Two days in Lima – what to do

Two days in Lima – what to do

Lima, like a lot of capitals, is a great place both for acclimatization to local climate or for chill out after your adventure. I’m sure, you can find here a lot of things to do. It was enough to stay for 2 days in Lima. In my case, to chill out after my trip.

Two days in Lima and what to do

La Plaza de Mayor
During your two days in Lima, you should visit the historical part

To me, you can divide Lima into three parts. The historical one, the one brand new one, and the coast. Since Peru has a lot of more interesting destination on the coast, I wouldn’t necessarily focus to stay around the coast if you want to spend only two days in Lima.

The historical part of Lima

Like most of the places in South America, Lima has quite rich colonial architecture, which is kinda visible in the main square. And everywhere else around the historical center.

The main square

Two days in Lima

Plaza Mayor or Plaza de Armas is like the birthplace of Lima and pretty much the core of the city. The main buildings that you can see here are the government palace, Catedral of Lima, municipal palace, and the palace of Archbishop. Not all of them are open to the public. But if nothing else, you can still probably visit at least cathedral and some parts of Municipal Palace. More importantly for me, this place had an amazing atmosphere. It felt like it is constantly rushing, but at the same time, it had the South American calmness. Besides, there is a lot of good high-end restaurants around.

Saint Francis monastery

Another great colonial building! This is maybe a little bit far from the Plaza de Armas, but it is less touristy and it might be just 15 minutes walk. Here you can see catacombs and old monastery from the colonial age. The tour doesn’t even take too long, so it is nice just to visit something even from inside in Lima.

Lacro museum

Larco museum
Larco museum is well known for its collection of erotic pottery

This is especially if you are history geek and want to know more about Peru history both pre-Columbian and colonial times. Otherwise, there are other great places to go to if you have only two days in Lima.

But anyway, Larco museum is in Pueblo district, which means that if you are located somewhere in the historical center, you need to take bus or taxi here. The exhibitions are in the 18th-century royal house. And the house itself contains 5000 years of history. But you can also find here the thing that is mostly known for erotic pre-Columbian pottery. Sounds weird but interesting? Well, it was surprising for me too.

The new Lima

Lima used to be known as a scary city with a lot of drugs and violence. But not anymore. Locals took an effort in wiping Lima clean and create new neighborhoods, that you wouldn’t even think about that they could be dangerous. One of them is Miraflores, a place that is very popular for tourists. Miraflores is very close to the coast and has modern buildings. It kind of came to the point where I felt like I’m visiting some North-American city. That is how modern architecture feels like.

Generally, Miraflores is nice for chilling, there is a lot of shops and parks. I used to love just going through parks. Some of them have a very interesting sculpture, or there is also a park full of cats.

Huaca Pucllana

Old pyramid
Old pyramid in the middle of a brand new neighborhood

To get the most out of two days in Lima, you can visit the local pyramid. It is a little bit weird to have a pyramid in a modern neighborhood, but it fits. The pyramid is built from clay and was build between 700 and 200 AD. It is possible to venture around this historical site, you can even choose whether you want a guide.

Larcomar

If you want to go shopping, look no further. This big mall is located on Lima cliff, which makes it pretty much special. You can find here a wide variety of clothing brands, similar to those that you will see in America or Europe. For me, it was most interesting for the great view from local cafes and restaurants.

Park of Love

Park of Love

It probably comes to this place just by a walk around the coast. It is a little green area with a massive sculpture of two kissing people. This place is generally great for a view of the Pacific ocean and has some nice dinner nearby. Also, there are a lot of people selling souvenirs – but there are better and cheaper places where to buy them.

Coastal activities for two days in Lima

I would say that there are better places for the coast in Peru, but if you have limited time, or if you don’t want to travel north in Peru, Lima will probably do.

Surfing

I was surprised how Lima was equipped for surfers. There are a lot of places, where they will borrow you surf or the clothing for it. There are even a lot of schools for beginners. However, this very much depends on when are you traveling. Since most tourists come to Lima at the time of winter in Peru, it might not be a great time for surfing. Waves can be too wild and water too cold. But hey, I’m sure, that if you are experienced surfer, it won’t stop you.

Paragliding

Paragliders

I have never seen that many paragliders until I visited Lima. I’m scared of heights, so I wouldn’t do it, there is an opportunity. When you do it on the coast, you get an incredible view of Lima from the coast and ocean all around.

If you are just passing by, it is quite nice to see all the surfers and paragliders there. It makes the view quite special.

Getting around in Lima

Getting around in two days in Lima

Busses

Busses here are pretty straight forward, getting you in any part of Lima. But to be honest, expect delays. Especially in rush hours, it is an issue to get anywhere. So if you need to be somewhere on time in the morning or around 5 in the rush hours, better come early. Also, expect that this might not be the easiest form of traveling as they get to be pretty full so it is hard to look over all of your belongings. But in the time when people are generally not traveling too much, it is not an issue.

Taxi

Taxis are a pretty useful way to get around, especially when you don’t want to be smashed in a bus with a lot of other people. But be careful of how to choose your taxi, it is better to ask the hotel to call you a taxi that they know wit pre-set up price, rather than wait for someone on the street.

Conclusion for two days in Lima

Lima is a big city so there is naturally a lot of things to do. I met a bunch of people, who actually just traveled to see Lima. But especially for international travelers, there are places that are generally more interesting than Lima, so two days to relaxing to me is more than enough. However, if you feel like having Lima as your base, there is a lot of day trips to be made from here.

 

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11 Replies to “Two days in Lima – what to do”

  1. I spent two days in Lima and didn’t see half of this stuff! When I go back I will have to check out Huaca Pucllana and the Saint Francis Monastery. I don’t know how I missed those.

  2. I totally agree that two days is the perfect amount of time for Lima – it’s got a handful of interesting things to see and do, but really, it’s more of a jumping off point for the rest of the country. I’ve heard that you can swim with sea lions off of the coast, but the water was too rough during my visit… reason to go back, perhaps?

  3. Wow! I’ve never been to South America at all, but Lima looks amazing. I’d especially love to visit Huaca Pucllana.

  4. I’ve never been to Lima and this is also the first time I’m reading a post about it. I didnt’ know that Lima used to be known as a scary city and am happy to hear it is no longer that way. Great tip about getting your hotel to call a taxi 🙂

  5. I had no idea that there was enough for even a day, let alone two, in Lima. My knowledge of Peru is unfortunately limited to Machu Picchu. Thanks for sharing top places to see and opening my eyes a little to worthy stops along the way!

  6. Ah! I definitely need to get back to South America! Especially with all these amazing things to do there. I think Lima get overlooked for the more popular Cusco!

  7. I’ve never been to Lima but it looks so pretty. I have a friend whose visiting in a months time and she’ll only be there for a few days, so this post is super helpful. Sharing it with her now!

  8. I love that you chose to write about Lima. I don’t see many posts about it, so I think that’s awesome. Also, would totally love to visit here one day, it looks like a fun place. I imagine the food here would be incredible.

  9. Two days sounds perfect, especially if visiting Lima is part of a bigger trip! I can’t wait to visit South America. Thanks for all the great tips!

  10. Lima sounds interesting and with a fascinating story! I would try to travel even in the public buses as I 99% of my travelling happens via public transport! Thanks for the advice though regarding the rush hours 🙂

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