Sleeping in Airports

Lima Airport Layover Sightseeing

This article includes links to our travel partners at Tripadvisor, where you can read traveller reviews, book tours and plan your visit to Lima. 

lima airport layover sightseeing
(photo credit: badahos / Shutterstock)

The historic centre of Lima is located only 12km from Lima Jorge Chavez International Airport (LIM) and other areas of the capital city are easily accessible for some layover sightseeing. Most attractions are based in one of two areas so it’s easy to create an itinerary for both short and longer layovers. It’s a great place to do a walking tour, visit museums, sample some of the best food in South America and even see ruins within the city. Keep reading our Lima Airport Layover Sightseeing guide to discover more.

Airport Overview

Although not the largest airport, LIM boasts 24-hour shopping and food facilities so there’s enough to keep you occupied for a few hours.  There are also lounges at Lima airport that you can pay to access. For more details, take a look at our Lima Airport Guide.

Lima Sightseeing Attractions

Below are a few of the top things to do in Lima:

Historical Centre

Lima historic center layover sightseeing
(photo credit: Mark Green / Shutterstock)

A great way to hit all the sights in the historic centre is to participate in a free walking tour. Generally, these start in the morning and you simply pay the guide a tip based on your enjoyment. Whether guided or not, try to make it to the Plaza de Armas at 11:45 AM for the changing of the guard and stop at one of the many restaurants to sample Peruvian delicacies of ceviche, cuy, anticuchos and even alpaca steak! For those seeking to soak up more history and culture, Lima is a hotspot for museums and art galleries. Once you’ve finished exploring, you will have to try the cocktail of choice – a delicious pisco sour!

  • Time required: A couple of hours to half a day to walk around the historic centre. If you’re tight on time, consider doing a self-guided tour or ensure you know the end time of a booked tour in advance.
  • How to get there: Check out this Google Map for details on public and private transit options and the associated time required.
  • Plan your visit: Visit Tripadvisor or Guruwalk for more information on the best walking tour to suit you.

Parque de Las Aguas

Circuito Mágico del Agua in Lima layover sightseeing
(photo credit: Paolo Costa / Shutterstock)

This beautiful park is situated close to the historic centre and is best visited at night. It contains ten water fountains, known as El Circuito Mágico del Agua, which are lit up with vibrant colours for a show at regular intervals throughout the evening. Music plays and a short film about the history of Peru is projected onto the largest of the fountains. It lives up to its name as a magical experience and you can also enjoy treats from fairground-style food trucks.

  • Time required: One to two hours. The park is fairly small but make sure you have time to see the light show and walk around all the different fountains.
  • How to get there: Check out this Google Map for details on public and private transit options and the associated time required.
  • Plan your visit: Tickets with a specific date must be booked online in advance but only cost around $1. For tickets and information, visit the Lima Tourism website.

Miraflores Boardwalk

Larcomar mall layover sightseeing
(photo credit: Christian Vinces / Shutterstock )

Miraflores is a popular area to stay in Lima and for good reason. The famous Larcomar Mall sits atop a cliff looking down over the Peruvian coast and offers a modern array of restaurants and shops. This is a great spot to watch the sunset with a drink in hand and also the place to start or finish the Miraflores Boardwalk. The walk follows a pretty path along the coast with various mini gardens, sculptures and places to sit along the way. The Lugar de la Memoria museum also sits on the coastal area and is worth a visit to learn more about Peru’s fairly recent internal conflict. Signage is in Spanish but if you have data, you can scan a QR code to translate everything into your preferred language.

  • Time required: If you’re stopping for food, a drink or doing some shopping, you can easily fill a half day in this area.
  • How to get there: Check out this Google Map for details on public and private transit options and the associated time required.
  • Plan your visit: Visit Tripadvisor for more information on the Miraflores Boardwalk and surrounding area.

Huaca Pucllana

Huaca Pucllana lima airport layover sightseeing
(photo credit: Adwo / Shutterstock)

For those keen to experience some Peruvian ruins, you can do this on your layover too! Huaca Pucllana is in the Miraflores area and viewing the ancient Incan pyramid in the middle of a bustling modern city is quite a sight. A tour guide is obligatory and is included as part of the ticket.

  • Time required: The tour takes approximately one hour, not including the travel time to and from the airport.
  • How to get there: Check out this Google Map for details on public and private transit options and the associated time required.
  • Plan your visit: Visit the Huaca Pucllana website for more information on opening times and an overview of the history. Tickets must be reserved online in advance and you pay at the site.  Read traveller reviews on Tripadvisor.

Airport Transportation

Lima Airport isn’t located too far from the city and there are multiple public and private transport options, depending on the time you have available and which area you choose to visit. The attractions discussed in this guide are based around either the historic centre or Miraflores.

  • Shuttle bus: Airport Express Lima is an easy public transport option to get between LIM and Miraflores. You can book online in advance or on the bus. For more information, visit the Airport Express Lima website.
  • Taxi: There are multiple taxi companies based at Arrivals in Lima airport.
  • Car Rental: Avis, Budget and Hertz operate out of the airport. However, due to traffic and limited parking, this isn’t the best transport option for a layover of a day or less.

Before You Go: Layover Tips

Now that you are motivated and excited about your mini layover vacation, just make sure to check a few final logistical concerns off your list before you fully commit.

  • Do you need to organize a visa to leave the airport? Requirements change frequently and for each nationality, so be sure to seek out current details on the availability, cost and procedures of obtaining a transit visa.
  • When is your next flight’s check-in time? Make sure you double-check with your airline exactly when you need to be at the airport – and plan your layover accordingly.
  • What are security wait times like at the airport? Some airports are notorious for long security wait times, so be sure to do a bit of research in advance and factor that into your overall time budget.
  • What’s happening with your luggage? When you check in to your first flight, be sure to confirm whether your luggage is checked through or needs to be picked up between your connecting flights. Visit our Lima Airport Guide for information about luggage storage.

Other Useful Resources

Finally, here are a few handy resources to help you plan your layover even more thoroughly: