City Guide: Lima

Lima was the first city we visited on our South America trip this spring. The Peruvian capital, founded by the Spanish conquestor Francisco Pizarro, has a rich history. It is the third largest city in the Americas and has the oldest university of the Americas stemming from Spanish colonization.

Lima Miraflores Coast

Lima Miraflores Coast

In my city guide I will give you a brief overview of the sights we visited.

As we only had a day in Lima, we visited both the historic center as well Miraflores on the same day, which is easily do-able.

Plaza Mayor in Lima

Plaza Mayor, which is also often referred to as Plaza de Armas of Lima, is the main square in Lima and situated in the heart of the Historic Centre of Lima. The historic part of Lima, we were told, is safe to visit and there are also guards around you. However, we were advised not to leave the main area.

The Plaza Mayor is surrounded by a variety of important buildings, some of them shining in a very bright yellow. These buildings include the Government Palace, The Municipal Palace, the Palace of the Union, the Archbishop’s Palace of Lima and the Cathedral.

Lima Monastery of San Francisco and Parque La Muralla

One block away from the Plaza Mayor you can find the Monastery of San Francisco. The building was finished in a Spanish Baroque style in 1774 and suffered from several earthquakes both before and after completion.

Heading towards the north from the Monastery of San Francisco you can find the Parque la Muralla. This seemed to be still in the process of construction when we visited, but aims to enlarge the public area accessible for tourists as well as provide locals with more facilities.

Different Casas in Lima

While walking through the historic centre of Lima, we also stumbled across these interesting buildings. These houses are popular remains from the colonial period. Nowadays they are used for exhibitions, museums and other cultural events.

Shopping Mall Larcomar in Miraflores

Miraflores, which is located in the south, is an exclusive residential and shopping area. Most luxury hotels are located here and buildings are much more modern than in the city centre of Lima. Lots of international tourists can be seen here.

Larcomar, the Shopping Mall, is located right by the sea and offers stunning views along the coast. The combination of outdoor and indoor venues is quite interesting and for me makes it one of the nicest shopping malls I’ve ever seen.

Circuito de Playas – Walking along the coast in Miraflores

If you’d like to go for a stroll along the coast, I’d advise walking from Larcomar to the Faro La Marina (lighthouse). On the way you will pass the Parque del Amor with some interesting statues and beautiful plants.

Our overall impression of Lima

Visiting Lima and Miraflores was quite an interesting experience. Personally, I loved the architecture in the historic centre. Miraflores, however, was more boring in terms of architecture, but offered a great location for a walk along the coast. If you’re in Peru for visiting Machu Picchu, make sure to plan a short stop-over to visit the capital of Peru as well.

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