The business district of San Isidro and Miraflores are the main areas for shopping, restaurants, cafes and theatres. At the top end of Av. Larco is the Parque Kennedy, where artists sell paintings during the weekend. My wife and I visit this area on a regular bases. Next to the Pacifico Cinima is the Café Haiti, a prime spot for people-watching. Around the corner in Ricardo Palma, is the more upmarket Vivaldi Café. Walking down Diagonal you will find firstly great imported export-quality Peruvian coffe in the highly trendy Café Café and a little further on is a side street crammed with pizzerias with open-air tables. A cobbled road leads down a gully to the Costa Verde, as the sweep of beaches is called.
`Wife and I out for a Pisco Sour, the national drink of Peru, at the bar in the above picture. About 400 feet up overlooking the Pacific. We also know some places that have a menu with an all you can eat meals for $3.50 US each. That's about what we paid for each of our drinks.
Lima has many choices of museums to visit. The Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology in the Plaza Bolivar is one of the most interesting museums in South America, with a superb collection of pottery and textiles from all the main cultures of ancient Peru. The Museum of the Republic, contains exhibits from the colonial and independence periods. The National Museum, opened in 1990, in a neo-brutalist mausoleum on Av Javier Prado Oeste in San Borja. The museum contains impressive mock-ups of pre-Columbian archaeological sites, and an ingenious replica of the Chavin stela, a massive carved stone idol. The Gold Museum contains a private collection with some fine items and artifacts. The Museum of the Inquisition, next to the Congress in the city center, is in the building where generations of supposed heretics were tortured and tied. The stocks in the underground dungeons and torture chambers are originals.
The Plaza de Armas is a great starting point for exploring Lima. Stand in the middle of this spacious and handsome square, by the 17th-centruy bronze fountain, and you are at the historic heart of the city. On the north side is the Government Palace, which was completed in 1938, and suffers from the past of Peru's dictators of the time for grandiose French baroque. On weekdays at 12:45 pm, you can see the changing of the guard. The eastern side of the square is dominated by the cathedral, which was reconstructed many times due to earthquakes. Inside, the cathedral is large and unusually austere. Opposite the cathedral is the Municiplidad de Lima, or town hall. The pleasant interior includes a fine library. Next to it on the square is the headquarters of the Club de la Union, a lunchtime mixture of politicians and professionals.