Dutch publisher and writer Ronald Elward moved in July 2008 to Lima and investigated every corner of the city. "With a history of more than 4,000 years, Lima is perhaps the most fascinating city in the continent. In many ways, it's a hidden city and the best way to appreciate its architectural and historical richness is by walking. Ancient pre-Columbian temples, Colonial churches and mansions, abandoned haciendas, Republican houses, early XX Century buildings and modern villas, all share a space, side by side, in this amazing city - surely the Americas' best kept secret."

Check out below the three full day options and 17 shorter walking tours!

Schedule September 2015

The following walks are scheduled for the month September 2015 for which you can sign up. Price is 12 dollars (or 35 soles) per person, except for Barranco and the Culinary Walk, which are 18 dollars (or 50 soles) per person and Afro-Peruvian Night which is 45 dollars per person. Minimum 5 persons and maximum 12 persons.

Apart from these walking tours you can book a LIMA WALK on any day of the week, and apart from English, in Spanish, German or Dutch. Whole day tours are possible too. Please mail limawalks@gmail.com with your request.

5 September 15.00 Pueblo Libre
6 September 10.00 Chorrillos

12 September 09.00 Culinary walk Miraflores/Surquillo
12 September 15.00 Colonial Lima
13 September 10.00 Callao, Chucuito and La Punta

19 September 15.00 Barranco, with exlusive visit to the house of artist Victor Delfin
20 September 10.00 Rimac, with visit to the Convento de los Descalzos

27 September 10.00 Barrios Altos

02 October 20.00 Barranco - Afro-Peruvian Night (NEW)

One day in Lima? Choose your option!

Starting July 2015 Lima Walks is offering full day tours (only as private tours), apart from the shorter walking tours. The visits are designed to get the most out of your stay in Lima, and they still have a good component of walking because… by walking you´ll get a much better feel of this unique city!

The city has a history that goes back over 4,000 years and highly developed pre-Hispanic civilizations left many traces here. Then from 1535 till the end of the 18th century it was the richest and the most important city in South America, as the capital of all Spanish dominions from Panama southwards. After Independence it fortified its position as the most important city of Peru, and today Lima is not only the oldest capital of South America but one with the most diverse people, architecture and history.

In the last decade Lima has also become the gastronomic capital of South America, and some of its restaurants are among the top in the world. And this is no coincidence. It is the consequence of 5.000 years of civilization which saw the growth of several kingdoms, the presence of the unsurpassable Inca Empire and the arrival of the sumptuous viceroyalty of Peru. Not only they were used to cook for emperors and viceroys but the land herself gave birth to some of the most exquisite native products which had the added benefit of the huge variety of fresh fish and seafood available. In addition to this, the cuisine became truly cosmopolitan, with influences from all continents through the influx of migrants from Europe, Africa and Asia.

1. History and Architecture
2. Food and Markets
3. Lima Highlights

Option 1 History and Architecture

After picking you up at 8.30, we start in Miraflores and visit one of the oldest pre-Hispanic temples from 1,600 years ago. We then go to the historic center for a two-hour walking tour through the most imposing legacy of viceregal Lima. We visit one of the oldest and most glorious convents in the Americas, and after that we go into the only mansion in the continent that still is being lived-in by descendants of the original owner, back to the XVI century. After lunch we go to Barranco, a former summer resort and nowadays the most bohemian neighborhood of Lima, which has preserved its authentic atmosphere. Here we visit the private house of one to the most renowned Peruvian artists. At 5 pm you´ll be back in your hotel.

Includes: personal and expert tour guide, transport costs, entries, coffee. Lunch costs are additional, depending on choice of venue

Option 2 Food and Markets

After picking you up at 9.30 at your hotel we do a walking tour, which includes a visit to the unique market of Surquillo, followed by a tasting of Peruvian coffee and local chocolates in nearby establishments. After this we go to the district of Lince, home to some of fiercest regional restaurants, to taste the local specialties from three different regions of Peru. In between we visit the local market. Then it’s time for some exercise and we go to the historic center. Here we start with a Tunki coffee, voted some years ago in the USA as the best organic coffee. The tour passes by the main square and goes through a popular neighborhood where we´ll have ‘picarones’, a traditional Afro-Peruvian desert, and we visit Chinatown. We end in a beautiful 1940s bar where you can enjoy the national cocktail, pisco-sour. At 5.30 pm you´ll be back in your hotel.

Includes: personal and expert tour guide, transport costs, entries and all consumptions (lunch based on shared dishes)

Option 3 Lima Highlights

If you just have one day and want to experience the best Lima has to offer, this a tour for you. It starts at 8.30 at your hotel. First we go the bohemian neighborhood of Barranco for a short walk past its historic houses and a taste of Peruvian coffee. After this we visit the best archeological museum in town, Museo Larco, in the district of Pueblo Libre. A day in Lima is not complete without ceviche for lunch. We have several restaurant options in Miraflores from mid-range to top. This is followed by a visit the historic center, where we have a walking tour including a visit to the Cathedral, one of the most imposing religious buildings in the continent, and then to a glorious colonial convent. We end with a private cocktail in the only mansion that is still in the hands of the same family since the 16th century. At 5.30 you´ll be back at your hotel.

Includes: personal and expert tour guide, transport costs, entries, coffee and cocktail. Lunch costs are additional, depending on choice of venue.

Please mail limawalks@gmail.com for questions

Walk 17 Barranco - Afro-Peruvian Night (5 hours)

Anticuchos with corn and potato
Through the colonial era and up until de 1960s the Afro-Peruvian population, descendants of Africans that were brought to work on cotton and sugar plantations, was a very visible group in Lima. They used to live in and around the areas of Barrios Altos (walk 3) and Rímac (walk 4), and which are considered the birthplace of creole (criollo) culture. These neighborhoods are now home to more recently arrived migrants and the typical music and dance places (peñas) are gone. Some of them have moved to Barranco and this tour will give you an idea of this very Limeño culture.

The "Zamacueca"
Programme starts at 8 pm at the Plaza Municipal of Barranco. First we go eat ‘anticuchos' (marinated and grilled beef heart), a vegetarian option is ‘choclo con queso', corn with cheese, followed by ‘picarones', a traditional desert. After that a small walk through Barranco including a quick visit for a pisco cocktail in Ayahuasca Bar (voted some years ago one of the best bars in the world by Condé Nast Travel Magazine). At 11 pm we arrive at Don Porfirio, where you can feel the real soul and music of Afro-Peruvian culture. Programme ends at 1 am (people can of course stay longer if they wish), and return to the Plaza Municipal.

Minimum 5 persons, maximum 15 persons
Costs 45 US dollars per person (includes Tio Mario, Ayahuasca Bar and entrance Don Porfirio, other consumptions are at the client's own expense)

Walk 16 Monserrat – The route of the Peruvian Saints (2 hours)

Monserrat is a popular neighborhood in the historic centre of Lima and home to the two most important Peruvian Saints, Santa Rosa de Lima and San Martin de Porres. The Señor de los Milagros originates from here as well. The area was formerly known as Pachacamilla, where an indigenous community came into contact with slaves. In the 17th century an Angolan slave painted an image of the crucified Christ on the adobe wall of his dwelling. This wall kept standing during several earthquakes. A copy of the painting is carried around in the most important religious processions of Lima, each year in October. Monserrat is as well the area of Lima that was first entered by a new Viceroy after he had disembarked in Callao and went to his new post. The tour includes visits to the churches and mansions along the route that are normally open and a visit to the museum of the Convent of Santo Domingo where the tombs of Santa Rosa and San Martin are located.

Walk 15 Chorrillos – From Riches to Rags and back (2 hours)

The walking tour in Chorrillos covers both nature and city of this historic district of Lima. Central element is the Morro del Solar, a rock formation from the cretaceous period, between 145 and 65 million years ago, that was considered sacred in prehispanic times. First we walk around it and then climb it to have a look at the three monuments on top, one commemorating the battle of 1881. There is a magnificent view over the bays at both sides and the sprawling city of Lima. After that we explore the remains of the early 20th century summer resort of Chorrillos with some beautiful restored rancho´s and go down to the beach to visit the small fish market.

Walk 14 Callao - Surrounded by the Sea (2 hours)

Harbour cities always have their special atmosphere; first point of contact with people and products from other places, the smell and view of the sea. Callao is no different. The walk in Callao is however not focussed on the harbour, but the residential areas of Old Callao, Chucuito and La Punta. The two hour walk starts and ends in front of the fortress Real Felipe, dating from the second half of the 18th century, when the threat of the pirates was already over. Chucuito is a colourful neighbourhood where in the past Italian immigrants settled. La Punta was an aristocratic summer resort that has maintained very well this character with ranchos and art deco style houses. Chucuito and La Punta formed originally the prehispanic town of Piti Piti, probably the capital of the cacicazgo of Callao, but completely destroyed in the earthquake of 1746. They are located on a peninsula of only three blocks wide, on either side you see the ocean. Across the water is the island San Lorenzo. Old Callao dates from the second half of the 19th century and first half of the 20th century, with the typical republican style houses with enclosed balconies.

A lunch in one of the cevicherias in La Punta or Callao can be included in the walk.

Walk 13 San Miguel/Pueblo Libre – Prehispanic Lima (2.5 hours)

The district of San Miguel is home to the largest and best preserved prehispanic urban complex in the metropolitan area of Lima: Maranga. Maranga has more than 50 huacas, pyramids that served for administrative and religious purposes, and has been occupied from the Lima Culture (200-600 AD) until ca. 1570, when the indigenous population was resettled in the so called Reducciones de los Indios. The highpoint was during the Ichma Culture (1100-1470 AD), when Maranga was a regional capital. The walk includes a visit to the Parque de las Leyendas, where the major part of Maranga now is located with the on-site museum, a walk through adjoining Pueblo Libre where several huacas are hidden in the neighbourhood and past the imposing Mateo Salado archaeological complex to the old centre, which used to be the Reduccion de los Indios Santa Maria Magdalena, where the population of Maranga resettled. Costs 15 dollar per person (as of 5 persons).

Walk 12 Lince - Taste the Regional Diversity of Peru (2.5 hours)

The popular district of Lince, right in the middle of Lima, is famous among locals for its many regional restaurants. Most of them started as huariques, literally a hole in the wall, and have now become culinary institutions. Here you will find the dishes that inspired the chefs of the sophisticated restaurants in Miraflores and San Isidro, who developed the new Peruvian cuisine. Lima Walks has selected four restaurants whose offer represent the wide variety of flavours, ingredients and ways of cooking that define the rich cuisine of this country. We try dishes from Arequipa in the South, Ayacucho in the mountains, the Amazon forest in the East, and forgotten colonial desserts from Lima, especially recreated for this tour (as of 5 persons, less than 5 persons an Afroperuvian desert). The walk also includes a visit to the nearby market of Lobatón, one of the most authentic and less well-known markets in the capital, dating from the 1940s.
Timing: 12.30 - 15.00

Walk 10 Los Olivos – New Lima on old foundations (2.5 hours)

Los Olivos is now the bustling entrepreneurial heart of the so called Cono Norte, but 4,000 years ago an unknown civilization built its enormous U-shaped temples in this area, the valleys of the rivers Chillón and Rimac. So what better then to start the walk with the best preserved one, the huaca Garagay. Until the migration after the 1960-ies the lands here have been used for agriculture. The main buildings (casa hacienda) of some haciendas remain, hidden in urbanizations. These urbanizations have grown and improved. The district has become wealthy and now boasts grand shopping centres . The walk starts at Metropolitana stop Tomas Valle and ends at Metropolitana stop El Pacifico. From the station Tomas Valle to the area with the huaca Garagay we'll go in taxi (or combi), the rest is on foot.

Walk 11 Miraflores/Surquillo - Culinary walk (2.5 hours)

This walk explores the basis of Peruvian gastronomy and starts at 09 am and ends at around 11.30 am in the Ovalo de Miraflores. First (if on a Saturday) we walk to the BioFeria in the Parque Reducto, where there is sufficient time to have look and try some products. Then we walk to the market in Surquillo, but before we visit that, we’ll have a Peruvian coffee in Il Cappuccino in calle Manuel Bonilla. They serve a blend of coffee from Villarica, Chanchamayo and Jaén. Then it’s time to visit the market in Surquillo, with its fruit, meat and fish sections. After the market in Surquillo we’ll have a chocolate tasting at Xocolatl, as well in calle Manuel Bonilla. Xocolatl produces a range of bonbons made of Peruvian cacao originating from Tarapoto. And finally we return to the Ovalo. On other days but Saturday the BioFeria is substituted for some historical parts of Miraflores.

Walk 9 Barranco – Arts and Artists (2 hours)

Slowly, the old and charming district of Barranco is coming back to life. It is the district that has best preserved its authenticity. It used to be and still is the favourite location of artists and designers. It developed as a seaside resort in the 19th century and still has this charm. The route passes by the typical ranchos in all possible colours and houses of past en present sculptors, writers and poets, now and then overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Part of the walk is an exclusive visit to the house of one of the most important contemporary Peruvian sculptors Victor Delfin.

Walk 8 Miraflores – Quintas and Ranchos (2 hours)

Miraflores has transformed itself several times. Before 1800 it was a small indigenous village. Then it became a summer resort until it was destroyed by Chilean forces in the Pacific War (1879). In the twenties it was a middle to upper class residential area, with villas for the rich and houses in estates (quintas) for the middle class. After the Historic Centre was abandoned it became the new commercial and leisure district, full with restaurants, bars, hotels and hostels. In the last ten years the villas and houses are being pulled down and replaced by apartment buildings. This route includes the remaining older buildings from the first decades of the 20th century. To get an idea of how it used to be.

Walk 7 San Isidro – Upper Class living (2 hours)

The present district of San Isidro was also developed on agricultural land, on that of the haciendas San Isidro and Orrantia. In the forties the district became a refuge for the upper class that left the historical centre. The route includes the former olive grove of the hacienda San Isidro, the chalets from the twenties in this park, the temple (huaca) Huallamarca and the Country Club Hotel and a walk around the golf club were you'll see another huaca and modern architecture.

Walk 6 Jesus Maria and Magdalena del Mar – Modern living (2 hours)

Before it was urbanized, the area of the walk belonged to the hacienda Matalechuzas. Of that nothing is left. The urbanization went in several stages, leading to the development of the avenue Salaverry with mansions in neo-colonial style, the residential complex San Felipe from the sixties, modern villas from the forties. They are all included in the route, which gives a good overview of the different Peruvian styles of living from the twenties till the sixties.

Walk 5 Pueblo Libre – Huacas and Haciendas (2 hours)

The town for the Indians, founded in the 16th Century, and located around the Church of Santa Maria Magdalena is the core of the present district. This settlement was surrounded by agricultural land, dotted with the abandoned temples of the original inhabitants and the haciendas of the Spanish conquerors. Now those edifices are hidden by residential buildings constructed in the 20th century. Around 10 buildings are looked at in detail, including the Mateo Salado archaeological complex and two smaller temples, the church of Santa Maria Magdalena and two former haciendas.

Walk 4 Rimac – 18th Century architecture (2 hours)

Although Rimac is part of the Historic Centre, it was not enclosed by the city walls. It is located on the other side of the river Rimac and developed in the 16th Century around the Church of San Lazaro. In the 18th century the district reached its peak when during the days of viceroy Manuel de Amat (1761-1776), who built several important buildings in this district. This led as well to an influx of nobles, who built their summer palaces here. Now it is the most run down part of the centre of Lima. In Rimac around 12 building are looked at in detail, including the smallest church of Lima, the Church of San Lazaro, the Alameda de Descalzos and the Paseo de Aguas. Optional, but advisable, is a visit to the Convent of the Descalzos.

Walk 3 Barrios Altos –18th and 19th Century living (2 hours)

Barrios Altos has been a residential district since the start. Poor people, rich people, Indians, Spaniards, Africans, Italians and Chinese, all have left their traces in this neighbourhood. The route follows basically two pre-Hispanic roads and crosses the former flow of a pre-incan irrigation channel. Barrios Altos is together with Rimac the district were the creole culture originates in its mixture of influences. Around 30 buildings are looked at in detail, of course the Church and Convent of San Francisco, but eight other churches as well, several quintas, including the Quinta Heeren, the former hospitals of the Indians and Africans and the mysterious "stone of the devil".

Walk 2 Around Plaza San Martin – 20th Century architecture (2 hours)

During the presidencies of Augusto Leguía (1919-1930) and José Manuel Odría (1948-1956) the Historic Centre of Lima felt the breath of modernisation. Leguía celebrated the first 100 years of Independence by building Plaza San Martin. And at the same time a true financial centre was erected. Under Odría Abancay and Tacna avenues were widened and ministries moved to contemporary tower blocks. Around 30 buildings are looked at in detail, including of course all the buildings around the San Martin square, head-offices of seven banks and insurance companies and Hotel Bolívar, one of the claimants of the invention of Peru’s national drink: Pisco Sour.

A pisco sour in Hotel Bolívar or Bar Queirolo (from 1874) can be included.

Walk 1 Around Plaza de Armas – Colonial Lima (2 hours)

The Historic Centre of Lima has been the seat of the Colonial and Republican governments since the Spanish foundation in 1535 on top of an existing indigenous urban centre. Until the forties it was as well the residential area for the country’s most influential families. The route passes all the important and lesser known official buildings, churches and houses, with attention to the different building styles and the typical balconies. More than 30 buildings looked at in detail, including of course the Church and Convent of Santo Domingo, the Church of San Agustin, the Church of San Pedro, Casa Osambela and Casa Riva Agüero.

A visit to Casa de Aliaga can be included, as you can only visit this mansion through an agency or with a guide.