Many people arrive to Peru with the Andes in mind more than anything. Some may take the time to explore Lima which is something we highly recommend. Even if tourists stay in Lima it may just be for a night or near the airport. The colonial center of Lima is well worth the visit because it has centuries old and massive cultural treasures.
The most enjoyable things to explore in the colonial center are the following:
Plaza de Armas:
The hub of pedestrian life is this massive square wherein bands can be heard playing, families gather to celebrate culture, the multitude of Peru’s various ethnic groups display pageantry and the pride of a powerful and diverse nation is showcased among majestic structures. It seems like the plaza never sleeps as there are always visitors, assemblies and activities going on.
Several beautiful Churches:
The most majestic beauty of old Lima is found in its places of worship. These temples are just ornate expressions of stone, gold and metalwork. Many charge a fee to enter but have had an amazing job of restoration complete with historic crypts, lifelike statues, gift shops, audio tours and treasuries. The Cathedral is the best followed by San Francisco and Santo Domingo.
Museums and Restaurants:
A great museum to discover is Convento de San Francisco, it is considered the major sampling of the religious colonial art in America. There is the museum of Gold which brandishes some of Peru’s most distinguished finds and the Archeological Museum which boasts hundreds of thousands of years of human activity and artifacts.