Lima, Peru is beautiful in September – a bustling city of nearly 10 million people nestled along the beaches of the Pacific. A vast metropolitan hub, Lima was the first stop in our trip to Peru.
I would definitely recommend traveling to Peru in the dry season, the continent’s winter months of May through September. Since Lima is coastal, the city is much more temperate than its counterparts in the high country of the Andes mountains.
Where to Stay: Miraflores
While in Lima, we stayed in the Miraflores neighborhood, an upscale and tourist-friendly part of town known for its bright murals and foodie scene. Miraflores is also safe – for the three or so days we were there, we constantly saw tourist security vans and policemen on bikes patrolling the neighborhood.
We stayed at THIS and THIS Airbnb during our visit and would definitely recommend them to anyone traveling to Lima. Also while on the subject of travel, the Lima airport can be crazy – both getting there and getting through security. The drive from Miraflores to the airport could take anywhere from 45 min to two hours. I’d recommend arriving at the airport three to four hours before an international flight and two hours before a domestic flight.
Plaza de Armas
After first arriving in Lima, we headed down to the historic square, home to the beautiful Cathedral of Lima (pictured above). This bustling square was very busy upon our arrival – there was a parade of singing school children and a band processing in front of the cathedral and through the surrounding streets, blasting confetti out of little canons as they passed. Plaza de Armas is the main square of historical Lima and is definitely worth a visit.
My boyfriend, Drew, discovered Museo Larco and I’m so glad we spent an afternoon there – it ended up being my favorite spot in Lima! The museum itself is stunning, a white building with flowered vines and plants lining the entire perimeter. Museo Larco had some of the best plants and botanicals I’ve ever seen – and it was absolutely beautiful!
The museum itself is filled with artifacts from ancient Peru – including jewelry, stones, pottery and burial attire. Museo Larco was a wonderful introduction to Peru’s history and was very educational.
We stopped by the museum cafe for a late lunch and were pleasantly surprised by the restaurant. Though it was understandably touristy, the cafe had great food and service. We sat in the courtyard, it had the cutest ambiance full of greenery just like the rest of the museum.
One of the most unique and captivating things about Lima is that archaeological sites are around every corner. Nestled in the middle of the Miraflores neighborhood, Huaca Pucllana is no different. The large pre-Incan pyramid, made of adobe and clay, was a ceremonial and administrative center of ancient Lima, dating back to 200 – 700 AD.
As with most sites in Peru, you are required to have a guide take you through Huaca Pucllana. We joined a large group of 15-20 English-speaking tourists and were guided through the ruins by a very educational expert. Tickets were around 30 soles (Peruvian currency) per person (only about 10 U.S. dollars).
Huaca Pucllana also has gardens showcasing native agriculture to Peru – including various red, blue and white corn, potatoes and aloe plants. There was also some livestock – our first alpaca spotting in Peru! Additionally, there were guinea pigs and chickens. For more on Huaca Pucllana, check out the Peru highlight on my Instagram!
Have you been to Lima? What were your favorite spots? Do you have any questions about my recommendations? Let me know in the comments below!