Lima, Peru: What to do in 24 hours

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The last and final blog post about my Peruvian adventure is all about Lima, Peru.

We spent the weekend in Lima so we didn’t have a ton of time. We really only had 24 hours of actual sightseeing time since the rest of the weekend was dedicated to air travel. I would definitely like to go back one day and see more of the city. For this trip, however, we spent the whole time in the Miraflores district.

Lima, Peru is where the main airport hub is to get to Cusco and Machu Picchu. If you want to learn more about Cusco or Machu Picchu, I talk all about them in part one and part two of this little mini-series. Also, let me know in the comments below if you enjoyed this mini-series! As always, I had fun reliving it with you.

For the last two days of my time in Peru, we said goodbye to our new friends and hopped on a plane to Lima, Peru. This is a big city in Peru so it’s very different from the past week up in the Peruvian mountains. We went over to Miraflores which is the more touristy district of the city. After some research, this area seemed like the best spot for us.

The weather in Lima was completely different and way more humid. It is definitely something to keep in mind if you are planning a trip to the mountains and Lima. We had overcast weather the majority of the time but it didn’t rain which made it perfect for exploring. I would still recommend a pair of sunglasses. I didn’t when I was walking around and I definitely wish I did.


Miraflores is one of the more upscale districts in Lima. It is one of the three most expensive districts in Lima for residents and where you can find some of the best restaurants in the city. With the ocean views, shopping, and restaurants, there is plenty to do. We were only there for the weekend and there were definitely more things we could have seen in Lima and the surrounding areas. 

views of the Pacific Ocean in Lima, Peru

A little history about the Miraflores district is that it was a little surf town before it morphed into part of the metropolitan city of Lima. The area known as Miraflores got its name in the 18th century but this area started out as a small fishing village way back when. 

But let’s get back to the present day. This was the first time since landing in Cusco that we were on our own… boy was it a wake-up call! We tried to Uber from the airport but none of us had cell service so we ended up taking a taxi. You don’t realize how much you use your phone until you decide to save money and not get an international plan. The taxi wasn’t too expensive and there were many drivers waiting at the airport. Taking a taxi is definitely a reliable option to get to your destination when you have no cell service. 

Where to Stay in Miraflores

The ride from the airport to Miraflores took about 40 minutes. We stayed at the Dazzler by Wyndham. The hotel was really nice and they gave us a Pisco Sour as a welcome drink. The Dazzler had a cool rooftop bar and was centrally located to everything we wanted to do. The rooms were a good size and we had a nice stay. After the taxi ride, we walked everywhere else. 

Since the Pisco Sour is Peru’s signature drink, it seems like everywhere we went they tried to give us one. I don’t really like them. Fun fact though, Pisco Sour may have been created by a United States ex-pat who was a bartender in Lima, Peru. It was created around 1918 and it consists of pisco, lime juice, egg white, and Angostura bitters. You definitely need to try one when you are in Peru though to get the full Peruvian experience. 

You drive through some interesting parts of the city on the way to Miraflores but then you get by the water and it is really nice. I can see why this became a resort town. Outside of the United States, I’ve traveled to other European cities but Peru is a developing country so it’s definitely a different experience. In Miraflores, I felt pretty safe but I know there were some touristy areas that we were told to avoid at night. 

Lima is located right next to the Pacific Ocean. It definitely gave me a California vibe by the water. The city is mostly above sea levels on these huge cliffs. Most of the buildings are located on these cliffs. Parts of the drive were right by the water though which provided some good views. Once we got closer to the Miraflores section, we had to drive up the cliff which was interesting since the road is really steep. The cab driver even stalled out. 

Kennedy Park

By the time we got to the hotel and checked in, we only had half a day to explore Lima. We decided to check out Kennedy park which was a few short minutes from our hotel and find this sandwich chain that we heard was really good. 

Kennedy Park is actually known for all the stray cats that call it home. Don’t worry though, these cats are well taken care of. There are areas that are blocked off so the cats can be away from all the tourists but the ones that want to come say hi can leave this gated area.

Kennedy Park in Lima, Peru

It is also the central park of Miraflores so there were a lot of places to grab a bite to eat and there was even a little market where you could purchase items from some of the locals.  

Surrounding the park is the Catholic Church, Virgen Milagrosa, which was built in 1939. This is a beautiful church and I definitely recommend going in and taking a look around. There was also the headquarters of the Miraflores’ local government known as Municipal Palace. 

If you’re wondering if Kennedy park is named after the United States President John F. Kennedy, you are right. It honors JFK for his work on the Alliance for Progress which helped the Peruvian economy during the 1960s.

Where we ate in Miraflores

After the park, we were starving and we were unsuccessful in our search of the sandwich place – remember we did not get the international data plan so we were on our own! It was much easier when the tour guide lead us right to the food. We tried to go to this one place but the servers spoke absolutely no English and the menu was in Spanish. 

There was Wifi at this restaurant but even google translate wasn’t helpful so we moved on. I’m not going to lie. We were so hungry and frustrated that we couldn’t read the menu that we walked into an Irish pub called Molly’s which is located right by Kennedy Park. The food was pretty good so if you want a break from South American food, this place is a good alternative. The servers spoke English and the menu was completely in English as well.

We wanted to feel semi Peruvian though so we got the local beer called cusquena. We sat there for a while, drinking and enjoying the afternoon. After that, we went back to the hotel and had a relaxing night. 

The next day, we got breakfast at the hotel (in Peru, they seem to be big on including breakfast which is great) and then headed towards the water. Right behind our hotel, they had a lovely lighthouse and stunning views of the Pacific Ocean. There were even some surfers below to watch. Lima has a walking path, which they call Malecón where you can walk alongside the cliffs overlooking the ocean. Malecón means boardwalk but if you asked me, it’s not really a boardwalk like you are probably picturing but it is a nice walk along the ocean.

Parque del armor

Along this path is Parque del armor, or love park. There’s this huge statue of two people making out called “El Beso” which means the kiss which was sculpted by Victor Delfín. Here’s more about the park if you are interested.

Love Park in Lima, Peru

This park was built to celebrate love in its many forms. There was also this cool structure/bench that was alongside the path where you could sit. It looks very South American to me. Apparently, the park was inspired by Parc Güel in Barcelona. I personally haven’t been there but I’ll definitely have to add it to my list to compare. 

After we left the park, we stumbled upon these rainbow steps. The rainbow steps lead you down the cliffs towards sea level. As soon as you got to the water, there were a bunch of locals trying to get you to rent a surfboard or take surfing lessons. 

Surfing seems to be big in Lima. The Lima area is apparently one of the best spots for surfing in the world. The area right below Miraflores is known as Playa Waikiki. It doesn’t have the biggest waves in Peru for experienced surfers but it’s a great spot if you want to give surfing a go. 

There isn’t sand here like the beaches in the United States. At least on the East Coast and Southern California where I’ve been. There were huge stones/rocks leading up to the water. 

Views from Playa Waikiki in Lima, Peru.

We walked a little further to this pier which had a really good view of everyone trying to surf. We spent some time sitting there and just watching everyone take a stab at surfing, After that, we trekked back up the cliffs and headed towards Larcomar. 

The Mall, also known as Larcomar

Larcomar is pretty neat because it is built into the side of the cliff. You really can’t see the structure at street level. The stores are very typical brands you’d see at malls in the United States. You can check out the full list on their site here. What you really need to go to the mall for are the restaurants that have amazing views of the Pacific while you dine. It is definitely better than the typical views you get from mall restaurants. 

At the mall, we got drinks and appetizers at Tanta that overlooked the water. We got sangria so we were pretty happy. We were lucky enough to get a table by the window so we had great views of the ocean. 

After that, we walked back to the hotel and finally got sandwiches from the sandwich place we went looking for the day before. It is a chain restaurant in Peru but I like foreign chain places since I feel like chain restaurants are go-to places for the locals. This place was packed which makes sense since the sandwiches were quite tasty. It’s called la lucha sangueria criolla. I highly recommend it. 

Final Thoughts

That wraps up our time in Lima. I definitely wish we had more time in Lima since we really only had around 24 hours since airport time always takes up a lot of time. We spent a lot of time walking around but you can also see the city on bikes if that’s more your speed! As you can see, there is a lot to do in Miraflores alone!

You could also definitely do everything we did in one day. Everything was in close proximity to one another. We just chose to take it a little slower since the week before was so fast-paced. If you are planning a trip to Machu Picchu, I would definitely try to spend some time in Lima, Peru. 

Until next time,

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