10 Best Non-Touristy Things To Do In Lima, Peru - Updated 2024

| 4 min read

The city of Lima is one of the largest cities in South America. With a colonial centre in the heart of the city and hints of colonial architecture and design throughout the streets, this is actually quite a happening city to be. If you are going to Lima as a tourist, you already know that you should visit places like the Plaza de Armas which is a 16th-century cathedral, the Larco Museum to learn about the history and gaze at beautiful artefacts or explore the colonial centre of Lima which is known for its churches and cathedrals. So, instead of being just another tourist, here is a guide for you which has all the awesome local and non-touristy things to do in Lima, Peru.

1. Enjoy buying some fresh local produce at Mercado Central

Mercado Central is one of the most famous and busiest markets in Lima. This central market has everything – the hustle bustle of the city, local Peruvian food, street vendors selling fruits and vegetables, small shops selling everything under the sun, from exotic fruit to giant walnuts. If your idea of a vacation is to eat some street food or buy some really fresh local produce to cook a great meal for yourself, then you must visit.

Mercado Central

Address: Jirón Ucayali 615, Cercado de Lima 15001, Peru

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 7am - 9pm; Sun: 7am - 6pm

Price: 5 USD onwards

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2. Excite the foodie in you by visiting the Gastronomy Museum of Peru

The Gastronomy Museum of Peru, more commonly known as the Casa de la Gastronomía Peruana, is a culinary museum as the name suggests. This unique museum has exhibits which showcase local, traditional and cultural cuisine as well as historical cuisine. This museum explains the emerging culinary scene in Lima, Peru and has some really exotic ingredients on display. A great place to visit for a foodie!

The Gastronomy Museum of Peru

Address: Jr. Conde de Superunda 170, Cercado de Lima 15001, Peru

Website: The Gastronomy Museum of Peru

Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 9am - 5pm (closed on Mon)

Price: 1 USD

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3. Take in the historical essence of the wooden balconies of Lima

non touristy things to do in lima peru | take in the historical essence of the wooden balconies of lima
Source: instagram

The balconies of Lima are actually a very special part of Lima’s heritage. These wooden closed balconies have been there since the Spanish colonial period, which means they were built in the 17th or 18th century! And these balconies aren’t hard to spot, all you have to do is take a leisurely walk in the historic centre of Lima. If you’re a history buff or have the slightest interest in architecture, then add this to your list of non-touristy things to do in Lima, Peru.

Cathedral of Lima

Address: Jirón Carabaya, Cercado de Lima 15001, Peru

Opening hours: 24/7

Price: Free

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4. Try not to get spooked while you explore the Catacumbas

The Catacumbas of Lima is probably one of the most famous cemeteries in Peru, and definitely one of the oldest. By definition, a Catacumbas is a man-made chamber which is used as a burial ground – this tradition comes from the Roman Empire. Throughout the tour of the Catacumbas, you will be able to see a lot of bones and skulls so I only recommend this for people with a strong heart.

Basílica y Convento de San Francisco de Lima

Address: Jirón Lampa, Cercado de Lima 15001, Peru

Website: Basílica y Convento de San Francisco de Lima

Opening hours: 9:30m - 5:30pm (daily)

Price: 3 USD

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5. Go for a night tour of the Presbítero Maestro

Tumba de Luis G. Albrecht - Cementerio Presbítero Maestro - Lima
Source: Photo by user Eduardost used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Presbítero Maestro is another famous cemetery in Lima, Peru. Though it is actually a museum cum cemetery, it is more popular as a cemetery than a museum – no surprise there! So, this cemetery has 766 mausoleums and over 90 monuments, which means it is definitely worth the visit. This cemetery also has a guided tour at night which I recommend if you want to hear about ghost stories and witch tales.

Presbítero Maestro

Address: Jr. Ancash - Barrios Altos, 1611, Cercado de Lima 15003, Peru

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 8am - 7pm; Sat - Sun: 8am - 6pm

Price: 2 USD

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6. Shop till you drop at the Larcomar Mall

Lima, Peru - Larcomar shopping center
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Marie Thérèse Héb... used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Larcomar Mall is a very posh and fancy mall which is located in the heart of Lima. This is the place where international tourists usually visit, so it’s a great place to go to meet new people. This mall has some really nice shops and places to eat. But what is so special about the Larcomar Mall is that it has a beautiful view of the Pacific Ocean since it is located on top of a reef. And you know what that means! Rooftop bars and restaurants with an ocean view!

Larcomar Mall

Address: Malecón de la Reserva 610, Miraflores 15074, Peru

Website: Larcomar Mall

Opening hours: 10am - 10pm (daily)

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7. Broaden your horizons at the San Inquisición Museum

A media asta luce la Bandera Nacional del Congreso de la República, en expresión de duelo por el lamentable fallecimiento del expresidente de la República, Alan García Pérez. Q.E.P.D.

Posted by Congreso de la República del Perú on Wednesday, 17 April 2019

The San Inquisición Museum which basically translates to the museum of inquisition and Congress. This museum is basically a tour of what happened during the inquisition, so it focuses mainly on tortures. There are around six to eight figures in torture, which gives you a fair idea of what the Inquisition was all about.

San Inquisición Museum

Address: Plaza Bolivar, Jirón Junín, Cercado de Lima 15001, Peru

Website: San Inquisición Museum

Opening hours: Fri - Wed: 9am - 5pm (closed on Thu)

Price: Free

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8. Try your hand at stand up paddle boarding (from USD 51.0)

This one-and-a-half-hour session of stand up paddle boarding is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. First of all, you’re going to get to paddle along the Lima coastline with views of the Pacific Ocean – does it get any better than that? This tour has an instructor who will give you personal attention, so don’t worry about having any prior experience in the sport. Hands down, the number one thing on my list of non-touristy things to do in Lima, Peru.

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Stand Up Paddle Board in Lima

Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes

8 reviews

9. Enjoy birdwatching in Villa Wetlands (from USD 164.0)

This is a guided tour from Lima to the Villa Wetlands. Usually, the Villa Wetlands are not commonly frequented by tourists, which is why it is a great place to get away from the noise of the city. This five- to six-hour tour lets you relax while birdwatching along the lagoon and spotting wildlife along the way. It is definitely the best way to enjoy your day and take a break from the hustle bustle of the city.

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Birdwatching in Villa Wetlands - Lima

Duration: 5 to 6 hours

1 review

10. Enjoy the views while you're up in the sky (from USD 80.0)

Who doesn’t love paragliding? Honestly, paragliding is the best way to enjoy the beautiful views of Lima, Peru, from high in the sky. This is a 20-minute paragliding session during which you can see the beautiful and unending Green Coast of Lima. You’ll also get an HD video of your paragliding session. You can happily show off your Lima adventure to your friends and family back home. Definitely a great way to see the city.

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Lima Green Coast Paragliding Experience

Duration: 1 to 2 hours

53 reviews

Who's excited to go to Lima?

I think the best way to enjoy any city is by actually exploring the city and living like the locals instead of just going to all the popular tourist spots. If your idea of a holiday is the same as mine, then I’m sure this list of non-touristy things to do in Lima, Peru will be helpful!

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
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A freelance content writer by profession, Anaanya is an avid traveller whose main goal in life is to visit as many new places as possible. Anaanya enjoys travelling, not just because of her love...Read more

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