What to do on your layover in Lima

So, your flight arrived into Peru’s capital city and you’ve got some time to kill before your connecting flight departs. You can either stay at the airport and scroll your Facebook newsfeed for 7 hours sipping slowly on your overpriced Starbucks coffee (unwillingly purchased after you drained the measly 15 minutes of free Airport Wi-Fi), or you can venture out and explore the city of Lima for a few hours. Not convinced yet? Below we’ve listed the best ways to spend your time during your layover in Lima.

 

Before leaving the airport

Like in any big capital city, Lima’s roads suffer from heavy congestion. Lima’s traffic however is particularly bad, especially during peak hours. It is important to consider your travel time, what to do with your luggage and where to exchange money before deciding to venture out into the city during your layover.

Calculate how much time you have to spend in Lima

  1. What time does my flight land in Lima?
  2. What time does my flight leave Lima?
    • International flights: Arrive 3 hours ahead of departure time.
    • National flights: Arrive 2 hours ahead of departure time.
  3. How long will it take me to get to and from Lima Airport?
    • Peak hours: (7:00am to 10:00am, and 5:00pm to 9:00pm) up to 2 hours, or even 3 if you’re really unlucky.
    • Off-peak hours: 45 min to 1 hour.
  4. Add 45 minutes to pass through immigrations, pick up your luggage, and pass through customs.

Once you have factored in this information, you’ll be able to work out how much time you can spend in Lima.

NOTE:

  • The whole process will be slightly faster if you only have hand baggage.
  • Check with your airline whether your luggage will be automatically transported to your destination, or whether you will have to pick up your luggage, pass customs and check it in again in Lima for your connecting flight.
  • Exiting the airport and re-entering requires you to pay a fee of approx. $31 USD. This is called the United Tariff for Airport Use (TUUA), and can be paid on the second level at the airport.

 

Baggage storage

You don’t want your bags weighing you down when you’re off exploring the city! Once you’ve passed immigrations, luggage collection, and customs, take your baggage to the first floor (public area) at the domestic arrivals area to store your luggage.

Cost: 4 soles per hour per item ($1.20 USD), and 24 soles per 24 hours per item (the more hours you store items, the more economical the price). CASH only (USD and PEN accepted).

Lockers

If you have smaller items, lockers are also located on the first floor.

Cost: 8 soles per hour, or 38 soles for 24 hours. The prices becomes more economical the more hours you store items. The size of the lockers is 45cm (w) x 60cm (l) x 75cm (h), for all you can fit in.

Money exchange

When in Lima, you’ll need either Peruvian Soles (PEN) or Dollars (USD). Cash can be withdrawn at the ATMs in the airport, or currency changed at the Money Exchanges. You can change at the airport or exchange in Miraflores at a better rate.

Once in Miraflores, you can change currency at a Casa de Cambio. There are several located along Jose Larco, one of the main streets. You’ll also find Cambistas (people who work on the street changing money) who can offer a slightly better rate. However, it is more secure to go to a Casa de Cambio.

How to get to Miraflores

The most reliable and comfortable way to travel is with Airport Express Lima, the official bus service of Lima Airport. This bus will take you safely and quickly from the airport to the Miraflores district and back (taxis can be expensive and dangerous). Miraflores is the most popular area of the city to visit, and the nicest place to spend your time in Lima. Their buses have free Wi-Fi, USB charging ports and A/C.

Official Bus Lima Airport - Lima

Airport Express Lima – Official Airport Bus

Go to the Airport Express Lima counters, located in the ground transport zone after the baggage claim area (in both International and Domestic Arrivals). Here you can purchase your ticket. You can also check the current traffic conditions with the staff.

Tickets can also be purchased online, by visiting Airport Express Lima’s website.

Cost: $15 USD return.
Hours: Regular departures.

FROM THE AIRPORT TO MIRAFLORES (stops close to Kennedy Park and Larcomar)
• Between 7:00am and 11:30am the bus leaves every 30 minutes.
• Between 12:00noon and 6:00pm the bus leaves every 1 hour.
• Between 6:30pm and 0:00midnight the bus leaves every 30 minutes.

FROM MIRAFLORES TO THE AIRPORT
• Between 6:00am and 9:30am the bus leaves every 30 minutes.
• Between 10:00am and 5:00pm the bus leaves every 1 hour.
• Between 6:00pm and 10:00pm the bus leaves every 30 minutes.

 

Staying overnight in Lima

  • In the Airport:
    Although there is no hotel inside Lima’s Airport, it is possible to stay by the food court (located on the second floor) or in the international/domestic departure areas. You can rest on the seats here.
  • The City:
    Stay in Miraflores or Barranco, the most popular backpacker and tourist areas.
  • Around the airport:
    If you’d prefer to be closer to the airport, here are a couple of options:
    Costa del Sol Wyndham Lima Aeropuerto: Located on the airport grounds. The price for a double room is approx. $140 to $160 USD.
    Pay Purix Backpackers Hotel: Located 1 km from the airport. Get there in a registered taxi (counters are located inside the airport); be aware that the area isn’t very safe. The price for a bed in a private room is between $25 and $50 USD, and for a bed in a dorm it ranges from $7.50 USD (12 bed dorm) to $10.50 USD (4 bed dorm).

 

What to do in Lima?

Stranded in Lima during a layover? It’s your lucky day! Lima has so much to offer and in so little time. To keep your venture into Lima short and practical, we have put together a list of activities in Miraflores and Barranco, which are the main tourist districts of Lima and have a good connection to the airport.

We have prepared our top pick of activities to do in under 2, 4, 6 and 8 hours. For more details on our suggestions, please read further down!

2 hours, 4 hours, 6 hours or 8 hours in Lima? Our top picks

  • Activities under 2 hours:
    • Try a Pisco Sour at one of the bars + Hit the beach!
    • Have lunch at a “menu” + Go to “el Parque de Amor”.
  • Activities under 4 hours:
    • Walk down from Lima to Barranco by the cliffs + Sample ceviche + sample ceviche in Barranco.
    • Visit a world-class restaurant + Bargain hunt at the artisanal market.
    • Visit the MAC museum+ Visti the MATE museum.
  • Activities under 6 hours:
    • Bike around Lima + Eat Chifa + Sip a Chilcano at one of the bars.
    • Walk to Barranco by the cliffs + Take a cooking class.
  • Activities under 8 hours:
    • Explore Huaca Pucllana + Go Paragliding + Wander Barranco + Take a surfing class + Visit Larcomar for shopping, dinner and drinks

To help you get an idea of the distance, we have picked Kennedy Park (or Ovalo de Miraflores) in Miraflores as our central point. This is an easy reference point to navigate from.

 

Eat out in Lima

Sick of bland aeroplane meals? Don’t want to fork out for overpriced airport food? Venture out into the city and enjoy Lima’s incredible cuisine. Whether you’re on a budget, have a craving for junk food, or want some fine dining with a view… Lima has it all.

Have lunch on a budget at a “menu”

The city of Lima offers all sorts of tasty grub, with prices to suit any budget. There are plenty of “menu” places dotted around, where you can get a starter, main, and drink for a set price. In Miraflores, expect to pay 13 to 15 soles.

Enjoy Lima’s world-famous ceviche

We recommend trying ceviche (raw fish in a citrus juice), the flavour will blow your taste buds away! Opt for a well-reputed restaurant in order to avoid cheap and poor-quality food, which could make you sick.

ceviche - Layover in Lima

Excellent ceviche in Lima

  • Punta Sal
    If you aren’t on a budget, try Punta Sal. The quality is great and the portion sizes are generous.
    Open: Monday to Thursday 12:00pm to 5:00pm, Friday to Sunday 12:00pm to 6:00pm
    Cost: $20 to $30 USD
    Time needed: 1 to 1.5 hours
    Location: Cuadra 3, esquina con, Malecón Cisneros & Calle Tripoli, Miraflores
    From Kennedy Park: 8 mins by taxi, 15 mins by foot

Chifa restaurants

Another popular choice for Limeños (the people of Lima) is Chifa – this is a fusion of Chinese and Peruvian cuisine. You can find these on every street.

  • Madam Tusan 
    If you aren’t strapped for cash.
    Open: 12:00pm until 12:00am every day
    Cost: approx. $20 to $30 USD
    Time needed: 45 mins
    Location: Av. Sta. Cruz 859, Miraflores
    From Kennedy Park: 10 mins by taxi, 25 mins walking
  • Chifa 9 Dragones
    More economical chifa.
    Open: 12:00pm until 10:00pm
    Cost: approx. 15 soles for a starter and main
    Time needed: 45 mins
    Location: Calle Tarata 191, Miraflores
    From Kennedy Park: 6 mins walking

Fine dining

3 of the world’s top 50 restaurants are found in Lima!
IMPORTANT: You’ll need to contact the restaurant to make a reservation way in advance!

  • Astrid & Gaston
    Number 33 in the world. Contemporary Peruvian cuisine.
    Open: Monday to Saturday 1:00pm to 3:00pm and 7:00 to 11:00pm, Sunday 12:30pm to 3:30pm
    Cost: approx. $100-$120 USD for a tasting menu
    Time needed: 2 to 3 hours
    Location: Av. Paz Soldan 290, San Isidro
    From Kennedy Park: 18 mins by taxi, 40 mins by foot
  • Central
    Number 5 in the world and best in South America. Taste your way through Peru, with cuisine from the Amazon, Andes, and Ocean.
    Open: Monday to Friday 12:45 to 3:00pm and 7:45 to 11:15pm, Saturday 7:45 to 11:15pm
    Cost: approx. $100-$120 USD for a tasting menu
    Time needed: 2 to 3 hours
    Location: Calle Santa Isabel 376, Miraflores
    From Kennedy Park: 20 mins walking, 10 mins by taxi
  • Maido
    Number 7 in the world. Peruvian-Japanese fusion.
    Open: Monday to Saturday 12:30 to 4:00pm and 7:00pm to 11:00pm, Sunday 12:30 to 5:00pm
    Cost: approx. $100-$120 USD for a tasting menu
    Time needed: 2 to 3 hours
    Location: San Martin Street 399, Miraflores
    From Kennedy Park: 10 min by foot, 5 min in taxi

 

Bike

There are several companies based in Miraflores which operate bike tours in Lima, visiting Miraflores, Barranco, and other neighbourhoods. See FindLocalTrips for a number of options. Make sure you are wearing comfy clothes, suitable footwear, and bring sunscreen if necessary. It’s advisable to make an advanced booking, but there’s no problem in turning up in case they have availability.

  • Limi Bici
    They organise biking tours in Miraflores, Barranco and the historical centre of Lima. You can even do a biking/surfing tour that includes a surf lesson!
    Biking tours
    Open: Half-day tours start at 10:30am and finish at 3:00pm
    Cost: $35 to $50 USD
    Time needed: 5 hours for a half day tour
    Location: Lima Bici Office, Ave. Jose Larco 812, Miraflores
    From Kennedy Park: 10 mins walk, 8 mins taxi
    Book a biking tour here
    Rent a bike
    Open: 9:00am to 8:00pm Monday to Saturday, 10:30am to 7:00pm Sunday
    Cost: 15 soles for 1 hour / 10 soles for each additional hour / 40 soles for 4 hours / 50 soles for a full day (until 8:00pm) / 60 soles for 24 hours
  • Green Bike Peru
    They organise tours in Miraflores, excursions to the bohemian district of Barranco, and even go to the historical centre.
    Biking tours
    Open: Half-day tours start at 10:00am / 2:00pm and finish at 1:00pm / 5:00pm
    Cost: $37 USD
    Time needed: 3 hours for a half day tour
    Location: Green Bike Peru’s Office, Ave. Larco 383 Miraflores
    From Kennedy Park: Just 2 mins walking from Kennedy Park
    Book a biking tour here
    Rent a bike
    Open: 9:00am to 6:00pm Monday to Saturday, 9:00am to 2:00pm Sunday
    Cost: 15 soles for 1 hour / 25 soles for 2 hours / 75 soles for 24 hours

 

Walk

Want to stretch your legs and get some fresh air? The walk from Miraflores down to Barranco along the coast is the perfect opportunity. Catch the amazing ocean views and watch the world pass by.

View from Malecon - Miraflores, Lima

The view from the cliffs

  • From Miraflores to Barranco
    Open: 24/7
    Cost: Free!
    Time needed: 30 to 45 mins to walk to Barranco along the Malecon
    Location: Malecon de la Reserva, Miraflores 15074
    From Kennedy Park: 5 mins by taxi or 15 mins walking straight down Malecon Balta to reach the Malecon
  • Take the hipster walk
    Get all romantic at Puente de los Suspiros (Bridge of Sighs) and snap photos of edgy graffiti. If you’re here in the evening, better still – that’s when the atmosphere becomes alive, with street musicians, food stalls, and party people.
    Open: Whenever!
    Cost: Free!
    Time needed: However long you like
    Location: Puente de los Suspiros, Barranco, between Calle Ermita and Calle Ayacucho
    From Kennedy Park: 45 min walking, 20 mins taxi

 

Shop

Lima is the best place in Peru for all kinds of shopping. It might not be the cheapest, but there’s plenty of international retail stores, local Alpaca boutiques and Artisan Markets out there to keep you busy for a few hours.

  • Larcomar shopping
    Miraflores’ glamorous shopping centre, Larcomar, is an attraction among tourists and locals alike. Shop ‘til you drop in this modern and chic mall, which sits in the cliff edge overlooking the Pacific Ocean. After, relax with a well-deserved coffee or ice-cream.
    Open: 11:00am to 10:00pm
    Cost: Window shop for free, or go all out and spash your cash
    Time needed: 45 min minimum
    Location: Larcomar, Malecón de la Reserva 610, Miraflores Lima 18
    From Kennedy Park: 17 min by foot, 8 min by car
Larcomar - Lima

Larcomar shopping centre with seaside views

  • Artisan Market shopping
    For more traditional shopping, go to the Artisan Markets in Miraflores. Here you’ll find a wealth of Peruvian goods and souvenirs, from jewellery to Alpaca knitwear to fine handicrafts.
    Open: 10:30am to 9:00pm every day
    Cost: Items range from a few soles upwards, depending on what you buy. Remember to bargain!
    Time needed: At least 30 minutes… There are plenty of stalls to look around
    Location: Petit Thouars 5321, Miraflores
    From Kennedy Park: Just 7 minutes by foot

 

Museum

The Barranco district is known as Lima’s artistic hub. Visiting the area, it won’t take you long to find street art and feel Barranco’s typical bohemian atmosphere. If you are interested in the local art scene, the following two modern art museums will definitely merit your approval.

  • MATE – Mario Testino Museum
    The MATE was founded by the worldfamous Peruvian photographer, Mario Testino. Both international and national artists are featured in exhibitions, residencies, and events, alongside a permanent display of Mario Testino’s work.
    Open: Tuesday to Sunday, 10:00am until 7:00pm
    Cost: 10 soles entry
    Time needed: Approx. 2 hours depending on the exhibitions
    Location: Museo Mario Testino, 409 Pedro de Osma Avenue, Barranco, Lima 4, Peru
    From Kennedy Park: 20 mins by taxi
  • MAC – Museo de Arte Contemporaneo
    Get inspired at the MAC; here you’ll find art from the 1950s to the modern day.
    Open: Tuesday to Sunday, 10:00am until 6:00pm
    Cost: 10 soles entry
    Time needed: 2 to 2.5 hours
    Location: Av. Almte. Miguel Grau 1511, Barranco
    From Kennedy Park: 30 mins walking, 10 mins by taxi

 

Parks

Miraflores has many parks and they are all well-kept, green and breezy. Lima can get crowded, but there’s always a way to take a mini-vacation from all the madness by stepping in one of these quiet refuges.

Parque de Amor - Layover Lima

Parque de Amor

  • Kennedy Park
    By far the most famous park in Peru, and the central reference point for everybody that either lives in Lima or is just visiting. Its nickname is the cat park, and with around 80 cats hanging around the area, it lives up to its reputation. Kennedy Park has free Wi-Fi, and is close to many shops, cafes, bars and hotels. This is not the quietest park on our list.
    Open: Whenever!
    Cost: Free!
    Time needed: However long you like
  • El Parque de Amor
    The nicest parks are of course by the cliffs, they are often referred to as the “Malecon”. They offer visitors one of the best views in Lima.
    Location: Malecón Cisneros, Miraflores
    From Kennedy Park: 8 mins by taxi, 13 mins walking
    Time needed: However long you like
  • Parque Marie Reiche
    If it breaks your heart that you won’t have time to see the legendary Nazca Lines, you can visit Parque Marie Reiche: quite conveniently you’ll see illuminated versions of the lines here!
    Location: Malecón de la Marina, Miraflores
    From Kennedy Park: 12 mins by taxi, 30 mins walking
    Time needed: However long you like

 

Beach & surf

Lima has several city beaches, most are within easy reach, but they all require some effort as you have to walk down from the cliff. Lima’s beaches around Miraflores are usually not that busy, and so are perfect for a walk or just a nice place to enjoy the view.

  • Playa Redondo
    Miraflores’ Playa Redondo is the perfect place to watch surfers, or even hire a board and wetsuit and catch a wave.
    Open: Whenever!
    Cost: Free!
    Time needed: However long you like
    Location: Playa Waikiki / Playa Makaha / Playa Redondo II, Miraflores
    From Kennedy Park: 20 to 30 mins walking, 8 mins in taxi
  • Pukana Surf School
    You can either take a surfing class, or if you’re advanced you can just rent the board.
    Surfing classes
    Open: 6:30am to 6:00pm
    Cost: 100 soles for one class
    Time needed: Lessons are 1h30min, and take place at 8:00am, 10:00am, 12noon, 2:00pm, 4:00pm
    From Kennedy Park: 20 to 30 mins walking, 8 mins in taxi
    Rent a board
    Cost: 30 soles to rent full surfing equipment: Surfboard + Leash + Wetsuit, 20 soles only Surfboard, 70 soles full stand up equipment: Paddle + SUP Board + Leash +Wetsuit

 

Adventure

Still half asleep and bleary eyed from your flight? Wake yourself up by paragliding over the Malecon and see Lima and the Pacific from above.

  • Kuntur Fly
    Open: 10:00am to 6:00pm every day (recommended to do between 12:30pm and 5:00pm)
    Cost: 85 dollars
    Time needed: 10 to 15 mins for the flight, allow 30mins total
    Location: Parque Antonio Raymondi, Miraflores
    From Kennedy Park: 20 mins walking, 7 mins by taxi
    Book a paragliding tour here

 

Ruins in Miraflores

Huaca Pucllana is an impressive adobe and clay pyramid from the ancient times (200 to 700 A.D.). A guided visit is included in the admission fee, the tour is conducted in English and Spanish.

Huaca Pucllana - Layover in Lima

Huaca Pucllana ruins

  • Huaca Pucllana
    Open: Day visits: Wednesday to Monday from 9:00am to 5:00pm / Night visits: Wednesday to Monday 7:00pm to 10:00pm
    Cost: 12 soles day time / 15 soles night time
    Time needed: 45 min to 1h 15 min for the guided tour
    Location: Calle General Borgoño cuadra 8 S/n, Miraflores
    From Kennedy Park: Head north, 8 mins by taxi or 16 min walking distance

 

Entertainment

Kennedy Park is the most popular starting point for the nightlife in Mirafores. The park itself is beaming with life, and often has artists performing on the weekend. If you’re more of an indoorsy type and you don’t want to miss the latest release, you can catch it at Cinerama “El Pacifico” in front of the park. You can find movies in their original language (so no worries for those who don’t speak Spanish!).

  • Cinerama “El Pacifico”
    Open: Movies are screened from 3:00pm
    Cost: 15.50 soles (on Tuesdays it is cheaper!)
    Time needed: Approx. 2.5 hours for a movie
    Location: Av. Pardo 121, Miraflores
    From Kennedy Park: Right next to McDonalds, Park Kennedy

 

Bars

You can’t visit Lima without trying Peru’s famous Pisco. Their national drink is the Pisco Sour, a cocktail containing lime juice, egg white, syrup, and of course Pisco liquor. A more refreshing – but just as typical – option is a Chilcano, which uses ginger ale. Try one… Or three… Just don’t miss your bus back to the Airport!

Pisco Sour - What to do on your layover in Lima

The delightfully addictive Pisco Sour

  • La Cachina
    If you’re close to Park Kennedy, head to La Cachina… This bar has great vibes.
    Open: Monday to Saturday, 7:00pm to 3:00am
    Cost: Approx. 25 soles (take at least 30 soles)
    Time needed: 30 minutes
    From Kennedy Park: Just 1 minutes walking
    Location: Calle Manuel Bonilla 116, Miraflores
  • Ayhuasca
    If you’re wandering Barranco, go to Ayahuasca… This bar is famous for their Pisco menu and their eclectic decoration.
    Open: Monday to Saturday, 8:00pm to 3:00am
    Cost: Take at least 30 soles
    Time needed: 30 minutes
    From Kennedy Park: 15 mins in taxi, 45 mins by foot
    Location: Av San Martin 130, Barranco
  • Mangos
    If you’re swanning around the Larcomar, try Mangos… This restaurant / bar has one of the best views in Lima.
    Open: 8:00 am ‘til late
    Cost: Take at least 30 soles
    Time needed: 30 mins
    From Kennedy Park: 20 mins walking, 8 mins by taxi
    Location: Larcomar, Malecón de la Reserva 610, Miraflores

 

Cooking class

Use your short layover in Lima to learn how to prepare a top class Peruvian dish! Lima is considered as South America’s gastronomic capital, so there’s no better place to pick up some culinary skills whilst learning to cook with a top chef, and later impress your family and friends back home.

  • Sky Kitchen
    Open: 11:00 or 16:00
    Cost: Take at least 70 dollars
    Time needed: 3 hours
    From Kennedy Park: 10 mins walking
    Location: Enrique Palacios 470 Door Nr. 701/709 Miraflores, Lima
    Book a cooking class here

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