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. 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

  • 3. 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

  • 4. Iglesia de Jesús, María y José

    El Centro | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    The 1659 Church of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph may be smaller than some of El Centro's other churches, but inside is a feast for the eyes. Baroque...Read More

  • 5. Iglesia de la Merced

    El Centro | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Nothing about this colonial-era church could be called restrained. Take the unusual baroque facade: instead of stately columns, the powers-that...Read More

  • 6. Iglesia de San Pedro

    El Centro | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    The Jesuits built three churches in rapid succession on this corner, the current one dating from 1638. It remains one of the finest examples...Read More

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