- Domestic Arrival (eg. from Cusco, Juliaca/Puno): about 45 minutes from the time the plane lands to the time you step into the arrivals hall, including luggage handling
- International Arrival: about 1-1.5 hours from the time the plane lands to the time you step into the arrivals hall, including going through customs, getting your passport stamped, and collecting your luggage
- Domestic Departure (traveling in Peru some more): you need to arrive to the airport about 1.5 hours before your flight departure
- International Departure (going home): you need to arrive to the airport about 2.5 hours before your flight departure
How to Spend a 6 hour layover in Lima
After considering all logistics, you should have just about 3 hours to spare at leisure. 3 hours is the perfect amount of time to go on a short foodie tour of either historic Lima or the modern zone such as Miraflores or lovely Barranco districts.
- The old downtown has incredible architecture and history that predates all other colonial eras in South America, not to mention the most locally authentic restaurants and shops so you can feel Lima like a limeño.
- Hang out on the shores at La Punta peninsula just a short distance from the airport. This is one of the most traditional neighborhoods of Lima and its heritage is distinctly Italian-Peruvian. Have some so-fresh-it's-almost-still-moving ceviche and other seafood dishes, see the colorful wooden homes of Chucuito barrio, and grab a pisco sour as a the sun sets beyond the horizon!
- If you want to see the cosmopolitan side of the capital, head to Miraflores to see the stunning Pacific cliffsides and islands off the coast, duck into a world-class restaurant (ask us for recommendations) or cafe (Puku Puku and La Postreria are two of our favorites), shop for cute souvenirs at the Inca Markets and small local boutiques (ask us about our special shopping tours), or play with the kittens in Kennedy Park.
- You can also go to the bohemian Barranco zone just 5 minutes from Miraflores and take a quick walk around and find hidden galleries (try Dedalo), bars, gelato shops (Blu and Crem de la Crem are our top picks), or drink a pisco sour while admiring the Bridge of Sighs.
After considering all logistics, you should have just about 5-6 hours to spare at leisure. This is great for taking in a bit of everything: some amazing Peruvian food, a glimpse of the oceanic coast, and some time enjoying Lima's history!
- From the airport, go straight to the Miraflores district to soak in its highlights: walk along the Costa Verde cliffside and admire the Pacific waves, go paragliding above the skyscrapers (10-15 minutes), or rent a bicycle for 1 hour (Bike Tours of Lima and MiraBici are good choices) to satisfy your inner curious child.
- When you feel hungry, test out the popular theory that says Peruvian food is among the best in the world! Choose any local restaunt to try, or take our signature Peruvian Food & Market Tour to taste a little bit of everything all at once.
- Then go to the historic downtown for a walkabout; enter the main Cathedral which is one of the most important on the continent as well as the San Francisco Church to see its underground catacombs network. From there, it is a easy ride back to the airport, in time for your next flight!
After considering all logistics, you should have just about 8 hours to spare at leisure. Not bad!
In addition to all of the suggestions already listed above, here are some other destinations and activities we recommend:
- Visiting the Huaca Pucllana pyramid which predates the Incas by centuries, as well as Huaca Huallamarca smack dab in the middle of the financial district San Isidro... what a contrast!
- Checking out the pre-Columbian artifacts and relics housed at the impressive Larco Museum, and whose cafe is worth a stop on its own.
- Skip the touristy stuff and take a trip to the outskirts of the city to a settlement neighborhood where you can really see how almost 50% of Lima citizens live. It is unsafe to visit on your own, so contact us if you would like to arrange a visit.
- Hiking to the top of Morro Solar hill in Chorrillos district which grants magnificent panoramic vistas of the urban metropolis.
- Stopping by Gamarra, one of the largest garment districts in this hemisphere, and purchase some fashionable clothes for great prices, not to mention the fun of discovering Peruvian street food in the same area.
Of course, in a city of over 10 million residents, there are countless things to do in Lima! For more ideas and help making arrangements for your Lima layover tour experience, contact us via our website or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope to see you soon!