Things to do in Lima
Much of the most significant charm of Lima comes from its colonial buildings at the centre of the city in the Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Make sure you allow for a few days to wander around and soak it all up. Much of the colonial architecture is in the form of catholic churches which are two-a-penny in the city centre. Probably the most stunning is and well-preserved is the Church of San Francisco, where a tour of the catacombs is not for the light-hearted. One of the most significant colonial buildings however is Aliaga House which was built soon after the conquistadors founded the city. It has been owned by the same family for 18 generations and houses a number of Peruvian artefacts.
Museums and Galleries - the best of the rest
In addition to the Church of San Francisco and Aliaga House, there are a further number of particularly noteworthy museums and galleries worth getting to during your visit. The Museo Larco is one of the finest art galleries in the city and tells the full tale of art from pre-Hispanic days to the current time. The city's home of fine art, the Museo de Arte de Lima, is also worth a visit and is housed in a beautiful Beaux-Arts building. You can out more about the history of both city and country in the National Museum of Archaeology, Anthropology and History.
Liman cuisine has gained notoriety across the world for its vibrant flavours and rich seafood ingredients. In fact so much so, that it has recently been hailed as the 'Gastronomy Capital of the Americas'. The city's famous dishes however can't be replicated anywhere on earth as well as they are served in their home city, where the Pacific waters provide an abundance of delicious seafood. The best places to eat in the city aren't just the top restaurants, the most famous local dishes such as octopus cerviche, is found in most restaurants, cafes and even street corners. Be sure to eat this early in the day whilst it is still fresh.
Upscale living in Lima
If you want to see how one half live than make a trip to the well-heeled coastal district of Microflores to the southwest of the city. Here you will find six miles of cliffside parkland that has been lovingly landscaped. You will also find the Larcoma, an entertainment, shopping and dining complex that has been built into the Cliffside, where diners and shoppers can enjoy unparalleled views of the Pacific Ocean.
Pre-Columbian History and Sights
Before Columbus 'discovered' the Americas a thriving Inca civilisation was alive and kicking in the area around the modern day city, as were numerous local tribes. Having been home to a number of civilisations, it was the Incas that left their greatest mark on the area. Those with an interest in this major aspect of the regional history can head to Pachacamac, a pre-Columbian site some 30 km south of the city that was an Inca city and is home to a number of stone temples. Known locally as huacas, there are many more pre-Hispanic ruins found dotted around Lima itself including the Pucllana Temple. If you are visiting the city on a once in a lifetime trip you will probably want to make the one hour flight to Cusco in the south of the country, the base for a visit to the UNESCO protected Machu Piccu site, the main centre of the Inca civilisation and where you'll also find the Inca Valley of the Gods.