Top Things to Do and See in Lima, Peru

Lima is more than a city to rush through on your way to other destinations in Peru. It is a city rich in culture and things to do and see. Here you can tour the museums and churches displaying the history and anthrologogy of the past, the richness of the Inca empire, the many regional varieties of the country, enjoy the neighboring beaches and sports, plus a zoo where you can see many of the country's wildlife up close. Enjoy Lima!

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    Plaza Mayor, facing east
    ••• Peter and Jackie Main
    This is the center of Lima's historical area. The Cathedral, Palacio de Gobierno, the Archibishop's palace, Palacio Nacional and other important buildings are here, plus numerous restaurants and shopping opportunities.

    Plaza Mayor is the exact location where Francisco Pizarro founded Lima on January 18, 1535, He named it City of the Kings, but the Quecchua and Aymara names for the location persisted and gave it the name of Lima.

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    Plaza de Armas and Cathedral
    The Cathedral, originally constructed in 1555, has been destroyed by natural causes and rebuilt numerous times. Francisco Pizarro's coffin rests in the mosaic chapel near the entrance.
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    The Miraflores District of Lima

    Miraflores Doorway
    This upscale neighborhood is home to many of Lima's wealthier residents and a popular location for hotels, restaurants and nightclubs. Its beaches, known as the Costa Verde, draw residents and visitors for summer time relaxation and year round surfing.
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    San Francisco Monastery, Lima
    ••• Peter and Jackie Main
    The San Francisco monastery is famous for the catacombs containing the remains of thousands of people. The museum and library are worth a visit. The library contains thousands of antique documents, some dating back to the conquista.
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    Surfer in Peru
    ••• ClipArt.cpm
    This seaside resort is popular for both the beach and surfing. Surf camps will teach you the basics or perfect your technique.
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    Make time to see the Museo de Oro displaying gold and precious metal artifacts, the Museo de Armas with a great arms collection, the Museo de la Nacion which now houses many of the items from the Museo Nacional de Antropologia, Arqueologia e Historia, Museo Rafael Larco Herrera for the impressive ceramics collection, Museo Pedro de Osma for the colonial display and the Museo de la Inquisicion, for the display of torture implements from the Inquisition.
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    Iglesia La Merced
    ••• Jorge Garcia Duran
    Santo Domingo contains the tombs of Santa Rosa de Lima, America's first saint and of San Martin de Porras, America's first black saint. Santuario de Santa Rosa de Lima is built on the site Santa Rosa was born. Convento de los Descalsos is a look back in time to what a convent was like in colonial times. La Merced is built on the site where the first mass was said in Lima.
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    Chorillos Fishing Pier
    ••• Jorge Garcia Duran
    Chorrillos is famous for beach resorts like La Herradura, featuring restaurants and eateries known as picanterias. It's perfect for a day trip, with time to get back to Lima for the hotspots.
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    Palacio de Torre Tagle

    Palacio Torre Tagle
    ••• Jorge Garcia Duran
    The beautiful balconies on one of Lima's treasured colonial buildings are well known. Built at the end of the XVII century by Don Bernardine Jose de Tagle Portocarrero, fourth and last Marquess of Torre Tagle, the building now houses the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
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    Changing of the Guard at the Palacio del Gobierno

    Changing of the Guards, Lima
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    This daily noon time event presents a colorful display of uniforms, plumed hats and high-kicking goosesteps.
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    Parque de las Leyendas

    Scarlet Macaws
    The zoo is popular with Limenos and visitors who come to enjoy a close up look at some of Peru's native wildlife, including condors, llamas and birds from the Amazonian area.
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    Archbishop's Palace

    Archbishop's Palace, Lima
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    Lima was created an archdiocese in 1547. The balconied Archbishop's Palace next to the Cathedral on the Plaza de Armas was not built in colonial times, but in the 1920's.
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    Museo Larco

    "Larco Museum (Museo Larco): In Lima’s Pueblo Libre neighborhood, it has a well-labeled main hall with gold, silver, pottery and textiles. Nearby is a storeroom open to the public containing tens of thousands of pieces of painted pottery, plus a second building with Mochia erotic pottery. (Bolivar 1515,; entrance fee $9.60)"
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    Gold Museum (Museo Oro del Peru): In Lima’s tony Monterrico suburb. Upstairs is an amazing collection of armaments from medieval to modern days. Downstairs is the gold collection, but there are no English labels. (Alonso de Molina 1110, Monterrico,; entrance fee $10.50)