Lima neighborhoods that show you the best spots to dine, drink, shop and stay.
You may be heading to Peru to experience the Machu Picchu, but you’re sure to spend at least a few days in Lima. Although the capital of Peru is gigantic, divided into forty-three different districts and populated by eight million inhabitants. There are, however, simply a handful of districts that you’ll be wanderlusting through as most districts are rural or in desert and mountainous areas. Here are four Lima neighborhoods that you’ll absolutely need to know, as a traveler, for a fun night out in the town, sightseeing and enjoying fantastic restaurants.
The upscale financial district of Lima and considered as the best residential area.
The area is safe as is has become a huge financial hub in the last few years with several banks and businesses setting up headquarter offices in San Isidro’s high rises. You can also find most embassies in this district, and many Catholic Churches, synagogues and temples.
- Huaca Huallamarca – An archeological pyramid that dates back to 11th century.
- El Olivar – With its 500 year old Olive trees.
- Oldest golf courses in South America – The Country Club Hotel allows you to play at the course.
- Casa Hacienda Moreyra – A beautiful house from 300 years ago that has a chapel, a cellar and catacombs.
- Museo Marina Núñez Del Prado – Museums filled with beautiful sculptures from the most famous sculptor in Latin America.
Where to eat:
Along the Pacific Ocean, most popular area for tourists and expats.
The area is full of cafes, shops, bars and restaurants, hence it is commercialized with tourists from all over the world. Larcomar is where everyone will gather, since it’s completely touristic. It’s where you’ll find Gap, Steve Madden along with TGI Friday’s and many chain restaurants. I highly recommend spending less time in Larcomar but more time in alleys surrounding Parque JFK. If you love the water, then Costa Verde (Green Coast) will be perfect for surfing and the view.
- Huaca Pucllana – A pyramid in city center that dates back to 500 AD
- Iglesia Virgen Milagrosa Miraflores – A beautiful church right next to Parque Central.
- Parque JFK – Best for street market shopping and petting alley cats.
- Larcomar – A contemporary shopping mall.
- Museum Amano – A museum of textile and ceramics from the Chancay era.
- Enrico Poli Museum – For a huge collection of pre-Columbian and Inca periods.
Where to eat:
- Astrid y Gaston – Avenida Paz Soldan 290, Lima, Peru (map)
- Maido – Calle San Martin 399 (esquina con Calle Colón), Lima Lima 18, Peru (map)
- Central Restaurante – Santa Isabel 376 Miraflores Lima, Peru, Peru (map)
- Amaz – Avenida La Paz 1079, Miraflores 15074, Peru (map)
Reputation: A bohemian area known for its raging nightlife.
The 411: Home to many Peruvian writers and artists during the 20th century, Barranco is now known for its beautiful bohemian influences. During the colonial era, this was an area for wealthy Limenos where travelers can now see in its architectural designs. During the day, Barranco is much more relaxed than central Lima but during nighttime, this becomes the hub of many happening bars and clubs.
- Biblioteca Municipal de Barranco – The Municipal Library that resides in Parque Municipal.
- The Bridge of Sighs/Puente de los Suspiros – If you can cross the bridge without taking a breath then your wish will come true.
- Bajada de Baños – A small pathway underneath the bridge that leads to beautiful small houses, tiny restaurants and eventually to the cliffs.
- La Iglesia la Ermita – A gorgeous church for local fishermen.
- Avenida Saenz Peña – Considered as the most beautiful residential area in Lima, where you can see decorative houses.
Reputation: Historical part of the city.
The 411: Although there is lots to see in this area, because Lima Centro has repeatedly suffered from earthquakes and fires, it’s considered as unsafe and dirty by many tourists. But in order to see all that Lima has to offer, you’ll find yourself strolling through Lima Centro.
- Plaza Mayor – Centers around a gorgeous fountain.
- Le Catedral – One of the major monuments in Plaza Mayor.
- Basicilia de San Francisco – This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a gorgeous church and a monastery that contains a library and 70,000 catacombs.
- Peruvian House of Literature – Lima’s old train station restored by the government in 2009 and transformed into a reading room of Peruvian literature.
- Government Palace – The official residence and office of Peru’s president..
Where to eat: For the hidden gem, look up and notice the yellow umbrellas above Plaza Mayor. The umbrellas are from Restaurant Olamo Terraza Lima, which you can go for the best view of Plaza Mayor.