The Basilica Cathedral of Lima mostly built in 1625 in Plaza Mayor/Plaza de Armas, El Centro (Downtown). Photo by Martin St Amant.
Is Lima worth a couple of days?
Lima is certainly not one of Peru’s primary attractions but most tourists will have to spend a day or two here on the way to the wondrous destinations elsewhere, so tough it out.
Actually it’s not at all bad, with some splendid colonial architecture as the city was founded in 1535 by Spanish Conquistador Francis Pizzaro – who was not short of a few quid having robbed the Incas blind.
Lima’s centre is a World Heritage Site and home to an outstanding collection of 16th century religious institutions including the cathedral above, the Monastery of San Fransisco and the Sanctuary of Las Nazarenas.
A handful of excellent museums celebrating Peruvian culture (notably the Museo Nacional de Arqueología Antropología e Historia del Perú), some big, lush parks, a pier and a few beaches well-serviced by bars and cafés will soak up daylight hours with no trouble, while lively clubs, bars and restaurants will kill the night.
p. s. don’t bother with the pricey, shabby, confusing Museo de Oro (Gold Museum), head for the Larco Museum in the Pueblo Libre district instead. It displays an amazing collection of Inca gold and jewelry, well labelled in English.
Lima’s business district and financial centre, San Isidro, shows less-than-magnificent modern styling but is spacious and well-endowed with greenery and fine shops. Photo by Hector Beccera.
Colonial balconies on the Municipal Government City Hall, Plaza Mayor/de Armas. Other Peruvian cities displaying extraordinary old colonial Spanish buildings are Arequipa and Cusco. Photo by Avodrocc.
Changing of the Guard at the Palacio de Gobierno (Presidential Palace) in Plaza de Armas at midday daily, but get there earlier to establish a good sightline! A lively show with marching band and goose-stepping soldiers. Photo by Dozenist.
Popular Jiron de la Union street off Plaza Mayor. Photo by McKay Savage.