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From the colonial architecture of Lima's historic city center to the thriving art galleries and nearby beaches, there is more than enough to keep travelers occupied. Here are five of Forbes Travel Guide’s editors’ favorite things to see and do while exploring Peru's capital city.
1. The local cuisine. It might not be your reason for heading to Lima, but once you start to explore the city’s food culture, you'll understand immediately why so many people are raving about the culinary creations coming out of Peruvian kitchens. Because of the city’s diverse cultures, Lima is one of those rare South American cities where you'll find everything from Japanese cooking to Creole delicacies. Don't miss out on the chance to sample the goods all over town.
2. The beaches along the Pan-American Highway. Sure, beaches near a highway might not initially sound like the most idyllic place to spend an afternoon, but they truly are. There are beautiful stretches of sand less than 25 miles south of downtown Lima. Hit up Villa and San Pedro for great views and waves recommended only for experts. El Silencio and Caballeros are ideal for excellent surfing conditions and plenty of chances to meet younger travelers (and locals). For a more laid-back fishing village vibe and calmer waters, Pucasana is your locale.
3. Miraflores. This is the neighborhood where foodies, night owls, and sophisticates will feel most at home, considering its high concentration of edgy restaurants, well-stocked pisco bars, and cafés ladling out organic Peruvian roast to keep well-dressed locals and travelers caffeinated.
4. The Historic City Centre. The site’s historic monuments date back to the 17th century and are typical examples of Hispano-American Baroque, and see more than their fair share of tourists. Nonetheless, for photo ops and a picnic lunch packed with people-watching, hitting up the old-world Lima in the city’s center is recommended.
5. Convento de San Francisco. For a peek into Lima's past, a tour of this monastery and church is a must. Here, you'll find catacombs, a gigantic library of over 25, 000 antique texts, and a beautiful cupola dating back to the 1600s. For architecture fans, those who value history, and anyone who wants a look at yesteryear, this is a must-see spot.