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How to Spend 1 Day in Lima

How to Spend 1 Day in Lima

The Peruvian capital is a sprawling metropolis encompassing ruins from pre-Inca times, a colonial center, and ultramodern shopping malls. If, like many visitors, you’re spending only one day here—possibly on your way to Machu Picchu—and want to see as much as possible in a short time, here’s how to make the most of 24 hours in Lima.

Morning: The Colonial City

The historic center of Lima—UNESCO World Heritage–listed and seat of the Peruvian government—is filled with interesting architecture and cultural history. Private and group city sightseeing tours by bus or by foot typically spend a good deal of time here, visiting sights such as Exposition Park (Parque de la Exposición), the Palace of Justice (Palacio de Justicia), the Plaza de Armas, and the Monastery of San Francisco. Alternatively, travel around the city on a hop-on hop-on sightseeing tour, which allows you to create your own itinerary by disembarking at sights along the route and spending as much time as you like at each.

Afternoon: Vibrant Neighborhoods

Get a more contemporary taste of Lima life by venturing into its buzzing neighborhoods. Walking and bicycle tours through the bohemian Barranco neighborhood introduce visitors to the neighborhood’s colorful street art, galleries, and restaurants—some tours include dishes at a handful of local restaurants. Don’t miss the Bridge of Sighs (Puente de los Suspiros), a wooden structure spanning the Bajada de los Baños, a stone walkway that runs down to the Pacific. On a visit to Chorillos, you can soak up the energy of the local fish market; tours here typically include local snacks, which you can enjoy on the nearby cliffs.

Night: Food Scene

The food scene in Lima is buzzing—in fact, many people consider it among the world’s best. Find out for yourself by joining a food-focused tour. Your options vary from downtown bar crawls and cooking classes (some of which include a local market tour and pisco sour–making lesson), to gourmet tours that include stops at internationally renowned restaurants. If you are looking for some lively entertainment to accompany your dinner, you have the option of taking a tour that includes a visit to a restaurant that hosts a typical Peruvian folklore show.

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8 Tours and Activities

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Private Full-Day Best of Lima Tour

Private Full-Day Best of Lima Tour

star-5
55
With one day in Lima you can explore the very best of the city, from the colonial architecture of the historic center to pre-Colombian art and seaside neighborhoods. See the gorgeous interior of the San Francisco Convent, tour the Museo Larco, then get a glimpse of Lima’s earliest history in Miraflores. This full-day, private tour of Lima offers the flexibility and convenience of a personalized tour, including pickup and drop-off at hotels in some neighborhoods, and it’s an ideal choice for first-time visitors.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$180.00
Price varies by group size
From
$180.00
Price varies by group size

Peruvian Cooking Class Including Local Market Tour and Exotic Fruit Tasting

Peruvian Cooking Class Including Local Market Tour and Exotic Fruit Tasting

star-5
187
Get hands-on experience preparing some of Peru’s most iconic dishes and shopping at a local market during this Lima cooking class. First stop by the market to pick out fresh meat and produce, discovering the incredible diversity of ingredients in Peruvian cuisine. Then head to the kitchen choosing to prepare a choice of fish, chicken, beef or vegetarian dish like ‘Ceviche’ or ‘Lomo Saltado,’ learning the necessary steps in fun, relaxed atmosphere. Your cooking excursion also includes round-trip hotel transport (for most areas of Lima), professional chef instructor, snacks and either lunch or dinner.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$83.00
From
$83.00

City Sightseeing Lima Panoramic Bus Tour

City Sightseeing Lima Panoramic Bus Tour

star-3.5
106
Climb aboard a distinctive double-decker bus to discover the spectacular sights of Lima on a city sightseeing tour. Choose from three daytime options—the historic tour, Barranco and Miraflores, and the city tour—or the Night and Fountains tour, which includes entry to the Magical Circuit of Water. Feel the wind in your hair from the top deck of an open-top bus and listen to audio commentary to learn about the city its landmarks like the ancient Monastery of San Francisco and Parque del Amor (Love Park).
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  • 1 day
  • Free Cancellation
From
$10.00
From
$10.00

Half-Day Lima City Sightseeing

Half-Day Lima City Sightseeing

star-4
428
Discover the wealth of historic and modern attractions found in the Peruvian city of Lima during this sightseeing tour. Feel like a real ‘Limeño’ (a Lima local) as you explore the town’s colonial and Incan architecture, visit its charming residential neighborhoods, see the scenic cliff-strewn coast, and admire its many religious shrines and churches. This Lima city tour also includes entrance fees, a guide, and round-trip hotel transport.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$39.00
Price varies by group size
From
$39.00
Price varies by group size

Food & Art: Lima Colors and Flavors Walking Tour

Food & Art: Lima Colors and Flavors Walking Tour

star-5
128
Experience a more authentic, less-touristy side of Lima during this half-day walking tour through the city’s Chorillos and Barranco neighborhoods. Observe the hum of activity in ‘fish town,’ a section of Chorillos that hosts a fish market and a cast of local fishermen, before heading to the nearby cliffs to sample some local snacks. Continue to the increasingly trendy Barranco area to admire colorful mansions and hip art galleries.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$59.90
From
$59.90

Lima Private Walking Tour

Lima Private Walking Tour

star-5
46
Immerse yourself in the history and culture of Lima during this 6-hour private walking tour of the Peruvian capital. Join your knowledgeable guide on this personalized visit to the top city neighborhoods and attractions, including upscale Miraflores, a local market, Lima’s historic center, the Monastery of San Francisco (and its catacombs) and bohemian Barranco.
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  • 4 to 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$59.00
From
$59.00

Lima Market Tour, Cooking Class and Pisco Sour Lesson

Lima Market Tour, Cooking Class and Pisco Sour Lesson

star-4.5
16
Treat your taste buds to the explosive flavors of Peruvian cuisine on a culinary tour of Lima. Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of a typical fresh produce market on a guided tour; learn how to prepare delicious signature dishes like fish ceviche with an experienced gastronomical guide; and sip a sweet pisco sour cocktail, Peru’s national drink, in an ambient restaurant as you feast upon a freshly prepared meal. Convenient round-trip hotel transportation is included in the tour.
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  • 3 hours
From
$149.00
From
$149.00

Lonely Planet Experiences: Small Group or Private Lima Discovery Tour

Lonely Planet Experiences: Small Group or Private Lima Discovery Tour

star-5
90
Explore the spectacular sights of Peru’s captivating capital on a small group walking tour. Enjoy an intimate atmosphere while strolling around the central market; sample traditional pisco sour drinks and experiment with Spanish greetings; and uncover the intriguing history of Lima with an informative guide. A personalized experience is guaranteed on this small group tour, where numbers are limited to 12 people.
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  • 3 hours 45 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$39.00
Price varies by group size
From
$39.00
Price varies by group size