Located on the Pacific coast sits a city rich in historical sites and exciting surfing spots you can't find anywhere else. As the capital of Peru and the second-largest city in South America, there is no shortage of places to visit. Whether you are looking for culture and cuisine or history, you won't be disappointed since there is an abundant variety of experiences.
If you haven't heard of Lima, let us be the first to introduce you! First, let's start with exactly what Lima is known for.
What is Lima known for
First, Indigenous groups inhabited Lima and were part of the Inca Empire. Later, with the colonization of the Spanish in the 1600s, the city became the capital of the Spanish colony. Thus, the city is a hub of culture and history and is full of colonial cathedrals, museums, and government buildings.
Wedged between three rivers, Lima was built upon the coastal plain. Located along the central Pacific coast, it combines tropics and desert, making it a city for plenty of adventure activities in and around the city for everyone. Expect to go for water sports along the coast, paragliding, sandboarding, or even exploring the rugged desert in an ATV.
So, there is a remarkable diversity of activities to match the interests of all types of travelers out there.
5 best and unique things to do in Lima
Enjoy Lima's casual walking tours
Whenever I visit a city I have never been to, I love to simply wander around on foot. Perhaps one of the best ways to explore and admire a city's beauty and lifestyle. So, why not tour Lima's greatest areas by foot?
Lima is undoubtedly a big city. So, pick any of the districts in the city you wish to explore and walk around the various colorful neighborhoods.
Of course, you can join an organized walking tour of the city, but it is easy enough to simply choose a few places of interest and tour around at your own pace.
The most popular districts to explore are Miraflores, Barranco, and Chorrillos. These three parts of town are tied together along the Pacific coast and make for superb views. Walk along Lima's shore at any of these districts and find yourself a cozy place for a pint or ceviche bowl! You can also visit famous landmarks and ancient ruins and marvel at unique street art.
Paraglide over Lima's coast
I bet one of the reasons you wish to visit Lima is the city's spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean from its many seaside cliffs. But perhaps you might have wondered what such a beautiful sight looks like from the ocean.
Likely for you, there is an excellent and exciting way to do that, and that is by air! Anyone up to the challenge and seeking an adrenaline rush paragliding is one of the best things to do in Lima. Frankly, there is no better way to explore the Lima coastline.
If you're seeking adventure while staying in or near the city, go for a paragliding trip from Malecón de Miraflores. You don't need prior experience in paragliding to enjoy this scenery. Tours are usually 10 to 15 minutes and provide an experienced professional pilot. This is a fantastic opportunity to get a bird's eye perspective, soar over the rooftops of Lima, and spot people surfing in the waves below.
Walk around the Plaza Mayor
Plaza Mayor is the oldest public space in Lima. It was designed to have the most important institutional buildings and be seen as the city's center. Specifically, Plaza Mayor is surrounded by the Government Palace, the Cathedral of Lima, the Municipal Palace, and other famous landmarks to visit.
Indeed, a significant amount of time has passed since it was established. However, it is still used as a ceremonial center for religious, state, and military processions.
The Cathedral of Lima still stands around the Plaza Mayor, above Pizarro's land as the city's first church in 1535. With time, it has gone through numerous rebuilding processes, but it still keeps most of its baroque façade.
Explore the Pachacamac ruins
The Pachacamac ruins, located in the district of Miraflores, feature fantastic archeological sites rich full of history. The Pachacamac ruins is definitely one of Peru's must-see places! The historical site dates past the Spanish conquest of the region and can be traced back to 200 AD!
History of Pachacamac ruins
Named after the "Earth Maker" Pacha Kamaq, the site hosts a variety of pyramids, temples, graves, and other archeological structures. The most noticeable site is Huaca Pucllana, an adobe and clay pyramid built with staggered platforms. It was used as part of ceremonial and administrative tasks of the Lima society.
On one side, you can see evidence of the deep pits where the offerings of marine life were made to favor the Gods. On the other, Huaca is more of an administrative area where the findings show huts made out of adobe.
Explore the ruins and step back to a time Pre-Columbian natives lived and conquered the city that became one of the world's largest. You can learn more about ancient Lima's history, religion, culture, and lifestyle.
Surf at Playa Waikiki
The Pacific Ocean is known for its great surf along the Peruvian coastline. That's why surfing is one of the most popular activities you can do in Lima. Whether you're a newbie or a seasoned surfer, you can find good waves and a good time in Lima.
Head to the laidback Playa Waikiki, a regional hub for surfers in recent years, and dive into the waves. If you are entirely new to surfing, there are plenty of places along the beach for a quick surf lesson. Many locals along the coast will rent you a wetsuit, surfboard, and even teach.
Stick around until the sun goes down, and you may even see some dolphins swim by. The water is a little cooler than you might expect, so be prepared!
Why should you visit Lima?
From exploring the historical sites to surfing the waves, Lima definitely has a diversity of things to do.
At Lima, you can visit incredible museums, which reveal the vibrancy of the region's lost civilizations. You can also venture on a culinary quest to look for the best dishes in South America. How about exploring the fine Lima neighborhoods where you can get your fill of luxury shopping, fine dining, and the exciting Peruvian nightlife?
Frankly, I don't think you'll run out of fun things to do in Lima!
Plan your trip to Lima now!
Lima is a great country visit, and you're almost guaranteed to have tons of fun while you're there. If you're ready to start planning your adventure, make sure to give Pilot a try!