. The ride in a buggie in a dessert was like a roller coaster!! Sliding down the dunes on a board made me feel alive. Seeing the Oasis was like being in a movie and you think it might be a mirage! Great fun with great people.

Loved the water show, the cooking workshop! But, most of all I learned so much about Peru from my guide. As we walked along the streets she knew everything about the areas, buildings, who lived there..! She was amazing! I wish I'd met her on my first day, it would have given me even more to discover!! Highly recommend! My brain cannot remember her name?

my guide and the chef were amazing!! first stop the market for fresh ingredients with a tour and facts about the market. then to the kitchen where I learned to make my own ceviche! there was also 2 people from Colombia and we did all the preparations! ceviche, pisco sour, stir fry. I bought a clay pot to take back home!!!

This was a great activity for our family of 5! The organizers were very helpful in arranging the right bikes for our 3 kids (including one kid who sat on a seat on mom’s bike). The tour was interesting and fun, and gave us a great flavor of Lima….way more than we would have seen without the tour. Highly recommend!

It was an incredible experience. Don't be afraid of the sea lions the we're just adorable and friendly. Make sure to get over any doubts quickly as you only have 15mins in the water to protect the nature and there is no time to hesitate.