48 hours in Lima: away from the tourist trail

48 hours in Lima: away from the tourist trail, Aracari Travel

At Aracari, many of our private vacations to Peru begin with a luxury city break in Lima. The country’s enchanting capital is often the gateway to discovering Peru’s most popular travel experiences, whether a luxury train ride to Machu Picchu or guided wildlife walks in the Amazon Rainforest. Yet as Peru travel specialists, we are privy to the secrets of this age-old city, guiding our guests on how to ensure this cosmopolitan metropolis is so much more than a layover.

Peru’s coastal capital is brimming with unforgettable experiences if only you know where to look. Since 1996, Aracari has pioneered personalized travel to the region, bringing clients closer to the essence of this eclectic city, even if travel time is limited to 48 hours in Lima.

So as we clock through two days’ worth of hours spent in the coastal capital, gain a glimpse into a luxury vacation to Peru with Aracari. From securing reservations in Peru’s acclaimed restaurants such as Central – to unearthing its pre-Columbian past, and from the world-famous surf scene to private gallery visits, and a stay in one of the best luxury hotels in Peru welcome to 48 hours in Lima, Aracari style.

Explore our luxury Peru vacations beginning in Lima


Friday: 48 hours in Lima

Head from the airport to Atemporal Hotel | 2 pm

Tucked away in a 1940s Peruvian mansion, Atemporal is one of the best luxury hotels in Lima for those looking for serenity in the city. Recently refurbished by the awarding-winning team behind some of the top hotels in Peru, the timeless aesthetic offers a tranquil retreat in the heart of Lima’s Miraflores district, the perfect base from which to explore the wonders of Lima.

There are just 6 guest suites at Atemporal, making it ideal for those seeking the seamless service of a grand hotel but in a much smaller and more intimate setting. Masters of smooth check-in, our team will help maximize time in the city.

Wash away jetlag surfing the waves | 4 pm

Peru is recognized globally as being one of the best-surfing destinations, with almost 2,500km of Pacific coastline stretching from the north to the south of the country. As a top luxury travel agent in Peru, Aracari has contacts with some of the best surf instructors in Lima. So, what better way to spend an afternoon during 48 hours in Lima than trying something new at the city’s Costa Verde shore, riding the waves beneath soaring cliffs and the magnificent Lima skyline.

Afterward, we’d recommend opting for a seafood snack in one of the many restaurants that line this part of the city – offering exceptional views out onto the ocean.

Find foodie fusion at the award-winning Osaka | 9 pm

One of Lima’s top-rated restaurants, Osaka is a pioneer of Nikkei cuisine, which combines Japanese and Peruvian flavors and cooking techniques. Aracari guides always recommend the best dishes to introduce guests to this style of gastronomy, ensuring dinner here is one of the best foodie experiences in Peru.

Saturday: 48 hours in Lima

Trace the eclectic oddities of Peruvian art with a hands-on workshop and a one-of-a-kind visit to a private art collection | 9 am

Begin your first full day in Lima with a private art workshop hosted by an acclaimed Peruvian artist – whose work has been exhibited everywhere from Seoul to Miami. Welcoming you to his studio in Barranco, Lima’s bustling bohemian district – your host will present you with a 20cm tall 3D-printed plastic figure representing the pre-Columbian ‘Wakos’, which you will decorate with brightly colored paints and materials alongside the artist himself.

The Wakos represent pre-Columbian and Pan-Andean spirituality in new form – making this workshop a fascinating and engaging way to learn about Peruvian history and the way ancient cultures are now reimagined alongside urban landscapes like Lima. This particular artist combines respect and understanding of ancient mythology with the pop-cultural elements of Eastern anime and toy-making to present their eternal themes in a way that feels more relevant to a younger generation.

Next, you’ll enjoy a private visit to the charming Pedro de Osma Museum in the district of Barranco. Available exclusively to Aracari clients, this private museum was once the home of a Peruvian aristocrat and passionate collector of viceregal art, and today houses an invaluable collection of Peruvian art, spanning from the 5th to the 18th century. The intimate, family-run museum also has an incredibly rare display of pre-Columbian antiquities dating from as far back as 500BC that remains relatively undiscovered by the public.

Sample the authentic taste of Lima at one of its best markets | 1 pm

One cannot spend 48 hours in Lima without visiting one of the city’s colorful food markets. The culinary arteries of Lima, produce from all over the country is sold at these foodie hotspots, providing the ingredients to some of the capital’s most acclaimed eateries.

Our choice of market can be found in a central neighborhood once a no-go zone for travelers – it is now fast becoming a gastronomic haven – if, that is – you know where to look. With the intuitive guidance of our in-house Gastronomic Advisor Maria Julia Raffo and our Friend in the City, Lima-local Angie Pelosi , enjoy lunch led by the instinctive knowledge of their hometown – scouting out the most delicious vendors in the city, often before anyone else. See the two of them in action here.

Head downtown to Lima’s landmarks| 3 pm

In the colonial area of Lima lies the iconic Cathedral, the Convent of Santo Domingo, and the Main Square with its beautiful neo-colonial style buildings. Casa Aliaga is also well-worth a guided visit, reportedly the oldest home on the continent and one that is still family-owned after 17 generations.

And since we’re the experts in personalized Lima itineraries, there’s the option to visit La Casona de San Marcos; the Convent of San Francisco and its catacombs; Huaca Pucllana; or the Museo de la Inquisition – and even private cocktails at Casa Aliaga.

Enter foodie mecca at Central restaurant | 9 pm

The final evening in Lima should be spent seated at a highly sought-after table in Central restaurant. Recently rated number 1 in the World’s Top 50 Restaurants for 2023, Central delivers ambitious and worldly fusion from chef Virgilio Martínez Véliz, who has crafted a series of modern, molecular dishes using ingredients native to Peru.

Sunday: 48 hours in Lima

Take to the skies and paraglide | 10 am

An unmissable activity in Lima is the opportunity to paraglide over the city and its coastline. Available on clear days throughout the year, although best in Summer, paragliding here is an exhilarating experience, providing gliders with a soaring vantage point from which to admire the sprawling capital and expansive ocean.


Visit the Amazonian artists of the Shipibo women | 1 pm

For the final hours of 48 hours in Lima, we recommend an experience that will transport you to the Amazon rainforest. You’ll journey to the district of Rímac, where the largest urban indigenous community in the city is located, mostly composed of people from the Shipibo-Konibo ethnicity.

Known for their unique artistry, and the promotion of their ancestral art, you’ll be invited into the home of one of the artists, learning about the meanings of the ancestral Kene, while painting your own canvas with the same natural dyes used in the Amazon.

Depart for your onward Aracari adventure | 4 pm

All the exclusive experiences detailed in our luxury travel guide to Lima are curated within our bespoke Aracari itineraries, ranging from 7 days to 14 days and longer. Whether our guests leave Lima to explore the country’s spellbinding south or uncover the secrets of the lesser-visited north, this mesmerizing capital is always the ultimate introduction to a luxury vacation to Peru.

Discover for yourself why we are the leading travel specialists for bespoke itineraries in Peru and South America and book a one-to-one call with one of our travel designers today.

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