Lima

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 travel time between any of them and El Centro is 20 to 30 minutes. During rush hour (7:30 to 9 am and 5:30 to 7:30 pm) travel times double.

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  • 1. Convento de San Francisco

    El Centro | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    With its ornate facade and bell towers, ancient library, and catacombs full of human skulls and other bones, the Convento de San Francisco is...Read More

  • 2. Museo Larco

    Pueblo Libre | Museum/Gallery

    Fuchsia bougainvillea tumbles over the white walls surrounding the colonial bishops mansion built atop a pre-Columbian temple. It houses the...Read More

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  • 3. Museo Pedro de Osma

    Barranco | Museum/Gallery

    Even if there were no art inside this museum, it would still be worth the trip to see the century-old mansion that houses it. The mansard-roofed...Read More

  • 4. Casa Riva-Agüero

    El Centro | House/Mansion/Villa

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

  • 5. Casa Solariega de Aliaga

    El Centro | 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 Armas...Read More

  • 6. Casa Torre Tagle

    El Centro | 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...Read More

  • 7. Catedral

    El Centro | 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 basic vision...Read More

  • 8. Convento de Santo Domingo

    El Centro | 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 popular...Read More

  • 9. Museo Nacional de Antropología, Arqueología e Historia del Perú

    Pueblo Libre | Museum/Gallery

    The country's most extensive collection of pre-Columbian artifacts can be found at this sprawling museum. Beginning with 8,000-year-old stone...Read More

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