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The Huaca Pucllana ruins in Peru

What To Do in Lima - Gems in Peru's Capital!

By Vicky Lessen

Last updated: 23rd July 2014

After spending a large chunk of my travels in Peru’s bustling capital city, Lima I discovered a few gems which I would highly recommend to any backpacker passing through on their gap year. I have listed them below…

La Lucha in Parque Kennedy, Miraflores

Feeling ‘peckish’? This place does (in my opinion) the world’s best sandwiches & chips … I know it’s not particularly “travelly” to be seen eating something other than ceviche (amazing by the way) in Peru, but this cannot be missed!

This “diner” is situated in the Kennedy Park, Miraflores in Lima and is easy enough to spot due to the queue of locals outside! Oh and did I mention they do AWESOME shakes and smoothies too!

The Catacombs, Iglesia de San Francisco

Skulls in The Catacombs, Iglesia de San Francisco

The Catacombs weren’t originally on my list (scary) but actually after my boyfriend had forced me there, it was really interesting. The tickets are very cheap (as is everything in Peru) and you can get yourself an English tour guide as well if you would like.

There are estimated 70,000 burials and the bones and skulls are all lined up and displayed where they were found.

It’s also nice to get out of the heat on a hot day ;).

Huaca Pucllana

Ruins in Huaca Pucllana

You’ll notice a lot of Huacas (ruins) in Peru. The Huaca Pucllana is situated in Lima and you can easily grab a taxi there. It is basically an incredible clay pyramid built in Incan times for important ceremonial purposes.

For those of you that aren’t aware, but before the Spanish took over Peru it was an Incan civilization and a lot of Peruvians are of Incan descent.

This is a great day out and you can learn a lot about the Peruvian heritage. Educational and fun! (It’s all outdoors so wear sun cream in the summer months or you will get burnt!!)


People eating sushi

Larcomar is essentially a very nice shopping centre or “mall”. However it is on the sea front and the views are incredible, especially if it’s sunny.

If anyone likes sushi, it also has an incredible sushi restaurant which became one of my firm favorites whilst there! Think sushi with a Peruvian twist (what’s not to love). – Unfortunately not as cheap as the rest of Peru but certainly cheaper than any sushi restaurant in the UK!


This is a MUST! Barranco is considered one of the most romantic and bohemian districts in Lima… it certainly is that. It is great for eating, drinking and partying. It has a wonderful atmosphere, especially in the evening and is shielded from the cold winds from the South so is always warmer and drier than other districts.

Parapente (Paragliding)

People preparing to tandem paraglide

This was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. You can just rock up to Parque Del Amor (the love park – aw!) in Miraflores and wait your turn or ring and book in advance. The tandem flight operates most days but you need to always check the weather forecast (it’s got to be windy).

At a cost of ~ £60 you get the most incredible experience and views of Lima. You are strapped to a professional at all times so don’t fret – all we had to do was run.

The Markets!

Peruvian market stalls

Well you can’t forget these gems! The best markets are just round the corner from the Parque Kennedy, Miraflores. You can get yourselves some funky backpacker trousers, perhaps a pair of fur slippers too – remember to barter (time to practice your Spanish).


Fancy going to Peru, check out Gap 360’s South American gap year adventures.

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