Top places to see in Lima, Peru and places to rent: Also called Plaza Mayor, this broad square is the historical center of Lima and the most logical starting point for sightseeing. Most of the buildings from the original city were lost in the earthquake of 1746 – the only original structure standing in Lima’s Plaza de Armas is the bronze fountain in the center, built in 1651. Its buildings reconstructed following the quake, Plaza de Armas is today a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Along with the cathedral, the square is surrounded by the Archbishop’s Palace; the Casa del Oidor; and the Palacio del Gobierno, official residence of the president that was built on the spot where Jose San Martin declared the Independence of Peru on July 28, 1821. You can see the changing of the guard there on weekdays at noon.
If not for the history – Ernest Hemingway and Walt Disney, among many others, have graced the halls of this hotel – then you must go for the pisco. The bartenders at Gran Hotel Bolivar serve a famous drink known as the Pisco Cathedral, made with 5 ounces (150 ml) of pisco. Not only is their pisco drink big; their bartenders also make some of the best pisco sours in the city. One part museum and one part bar; what’s not to like? After you take the tour of the museum, you can sit down and enjoy a pisco cocktail.
If you chance to look up on your trip to Lima, it’s more than likely that you’ll spot a paraglider or two catching the thermals in the air. The hotspot for paragliding in Lima is Parque Raimondi, along the Miraflores stretch of El Malecon, where highly skilled paragliding instructors can take you for a 10-minute tandem glide. Whatever way you end up hitting the skies, pick a day that’s not too overcast, and you can expect views of the coast southwards towards Barranco, as well as far out to sea. Lima’s Parque de la Reserva (Park of the Reserve) dates back to the late 1920s, but in 2007, the Municipality of Lima completed the construction of El Circuito Magico del Agua, the “Magic Water Circuit.” Thirteen fountains, some of which are interactive, provide plenty of entertainment, especially at night with the illuminated shows. Kids will love it, but be prepared to get wet; take a plastic bag or two to keep your cash and camera dry.
Iglesia Inmaculada Corazon de Maria (corner of Sucre and 28 de Julio) is the neighborhood’s main landmark. The church’s unique 5-story teal and pink dome is visible from most of the neighborhood, especially at night when the church’s facade is brightly lit. It is topped with a statue of the Virgin Mary by Ariquepeno artist Freddy Luque Sonco. Magdalena’s Malecon is a work in progress, and although it’s not as beautiful as Miraflores’, it can be a pleasant place for a walk in the sunset—just avoid young necking couples and the kids on bikes, as it seems to be a popular place to go when you’re learning to lose the training wheels (take that how you will). See even more pictures of this fabulous ocean view penthouse on Facebook. Need a place to rent in Lima, Peru? Explore even more details on Magdalena del Mar penthouse to rent.
The Torre Tagle Palace is a stately looking building that blends several architectural styles in downtown Lima. The building blends Moorish, Andalusian, Asian and Criollo features, with even some materials coming from Spain. Two dark wood balconies grace the front of this Spanish Baroque building, while the interior features high ceilings and Sevillian tiles. The palace was built in the early 1700s s a home for the nobleman who served as treasurer for the Royal Spanish fleet. Today, it houses the offices of the Peruvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, meaning it is generally not open for public visits.