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Lima Tourism: Best of Lima
Lima, founded by Francisco Pizarro in 1535, is a fascinating city and a treasure trove of history. Explore ancient Incan archeological sites, or stroll through the elegant cathedrals and opulent palaces dating from Spanish colonial times. Downtown Lima is crowded, but you'll enjoy exploring the city's neighborhoods—especially the beachfront areas, which have great shopping and dining and fabulous hotels.
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The Ultimate Adrenaline Rush in Peru’s Capital
Exploring Colonial Catacombs and Pre-Columbian Pyramids too tame for you? Don’t worry. Lima has a lot to offer adventurous souls in search of heart-pounding experiences. In and around the city, you can find plenty of activities that will make your pulse race. As a Trip Designer for Reco, I’m all about finding high-octane outings for travelers coming to Peru. My only question is…do you dare?
BillyK, Lima, Peru
- Buggy Huacachina598Further south, outside the city toward the Ica region, you’ll find an oasis of fun and adventure. That is a real-deal oasis—complete with water and palm trees all surrounded by tall sand dunes. Hop on a dune buggy and go for a fast and bumpy wild ride around this desert scenery, then slide down on a board—the desert’s version of boogie-boarding—´till your shoes are full of sand. Finish out the day watching a color-shifting sunset in this otherworldly place.
- Lunahuana Rafting Peru123A favorite getaway for Lima locals, the town of Lunahuana makes a great day trip or weekend away at just two-and-a-half hours outside of the city. Plenty of visitors come to enjoy the countryside bobbing along the Cañete river. But you can dial up your heart rate by opting for whitewater rafting and ziplining over the trees. And definitely make time for a pit stop in one of the local restaurants to sample the area’s delicious river prawns.
- Balcon del Cielo83An hour south of Lima, the small town of Azpitia delivers postcard views surrounded by mountains. It’s the perfect backdrop for mountain biking around the hills and vineyards. Set out in the morning, and stop for lunch at Balcon del Cielo, a local restaurant famous for its magnificent views of the valley and the local river. This area is also famous for its Pisco, so do as the locals do and stop, stow the bike, and sample a few.
- Toboganes de Songos10Up for more hiking and rock-climbing? Not too far from Autisha Canyon, you can find the small town of Songos where you can scramble around in the outdoors. But what makes this place extra special is a series of rock slides naturally carved by the river for thousands of years. You can actually slip ‘n’ slide your way down and then plunge into the cool river waters at the end.
- Puenting Peru6For a full day of adrenaline, head 50 miles east from Lima and you’ll reach the Autisha Canyon, a great place to spend a day hiking and rock climbing to find pristine waterfalls. End the day with your heart in your throat as you bungee-jump from a bridge over a rugged canyon.
- Mar Adentro Excursiones454If you like close encounters with Mother Nature, this is the activity for you. Just off the coast of Lima, you can find the Palomino Islands, an archipelago packed with a colony of more than 8,000 curious wild sea lions. These guys swim up so close, you can almost touch them. You’ll also see loads of sea birds and even adorable penguins!
- Tubos Surf School98Lima’s waves are famous in the surfing world, and the city hosts several surfing competitions throughout the year. If you’ve never been on a board, this is the perfect place to learn the sport. With several schools right on the coast, you can make a fun day of it and get inspired by the many pros who surf here year around.
- Parapuerto26Here’s a factoid: Lima is the only major capital in South America overlooking the ocean. Put that backdrop to use and go paragliding. You’ll pick up some wind and fly over the sea to get a bird’s-eye view of the city. If you’re lucky, you might see a family of dolphins surfing the waters underneath.
- Pirqa38Reach new heights here on the tallest climbing wall in Perú. On top of having walls with different levels of difficulty, Pirqua also has a great coffee shop and a super friendly crew ready to teach you the ins and outs of this popular sport.