Day Trips Around Lima Peru

Lima is a starting point to many travelers that visit Peru since it receives most of the international arrivals by flight. However, many tourists tend to overlook this region since the most popular attractions are located in the Peruvian Andes, and here we’ll give you some reasons to not do the same thing.

You may not know this but there are many attractions to visit in and outside the city, without even forgetting about the opportunity of sampling the best of our gastronomy in this busy capital. However, we know that many of you may not have the time to explore it to its fullest, which is why we’ve come up with a segment to show you what to do in Lima in one day.

On the other hand, for those travelers that would love to take an off-the-beaten-track route, this blog gathers some of the most unique places to visit around Lima so you can start planning the best itinerary through Peru.

The surroundings of Lima are as impressive as you can imagine, with coastal deserts full of mysteries and scenic beaches that you’ll definitely love to visit. 

1. Visit the Caral Citadel

This is one of the most important archeological findings in our territory since it is believed to be the oldest citadel of the Americas. However, the place wasn’t taken into consideration until the year 2000, when further research revealed its actual antiquity.

The Citadel of Caral is over 5,000 years old since it was developed between 3,000 and 1,800 B.C. Therefore, it is believed that this ancient civilization could have been the mother to all Andean cultures in Peruvian territory.

According to experts, Caral could have lived a peaceful period since there weren’t any signs of war or weapons among the archeological findings of the region and its surroundings. Impressively,  Caral was an economic capital dedicated to the trading of their agricultural products with the inhabitants of the Peruvian coastside and other parts of the area.

This ancient citadel was the beginning of an era and you can experience this important part of our history from Lima. The archeological site is located 184 km from Lima and we have the perfect excursion for you! Check this blog about our Caral Tour while you’re here.

2. Discover the Temple of Pachacamac

If you’re looking to know another part of our extensive pre-Columbian history, the Temple of Pachacamac is the way to start! This ancient ceremonial center is located 50 km away from Lima and gathers over 1,200 years of history in just one place.

It is believed that the Pachacamac Temple was built between 200 B.C. and 200 A.D. though it is uncertain to know by whom since there are many structures built by different civilizations. As far as we know, 4 important cultures occupied the site in separate periods.

During those eras, the Pachacamac God was thought to be a powerful oracle that could predict the future and control the movements of the earth. It was feared by many and only priests could enter the shrine that held its idol.

Simply put, It was a pilgrimage center, visited by people from different societies in search of spiritual guidance. This ancient temple marks the religious evolution of our ancestors since even the Incas occupied this sacred place and attributed it a great mysticism including their own gods.

If you’re interested in visiting this wonder of the ancient world, our Pachacamac Temple Private Tour will take you there! Make sure to know everything about it while you’re here.

3. Take a full-day tour to Paracas and Huacachina

This is by far the most popular day trip from Lima since it takes you to two natural wonders full of adventures and unforgettable locations. The region of Ica is one of the most visited in the country, thanks to its beautiful deserts and scenic beaches.

Most full-day tours to Paracas and Huacachina start early in the morning though it is totally worth it if what you’re looking for is the perfect getaway trip from this bustling capital. Paracas will be the first stop, located 4 hours away from Lima.

This famous beach town is known for holding an impressive natural landscape, where the dry desert of Peru harmonically converges with the cold waters of the Pacific ocean. On this adventure, you’ll get to visit this special spot in the Peruvian coast to later sail across the sea and discover the most biodiverse place in the region.

The Ballestas Islands are the main attraction here and you can visit them on a 2-hour boat ride. These rocky islands are home to hundreds of endemic and migratory birds, humboldt penguins and the largest colony of sea lions.

Continuing with the itinerary, you’ll head down to the driest part of the desert, where you’ll get to explore the only natural oasis of South America, Huacachina. This natural wonder is the perfect spot to just relax and disconnect from the outside world, while also experiencing some adventure sports during your stay.

There you’ll have the opportunity of taking a dune buggy ride through the sand dunes as if you were on a roller coaster, to later slide through several dunes on a sandboard! After this exciting activity, you’ll catch the sunset from a very special spot in the desert.

If you’d like to experience this region at its fullest during your time in Peru, make sure to contact our travel experts for more information!

4. Swim with the sea lions at the Palomino Islands

For those who didn’t know, the Lima coastside also holds an extensive biodiversity, similar to the one in the Ballestas Islands. In this case, the Islas Palomino are one of the most sought after natural attractions in the capital of Peru, and unlike the Paracas Small Galapagos, here you’ll be able to live a more exciting experience in the pacific ocean.

Thanks to the lack of predators in this area, the surrounding islands are home to a large colony of sea lions. On this occasion, you’ll get to explore some of the tourist attractions within the Callao district and its surroundings, plus an activity that you surely won’t like to miss!

The itinerary will take you to La Punta, a beautiful neighborhood with a colorful republican architecture. This barrio has the most delicious cevicherias (seafood restaurants) and sweeping views of the pacific ocean.

You’ll also get to know a haunted military base located in the San Lorenzo island and a high security prison in El Frontón island before reaching the Palomino Islands, where you’ll get to swim with the sea lions.

Although some of you may think that swimming with the sea lions could be dangerous, it is actually quite funny and frightening at the same time. Once you get the hang of it and realize how inofensive these animals are, you’ll feel like the little mermaid yourself surrounded by ‘aquatic dogs’ in every way. 

5. Go south and discover the Nazca Lines

Personally, we would have considered it rude to leave the enigmatic Nazca Lines out of this listing. These ancient geoglyphs are a riddle yet to be solved but certainly a wonder of the ancient world that has left us totally intrigued and captivated.

The enormous figures have remained a mystery though being studied for over 80 years. However, as new research is carried out on the site, new information has come to surface, allowing us to understand a bit more of this enigmatic archeological site.

The Nazca Lines were allegedly created by the Nazca culture and though there are tons of  hypotheses ranging from its use as an astronomical calendar to a landing site of an extraterrestrial spacecraft, the site could have been used for ceremonial purposes.

Currently, the only way to fully appreciate these enormous geoglyphs is by taking a flight over the Nazca lines, which takes about 35 minutes in total but allows you to see the most well-preserved figures from above the clouds.

As you can see, Lima is not to be overlooked, there are many authentic things to do in our capital that you’d love to visit. To help you organize your trip, we have some special itineraries for you! Check our Peru travel packages and start planning the trip of your dreams with us.

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