Lima, Peru attractions: San Francisco church and its monastery are most famous for their catacombs containing the bones of about 10,000 people interred here when this was Lima’s first cemetery. Below the church is a maze of narrow hallways, each lined on both sides with bones. In one area, a large round hole is filled with bones and skulls arranged in a geometrical pattern, like a piece of art. If Mass is in progress upstairs, the sound reverberates eerily through the catacombs. Visiting these is not for those who are claustrophobic, as ceilings are low and doorways between chambers are even lower, requiring people to duck when entering. But the catacombs are at the end of a tour of the church, so you can skip them. There is much more to see here. The library, on the upper level, has thousands of antique books, and the monastery has an impressive collection of religious art. It is best known for a mural of the Last Supper showing the apostles dining on guinea pig, with a devil standing next to Judas. The San Francisco church and monastery were consecrated in 1673 and it is one of the city’s best preserved colonial churches, having withstood the earthquakes of 1687 and 1746, although it did suffer extensive damage in a quake in 1970.
One of the best left-hand point breaks in the world is only a short ride away, in Chorrillos. If the swell is right, you’ll score some epic surf. The Miraflores boardwalk runs parallel to the Pacific Ocean, providing you with miles of stunning views. Rent a bike from one of the many rental companies and enjoy a bike ride up and down the coast. Swim with sea lion pups just a short boat ride away from Lima. You can take a boat to Palomino Island and enjoy the abundant marine life there. Barranco is filled with colonial mansions that have been turned into boutique bars. Head to Ayahuasca, drink one of their craft cocktails, and explore their many hidden rooms.
Although more often than not a welcome, refreshing aperitif served before a plate of ceviche, the pisco sour is a staple Limeno cocktail in its own right. Although there’s controversy over the origins of pisco (don’t mention Chile when you order one), there’s no disputing that the Peruvian version of the sour is the tastiest. Whipped up from a mixture of pisco, lemon juice, bitters, sugar and egg white and whizzed in a blender over crushed ice, it’s impossible to visit Lima without trying a glass or three. The most famous place for a taste is at the Gran Hotel Bolivar, a bar whose former clientele allegedly includes Ernest Hemingway and Orson Welles, and whose mammoth-sized drinks are as magnificent as the building itself.
Lima is stuffed with old temples, and Magdalena has one of their own, the Huaca Huantille (at the corner of 28 de Julio and Castilla). It was closed the day I went, so if you’d like more information kindly step on over to En Peru, where Stuart as usual has put together a fantastic report. There’s a lot of little places all through Magdalena, but these were some of our favorites: Speciale Cafe – 1229 Jr. Libertad. This cutesy old-time ice cream parlor serves up almost 20 different flavors, including frozen yogurt, and has some of the best espresso in Lima. My tips: get a cup of coffee and a scoop of Cappuccino ice cream to go in it. Rob’s tips: try everything first and then try the Magdalena flavor (with figs, nuts, and chopped cherries) again. They also sell little frozen bonbons that are divine. Read additional images of this fabulous ocean view penthouse on FB. Need a place to book in Lima, Peru? Explore more info on Amazing penthouse in Lima, Peru with full ocean view.
Miraflores is one of Lima’s more exclusive neighborhoods and definitely one of its most scenic since it sits on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. It is THE beach resort and entertainment center in Lima. The beach is very popular with surfers and paragliders. Miraflores oozes with upscale shopping opportunities, but travelers interested in Peruvian arts and crafts will head to Avenue Petit Thouars. Miraflores also is a magnet for people who like to party in its bars, clubs and casinos. As a residential area, it blends the charm of colonial housing with today’s high rises.