Visit Lima, Peru, in only 5 hours

Things to Do, Travel Tips — By Isabel Guerra on August 30, 2011 at 9:57 pm

Plaza Mayor, or Plaza de Armas. Lima Downtown (Photo: EdgarAsencios/Flickr)

You have a few hours in Lima and you want to see some of the city instead of waiting at the airport. Well yes, it’s possible; there’s not much time and traffic jams in Lima can be horrendous, but there’s still room to do a few things.

Everything depends on what would you like and what are you in the mood to do. Let’s revise a few possibilities.

If you think you won’t have peace of mind of you leave the airport, we would suggest staying in the area. There’s a business center nearby, called Lima Cargo City: there are good restaurants there, where you can enjoy some of the excellent Peruvian cuisine. And for a memorable experience, you really should try Restaurante El Grifo (Av. Elmer Faucett 2121), located in that business center. Here you will find most of the most traditional Peruvian dishes and flavors, but “revisited” with a touch of contemporary fusion. Try the Lomo Saltado (beef sauteé with potatoes, onions and tomatoes), the Fetuccini with Huancaina sauce or the house specialty, the Lomo con Puré de Alverjas a la Huachana (Beef with peas puree, in Huacho style). And get ready for really big serving sizes!. El Grifo is open from 8am to 5pm, and if you want to book a table before even leaving your city, you can email Local telephones are: 651-1388 and 651-1389.

causa cangrejo el grifo lima peru

Crab-based entree at El Grifo. Lima. (Photo: El Grifo).

Another option is just staying in the airport, which has a nice duty free area full of cafeterias and souvenir shops. You won’t see the city actually, but you will have an idea of what the whole country has to offer you in an upcoming visit. If you are a coffee lover, buy some of the excellent coffee brands that are on sale there.

If you really want to see some of the city, you need to see Lima Downtown, where you will see historical buildings like the Cathedral, the Government Palace or the Casa de Aliaga, for example, among many other places. You will have to deal with Lima’s traffic, but we think it’s worth. Once you pass custom controls, you can either take an airport taxi to take you the Plaza Mayor (some US $35 only to get there), or rent a car for a few hours (Budget and Hertz have offices at the airport). Or you may want to try a company like Peru Golden Shuttle, which offers the possibility of either renting a vehicle per US $19 per hour, or to book a four-hour city tour to see some of the most significant places in Lima per US $26 per person. For more info on these ideas, email