We love exploring the destinations we visit and sharing our insights with you – our members. These destination guides will give you plenty of inspiration about what you should – and could – be enjoying, whether it will be the first or the tenth time you’ve visited. From exciting activities, tips about where to head for luxury shopping and even things that you may find a little bit quirky, you’ll find something new and inspiring to try. Explore Lima.
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Live like a local
Lima has many historical ruins, but one of the few that isn’t fenced off is Huaca Pucllana, the remains of the pre-Inca, Pucllana temple in Miraflores. The large adobe and clay pyramid is illuminated at night and has an excellent restaurant where you can dine outside in sight of the ruins. Peruvian-born photographer Mario Testino’s MATE is part of his non-profit arts foundation to promote Peruvian artists. As well as his iconic Vanity Fair portraits of Princess Diana, there are exhibitions of local talent, while his Alta Moda portraits of indigenous Peruvian tribes from the Andean region around Cusco – in all their colourful, textured glory – will whet your appetite for travelling around.Find out more
Lima’s festival of El Senor de Los Milagros (Lord of Miracles) – the largest festival of its kind in Latin America – is held in honour of a mural of a black Christ, painted by a slave in the Sanctuary in Las Nazarenas church, that survived an earthquake in the 17th century when most of the city was destroyed. Dressed in purple, people carry its image in a huge procession from Las Nazarenas to La Merced. February carnival, a mix of the Catholic pre-Lent, Mardi Gras festivities and ancient Peruvian harvesting and planting celebrations, is when to expect colourful traditional dress, parades, streets packed with revellers, marching bands and fun fights with water guns, buckets and balloons full of water – and occasionally paint!
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If you’re an early riser you can take in the desert oasis of Huacachina and the Ballestas Islands in a one-day tour. The Ballestas, near the city of Pisco, are like a mini-Galapagos, and on the 90-minute, blustery boat ride there, with luck you’ll see penguins, pelicans, cormorants, sea lions, Peruvian boobies and dolphins. You will also pass the amazing,150 metre-high Candelabra geoglyph, carved two feet deep into the north face of the Paracas Peninsula. Further south, Huacachina is a desert oasis surrounded by 200 metre-high sand dunes, where you can sand-board, ride a dune-buggy or just clamber up to the top of the dunes and run down in less than a minute.Find out more
With the kids
With younger kids? Check out Mini Mundo’s 150 model buildings, including a tiny Machu Picchu and a micro Andean village, as well as more than a thousand tiny figures. At La Casa del Chocolate in Miraflores children of all ages learn all about the history of cacao and its importance in Mayan culture, and then, as a reward, make their own chocolate. Leave time for the café, which has the some of the best hot chocolate in town. Older kids will be more entertained by a bike tour along the coastal paths, or even learning to surf on Miraflores beach.Find out more
You can find everything from fancy international labels to flea markets in Lima. If you’re after upmarket jewellery and antiques, take a look along Avenida de La Paz in Miraflores; or for presents and souvenirs, wander through Parque Central de Miraflores on a Sunday, when a small flea market sells clothing, books and traditional Peruvian handicrafts. The best place for a one-stop browse is Barranco, where you’ll find arts and crafts shops such as Dedalo, showcasing contemporary Peruvian designers, and Lima’s most fashionable gallery, Lucia de la Puente, where the cognoscenti go to see Peruvian and international artists. It also has a beautifully curated shop and café.Find out more
Food and drink
With its 3,800 types of potatoes, 55 kinds of corn (white, yellow, purple and black), its ethnic heritage and Peruvian chefs topping global ‘Best of’ lists, Lima is a foodie’s paradise. Must-try dishes include lomo saltado – marinated beef strips cooked with onions, tomatoes and chillies; ceviche, made from raw, sushi-grade fish ‘cooked’ in citrus juice and often served with giant corn (choclo), onion and pepper; and causa, a potato cake layered with ingredients such as avocado, tuna and egg. And you must try a Pisco Sour. Made with pisco (Peruvian grape brandy), lime juice, sugar syrup, bitters and egg white, it goes down worryingly easily.Find out more