Three trips through Peru: Lima and the Pacific coast

Three trips through Peru: Lima and the Pacific coast

On this stop on a triple itinerary, explore neighborhoods like Barranco and Miraflores, where you’ll find cliffs, beaches, and criollo food

Rafael Bahia Angelo Dal Bó, Getty Images

Published October 2019

Peru is home to diverse landscapes that result in impressive cities, traditional cultures, and a world-famous cuisine. Here, we present Lima and the Pacific coast, before heading to Cusco and the Andes; and Iquitos and the Amazon Rainforest.

Paragliding over Lima

In the summer, the sky in the Peruvian capital is clear blue, perfect for paragliding tours offered by companies like PeruFly. The city sits on cliffs, and the ride provides a privileged view of them.

Three trips through Peru: Lima and the Pacific coast

Huaca Pucllana archaeological site and Inca culture

In the modern neighborhood of Miraflores is Parque del Amor – at its overlooks, you can observe the Pacific waves. The place is also home to tourist attractions like Huaca Pucllana (an archaeological site that has pre-Columbian pyramids), located to the south of the historic city center (where you’ll find classic places like Museo Larco, which has a huge collection of Inca artifacts).

Parque del Amor: Malecón Cisneros 

Huaca Pucllana: Calle General Borgoño, 8

Museo Larco: Avenida Simón Bolivar, 1515

Three trips through Peru: Lima and the Pacific coast

A toast in the Peruvian capital

Uneven topography can also be found in the bohemian region of Barranco, south of Miraflores. From Puente de los Suspiros, the neighborhood unveils manors that are currently home to bars like Ayahuasca. After a few drinks, anyone will feel inspired like singer Chabuca Granda, who immortalized Lima’s beauty in her Peruvian waltzes. There, you’ll also find MATE, a museum of contemporary art founded by renowned Peruvian photographer Mario Testino.

Ayahuasca: Avenida San Martín, 130

MATE: Avenida Pedro de Osma, 409

Three trips through Peru: Lima and the Pacific coast

The beaches in Lima that dazzle surfers and tourists alike

An option to feel the ocean breeze is to head to the sands in Punta Hermosa, a resort framed by cliffs outside the city, some 25 miles [40 km] from the center. There are a few beach options in the district, like Playa Caballeros (food vendors circulate there) and El Silencio. Just sit down on the sand and observe the surfers riding the waves internationally famous for being constant and, as such, great to practice the sport.

Three trips through Peru: Lima and the Pacific coast

The gastronomic revolution that started in Lima

From this ocean come fresh shellfish, the base for criollo food. The combination of Andean, Spanish, African, and Asian influences resulted in national dishes (yes, ceviche!) and led to a gastronomic revolution that had Lima as its epicenter. Some of the city’s restaurants that serve this type of food are or have been among the 50 best in the world: Central, which is ranked 4th; Maido, which serves Nikkei food (a fusion of Japanese and Peruvian cuisines); and Astrid y Gastón, which is run by famous chef Gastón Acurio and his wife, Astrid Gutsche.

Central: Avenida Pedro de Osma, 301

Maido: Calle San Martín, 399

Astrid y Gastón: Avenida Paz Soldan, 290

Three trips through Peru: Lima and the Pacific coast

Now that you’ve discovered Lima, check out what to do in Iquitos and Cusco.

10 can’t-miss places to visit in Lima

7 foods you need to try in Lima (and where to find them)

Literary Lima: places that have inspired writers in the Peruvian capital