Lima is a city of contrasts, culture, and commotion. Jugglers, fire-eaters, and street-sellers scamper through traffic that idles down streets flanked by Colonial mansions, pre-Inca ruins, historic churches, and museums full of treasures. Long maligned as nothing more than the gateway to Peru. Lima is a fascinating destination in itself. Central Lima is the city´s pounding heart. Barranco is the bohemian barrio, Miraflores is a restaurant, hotel, and club haven, and San Isidro is the elegant business district complete with an ancient olive grove.
The weather in Lima doesn´t vary much throughout the year. Daytime temperature rises to about 70°F, and at night it hangs around 60°F. The humidity remains low. The coastal region gets little precipitation, so you´ll rarely find your plans ruined by rain.
Assisting travelers is iPerú, which has English- and Spanish-language information about the city and beyond. The city runs the Tourist Information Office, in the rear of the Lima´s Municipality. It´s a good place to pick up maps of the city, but the staff is not always that helpful.
If you´re flying to Peru, you´ll almost certainly touch down of Aeropuerto Internacional Jorge Chávez, on the north western fringe of Lima. Once you´re in the main terminal, hundreds of people will be waiting. Do yourself a favor and arrange for a transfer through your hotel.
Taxis are the best way to get around when you´re visiting Lima Peru. Use only taxis painted with a company´s logo and that have the driver´s license prominently displayed. It´s best to negotiate the fare before you get in. A journey between two adjacent neighborhoods should cost between US$1.5 and US$2; longer trips should be about US$3.5 to US$ 5. If you call a taxi, the price will be roughly double. Well-regarded companies include Taxi Amigo and Taxi Móvil.
Two types of buses - regular-size micros and the van-size combis-patrol the streets of Lima. Fares are cheap, usually US$ 0.5. First timers are intimidated by these vehicles, but they are a great way to experience the city.
Almost all Lima´s most interesting historical sites are within walking distance of the Plaza de Armas. The fountain in the center can be used as a slightly off-center compass. The bronze angel´s trumpet points due north, where you´ll see the Palacio de Gobierno. To the west is the neocolonial Municipalidad de Lima, and to the east are the Catedral and the adjoining Palacio Episcopal. The Cathedral, one of the most striking in South America, should be given a look inside. Head north on Jirón Carabaya, the street running beside the Palacio de Gobierno, until you reach the butter-yellow Estación de Desamparados, the municipal train station. Follow the street as it curves to the east. In a block you´ll reach the Iglesia de San Francisco, the most spectacular of the city´s colonial-era churches. Explore the eerie catacombs when visiting Lima Perú.
Drink only bottles water and order drinks sin hielo (without ice). Avoid lettuce and other raw vegetables. As for ceviche and other dishes made with raw seafood, chefs take pride in serving only what was swimming that morning, so the majority of travelers don´t have a problem enjoying these delicacies.
El Centro is safe during the day, but as the locals head home in the late afternoon, so should you. The neighborhood is dicey at night. Residential neighborhoods like Miraflores, San Isidro, and Barranco have far less streetcrime, but you should be on your guard away from the main streets. Always be alert for pickpocket s in crowded markets and on public transportation.
For robberies, contact the Tourist Police, the department is divided into the northern zone, which includes El Centro, and the southern zone, which includes Barranco, Miraflores, and San Isidro. English-speaking officers will help you negotiate the system. For emergencies, call the police and fire emergency numbers.
Lima has many top tour operators with experienced English speaking guides for local and country-wide sightseeing. The most professional is Lima Tours, which offers tours of the city and surrounding area as well as the rest of Peru. The company is one of the few that conducts tours for gay groups. Lima vision has some excellent city tours, including several that include lunch at a traditional restaurant or a dinner show. Other well-regarded companies include Condor Travel, Setours, and Solmartour.