Where to stay in Lima?
Lima is home to 12 million people in the greater metropolitan area, and it is the largest city in the country. In terms of tourism, many people often wonder where to stay in Lima, and which is the best place to stay in Lima. The capital city is actually split into many districts and this guide talks you through the most popular Lima districts that are perfect places to start your Peru adventure:
Miraflores is undoubtedly the most popular destination for tourists to stay in Lima. This district is safe, well maintained, and easy to access and has a fantastic vibe. Miraflores has something for everyone and caters for luxury travellers with some high class hotels, through to budget travellers who simply want to crash in a budget hostel. Furthermore, the district is bursting with hip bars and restaurants and the nightlife here can be truly exhilarating. What Miraflores is really well-known for however is its coastal walks and public gardens. Along the coast you can find a number of beautiful parks and promenades that are perfect for an evening stroll or a place to relax. You can also indulge in some awesome extreme sports here such as Paragliding and surfing.
Distance from airport – 35 minutes / 19km
Main Attractions – Parque Grau Miraflores & coastal walk
Throughout Barranco you can find some beautifully painted houses in vibrant shades of red, green, yellow and blue. Furthermore, the streets are wide and often lined with trees. If you love to explore museums then the Museo Mario Testino and the Museum of Contemporary Arts are two fine institutions situated within the district.
Barranco has long been known as the hip place to be in Lima and has a reputation of a bohemian paradise – this holds true to this day. If you love to party and enjoy a lively nightlife then you will enjoy exploring the various hip and trendy bars that can be found in this coastal district. In terms of safety, Barranco is still relatively secure for tourists, but not as safe as Miraflores – as with any place abroad you should avoid side-streets and walking away from the main areas.
Distance from airport – 35/40 minutes / 22km
Main Attractions – Puente de Los Suspiros
If you want to experience the luxury of Lima then San Isidro is the place to stay. This is considered one of the most wealthy and upmarket districts of the capital and is perfect for those who want to splash out. San Isidro is also home to the cities financial centre and therefore is popular for business trips too. This district is packed full of high-end hotels and you will not find many hostel of budget options here.
In terms of attractions, San Isidro actually has two awesome archaeological sites – Huaca Huallamarca and Huaca Santa Cruz which are fantastic to explore. Furthermore, the district has some beautiful parks with the most popular being Bosque del Olivar. Aside from the parks and sites, this district is also known as a superb place to experience fine dining and boasts some world class restaurants where you can sample authentic and quality Peruvian dishes. If you want to stay somewhere extremely safe, and have the means to splash out, San Isidro is the perfect location!
Distance from airport – 30 minutes / 18km
Main Attractions – Huaca Huallamarca archealogical site.
Centro de Lima is actually the historic old town and the main centre of the capital. Some people actually say that Central Lima is highly dangerous, but this mainly applies if you stray away from the main areas – use your common sense. If you enjoy history and architecture then this district will delight you as it is packed full of beautiful colonial buildings such as the Government Palace. The Plaza Mayor is one of the main sights and is a beautiful square in the middle of Centro de Lima.
Aside from the fantastic architecture, Centro de Lima is also great if you are on a budget and offers many cheap hotels and hostel, perfect for backpackers. In terms of food and drink, you can find a number of reasonably priced restaurants and cafes around the main square and there is also the delightful China Town only a short walk away (Barrio Chino).
Distance from airport – 20 minutes / 11km
Main Attractions – Plaza Mayor de Lima
If you don’t quite have the cash to splash on San Isidro then Pueblo Libre offers the next best thing. This district still has fantastic style and charisma and has some beautiful hotels and sites. Pueblo Libre actually has a large number of parks and a series of charming colonial houses and architecture. If you want a more laid back atmosphere then this is the district for you.
Pueblo Libre also has some fantastic attractions such as the Cruz del Viajero and the Larco Museum which has an amazing collection of pre-colonial artefacts. If you still want comfort and security and a pleasant place to stay, Pueblo Libre should be a top choice!
Distance from airport – 20 minutes / 17km
Main Attraction – Larco Museum
There you have it – the best Lima neighbourhoods to stay and what each one has to offer. As you can see, Lima is bursting with culture and diversity and any one of these Lime districts will provide you with a fantastic base to explore the capital. You now can start planning your Peruvian adventure!