As the Peruvian capital and largest city in this wonderful South American country, Lima is the gateway to Peru. It’s also a hub for Oneworld’s LATAM Airlines, and Avianca Peru of Star Alliance. Almost all visitors to Peru will arrive and depart through Jorge Chávez International Airport (LIM) in Lima. This includes visitors to Machu Picchu – Peru’s most-visited tourist attraction – who will pass through Lima before flying onwards to Cusco in the Sacred Valley.
Whether you’re visiting Lima on the way to Machu Picchu – or elsewhere in the world – this AFF guide will help you to make the most of your Lima stopover!
How to get from Lima Airport to the city
There are two main ways to get from Lima’s airport to the city. Buses are cheaper, but the most convenient option is to take a taxi. Before you exit the arrivals hall at Lima Airport, there is an official taxi desk. Boca68 recommends using an official taxi rather than negotiating with the (many) waiting taxi drivers as you leave the airport terminal.
Once out you will see the official Taxi desks and the Airport Express Bus desk. The Airport Express bus is ok from what I’ve heard. It goes to Miraflores area, the usual foreigner haunt. But slowly people are moving to other more interesting areas of the city. So it may not be convenient for all. But its cheap. Official Taxis to Miraflores , San Isidro, are about ~$25-30 AUD (60-80 Soles) and are perfectly fine. Don’t, I repeat don’t go outside and get a taxi from the 100’s of drivers waiting. You will very likely get harrassed and ripped off! The ‘official’ lanyards they wear are nothing more than costumes.
When getting around Lima, taxis are reliable and inexpensive. But Uber is also available and works well. Beware that Lima traffic (especially travelling to/from the airport during rush hour) can be horrendous.
To get to the airport, again I recommend uber or taxi beat. From Miraflores or San Isidro its a good hour in traffic. Peak times closer to 2 hours. Just be aware of that when planning your departure. Lima and its traffic is dreadful, but an accident can make it impossible. Always give yourself an extra 30 minutes.
Where to stay in Lima
Many Lima hotels are located in the neighbourhood of Miraflores. Milboo recommends the Marriott Hotel in Miraflores during your Lima stopover. Barranco is also a nice, trendy district.
Many flights from Lima to Cusco depart very early in the morning. (This is due to weather conditions that limit operations at Cusco Airport during the afternoon.) If you have an early morning departure from Lima, consider staying close to the airport the night before. There are two Wyndham hotels right outside the airport terminal, a Holiday Inn across the road, and some (much) cheaper options a short drive away. However, we wouldn’t recommend staying near the airport for your entire Lima stopover unless you don’t have enough time to venture into the city. Jorge Chávez Airport is located in the city of Callao, which is an industrial area outside of Lima.
What to do in Lima
If it’s your first visit, the Historical Centre of Lima is worth seeing. If you’re staying in Miraflores, check out the cats in Kennedy Park and the views from Larcomar Mall. And RooFlyer recommends a visit to Museo Oro del Peru, the gold museum.
One of the great things about Lima is its many excellent restaurants, serving up a mixture of Peruvian and international cuisine. Some AFF member recommendations for Lima restaurants include Central, Maido and Kjolle. For great churros, you can’t go past Manolo in Miraflores.
Lima International Airport lounges
There are currently no airport lounges in the domestic departures area of Lima Airport. But a new lounge, El Salon by Newrest, is currently being built in the domestic terminal.
If you’re departing Lima on an international flight, Oneworld frequent flyers and LATAM Business Class passengers have access to the newly-opened Hanaq Lounge.
There is now a lounge for One World elites. after a long time of no lounge at all. It’s called Hanaq. Relatively basic, quite large and often busy. Before One World and Star Alliance had separate lounges, but for the time being they share the same. Drink selection is poor and food selection is average. Seating is functional only. WiFi is ok. Often queues to get in.
There are also two airport restaurants in the international terminal that accept Priority Pass.
Do you have a great Lima stopover tip to share? Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: Lima (LIM) Stopover Tips