If you’re limited on time while visiting Lima, Peru and can’t decide where to go, what to do, where to stay—I got you! This past December I traveled Peru for three weeks and spent four of those days in Lima, Peru. My trip to Lima included a lot of drinking and dining, urban hikes and some beach time. With all the delicious food Peru has to offer, you must make culinary travel a huge part of your trip. If all those things sound good to you, read on! I hope my top picks of things to do in Lima, Peru will be a guide to your upcoming Peruvian travels.
Where to stay in Lima, Peru? Why, Barranco of course!
On our trip to Lima, we opted to stay in Barranco, which is kind of like the Silver Lake (Los Angeles) or Williamsburg (Brooklyn) of Peru. All of Barranco is very artsy and hip with a lot of young creatives residing in this cozy beach town. It’s safe, stylish and you can walk around to a variety of shops, restaurants and bars.
We stated at a gorgeous guest house by the name of Second Home Peru. Once home to the Peruvian sculptor Victor Delfin, your will be absolutely enamored by all the artwork on this estate.
Second Home Peru boasts majestic views of the ocean!
Where to eat?
During our stay in Barranco we ate at many of the delicious nearby restaurants. From ceviche to anticuchos (cow heart kabobs), Barranco and neighboring Miraflores offer a variety of culinary delights.
Canta Rana — This casual, but always packed neighborhood bar and restaurant was my absolute favorite. The food was GREAT and well priced. It’s not very touristy, so you get a feel for a real Barranco dining experience amongst Barranco locals.
The convenience store across the way carried some tasty Peruvian staples we got as snacks.
El Tio Mario — Right in the heart of Barranco, El Tio Mario is much more touristy, but oh so tasty. If you have a zest for trying delicacies from around the world, you must try Peruvian anticuchos (tender cow heart kabobs). They also have some other exotic eats like cow intestines and other organs. They are cooked to perfection with a delicious marinade. You almost forget what exactly you’re eating!
You must, must, MUST, order Picarones: a tasty Peruvian desert!
Mangos — We ventured to Larcomar in Miraflores for some shopping and dining. Mangos has a great outdoor ambiance with a killer ocean view. You must get their anticucho wings! So good!
And their coca leaf pisco sours! It was quite refreshing with a kick!
Astrid y Gaston — Noted by many food critics as one of the best restaurants in the world, Astrid y Gaston is culinary paradise. Dining here is quite pricey, so make sure you’re ready to spend.
A nice open kitchen where you can watch the chef and cooks all in action!
A tasty flat bread pizza with the freshest ingredients.
The pork belly was amazing, but so rich!
Dessert was pretty much chocolate heaven…
And of course once you’re done eating all this food, it’s best to walk it off! My fiancé and I enjoyed many walks along the boardwalk during our stay in Barranco. It was nice to walk along the beach paths with the neighborhood folks.
Bars & Nightlife — While we did most of our drinking while dining, we did visit a good handful of bars solely for adult beverages. A couple stand outs were Posada Del Angel III and Ayahuasca.
Posada Del Angel III was cute and charming. Since our visit to Peru was during the Christmas holiday season, everything was decorated with Christmas cheer. This is a good place to have cocktails with conversation. It’s cozy and romantic. You almost feel as though you’re drinking in the house of a Peruvian grandmother.
Ayahuasca is where the party is at! Set in an old mansion, you will find drinks galore and beautiful people galore at this bar.
METRO — And one last thing to add to your Peruvian culinary travels, I highly recommend you make a stop at the local supermarket, Metro. We stocked up on all of our favorite treats: Turron de Dona Pepa, huancaina sauce, anticucho sauce, alfajores and much more.
Have you vacationed in Lima, Peru? What hotels and guest houses do you recommend? What restaurants topped your favorites list? Let us know in a comment below!