The Pacific Coast capital city of Lima, Peru is one of the largest cities in South America. Lima was founded over 500 years ago by the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro. Peru’s rich history of ancient civilizations make it a top tourist destination. Being located right on the Pacific Ocean makes Lima all the more attractive to travelers. We chose to spend a week in Lima learning about it’s history, marveling at the preserved colonial architecture, eating local cuisine and enjoying the beach. We are active travelers in that we jam pack our trips with hearty activities. We wanted to take our time in Lima and truly feel like locals in this bustling metropolis.

We stayed at an Airbnb in Miraflores which is in my option, the best neighborhood to stay in Lima. It is the closest to the beach and about a 20 minute taxi ride away from the historic center. It has everything a tourist could need including markets, restaurants, beaches, and more.

We opted to be as frugal as possible during our time in Lima as we were blowing quite a bit of money on an extensive hike through the Inca Trail the following week. We lived like the locals and found some of the best budget-friendly experiences in Lima.

1. Explore the Main Square of Lima
The Plaza Mayor or Plaza de Armas of Lima is a scenic plaza and the birthplace of city. It is located in the Historic City Center and is a must see during your time in Lima. it is surrounded by the Government Palace, Cathedral of Lima, Archbishop’s Palace of Lima, the Municipal Palace, and the Palace of the Union. There is so much history right in one square, it’s definitely worth a visit.

2. Take a walk along the coast.
We stayed in the Miraflores part of Lima which is right on the beach. The coast has a great pathway that leads up and down the beach both at the bottom of the beach and atop of the cliffs looking out. It’s a great way to see the surfers, paragliders and more!

3. Visit the cats of Kennedy Park.
Kennedy Park is a large park in the center of Miraflores surrounded by coffe shops, restaurants and lots of shopping. The park also happens to be a cat sanctuary so anytime you’re walking through the park, feel free to pet the local felines and grab a selfie or two! There is always something going on in the park. During our week stay in Miraflores, we say an art gallery in the park, a public dance-a-thon, markets, and more.

4. Visit Huaca Pucllana
Huaca Pucllana is an archaeological site that holds an adobe and clay pyramid located in the Miraflores district of central Lima that dates back to 200-700 AD. It was preserved and restored in the 1980’s and is now a popular tourist spot in Lima where you can go to learn about pre-Inca societies that lived in Lima for many years. It is open Wednesday to Monday from 9am – 5pm. The cost is 15.00 soles per person which ends up being about $4-5 USD.

5. Experience the light show at the Parque de la Reserva
The Park of the Reserve is a park which each night hosts an exhilarating fountain light show where music, water, sound and laser lights are mixed to present unique and incredible shows. The shows run Tuesday through Sunday at 7:15pm, 8:15pm & 9:30pm. Admission is $4 per person.

– We didn’t get a chance to do this during our stay in Lima but a great way to see more of the city is to rent bicycles and cycle around the coast or do a bicycle tour. They have great reviews all over Lima!
– Take a chocolate making class at Museo de Chocolate Peru! We did do this and it was such a fun experience. We even got to bring all our chocolate home with us 🙂

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