Lima, Peru is known as the “City of Kings” because it was founded on the Catholic Holiday “Kings Day” by Francisco Pizarro, a Spanish Conquistador, in 1535. In the 17th century, the city boomed financially thanks to trade, but in the 18th century, Lima suffered a lot after an economic deterioration.
After the war in the 19th century, Lima started to rebuild itself, but it wasn’t until the 20th century did it begin to prosper and turn into the destination we see today. Although sometimes referred to as a boring city, Lima still provides visitors delicious cuisine, a great nightlife, a historic center with so much history, and a coastline that will make photographers jealous. So to help you get the most out of Lima, here are a few must-sees on your next trip there.
Casa de Aliaga
Step back in time by visiting Casa de Aliaga, the oldest mansion from the Colonial period built in 1535. The Aliagas have been owners of the property ever since it was first constructed, and is currently occupied by the family’s seventeenth generation. You can take a tour of the mansion where you’ll discover some of the most elegant architecture and interior design that still resembles much of the past. If you book a private tour with a tour group of Lima, you may be able to enjoy a lovely dinner in the dining room of Casa de Aliaga. If you don’t end up eating here, just seeing the inside of the mansion is enough to get s sense of how aristocrats lived here 400+ years ago.
Bridge of Sighs
One of Lima’s most significant historical spots is the Bridge of Sighs, located in the southern part of the city. Legend has it if you can hold your breath while crossing the entire bridge, whatever you wished for will come to be. Aside from the bridge, the area is a great place to visit if you want to spend some time by the beach, check out some of the boutiques, or enjoy a nice afternoon in one of the parks away from the busy city center. There are also live musicians and street artists performing along the streets that make this place even more enjoyable.
You don’t need to go to Machu Picchu to see pyramids. There’s one right in Lima called Huaca Pucllana, which was built anywhere from 200 and 700 BC, and served as a place for ceremonies for Lima’s indigenous people. Although the pyramid has been around for centuries, it was only discovered in the 1980s.
If you go to the top, you can get a fantastic view of the city so make sure you get your camera ready. Next to the pyramid is a restaurant called Restaurant Huaca Pucllana, serving delicious Peruvian food and drinks. We recommend you make a reservation because this place can get busy. If you’re up for trying something new, order the guinea pig or the alpaca steak.
After a day of exploring, we recommend stopping by Ayahuasca for a few drinks and some good food. Ayahuasca is a mansion constructed in the 19th century and features a bar serving some of the best drinks in town. They also serve appetizing eats that go well with any drink. If you end up at Ayahuasca for just a drink, make sure to walk around and admire the unique decor in the various themed rooms, including a glass room, green room and a gold room. Ayahuasca is well maintained and still has the original wood floors and stairs made of marble. Don’t stay inside either, if the weather is comfortable, head over to the courtyard in the back to enjoy a lovely time outdoors.
Lima is worth exploring, even if it’s just for the food! The city offers many must-see historical sites and beautiful views that won’t leave you disappointed. From museums and mansions to beaches, parks and shops, Lima is full of hidden gems waiting to be discovered.
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