Essential Lima

Tour Creator

Iain is a History graduate and academic writer in the social sciences, with a focus in Latin American history and anthropology. From published translations of colonial Mexican manuscripts to research…Read More Bio »



Remote Tour Included



In Lima’s old center, on our tour, we will unfold the historic wealth of the City of Kings through the stories and architecture of its iconic, chiefly colonial buildings, public spaces and monuments.

Avoid the Crowds

Allows you to explore without having to be shoulder-to-shoulder in a large tour group

Created by an exceptional travel writer

Written by an academic writer in the social sciences, with a focus in Latin American history and anthropology

GPS Directions

Easy-to-follow GPS directions to get you from one point to the next on your tour

Highlights include:

El Gran Hotel Bolivar, Basilica and Convent of Santo Domingo, and Casa de Aliaga

Remote Tour Included

As with all our tours, a remote tour is included that can be enjoyed from home


Essential Lima

  1. La Plaza San Martín - As our point of departure, we will explore the famous Plaza San Martín, a jewel of the early republican period, along with the legendary general who this square honors.
  2. El Gran Hotel Bolívar - The Ritz of Lima, this opulent bastion of high society was a favorite for traveling Hollywood stars - let’s find out about the historic hotel’s golden age, quirks, and splendors.
  3. Casa Courret & Jiron de la Union - A fine example of early 20th century bourgeois fashionability, we will analyze the artistic intricacies of the residence’s facade, and its harmonious location on what was once Lima’s main commercial street, especially popular with the city’s elite.
  4. Museo de los combatientes del Morro de Arica - we pay homage to the combatants of the War of the Pacific, fought between Chile and Peru, a sombre carnage whose conclusion has left gaping wounds for many Peruvians to this day.
  5. Casa de Osambela - Besides its beautiful facade and traditional wooden balconies, the aristocratic mansion has an intriguing history, including its well-connected 19th century owner and its rebellious architecture.
  6. Basilica y Convento de Santo Domingo - This famous Dominican convent and church is one of Lima’s oldest and most impressive complexes, housing countless treasures of artistic and theological merit, including the remains of Lima’s patron saint, Santa Rosa de Lima.
  7. Casa de Allaga - Lima’s and possibly South America’s oldest mansion still houses the descendants of an influential colonial family five centuries on: learn about its architectural wealth beyond its iconic wooden balconies, and its pre-Hispanic foundations.
  8. Plaza de Armas - The birthplace of colonial Lima, this ample and spectacular square has long been acclaimed as one of the Hispanic world’s finest. We will explore its evolution and functions from Pizarro to the modern era, discussing its iconic aesthetic features, including those of the municipal palace, and its celebrated historic events.
  9. The Buildings of Plaza de Armas - We will explore the history, characteristics and architecture of Peru's key political and religious buildings that have accompanied the nation throughout the ages.
  10. San Francisco Convent & Catacombs - Discover the bountiful pearls of this baffling complex, as well as the expansive underground graveyard lurking below them.

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