Lima’s beaches can be nice to walk along in the winter (June to September), when it is too cold to swim. In the summer (December to May), they are mobbed with locals whose picnics often end up in litter along the beach and sea. In general the sand is dark gray and the sea is rough, and there are rip currents. The water is better suited to surfing than swimming.
Playa Barranquito. A short walk north of the pedestrian bridge at the bottom of Barranco's Bajada de los Baños, this narrow beach is one of Lima's most popular. The sand is dark gray, and when the sea is rough it is unsafe for swimming. But that doesn't stop Playa Barranquito from getting packed from December to April, when vendors stroll through the crowd selling snacks (which inevitably generates litter on the beach). It's a quiet spot the rest of the year except for the cries of seagulls and the rumble of cars passing on the Circuito de Playas. Amenities: food and drink, parking (fee); toilets. Best for: sunset; walking. Circuito de Playas, ½ km (¼ mile) north of Bajada de los Baños, Barranco, Lima, Lima, 04.
Playa Agua Dulce. The nicest of Lima's public beaches, Playa Agua Dulce is a wide swath of gray sand that slopes into calm water. It gets packed from December to April, when vendors wander through the crowd and families enjoy picnic lunches. Amenities: parking, toilets. Best for: sunset; walking. Circuito de Playas, 1 km (½ mile) south of Bajada de los Baños, Chorrillos, Lima, Lima, 09. .
Elsewhere Around Lima
Punta Hermosa. Getting to this beach south of Lima on the Pan-American Highway might not be the most scenic drive in the world, but it's worth the headaches. When the waves are big, surfers ride the breaks on the beach's northern end. If this section of the beach is packed, as it's wont to be on summer weekends, head to the southern end for a more tranquil setting. There's a small selection of restaurants that offer fresh seafood with an ocean view. The rip currents can be dangerous, especially when the waves are bigger. Amenities: food and drink. Best for: surfing; swimming; walking. Km 40, Panamericana Sur, Punta Hermosa, Lima, 24. .