Things to do in Lima

Expect vibrant flavors, colonial architecture, and bohemian neighborhoods against the cool Pacific breeze.

Our most recommended things to do in Lima

Palomino Islands: Swim with Sea Lions in the Pacific Ocean

1. Palomino Islands: Swim with Sea Lions in the Pacific Ocean

Embark on an incredible yacht tour to Palomino Islands and for the chance to witness Peru's incredible seabirds and marine wildlife and swim with thousands of sea lions in their natural habitat. First, get picked up from your hotel if you choose the relevant option when booking, otherwise make your own way to the meeting point in Callao. Start the tour from La Punta Bay where you will board a comfortable and safe yacht equipped with sophisticated navigation equipment, bathrooms, and other amenities. Sail out into the Pacific Ocean on an unforgettable 4-hour journey past the islands of Callao and along the coast of San Lorenzo Island. Pass a naval base and the El Frontón Island, where a maximum-security prison existed until the 1980s. Cruise along the coast of the Cabinzas Islands which are inhabited by several colonies of guano birds, until you finally reach the central attraction, the Palomino Islands. When you arrive, observe a colony of approximately 8000 sea lions, one of the largest in the area. Get kitted out with neoprene wetsuits and life jackets and take the opportunity to jump into the water as you get up close to these friendly animals. The tour will be under the surveillance and guidance of the experienced crew.

From Lima: Paracas and Huacachina Full Day Guided Tour

2. From Lima: Paracas and Huacachina Full Day Guided Tour

Start with pickup from your hotel in Lima at around 05:00 AM, all depends your location in Lima, where you will board the coach for a 03:30-hour journey to Paracas town. Before getting to Paracas, we will stop to have breakfast. On your arrival in Paracas, make your way to the dock where you will board a speedboat to the Ballestas Islands. During your journey to Ballestas, see the enigmatic figure of the Candelabro, a stunning design drawn on the side of a hill in the Peninsula. There are many hypotheses regarding its origin, some believe it is related to the Nazca Lines but still found no proof or evidence that can define its creation. In the Ballestas Islands, you will see a stunningly rugged world filled with birds and sea lions. You will navigate around the islands at a distance allowed, and depending on the sea conditions, visit nearby caves. Return to the port at 11 am, and spend some time in Paracas where you will have free time for restrooms or a short time to relax. Then, continue to the next destination, Huacachina oasis. Have a small break to prepare for your desert tour; then board a buggy for 1-hour adventure across the sand dunes that surround the water source. Return to Huacachina and have time for refreshment. Continue towards to traditional vineyard and taste the best of the local wine and Pisco or lunch at the vineyard restaurant, then Drive back to Lima arriving and dropping off at your hotel. At around 21:30 or 22 pm On this one-day tour, you will have an assistant guide on the trip who will help you with your concerns on your trip.

From Lima: Full-Day Paracas and Huacachina Bus Tour

3. From Lima: Full-Day Paracas and Huacachina Bus Tour

Discover the serene landscapes of the Peruvian countryside on a day trip from Lima to Paracas and Huacachina with hotel transfers included. See Humboldt penguins and sea lions on the Ballestas Islands and slide down the Huacachina dunes by sandboarding and dune buggy ride.  Your adventure begins with an early-morning pickup from your hostel or hotel. From here, travel to Paracas, a beautiful small town by the sea, on a spacious bus where you'll be able to relax for the 4-hour ride. Once in Paracas, begin a 2-hour boat tour of the Ballestas Islands, a smaller version of the Galapagos. Spot sea lions, penguins, and plenty of birds up close and all in their natural habitats. You may even get the chance to see a dolphin or two. Around lunchtime, it's time to move on from Paracas to Huacachina, a natural oasis located in the Ica Desert, home to the biggest sand dunes in South America. Enjoy some free time here. Explore and have lunch (at your own expense) in one of the local restaurants around the oasis. Following lunch, it will be time for 2 hours of exhilarating dune buggy rides and sandboarding. Dune buggy up the sand dunes and sandboard down these giant hills of sand, a once-in-a-lifetime experience in the only natural desert oasis in South America. In the evening, board your bus back to Lima. Once onboard, sit back and relax on the comfortable seats while you enjoy a movie on board. You will later be dropped off directly at your hotel/hostel upon arrival in Lima.

From Lima: Nazca Lines and Ica Desert Day Trip with Lunch

4. From Lima: Nazca Lines and Ica Desert Day Trip with Lunch

Begin your journey of the Ica Desert with a bright and early hotel pickup, where you will be greeted by your guide who will take care of you throughout the day.  Head straight to Nazca, whereupon you'll stop at Kilometer 50 of the South Pan-American Highway to enjoy a breakfast consisting of juices or hot drinks, accompanied by artisan breads from the area. Next, head to the airfield in Nazca, where you'll pass through security before boarding a small plane to view the famous Nazca Lines from up above. Sit back and relax on your 45-minute flight, as you view the incredible collection of giant geoglyphs — designs or motifs etched into the ground — that were created by the ancient Nazca culture. Tuck into a delicious traditional lunch upon landing before heading to your final stop, the Huacachina Oasis. This natural lagoon is surrounded by palm trees and desert dunes, from where you can watch the sun setting over the sand. Pump up your adrenaline and hop into sand buggies, and sandboard down the perfect dunes before returning to Lima late in the evening.

Lima: Historical, Colonial, and Modern City Tour

5. Lima: Historical, Colonial, and Modern City Tour

Discover Lima’s top attractions across three historical periods: pre-Hispanic, colonial, and modern, on this guided tour. You’ll visit fascinating sights like the San Francisco Convent and the famous catacombs, see areas like Larcomar and more, as you learn all about them. After being picked up from your accommodation in Miraflores or San Isidro at about 09:00 AM, the tour will begin with a beautiful panoramic view of the Pucllana Pyramid. This magnificent ceremonial and archeological center, built in the 4th century AD, was considered a sacred village by the Incas.  Following this, you’ll travel to the monumental San Francisco Convent, which displays the largest collection of religious art in America. A highlight of the visit is the underground vaults – the catacombs. As you travel, you'll learn all about the history of these sights from your bilingual guide. Next, it’s on to the traditional residential areas of Lima, such as El Olivar of San Isidro, Miraflores, and Larcomar. At about 02:00 PM, the tour completed, you’ll be driven back to your accommodation, your mind filled with the many wonderful sights and history of Lima.

Lima: Magic Water Circuit with Dinner and Folklore Show

6. Lima: Magic Water Circuit with Dinner and Folklore Show

Enjoy a guided tour of the Magic Water Circuit in Lima, a refreshing difference than normal Lima tours. This impressive park, named as the largest of its kind by the Guinness Book of World Records, has beautiful water fountains that dance to music and lights providing an astonishing spectacle, including a jet spray reaching 262 feet high. Eco-travelers need not be put off: the park reuses the majority of any water circulated in the fountains, with just a small percentage evaporating into the air. All in all, the Magic Water Circuit makes for a fun day out in Lima for kids and adults alike. After this experience, head to a renowned restaurant to relish a delicious dinner. While in the restaurant, enjoy a typical dance show with dancers performing some of the most representative dances from different regions of Peru. The perfect end to this activity in Lima before you are transferred back to your hotel.

Lima: 2-Day Tour to Paracas, Pisco Vineyards, and Huacachina

7. Lima: 2-Day Tour to Paracas, Pisco Vineyards, and Huacachina

Day 1: Lima - Ballestas Islands - Huacachina Start with early pickup from your hotel in Lima or meeting point. Travel to Paracas, beautiful small town by the sea, on a 4-hour journey. Upon arrival in Paracas, begin a 2-hour boat tour of the Ballestas Islands. These islands are said to be a smaller version of the Galápagos. See sea lions, penguins, birds, and even dolphins up close in their natural habitats. After the boat tour, head to Huacachina, the only desert oasis in South America. Spend 2 hours getting your thrills with dune buggying and sandboarding on some of the highest sand dunes. Then, transfer to your accommodation in Huacachina. Use your free time to grab some food or maybe a beer. Relax after an adrenaline-filled evening and rest up for the next day. Day 2: Huacachina - Lima Leave Huacachina and head off to a 2-hour pisco vineyard tour. See how pisco, Peru's national drink, is made from the grape to the bottle and try lots of free samples. Spend the whole day enjoying Huacachina. Catch some sun by the pool or grab some lunch around the oasis for the perfect end to this trip. Travel by air-conditioned bus back to Lima, and get dropped off either at your hotel or the original meeting point.

Lima: Half-Day Small Group City Tour

8. Lima: Half-Day Small Group City Tour

Join the only tour of Lima city center that will take to you back in time to the colonial era by admiring amazing collections of 17th- and 18th-century oil paintings, wooden verandas, and gilded mirrors. Discover hidden treasures such as the remains of the old city walls, the historic bridge over the River Rimac, and one of the oldest bar in Peru. Admire the monuments of Plaza Mayor, such as the cathedral, Archbishop's Palace, Municipal Palace and Palace of the Union. Continue to the Baroque-style San Francisco Monastery and take a look at its catacombs. Along the way, discover hidden gems, such as the remains of the old city walls, the historic bridges over the River Rimac and one of the oldest bars in Peru at the Cordano Bar.

Lima: Paragliding Flight Over Costa Verde Districts

9. Lima: Paragliding Flight Over Costa Verde Districts

Soar over the picturesque cityscape of Costa Verde on this paragliding excursion. Together with your personal pilot, catch glimpses of Lima's San Miguel, Magdalena del Mar, San Isidro, and Miraflores districts. After your tour, take home a complimentary HD video to relive your aerial adventure. Begin your paragliding experience along the esplanade in San Miguel. As you ascend, soak up the breathtaking views of the expansive ocean and coastline before you. Fly over the seaside residential districts of San Miguel and Magdalena del Mar. Continue your paragliding tour as you gaze down at the San Isidro and Miraflores districts. Known for their role as cultural, political, and financial centers, these districts also host resplendent greenery and impressive architecture. Savor this unique opportunity to see the city of Lima from an aerial perspective.

Lima: Ultimate Peruvian Food Tour

10. Lima: Ultimate Peruvian Food Tour

Along with your friendly local guide, embark on a walking food tour in which you’ll have breakfast and lunch! During this culinary experience, you will taste the most traditional local delicacies from a variety of small restaurants and local shops. But on this tour, you won't only eat well, but you’ll also visit one of the most beautiful neighborhoods of Lima: Barranco. Taste 15 different local flavors from fruits, to drinks and dishes. Meet with inspiring local artisans and small entrepreneurs, and learn about their stories while enjoying some of the best Peruvian dishes such as lomo saltado, ceviche, pisco sour, and many more.

Frequently asked questions about Lima

What top attractions are a must-see in Lima?

What are the best day trips and excursions from Lima?

The best day trips and excursions from Lima are:

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Other Sightseeing Options in Lima

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What people are saying about Lima

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 1,933 reviews

Honestly, it's been since I was a teenager when I last rode a bike. Guide Miguel was extremely kind and patience. The activity was very informative. Lima has so many wonderful things, it's a conservative city, but it's also modern, it's messy and very orderly at the same. There's art everywhere. I Totally recommend it.

We had an excellent time and learned a lot in the short tour. It gave us a great overview of Lima and now know some places to spend more time. Our guide Saul was great and answered all our questions. Would recommend to anyone wanting a quick tour to overview Lima and learn some history

We had some problems at the pick up, they delayed for 2 hours and in the first hour we didn’t know if we will go, but in the end they managed to make the trip. The bus is comfortable. The 2 destinations are incredible, you need to see those places if you are in Lima

The team is friendly from all over the world, and the guide is friendly and open and good English speaking.

Amazing experience with nice and easy-going guides. Totally recommended!!!