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Discover Lima Peru with Checkin Accommodation

At first glimpse, Lima seems to stretch endlessly from the ocean into the hills, a sprawling metropolis that doesn't look anything like the tourist images of brightly dressed Andean villagers posed with their llamas in front of soaring mountain peaks. But a closer look proves that this huge city - home to almost a third of Peru's population - has its own attractions that are as fascinating and colorful as the inland scenes you've pictured. So take time to explore this vibrant city and visit its outstanding museums to set the historical and cultural stage for what you'll see elsewhere. Admire its colonial architecture; its beautiful buildings with their intricately carved wooden balconies and Baroque flourishes. Join locals in dining at some of South America's finest restaurants, strolling in spacious green parks, and relaxing in Lima's lively oceanside suburbs. You'll see why the Spanish conquerors, who founded it in 1535 under Francisco Pizarro, called Lima "the King of Cities."

  1. Plaza de Armas - Lima’s 140-sq-meter Plaza de Armas, also called the Plaza Mayor, was not only the heart of the 16th-century settlement established by Francisco Pizarro, it was a center of the Spaniards’ continent-wide empire. Though not one original building remains, at the center of the plaza is an impressive bronze fountain erected in 1650.Surrounding the plaza are a number of significant public buildings: to the east resides the Palacio Arzobispal, built in 1924 in a colonial style and boasting some of the most exquisite Moorish-style balconies in the city. To the northeast is the block-long Palacio de Gobierno.Surrounding the plaza are a number of significant public buildings: to the east resides the Palacio Arzobispal, built in 1924 in a colonial style and boasting some of the most exquisite Moorish-style balconies in the city. To the northeast is the block-long Palacio de Gobierno.
  2. El Circuito Mágico del Agua - This indulgent series of illuminated fountains is so over the top it can’t help but induce stupefaction among even the most hardened traveling cynic. A dozen different fountains – all splendiferously illuminated – are capped, at the end, by a laser light show at the 120m-long Fuente de la Fantasía (Fantasy Fountain). The whole display is set to a medley of tunes comprised of everything from Peruvian waltzes to ABBA. Has to be seen to be believed.
  3. Museo Larco - In an 18th-century viceroy’s mansion, this museum offers one of the largest, best-presented displays of ceramics in Lima. Founded by pre-Columbian collector Rafael Larco Hoyle in 1926, the collection includes over 50,000 pots, with ceramic works from the Cupisnique, Chimú, Chancay, Nazca and Inca cultures. Highlights include the sublime Moche portrait vessels, presented in simple, dramatically lit cases, and a Wari weaving in one of the rear galleries that contains 398 threads to the linear inch – a record.
  4. Iglesia de Santo Domingo - One of Lima’s most storied religious sites, the Iglesia de Santo Domingo and its expansive convent are built on land granted to the Dominican Friar Vicente de Valverde, who accompanied Pizarro throughout the conquest and was instrumental in persuading him to execute the captured Inca Atahualpa. Originally completed in the 16th century, this impressive pink church has been rebuilt and remodeled at various points since.
  5. Museo de Arte de Lima - Known locally as MALI, Lima’s principal fine-art museum is housed in a striking beaux-arts building that was recently renovated. Subjects span from pre-Columbian to contemporary art, and there’s also guided visits to special exhibits. On Sunday, entry is just S1. A satellite museum is under construction in Barranco.
  6. Casa de la Riva - This handsome, 18th-century mansion features beautiful wooden balconies, an elegant patio and period furnishings.
  7. La Catedral de Lima - Lima's cathedral dominates the east side of the Plaza de Armas. Construction began on the original cathedral in 1535, and it was enlarged in 1564, based on the design of the cathedral in Seville, Spain. It was damaged by an earthquake in 1687 and almost destroyed by the big quake of 1746 but was quickly rebuilt to its present appearance. Look for the outstanding carved choir, a carving of Jesus in the chapel of St. John the Baptist, and the altars in the ornate Spanish Baroque style known as churrigueresque. A chapel decorated in mosaics holds the tomb of Francisco Pizarro, the founder of Lima. A small Museum of Religious Art lies in the back of the cathedral, and in the courtyard is a very pleasant tea room.
  8. Convento de San Francisco - San Francisco church and its monastery are most famous for their catacombs containing the bones of about 10,000 people interred here when this was Lima's first cemetery. Below the church is a maze of narrow hallways, each lined on both sides with bones. In one area, a large round hole is filled with bones and skulls arranged in a geometrical pattern, like a piece of art. If Mass is in progress upstairs, the sound reverberates eerily through the catacombs. Visiting these is not for those who are claustrophobic, as ceilings are low and doorways between chambers are even lower, requiring people to duck when entering. But the catacombs are at the end of a tour of the church, so you can skip them.
  9. Miraflores - On cliffs above the ocean, just south of central Lima, Miraflores is a neighborhood of modern glass-and-steel commercial buildings mixed with some fine old colonial homes and lots of green space. Here is where you'll find smart shops and restaurants serving the "New Peruvian" cuisine that's drawing worldwide attention in culinary circles. Beautiful parks and green spaces stretch along the cliff tops overlooking the water, and it's common to see hang gliders drifting from the cliffs, above surfers in the waves below. Expect slightly higher prices in this more affluent neighborhood.
  10. Museo Amano houses a private collection of Peruvian ceramics and textiles, arranged chronologically. Although Pre-Columbian cultures, including Chimu and Nazca, are well represented, Museo Amano is best known for its remarkable collection of textiles from the less-known Chancay culture of the northern coast. Tours must be booked in advance.
  11. Museo de la Nacion (National Museum) - As the largest museum in Lima, the Museo de la Nacion is the best place to begin exploring Peru's ancient history and gain an understanding of Peruvian culture. The museum covers the entire archeological history of Peru, from the first inhabitants to the Inca Empire. Exhibits of ceramics and textiles, along with scale models of archeological sites such as Machu Picchu and the Nazca lines are arranged in chronological order to show the progression from one culture to the next. Most impressive is the replica of the grave of the Lord Sipan, the first of the Moche mummies found at Huaca Rajada in Sipán, Peru. Most displays are labeled and described in Spanish and English.
  12. Huaca Pucllana- The pyramid-shaped temple of Huaca Pucllana lies in the heart of Miraflores and is now incongruously surrounded by buildings. Built of adobe and clay bricks - a construction material that would never have survived for more than 1,000 years in any other climate - the pyramid is formed in seven staggered platforms. The Lima Culture, by whom the pyramid was built, developed in the central coast of Peru between AD 200 and AD 700. From artifacts discovered here, it is known to have been important as both a ceremonial and administrative center. The area is divided into two sections, one of which shows evidence of being used for offerings of fish, while the other appears to have been administrative. A burial vault was uncovered here with human remains, and artifacts have been found from the later Wari culture, which thrived in this area from about AD 500 to 900. You must tour the complex with a guide, but the tours are quite inexpensive.
  1. Astrid y Gastón Casa Moreyra – address: Av Paz Soldan 290; tel. 01-442-2775.

The standard-bearer of novoandina cooking in Lima, Gastón Acurio’s flagship French-influenced restaurant as run by Lima native Diego Muñoz remains a culinary tour de force. The seasonal menu features traditional Peruvian fare, but it’s the exquisite fusion specialties that make this such a sublime fine-dining experience. The 28-course tasting menu showcases the depth and breadth of possibility here – just do it.

  1. Central – address: Santa Isabel 376; tel. 01-242-8515.

Part restaurant, part laboratory, Central reinvents Andean cuisine and rescues age-old Peruvian edibles you'd find nowhere else. Dining here is an experience, evidenced by the tender native potatoes served in edible clay. Chef Virgilio Martinez wants you to taste the Andes. He paid his dues in Europe and Asia's top kitchens, but it's his work here that dazzles.

Seafood – like the charred octopus starter – is a star, but classics like suckling pig deliver, served with pickled vegetables and spiced squash. A menu supplied by sustainable fish and a rooftop herb garden enhance the ultra-fresh appeal.

  1. ámaZ – address: Av La Paz 1079; tel. 01-221-9393. Chef Pedro Miguel's latest wonder is wholly dedicated to the abundance of the Amazon. Start with tart jungle-fruit cocktails and oversized tostones (plantain chips). Banana-leaf wraps, aka juanes, hold treasures like fragrant Peking duck with rice. There's excellent encurtido (pickled vegetables) and the generous vegetarian set menu for two (S270) is a delicious way to sample the diversity.
  2. La Picantería – address: Santa Rosa 388; tel. 01-241-6676. Just blocks from the famous Surquillo market, diners share two long tables to feast on sea urchin omelette, stuffed rocoto peppers and stewed ossobuco. These traditional plates, hailing from both northern and southern Peru, come with an edge. Chef Héctor Solís knows chiles and doles out just enough heat to leave you at the edge of wanting more.
  3. Ayahuascacocktail bar – address: San Martín 130; tel. 01-247-6751. Lounge in a stunning restored casona full of Moorish architectural flourishes. Few actually admire the architecture, most guests are busy checking out everyone else. The hyper-real decor includes a dangling mobile made with costumes used in Ayacucho folk dances. There’s a long list of contemporary pisco cocktails, like the tasty Ayahuasca sour made with jungle fruit tambo and coca leaves.
  4. Museo del Pisco bar – address: Jirón Junin 201; tel. 99-350-0013. The 'educational' aspect of this wonderful bar might get you in the door, but it's the congenial atmosphere and outstanding original cocktails that will keep you here. We loved the asu mare – a pisco martini with ginger, cucumber, melon and basil. A sister bar to the popular original in Cuzco, this one occupies the Casa del Oidor, a 16th-century casona.
  5. Ekeko BarLive music–address: Av Grau 266; tel. 01 247-3148. From Monday-night poetry readings to local cover bands, this ragged two-story spot has it all. When popular acts are playing, expect to pay a cover (about S10).
  1. LIMA METRO - It is the electric mass transit system of the Lima Metropolitan Area.
  2. TAXI - Taxis in the city are very cheap. There are no meters so you must tell the driver where you want to go and agree on a price before you get in.

Presidential Palace (Palacio de Gobierno); Address: Jirón de la Unión s/n, Distrito de Lima 15001, Peru; Tel: +51 1 3113900

2-            Palacio de Torre Tagle; Address: Jirón Ucayali 363, Distrito de Lima Lima 1, Peru; Tel: +51 1 3112400           

3-            Palacio Municipal de Lima; Address: Jirón de la Unión 300, Distrito de Lima 15001, Peru; Tel: +51 1 6321300

4-            Church of San Pedro; Address: Jirón Azangaro 451, Distrito de Lima 15001, Peru; Tel: +51 1 4283010

5-            Church of La Recoleta; Address: Plaza Francia, Garcilaso de La Vega 1131, Distrito de Lima Lima 1, Peru; Tel: +51 1 4319023

6-            Museo Larco; Address: Avenida Bolivar 1515 | Pueblo Libre, LimaLima 21, Peru; Tel: +51 1 4611312

7-            Museo de Arte de Lima – MALI; Address: Paseo Colón 125, Lima 1 - Perú ; Tel: +511 20 40000 ; E-mail: [email protected]

8-            Estadio Nacional; Address: Jose Diaz s/n, Distrito de Lima 15046, Peru; Tel: +51 1 4316190

9-            National Library of Peru; Address: Av. Abancay, Lima 15001, Peru; Tel: +51 1 5136900

10-          El Parque del Amor; Address: Malecon de la Reserva | Miraflores, Lima 18, Peru; Tel: +51 992 111 400

11-          Kennedy Park; Address: Diagonal, Miraflores Lima 18, Peru; Tel: +51 1 6177272

12-          Play Land Park; Address: Calle Joaquín Torrico, Distrito de Lima 15801, Peru; Tel: +51 945 755 866

13-          Parque de las Leyendas; Address: Av. Las Leyendas 580 - 582 - 586 San Miguel, Lima – Perú; Tel: +511 719 – 2872; E-mail: [email protected]@gov.pe

14-          Jazz Zone; Address: Av. La Paz 656, Lima, Peru; Tel: +51 1 2418139; E-mail: [email protected]

15-          Xtreme Park; Address: Av. Miramar Lt. 17 Pantanos de Villa - Chorrillos 15058, Lima, Peru; E-mail: [email protected]; Tel: +51 1 5004599

16-          Teatro Municipal de Lima; Address: Jirón Ica 377, Distrito de Lima 15001, Peru; Tel: +51 991 125 959

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Your Best Choice for Accommodation in Lima Peru