3 days in Lima: what to do in the Peruvian capital


3 days in Lima

For most travelers, the Peruvian capital is a stopover on their way to Machu Picchu or to other regions of the country. However, it can also be a destination for a long weekend getaway. Therefore, for this purpose, staying three days in Lima is ideal.

San Francisco monastery
San Francisco monastery, downtown Lima.

How to get to Lima from Santiago

Lima is only 3 hours away from Santiago. Airlines like JetSMART, Sky and LATAM have weekly flights to the Peruvian capital.

Flights to Lima from Santiago have dropped significantly due to the fact that JetSMART opened that destination in 2018. Find the best deals for cheap tickets on this link.

How to get to Lima from other cities in Peru

There are several airlines that arrive in Lima, since this is an important hub in South America. Interregional buses work very well in Peru, they are comfortable and quite cheap.

From the airport to Miraflores

Miraflores is the neighborhood preferred by tourists because it is safe, clean and close to the main attractions of the city. Another option is Barranco.

From the airport you can take a bus, a taxi or an Uber. Read my recommendations in detail on How to get to Miraflores from the Lima airport .

Hotel in Miraflores

The hotel that I recommend to eyes closed is the Ibis Larco in Miraflores . It is well located, has very reasonable prices, its restaurant is delicious. It is close to coffee shops, banks, food stores. He even has a chifa in front and a Sanguchería Fight in the front corner!

Find Where to stay in Lima according to the district and the type of lodging where you want to stay.

Three-day itinerary to Lima

What to do in Lima – Day 1: Miraflores

The first day, leave your things at the hotel and go for a walk around Miraflores. Here you will find cevicherias, hidden markets, chifas and a lot of options to try typical Lima food. You can visit the Surquillo 1 Market, just 20 minutes on foot from the Hotel Ibis.


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If you walk towards the sea, you will find the Love Park from where you can have the best views from the cliffs of Lima. You will also find the Larcomar shopping center, where you can enjoy a coffee or try their Creole sanguchería, while you watch people paragliding over the cliffs.

In the afternoon you can go to Kennedy Park . On Sundays, it is filled with people and couples of older adults dancing in the small amphitheater called “Chabuca Granda”. This park is known as the cat park: around here dozens of felines roam around and you can caress.

What to do in Lima – Day 2: Barranco

Only a few minutes by car from Miraflores is Barranco, a bohemian neighborhood that recalls the more hipster side of Cerro Alegre de Valparaíso.

Here you will find colorful constructions from the 18th  century and the beginning of the 19th century, an entertaining atmosphere both day and night and street art to take many photos. You will also see the Bridge of Sighs and the Bajada de Los Baños to enjoy the views, while you arrive at the seashore.

Here is the MATE museum of Peruvian photographer Mario Testino, internationally recognized. You can also visit the Dédalo gallery and the MAC (Museum of Contemporary Art).

At night you can enter any of the bars or enjoy the many restaurants in the sector. You can go to La Ayahuasca , a large house where you can have a drink and pick some yuccas or loin skewers. With a little more underground vibe, but quite nice, is the Victoria Bar  (on the map below it appears as Café Victoria).

Useful information: a taxi or Uber from the Ibis hotel should not cost more than 10 soles.

Back to Miraflores, you can take advantage of knowing the Huaca Pucllana, an archaeological site that is located in General Borgoño Street, near the Gutiérrez Oval. It is a tour of pre-Hispanic Peru, with pyramids and a museum.

What to do in Lima – Day 3: Cercado de Lima and Barrio Chino

In Cercado de Lima you will find the historic center. Here is the Plaza Mayor where Francisco Pizarro founded the city.

The center is very well maintained and here we can see some vestiges that remind us that the formerly called Ciudad de Reyes was the capital of the most important viceroyalty of South America.


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Look at the buildings and the beautiful wooden balconies built during the viceroyalty, part of the architectural heritage of Lima.

Nearby the Plaza Mayor you can find the Government Palace, the House of the Oidor, the Archbishop’s Palace and the Union Club, among others. In the Monastery of San Francisco you can visit the catacombs.

I recommend you to take a walk around the small restaurants and coffee shops to enjoy an authentic Peruvian Amazon coffee.

Chinatown and market

In Capon street you will be able to learn how Chinese culture mixes with the Peruvian culture, either in its delicious chifas or in the local gastronomy itself. In addition, there are large stores of Asian products.


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Right next door you can visit the Central Market. Here you will find products of all kinds, from meat to shoes. It is interesting, especially to see the most authentic aspect of the city.

Find below in this map of Lima all the places named in this article (all names are in Spanish).


Extra day: El Callao or Magical Water Circuit

If you are staying another day in Lima, you can visit El Callao Monumental or La Punta. This sector is located in El Callao, a port city located in the constitutional province of Callao, where the Jorge Chávez airport is located.

Another attraction of Lima is the Magical Water Circuit, the largest in the world and an icon of Lima that symbolizes the recovery of public spaces. It is a very nice park, with ideal sources to take entertaining photos, but if you have to choose a single place to go, I suggest El Callao.

Practical information

Take dollar bills to Peru and exchange them for Peruvian soles with the money exchanger guys in the street. These people are authorized and you can identify them by their sleeveless vests. They tend to give you a better exchange rate than banks and exchange houses.

Beware of the traffic in Lima. It’s crazy! Very few drivers respect the pedestrian crossings and the stop signs.

Avoid taxis. Prefers apps like Uber or Beat.

Be careful with your belongings. Places like Barranco and Miraflores are very safe, but keep an eye in other places.

If you do not know, ask. Limeños are very kind people and seem to be happy to help foreigners.

The Metropolitano. In Lima there is not an underground subway, but a bus system called Metropolitano. Therefore, it is easy to get confused when you ask for the subway and they show you the  urban buses. The Lima metro is a train that does not pass through the tourist attractions of the city.

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Fran Opazo

Periodista. Escribir y viajar son mis dos grandes pasiones. En este blog comparto mis experiencias, entrego datos y cuento historias.


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