The Coastal Capital of Peru

Lima Cathedral in the old city more» «less

Cathedral in the old city Cathedral in the old city Peru's capital and largest city is much more than the vast polluted, traffic-choked, overpopulated metropolis that first meets the eye. Founded by the Spanish on a site once inhabited by various Amerindian groups on the arid Pacific coast, Lima was formerly the continent's richest and most important town. Grand colonial buildings still bear witness to its former glory, just as numerous pre-Hispanic ruins remind us of the alluvial plain's more ancient past. Riddled with exciting dining, entertainment and shopping establishments, this sprawling cosmopolitan city nevertheless has its feet firmly planted in the 21st century. It may take on a dreary aspect most of the year thanks to a thick veil of clouds and coastal fog, but the Limeneans' friendliness and conviviality more than make up for the weather, and during the sunny summer season everyone makes a beeline to the long stretches of beach that hug the city's coastline to the north and south.

The city of Lima occupies approximately 310 square miles of mostly flat terrain in the valleys of the Chillón, Rímac and Lurín rivers along Peru's central coast. It forms a contiguous metropolitan area with the port of Callao and consists of thirty densely-populated districts centered around the historic city center, which lies 9.3 miles inland along the Rímac River. The district of San Isidro is the city's financial hub, Miraflores is known for its upscale hotels, shops and restaurants and Barranco for its bohemian character and nightlife. The less affluent northern and southern zones of the city were settled by Andean immigrants in the mid- and late twentieth century. Its subtropical desert climate is mild and humid year-round, falling to a low of 54°F (12 °C) in the wintertime (May-November) and rising to a high of 84°F (29 °C) in the summer (December-April). Winter days are predictably overcast and accompanied by mist or drizzle, while summer days are consistently sunny. The city receives almost no rain.

Parque del Amor in Miraflores Parque del Amor in Miraflores Lima is the nucleus of Peru's political power, economic and financial activity, and institutions of higher education. With some eight million inhabitants (Callao included), it accounts for approximately one-third of the country's entire population and nearly half of its GDP. The country's largest and most important airport is located in Callao, as is its most important sea port, and its network of highways links Lima to each of Peru's neighboring countries.

The dry desert lands where Lima now stands were originally inhabited by various Amerindian groups that were conquered by the Incas in the 15th century. Two years after the Spanish invasion, Francisco Pizarro founded the city on January 18, 1535 as the City of Kings, and it soon developed into the flourishing capital of a Spanish vice-royalty and extensive trade network. In 1687 and 1746 Lima suffered devastating earthquakes and the independence of Peru was declared by General José de San Martín on the city's main square on July 28, 1821. As the capital of Peru, Lima was looted by Chileans during the 1879-1883 War of the Pacific and later underwent a period of expansion and industrialization that sparked an unprecedented upsurge in the population in the 1920s.

Over the centuries, Lima has received immigrants from around the globe and is now a complex mix of racial and ethnic groups. While the majority of its inhabitants are mestizo, of mixed Amerindian and European descent, there are also many Amerindians, Europeans, Asians, Jews, Middle Easterners and Afro-Peruvians. This mingling of cultures has given rise to gastronomical traditions so unique and diverse that the city is now known as the Gastronomical Capital of the Americas. A visit to Lima wouldn't be complete without sampling the tempting fare of its abundant criolla (creole) restaurants, chifas (Sino-Peruvian restaurants), cevicherías (restaurants featuring ceviche, a dish of raw seafood marinated in lime juice) and pollerías (restaurants featuring rotisserie chicken).

Lima Lima's Costa Verde Lima's historic center, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, boasts some remarkable gems of colonial architecture, such as the Monastery of San Francisco, the Cathedral, the Convent of Santo Domingo, the Palace of Torre Tagle, the House of Aliaga, and the House of Goyeneche or Rada. The city's Plaza de Armas, or main square, lies at the heart of this area, right in front of the Government Palace where the president lives. Downtown Lima also features a number of attractive parks and squares, including the Park of the Reserve (home to the world's largest fountain complex), Park of the Exposition, Campo de Marte, University Park and Plaza San Martín. South of downtown Lima you'll find the Villa Swamps ecological park as well as the city's most impressive pre-Hispanic ruins at Pachacamac. The finest museums in all of Peru are located within the city and are devoted to subjects like art, pre-Columbian cultures, natural history, science and religion. The Museo Nacional de Arqueología, Antropología e Historia del Perú, Museo de Oro del Perú, Museo Larco and Museo de la Nación are among the most fascinating.

Thanks to the city's attractions and its close proximity to the country's principal international airport, the Jorge Chávez International Airport, Lima receives an immense number of tourists every year. As a result, tourist-oriented hotels, shops, entertainment venues and restaurants have proliferated. Most of these hotels are located in central Lima, Miraflores and Barranco, with the latter two offering the best and liveliest nightlife. Some of the country's best handicraft markets can also be found in Lima.

Malecon Punta Rocas 777, Punta Hermosa, Lima, Peru
The five-story Punta Rocas Beach hotel offers well-appointed accommodations a 5-minute walk from the beach. Each floor features a bar,...
from USD 47 per night
Antigua Panamericana Sur Km. 48, Punta Negra, Lima, Peru
Review Score 7.0
A short distance from the Punta Negra beach lies the Hostal Ocean Pacífico with its lovely guest rooms, swimming pool and rooftop...
from USD 55 per night
Avenida Brasil 3520, Magdalena del Mar, Lima, Peru
The Las Vegas Hotel offers cozy budget accommodation in the elegant neighborhood of Magdalena del Mar. Its comfortable rooms have cable...
from USD 21 per night
Manuel Bonilla 185-187, Miraflores, Lima, Peru
Review Score 9.0
Mere steps from Miraflores' central and perennially popular Kennedy Park, the Faraona Grand Hotel is proud to offer business and leisure...
from USD 97 per night
Jr. Bolognesi 641, Miraflores, Lima, Peru
Review Score 8.0
The defining feature of this budget hotel is its familiar atmosphere. It offers clean and comfortable rooms with cable TV and...
from USD 39 per night
Avenida Aviacion 4586, Santiago de Surco, Lima, Peru
Review Score 8.0
The Aloja Inn offers its guests very pleasant modern accommodations in the city of Lima. The hotel occupies a five-story building that...
from USD 35 per night
Jirón Cesareo Chacaltana 130A, Miraflores, Lima, Peru
Review Score 10.0
Casa del Mochilero offers backpackers a homey atmosphere and good service for budget prices. The dorms have comfortable beds and guests...
from USD 7 per night
Jr. Bolognesi 181-191, Miraflores, Lima, Peru
Review Score 7.0
The elegant accommodations, strategic location and excellent service of the Miramar Hotel make it an ideal choice for your next business...
from USD 95 per night
Jirón Ignacio Mariategui 105, Barranco, Lima, Peru
Under security surveillance around the clock, the Barranco Hostal is located in the neighborhood's colonial heart and no more than a...
from USD 26 per night
Arístides Aljovín 321, Miraflores, Lima, Peru
Designed and constructed in the typical Madrilenian architecture of the first half of the last century with a brown plaster façade and...
from USD 174 per night
Av. Isla la Española G12-7, Urb. Los Cedros de Villa, Chorrillos, Lima, Peru
The Los Cedros Apartments are located in the attractive beach neighborhood of Chorillos on the southern corner of Lima. Units consist of...
from USD 38 per night
Calle Cerro Azul 341, Monterrico, Santiago de Surco, Lima, Peru
Review Score 8.0
Guests of Hostal Monterrico are guaranteed security, privacy and comfort. The hotel lacks external signage for maximum discretion and...
from USD 75 per night
Calle Las Campanillas 130, Urb. Los Parques de Monterrico - Salamanca, Ate, Lima, Peru
Review Score 7.5
Located in the Ate district, the Hotel L'Baron Jockey Plaza Mall combines the tranquility of a leafy residential neighborhood with easy...
from USD 30 per night
Avenida República de Chile 354, Jesus Maria, Lima, Peru
Review Score 6.0
The Gran Mundo Hotel is a solid lodging option for those visiting the Peruvian capital. Located in a modern building with adjoining...
from USD 42 per night
Calle Schell 589, Miraflores, Lima, Peru
Review Score 6.0
In the heart of Miraflores just moments from the seashore lies La Casa del Viajero with its comfortable accommodations set in a quiet...
from USD 41 per night
Calle Comandante O'Donovan 115-125, Miraflores, Lima, Peru
Review Score 8.3
Housed in the former home of Julio C. Tello, the famous Peruvian archaeologist, Casa Inca Hospedaje is an ideal refuge for travelers...
from USD 89 per night
Avenida Jorge Basadre 1310, San Isidro, Lima, Peru
Review Score 9.0
The Basadre Suites is known for its outstanding service and elegance. The hotel's garden with swimming pool is the ideal spot to relax...
from USD 99 per night
Avenida de la Aviación 565, Miraflores, Lima, Peru
Review Score 8.5
Ideal for both short and long stays, Casa Bella Miraflores is a homey guest house with friendly service. The rooms come in singles,...
from USD 59 per night
Jr. Camaná 547, Downtown Lima, Peru
Review Score 9.0
A modern, six-story hotel in the historic center of Lima, the Hotel Kamana offers guests personalized service and a high level of...
from USD 49 per night
Calle Bolognesi 400, Miraflores, Lima, Peru
Review Score 8.0
Conveniently located in the heart of the Miraflores district, the Hitchhikers B&B offers travelers inviting backpacker-style...
from USD 11 per night
This is a zero-star hotel.
Probably due to the type of accommodation, this hotel or vacation rental has not been evaluated by existing star rating systems. The stars for this property are therefore awarded by Pacarama based on its expertise and knowledge of the hotel market in Peru and Chile.
Prices are per night per room