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Some travelers spend only a night in the capital, in their hurry to catch the next flight to Cuzco for the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. But stay for a while instead and soak up the 21st-century scene in this post-colonial city, where grittiness and glitz exist side by side. Discover historical treasures, such as the spiring La Catedral, which stands near the neoclassical Palacio de Gobierno on the Plaza de Armas. Stroll the cobblestone street of Jirón de la Unión. Stop to sip a pisco sour, Peru's national drink made from grape brandy, at the bar inside the venerable Gran Hotel Bolívar. Farther afield, delve into the ...

Some travelers spend only a night in the capital, in their hurry to catch the next flight to Cuzco for the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. But stay for a while instead and soak up the 21st-century scene in this post-colonial city, where grittiness and glitz exist side by side. Discover historical treasures, such as the spiring La Catedral, which stands near the neoclassical Palacio de Gobierno on the Plaza de Armas. Stroll the cobblestone street of Jirón de la Unión. Stop to sip a pisco sour, Peru's national drink made from grape brandy, at the bar inside the venerable Gran Hotel Bolívar. Farther afield, delve into the modern neighborhood of Miraflores, a hub for the arts, upscale hotels, and shopping, or the beatnik barrio of Barranco, where surfers, musicians, and poets mingle at nightclubs by the beach. Adventurous types can go paragliding from the city's coastal cliffs, while more studious travelers have oodles of museums at which to absorb Peruvian history and culture.

Sara Benson
About the Expert

Sara Benson was the coordinating author for Lonely Planet's Peru and wrote the Peru chapter for South America on a Shoestring.

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Sara Benson for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Lima is the capital and the largest city of Peru. It is located in the valleys of the Chillón, Rímac and Lurín rivers, in the central part of the country, on a desert coast overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
  • Language: Spanish
  • Currency: Nuevo Sol
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia
  • Weather: Rainfall | Daylight
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    December through March. Also Feast of Santa Rosa de Lima (late August), El Señor de los Milagros (mid- to late October).