Cruise and Beach Destinations
in the Caribbean, Mexico & Beyond
South America

Lima Peru Tourist Attractions

Lima Peru government palace
The site of the government palace dates back to the 16th century.

Some of the best known tourist attractions in the cruise port of Lima, Peru, date back to the times of the Incas and their Spanish conqueror, Francisco Pizarro.

Lima Plaza Mayor (Main Square)

One of the most dominant tourist attractions in Lima is the old colonial city in the historic center of the area. The Lima Plaza Mayor or Main Square, known locally as the Plaza de Armas, is surrounded by the Lima Cathedral, Government Palace and Provincial Municipal Authority of Lima. The cathedral and palace are two major attractions in their own right. A bronze fountain from the 17th century stands in the middle of the square.

Lima Cathedral

The cathedral sits on the location of the first major church in Lima. It contains historical treasures including the Baltasar Noguera choir stalls, several side altars and the remains of Francisco Pizarro, the Spanish conquistador who conquered the Incan Empire in the 16th century. The Museum of Religious Art has a major collection of paintings, sculptures, chasubles and chalices. The cathedral is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.

Government Palace

The Government Palace, which is home to the country’s President, also sits along the edge of Lima Plaza Mayor. It is popular with tourists because of the changing of the guard at 11:45 a.m. daily. The palace was built in 1535 by Francisco Pizarro, who founded the city, and rebuilt after a fire in the 1920s. It contains numerous courtyards and halls dedicated to important people in the country’s history. Visitation is by appointment only, according to the Peru Tourism Promotion Board.

San Francisco Church and Convent

This 17th century church, convent and plaza lies about two to three blocks east of the Lima Plaza Mayor on Jr. Ancash block 3, depending on the starting point. Points of interest include the main facade of the temple, the cloisters area containing the Museum of Viceroyalty Art, and the catacombs that was used as a cemetery in colonial times. The complex is open to the public from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. daily.

Gold Museum

“Gold Museum of Peru and Weapons of the World” is a two-story building with with more than 20,000 firearms and gold antiquities. The address is Alonso de Molina 1100, Monterrico, in the Santiago de Surco district of Lima, about 10 miles southeast of the Main Square.

Parque de la Amistad (Friendship Park)

Friendship Park has a traditional mountain train station and an original 1926 steam engine with three carriages for touring the park. The site also has an artificial lagoon and a 29-meter high Moorish arch. Like the Gold Museum, Friendship Park is located in Santiago de Surco about 10 miles south of Plaza Mayor at the corner of Ave. Caminos del Inca block 21.

Pachacámac Archaeological Complex

A popular tourist attraction outside of Lima is Pachacámac, which was a major commercial center dating back to pre-Inca times. The site contains palaces, plazas and temples built with mud including the important Temple of the Sun and the Acllahuasi. Temple of the Sun and the Acllahuasi rose during the Inca era in the 15th and 16th centuries. Pachacámac also houses a museum with numerous items found at the site. The complex is located nearly 20 miles south of Lima along the Panamericana Sur Highway near Lurin. It is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.

Pachacámac Town (Lurín)

The Pachacámac complex is located in the Pachacámac district, whose capital is a village with the same name. Visitors can see the Plaza de Armas, Pisco Museum, Green Ravine, Lúcumo Hills and the Love Stone, a rock formation that looks like a couple sitting and embracing.

Scott S. Bateman is a professional journalist who has traveled widely throughout the Caribbean and the Americas. He is the author of four books about cruising in the Caribbean, Alaska and Mexican Riviera.
February 17, 2020

Best Times to Visit Argentina

Buenos Aires plaza
For most people, the best time to visit Buenos Aires and most other places in Argentina is in spring.

Cartagena Cruise Port Guide

Explore several one-day itineraries for traveling to Cartegena via cruise or otherwise.

South American Cruise Tips

Christ the Redeemer
A South American cruise can last from three days to 66 days. The most common is seven days.

Santos Brazil Cruise Port Tips

Falkland Islands Cruise Port Guide

Best Cartagena Beaches

Cartagena Cruise Port Attractions

Great Beaches in Argentina