Earlier this summer, we had a long layover in Lima, from noon to 9 pm. We were excited to explore the capital of Peru. We wanted to make the most of our time, especially considering that most of the sites are at least 40 minutes away from the airport. Here’s what we did, step by step. Feel free to use this as guide to plan your brief stopover in Lima!
La Puente de Los Suspiros
We started our day by catching an uber to La Puente de Los Suspiros, which translates to Bridge of Sighs. It’s about an hour drive from the international airport, so be sure to take in the sights along the way. You’ll be able to see the ocean and a lot of the city skyline.
This landmark is a picturesque and, as described by our uber driver, romantic park located in the bohemian Barranco district. The park received its name due to the wooden bridge at the park entrance, where, as legend has it, you are entitled to a single wish if you can cross without taking a single breath. The park itself is gorgeous as well, with quirky animal statues strewn about and urban artwork on walls and bridges.
After visiting La Puente de Los Suspiros, we took an Uber to Costazul, one of Lima’s top ceviche restaurants. It was also fun to wander around the surrounding area, Miraflores district. Eating ceviche was near the top of our Lima bucket list. It is a traditional Peruvian dish made of fresh raw fish soaked in citrus juices. It was so tasty, we could eat it every day.
We ordered “Empanadas Marinas” (Seafood Empanadas stuffed with shrimp, crab, and octopus) for S$38, “Ceviche Mixto” for S$36, and a 1/2 jar of “Chicha Morada” (a non-alcoholic drink made from purple corn, and probably my favorite Peruvian beverage) for S$12. All together, we ended up paying about $26 USD. The restaurant had a fun atmosphere, and the owner spoke a bit of English.
Location: Jr. Berlin 899 | Miraflores, Lima Lima 18, Peru
Hours: Tuesday – Saturday: 12:30 – 8:30
Sunday: 12:30 – 7:00
Closed on Mondays
Parque Kennedy – Parque Central de Miraflores
After lunch we walked over to Parque Central de Miraflores. It’s about a 15 minute walk from Costazul, but we got distracted by bookstores and chocolate shops along the way, so it took us a little bit longer. There were lot of food/snack stands as well as a large Catholic church, but our favorite part of the park was the art fair. Local artists were selling their beautiful paintings and woodwork. The prices were quite affordable, with many small paintings of Machu Picchu going for only S$45 (about $13 USD). Many of the artists lowered their prices even further as we started to walk away. Even the larger and more intricate paintings didn’t cost more than a few hundred soles.
Centro Histórico de Lima
After looking at artwork in Miraflores, we took an Uber to Plaza de Armas in the Centro Histórico de Lima. We could have spent hours exploring these narrow, cobblestoned streets and alleyways. As it was, we only had about an hour, so we took it all in as fast as we could. The Plaza used to be considered the heart of Lima. At its center, there is a gold fountain that was built in the 1650s. Plenty of shops selling sweaters, ponchos, and other souvenirs surround the square. If you are going to visit Cusco later in your trip, you might want to hold off on making any purchases here, as the same exact items will be considerably cheaper in Cusco.
We called an Uber to leave Plaza de Armas at about 5:30 pm to give ourselves plenty of time to get through traffic and make it to our next flight without any stress. Be sure to plan for traffic when scheduling your day! It can take anywhere from 25 minutes to 1 hour to get to the airport from Plaza de Armas, depending on how busy the roads are.