You must see Magdalena del Mar, Lima at least once with rooms to rent: Also called Plaza Mayor, this broad square is the historical center of Lima and the most logical starting point for sightseeing. Most of the buildings from the original city were lost in the earthquake of 1746 – the only original structure standing in Lima’s Plaza de Armas is the bronze fountain in the center, built in 1651. Its buildings reconstructed following the quake, Plaza de Armas is today a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Along with the cathedral, the square is surrounded by the Archbishop’s Palace; the Casa del Oidor; and the Palacio del Gobierno, official residence of the president that was built on the spot where Jose San Martin declared the Independence of Peru on July 28, 1821. You can see the changing of the guard there on weekdays at noon.
Parque Kennedy, named after the 35th US president, hosts nightly events from dancing to art exhibits. It also houses hundreds of cats that prowl the park at night. Watch the cats and do some people-watching while eating picarones, a fried Peruvian dessert made of fried sweet potatoes dipped in honey. Peñas are music venues or restaurants, or even someone’s house, where traditional Peruvian music is played by a live band. This music is worlds apart from the electronic cumbia that has captured Lima.
For a cultured afternoon, nothing beats checking out the old haunts of Peru’s most famous writer, Mario Vargas Llosa, whose novels such as The War of the End of the World, saw him rise to international acclaim. Having spent most of his childhood in Miraflores, the district is scattered with places that influenced his writing. Contact the Municipality to join the tour starting from Parque Kennedy, which stops via various roads and buildings that have been featured in his work. One of Lima’s most prominent landmarks, the hill of Cerro San Cristobal, rises to the northeast of downtown Lima. If you want a panoramic view of the city, this is where to go. Take a taxi or a tour bus from the Plaza de Armas (walking here isn’t particularly safe). From the top, you can see right across the city and all the way out to sea—at least on a clear day. Thick coastal fog can severely obscure the view, so pick your moment wisely, while a tour in the late afternoon allows for views enhanced by the twinkling lights of the city below.
For traditional Peruvian handicrafts, try the numerous Artisanal Markets along Av. La Marina, just north of the neighborhood (technically in Pueblo Libre, which we’ll talk about next week). There are all the usual suspects of crafts from all over the country, and it’s a great place to go to get your last-minute gifts. The prices are slightly higher than they would be in a smaller town, but they’re lower than the artisan shopping area of Miraflores. Read even more images of this incredible ocean view penthouse on FB. Need a place to rent in Lima, Peru? Find extra info on Magdalena del Mar penthouse to rent.
The Torre Tagle Palace is a stately looking building that blends several architectural styles in downtown Lima. The building blends Moorish, Andalusian, Asian and Criollo features, with even some materials coming from Spain. Two dark wood balconies grace the front of this Spanish Baroque building, while the interior features high ceilings and Sevillian tiles. The palace was built in the early 1700s s a home for the nobleman who served as treasurer for the Royal Spanish fleet. Today, it houses the offices of the Peruvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, meaning it is generally not open for public visits.