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A guide to day trips from Lima

A guide to day trips from Lima

Spending extended time in Lima? Chances are you’ve already visited most of the capital city’s major attractions. While the Government Palace, colonial churches, ancient huacas, museums, parks and water shows are a must visit in Lima, there are other great attractions in the outlying regions as well. If you have a bit of extra time to explore during your vacation, these top Lima Day Trips are some great spots to visit.

Fascinating Ancient Ruins around Lima


Though visitors can have their fill of ancient ruins during their tours through Lima, there are a few more notable sites just outside the city’s limits. Just over 30 kilometers south of Lima, and worth at least a half-day tour is one of these ancient sites known as Pachacámac. Dating back to the 1st century, this complex was home to several pre-Incan civilizations, with plazas, temples and palaces on site, constructed in honor of the all-powerful god Pachacámac.

Caral ruins

A bit further outside of town (200 kilometers to be exact), is the ancient city of Caral. With roots dating back to 2,600 BC, Caral is considered to be the oldest city in the Americas. Home to an extensive collection of pyramids, platforms, courts and settlement ruins, this UNESCO World Heritage Center is well worth a visit for those who don’t mind a bit of a drive.

The top Beaches Near Lima


If you’ve had your fill of history and culture, there are some excellent destinations surrounding Lima that are perfect for kicking back and relaxing. The beaches of El Silencio are less than 30 miles from the capital, and make for an excellent day of relaxing, eating, swimming and soaking up the sun.  A few other nice beach destinations are Punta Hermosa, Punta Negra and Pucusana (considered one of the best beach destinations, though the farthest of them all). Leave the mainland for some excellent island locations outside of Lima, known not only for their beaches but also their wildlife and outdoor attractions.

The Best Islands Near Lima

With Sea Lions in Palominos Islands

The Palominos Islands and Ballestas Islands are two of the best outdoor day-trip destinations from Lima. Visiting the Palominos Islands, tourists can take half-day boat trips, learn about local history, culture and fishing industries, enjoy the beautiful beaches or soak up the huge variety of sea birds, and even get the chance to swim with the sea lions that call the islands home. For those who have the extra time for the trip- the Palominos Islands are definitely worth it!

Ballestas IslandsThe Ballestas Islands are a quieter touristic area, with excellent attractions both on and off land. Known as Lima’s “little Galapagos, this is another great wildlife refuge where visitors can soak up the vast array of bird life, over 3,000 sea lions that roam the beaches and waters, along with 1,500 other species of indigenous island animals.

Your Lima tour guide will recommend that the best time to visit Peru’s Beaches and Islands is from December to March when the weather is the warmest. 

Wine Tours Near Lima

Ponte de Lima area

Heading south from Lima, sits the city of Ica. Located 300 kilometers from the capital, Ica is not only historically and culturally significant, but has some excellent vineyards to visit as well. Perfect for a weekend visit, the wineries, cultural attractions and surrounding deserts are a fun escape from the capital for a few days. 

Credits and License Details: (User Emmanuel Dyan, CC BY 2.0), ( Marco Silva Navarette modified CC BY NC-ND-2.0), (José Antonio Galloso, CC BY NC-SA- 2.0), (User Paul SeligmanCC BY-NC-ND 2.0), (User Mathew Knott, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0), (User lin padgham, CC BY 2.0)

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