Dubbed the City of Kings, Lima was the capital of the Spanish Empire in South America for almost two centuries, unmatched in the Old World for wealth and elegance until a disastrous earthquake in 1746. Today Lima's best neighbourhoods are Miraflores, San Isidro and Barranco, where smart restaurants and luxury hotels surround pyramids, neat parks and ocean-front shopping districts.
Lima's historic centre
The colonial centre is one of Peru's ten World Heritage sites. It's host to some 1,600 intricately carved wooden balconies and such Spanish-era gems as the Plaza de Armas, the stunning, 16th-century Iglesia de Santo Domingo and the 18th-century Basilica and Convent of San Francisco – a spectacular collaboration between colonists and skilled local craftsmen. With its leafy squares and wide boulevards, it's a delight to explore and, as Lima serves as the starting point of the vast majority of Peru holidays, it offers a fascinating insight into the country's intricate and often complex history.
Lima's culinary delights
To sample Lima's superb array of culinary delights, take some time to explore the restaurants of Miraflores, which range from cheap and cheerful comedores to lively pavement cafes and fine-dining venues blessed with sweeping Pacific Ocean views. Tuck into freshly prepared ceviche, brush up on the local street food, or splash out with a meal at Central – a Michelin-starred restaurant voted the best in Latin America in 2017. Or, for a real insider's look at the local culinary scene, why not book onto a food tour? Join an expert guide as you taste your way through the country's culinary landscape, and wash it all down with a glass or two of pisco sour.