So, your flight arrived into Peru’s capital city and you’ve got some time to kill before your connecting flight departs. You can either stay at the airport and scroll your Facebook newsfeed for 7 hours sipping slowly on your overpriced Starbucks coffee (unwillingly purchased after you drained the measly 15 minutes of free Airport Wi-Fi), or you can venture out and explore the city of Lima for a few hours. Not convinced yet? Below we’ve listed the best ways to spend your time during your layover in Lima.
Like in any big capital city, Lima’s roads suffer from heavy congestion. Lima’s traffic however is particularly bad, especially during peak hours. It is important to consider your travel time, what to do with your luggage and where to exchange money before deciding to venture out into the city during your layover.
Once you have factored in this information, you’ll be able to work out how much time you can spend in Lima.
You don’t want your bags weighing you down when you’re off exploring the city! Once you’ve passed immigrations, luggage collection, and customs, take your baggage to the first floor (public area) at the domestic arrivals area to store your luggage.
Cost: ___ soles per hour per item ($______ USD), and 24 soles per 24 hours per item (the more hours you store items, the more economical the price). CASH only (USD and PEN accepted).
If you have smaller items, lockers are also located on the first floor.
Cost: _______ soles per hour, or ____ soles for 24 hours. The prices becomes more economical the more hours you store items. The size of the lockers is 45cm (w) x 60cm (l) x 75cm (h), for all you can fit in.
When in Lima, you’ll need either Peruvian Soles (PEN) or Dollars (USD). Cash can be withdrawn at the ATMs in the airport, or currency changed at the Money Exchanges. You can change at the airport or exchange in Miraflores at a better rate.
Once in Miraflores, you can change currency at a Casa de Cambio. There are several located along Jose Larco, one of the main streets. You’ll also find Cambistas (people who work on the street changing money) who can offer a slightly better rate. However, it is more secure to go to a Casa de Cambio.
Stranded in Lima during a layover? It’s your lucky day! Lima has so much to offer and in so little time. To keep your venture into Lima short and practical, we have put together a list of activities in Miraflores and Barranco, which are the main tourist districts of Lima and have a good connection to the airport.
We have prepared our top pick of activities to do in under 2, 4, 6 and 8 hours. For more details on our suggestions, please read further down!
To help you get an idea of the distance, we have picked Kennedy Park (or Ovalo de Miraflores) in Miraflores as our central point. This is an easy reference point to navigate from.
Sick of bland airplane meals? Don’t want to fork out for overpriced airport food? Venture out into the city and enjoy Lima’s incredible cuisine. Whether you’re on a budget, have a craving for junk food, or want some fine dining with a view… Lima has it all.
The city of Lima offers all sorts of tasty grub, with prices to suit any budget. There are plenty of “menu” places dotted around, where you can get a starter, main, and drink for a set price. In Miraflores, expect to pay 000000 to 00000 soles. San Isidro is a little more expensive but still delicious!
We recommend trying ceviche (raw fish in a citrus juice), the flavour will blow your taste buds away! Opt for a well-reputed restaurant in order to avoid cheap and poor-quality food, which could make you sick.
Excellent ceviche in Lima
Another popular choice for Limeños (the people of Lima) is Chifa – this is a fusion of Chinese and Peruvian cuisine. You can find these on every street.
ENTERTAINMENT TIP: If looking for fun at night, or to watch sports during the day, or even a taste of home, visit the Wild Rover Hostels for great food, sports and beer! Entrance to their bars is free even for non-guests
3 of the world’s top 50 restaurants are found in Lima!
IMPORTANT: You’ll need to contact the restaurant to make a reservation way in advance!
If you have a long layover in Lima and are looking to relax for a bit of time before starting your next adventure in Peru, going to Pool Paradise Lima to relax by the pool in the sunshine for a couple of hours is the option for you. This new hostel located in the heart of Miraflores is perfect for all travellers whether it be for a short, relaxed visit or an extended stay for a couple of days during your time in Lima. The hostel also has a barbeque and lounge area by the pool to help you make the most of your time in the sunshine relaxing.
There are several companies based in Miraflores which operate bike tours in Lima, visiting Miraflores, Barranco, and other neighbourhoods. See FindLocalTrips for a number of options. Make sure you are wearing comfy clothes, suitable footwear, and bring sunscreen if necessary. It’s advisable to make an advanced booking, but there’s no problem in turning up in case they have availability.
Want to stretch your legs and get some fresh air? The walk from Miraflores down to Barranco along the coast is the perfect opportunity. Catch the amazing ocean views and watch the world pass by.
The view from the cliffs
Lima is the best place in Peru for all kinds of shopping. It might not be the cheapest, but there’s plenty of international retail stores, local Alpaca boutiques and Artisan Markets out there to keep you busy for a few hours.
Larcomar shopping centre with seaside views
The Barranco district is known as Lima’s artistic hub. Visiting the area, it won’t take you long to find street art and feel Barranco’s typical bohemian atmosphere. If you are interested in the local art scene, the following two modern art museums will definitely merit your approval.
Miraflores and San Isidro have many parks and they are all well-kept, green and breezy. Lima can get crowded, but there’s always a way to take a mini-vacation from all the madness by stepping in one of these quiet refuges.
Parque de Amor
Lima has several city beaches, most are within easy reach, but they all require some effort as you have to walk down from the cliff. Lima’s beaches around Miraflores are usually not that busy, and so are perfect for a walk or just a nice place to enjoy the view.
Still half asleep and bleary eyed from your flight? Wake yourself up by paragliding over the Malecon and see Lima and the Pacific from above.
Huaca Pucllana is an impressive adobe and clay pyramid from the ancient times (200 to 700 A.D.). A guided visit is included in the admission fee, the tour is conducted in English and Spanish.
Huaca Pucllana ruins
Kennedy Park is the most popular starting point for the nightlife in Mirafores. The park itself is beaming with life, and often has artists performing on the weekend. If you’re more of an indoorsy type and you don’t want to miss the latest release, you can catch it at Cinerama “El Pacifico” in front of the park. You can find movies in their original language (so no worries for those who don’t speak Spanish!).
You can’t visit Lima without trying Peru’s famous Pisco. Their national drink is the Pisco Sour, a cocktail containing lime juice, egg white, syrup, and of course Pisco liquor. A more refreshing – but just as typical – option is a Chilcano, which uses ginger ale. Try one… Or three… Just don’t miss your bus back to the Airport!
The delightfully addictive Pisco Sour
Use your short layover in Lima to learn how to prepare a top class Peruvian dish! Lima is considered as South America’s gastronomic capital, so there’s no better place to pick up some culinary skills whilst learning to cook with a top chef, and later impress your family and friends back home.
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