If you’re greedy like me and wanna see as much of the city as possible in your one day in Lima, then the best way to do this is by hiring a driver (this can be done easily through your hostel / hotel). It’s not as expensive as it sounds (approx 35 Soles / £7 an hour) and gets rid of any unnecessary stress of getting from place to place / getting lost / finding the best parts possible in each location in your short amount of time.
Read more: The perfect itinerary for two weeks in Peru
The locations (all insta worthy locations ofc) I chose took around 4 hours in total. Assuming you’re staying in Miraflores (I would recommend staying in Miraflores by the way as this is the main area for tourists with the most going on / most hostels, hotels etc) then the you can assume the following distances…
How to spend one day in Lima…
Lima Old Town
This has to be number one on your list, most photos you will have seen of Lima will be of this area’s historic and yellow buildings. You could also check out the catacombs here too.
(Miraflores —> Lima Old Town = 40 minutes)
Rimac is the name of Lima’s slums that sit on the hill of Cerro San Cristobal. Most people tend to avoid this area as some think it’s a bit dodge, but if you’re there with a Peruvian driver you really don’t need to – I felt safe with him but wouldn’t have felt safe on my own. You can drive through the houses right up the hill to Cerro San Cristobal.
(Lima Old Town —> Rimac 10 minutes)
Cerro San Cristobal
Cerro San Cristobal is basically Lima’s Christ the Redeemer (obviously not as good but still cool). It stands right at the top of Rimac and gives you literally a 360 panoramic view of the city. For anyone into views defo do this! Sometimes cars are allowed to drive right to the top, other times you can drive most of the way but then have to take an escorted tuk tuk for the last 5 minutes, so don’t be alarmed if this happens.
(Rimac —> Cerro San Cristobal = 5 minutes)
This is Lima’s street art district so if you’re into that shit then get yourself down here. Also a good place to head if you’re into aviation as they have some kind of army base nearby which results in planes and helicopters flying the lowest I’ve ever seen over the city.
(Cerro San Cristobal —> Monumental Callao = 45 minutes)
Barranco is known as the Soho of Lima, although after walking around I couldn’t really see why. Maybe I missed out a major part of the area but to me it was just normal streets with a couple of market stalls selling cds etc and a few restaurants. La Bodega Verde is a cute spot for lunch though if you do head here. I didn’t go but I’ve heard sunset at Malecon, Lima’s seafront walkway, is cool. 🙂
If you’re planning on heading to Rimac and Cerro San Cristobal or if you’re travelling alone then I would definitely recommend a driver as it’s much safer. If not, you could probably get away with taking Uber’s or taxis from place to place. 🙂
Other posts you may enjoy if you’re planning a trip to Peru:
Heading to Bolivia next?
The perfect itinerary for one week in Bolivia (including info on the Amazon)