Lima Sights

Once a compact city surrounded by small towns, Lima is now a vast metropolitan area that is home to nearly 9 million people. Most of it has little to offer travelers, so you'll want to limit your exploration to the distritos, or neighborhoods, listed here. Most of the city's best hotels and restaurants are in three adjacent neighborhoods—Barranco, Miraflores, and San Isidro—to the south

of the historic center, El Centro, but the bulk of its attractions are clustered in El Centro and nearby Pueblo Libre. You'll consequently need to take taxis between neighborhoods, though an express bus called the Metropolitano provides a quick connection between El Centro and the neighborhoods of Miraflores and Barranco. The airport is in a separate city called El Callao, about half an hour to the west of El Centro and an hour from most hotels. Trips between Barranco and Miraflores or San Isidro should take 10 to 20 minutes, whereas the travel times between any of them and El Centro are 20 to 30 minutes. During the rush hours (7:30 to 9 am and 5:30 to 7:30 pm), however, travel times double.

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El Centro 21

Barranco 9

Miraflores 7

Elsewhere Around Lima 4

San Isidro 3

Pueblo Libre 2

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Archaeological Site/ Ruins 4

Bridge/ Tunnel 1

Castle/ Palace/ Chateau 2

Government Building 2

Hotel–Sight 1

House/ Mansion/ Villa 3

Museum/ Gallery 15

Nautical Site/ Lighthouse 1

Neighborhood/ Street 2

Park/ Playground 4

Plaza/ Square/ Piazza 2

Religious Building/ Site/ Shrine 6

Transportation Site (Airport, Bus, Ferry, Train) 1

Viewpoint/ Scenic Overlook 2

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Lima Sights

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Bajada de Baños

  • Neighborhood/Street

The cobbled road that leads down to the "Baths"—the beaches—is shaded by massive trees and lined with historic architecture. Once...

Barrio Chino

  • Neighborhood/Street

A ceremonial arch at the corner of Ucayali and Andahuaylas marks the entrance to Lima's tiny Chinatown. It consists of little more than...


  • Archaeological Site/Ruins

Few people realize it, but the oldest urban site in the western hemisphere is just 220 km (120 miles) north of Lima. Caral was first...

Casa Riva-Agüero

  • House/Mansion/Villa

A pair of balconies with celosías —intricate wood screens through which ladies could watch passersby unobserved—grace the facade...

Casa Solariega de Aliaga

  • House/Mansion/Villa

Lima's oldest house, commonly known as Casa Aliaga, is a beautiful example of Spanish Colonial architecture a block from the Plaza de...

Casa Torre Tagle

  • House/Mansion/Villa

This mansion sums up the graceful style of the early 18th century. Flanked by a pair of elegant balconies, the stone entrance is as expertly...


  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

The first church on the site was completed in 1625. The layout for this immense structure was dictated by Francisco Pizarro, and his...

Cerro San Cristóbal

  • Viewpoint/Scenic Overlook

Rising over the northeastern edge of the city is this massive hill, recognizable from the cross at its peak—a replica of the one once...

Convento de San Francisco

  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

Bones—including thousands of human skulls—are piled in eerie geometric patterns in the catacombs beneath this Franciscan monastery.

Convento de Santo Domingo

  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

The 16th-century Convent of Saint Dominic offers a glimpse of life in a cloister. This sprawling structure shows the different styles...