If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the hustle and bustle of Lima, it might be time to take a break and explore some of the beautiful destinations that are just a short trip away. While Lima is a wonderful city with plenty to see and do, sometimes it’s nice to escape the grey skies and immerse yourself in the natural beauty and cultural richness of the surrounding areas.
So why not take a day to disconnect from the city sightseeing and embark on one of these exciting day trips from Lima? From stunning beaches and ancient ruins to beautiful mountain ranges and charming colonial towns, there’s no shortage of amazing places to explore.
Whether you’re looking for some relaxation or adventure, these day trips have something for everyone. So pack your bags and get ready to experience the diversity and wonder of Peru’s stunning landscapes and rich culture. Whether you’re seeking serenity or excitement, these day trips from Lima are sure to provide a much-needed respite from the everyday grind.
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THE 10 BEST DAY TRIPS FROM LIMA
Looking to experience more of Peruvian culture and life beyond Lima? Here are our top picks for the best day trips from the city. These trips will allow you to discover new sights, sounds, and flavours in this beautiful country.
This article also includes details on how to get to your destination from Lima by public transportation or private car, which can be tricky to find online (especially in English).
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Day Trip From Lima to Chosica
If you want to escape from the cold and fog, a day trip to Chosica is an excellent plan. It takes less than an hour to get there, but the weather and the fresh air feel completely different.
Once you get there, walk around the parks and the central plaza. The street food is amazing, especially when it comes to anticuchos, picarones or churros. Or you can visit one of the many country restaurants to indulge in a Pachamanca, or maybe roasted guinea pig, for the most adventurous.
Horseback riding is also a popular activity in the surrounding countryside, offering breathtaking views and the chance to explore the local landscape.
Another option is to opt for a full-day pass to one of the scenic country clubs and hotels in the area. For example, Decameron El Pueblo offers the use of the installations, plus lunch and drinks.
How to get to Chosica from Lima
There are a few different options for getting from Lima to Chosica.
By Public Transportation
This option takes about twice as long as other methods, but it can be a budget-friendly option. To take the bus, you can catch a Lima-Chosica coaster at various locations throughout Lima, such as Av. Venezuela, Plaza Dos de Mayo, Av. Alfonso Ugarte, Paseo Colon, and more.
You can also take any transportation that goes through Vía Evitamiento and arrives at the Santa Anita bridge, then transfer to the Lima-Chosica coaster at the Central Highway (Carretera Central).
Alternatively, you can take any transportation that reaches Vitarte and transfer to the Central Highway at a designated stop, such as the Puruchuco Metro.
The buses run from 5 am to around 12 am and cost around S/. 4, with slightly higher prices on Sundays. Make sure to ask about the price before boarding to avoid any surprises.
By Shared Taxis
There are several pickup locations in Lima where you can catch a ride to Chosica:
- In the centre of Lima, at Av. Abancay with Jr. Leticia, in front of the Mala stop. They leave every day until approximately 9 pm. The cost for a minivan is 7 to 8 soles per person.
- In the centre of Lima, between Jr. Chota and Paseo Colón, one block from Plaza Bolognesi. They leave every day until approximately 9 pm. The cost for a minivan is 7 to 8 soles.
- In the centre of Lima, across from the 1st block of Av. Colonial (Plaza Dos de Mayo). They leave every day until approximately 9 pm. The normal cost for a minivan is 7 to 8 soles.
- At the óvalo de Santa Anita (in front of Atento and in the same óvalo in front of Luz del Sur). They leave every day until approximately 11 pm. On weekends, they run all night. The cost is 8 to 10 soles.
- At the Santa Anita bridge, there are Coaster-style microbuses that go directly to Chosica for 5 soles. The schedule is generally from the afternoon until the evening.
- Next to the Orrantia Theater, between Av. Javier Prado and Av. Arequipa. It is an informal stop, but you can usually find a car there. The cost is 10 to 12 soles per person.
Autopista Ramiro Prialé: This is the most recommended route as there are no traffic lights in the nearly 10km stretch from Vía Evitamiento to Huachipa. However, traffic can get heavy in some sections.
A toll must be paid to use this road.
It can be accessed from the north, south, and centre of the city by simply reaching Vía Evitamiento and taking the exit between Puente Nuevo (north) and Av. Ferrocarril (south).
The passage through Huachipa has a 4-lane bridge and new access points.
After reaching Huachipa, continue on the Central Highway to the km mark for the location you want to visit. The trip from the centre of Lima to the centre of Chosica takes between 1 hour and 1.5 hours. Keep in mind that starting at 5:30 pm, this route can have heavy traffic (from Chosica to Lima), so another option is to take the Central Highway. In the morning hours, Av. Prialé is free of traffic (from Chosica to Lima).
Carretera Central: This is the second option for reaching Chosica. There is a bypass at Ceres (Vitarte), but there is still vehicular congestion at the Ate-Vitarte municipality. To take this route, you must reach the Santa Anita bridge and take the Central Highway.
Day Trip From Lima to Pachacamac
Pachacamac used to be one of the main religious centres on the Peruvian coast for pre-Incas cultures. It is only 30 km away from Lima and with easy access through the Panamericana Sur highway.
On a day trip from Lima to Pachacamac, you can visit its intriguing religious compound, built around 200 AD. It was one of the most important pilgrimage destinations in pre-Incas Peru. It is surrounded by pyramids dedicated to the sun and the moon, temples, and plazas. If you are a history fan, you’ll love learning about the Moche and Huari civilizations, their customs and their way of life.
After exploring the site, you can enjoy a nice meal in one of the charming country restaurants of Pachacamac. I can personally recommend you try La Gloria del Campo or Chaxras. They are both great options that serve delicious organic food and work under local, sustainable development.
How to get to Pachacamac from Lima
You can easily depart from Lima and explore the ancient city of Pachacamac by taking an organised tour. Our partner, Viator, offers a selection of tours that feature knowledgeable guides who can provide insights and information about the sites you’ll visit.
These tours are a convenient way to see Pachacamac and learn more about its history and cultural significance.
Take the Panamericana Sur and then exit at km 25 (35 minutes). Enter the Antigua Panamericana Sur and turn onto the Conchán bridge until you reach the Pachacámac intersection. From there, take Av. Manuel Valle and follow it to the historic town of Pachacámac. In total, it should take you around 50 minutes to get to Pachacamac from Lima by car.
By Public Transportation
Take a bus on the Antigua Panamericana Sur and get off at the Pachacámac intersection. From there, either catch a ride with a car in the immediate area or go to the Av. Manuel Valle bus stop and take any bus that goes to the historic town of Pachacámac. It will take around 1.5 hours to complete this route.
Day Trip From Lima to Paracas
Paracas is a beautiful and unique destination, offering a range of activities for visitors to enjoy. One of the main attractions of the area is the National Reserve of Paracas, which is home to a diverse array of wildlife.
While there, take some time to relax at one of the beautiful beaches, but be sure to check with park security about the sea conditions beforehand. Sometimes manta rays may be present, which can make swimming dangerous.
In addition to the stunning beaches, you may also have the opportunity to spot flamingos feeding at the shore as you explore the area. Don’t forget to visit the J.C. Tello museum, which offers exhibitions about the marine life of the region as well as the ancient civilization that lived in Paracas from 700 BC.
The Paracas culture is known for its distinct and striking practice of artificially deforming their skulls to have elongated craniums, a feature that has piqued the curiosity of many UFO hunters.
Other activities in the area include birdwatching, hiking, and exploring the stunning dunes.
How to get to Paracas from Lima
By Public Transportation
The journey from Lima to Paracas by bus takes around 3.5 hours. There are several companies that offer this route, but I personally prefer Cruz del Sur.
The buses depart from the Javier Prado terminal in Lima and will take you directly to the terminal in Paracas.
The price of the ticket can vary, with prices ranging from S/.20 to S/.60 depending on the bus company you choose and the type of seat you prefer.
To get to Paracas from the Carretera Panamericana, you just need to follow the road until you reach kilometre 245.
From there, take the turn-off towards Pisco and then follow the road to Paracas.
Depending on where you are starting from, the trip can take up to 3.5 hours.
The journey includes two tolls, costing a total of approximately $5 USD (14 soles). As you can see, it is quite affordable.
By Private Flight
Private flights from Lima to Paracas typically arrive at the Capitán FAP Renán Elías Olivera Airport, which is located in the town of Chaco, just a few kilometres from Paracas. The airport is small and serves mostly domestic flights, with a few international flights to neighbouring countries such as Chile and Ecuador.
If you prefer to travel to Paracas by private flight, several companies offer charter services from Lima. One option is Star Perú, which has a range of aircraft available for private flights, including turboprops and jets.
Another good option is to go for a luxury travel agency like Aracari or Ile Tours.
To book a private flight from Lima to Paracas with one of these companies, you need to contact them directly to discuss your travel plans and request a quote. They will typically ask for your preferred travel dates, the number of passengers, and any specific requests or preferences you may have. Once you have confirmed your booking, you will need to arrive at the airport at least an hour before your scheduled departure time to check in and go through security.
Day Trip From Lima to Ballestas Islands
Get ready for an early start on this day trip, but trust me, it’s worth it! The journey from Lima to Paracas takes about 3 hours by car, so make sure to set off at 6 am to make the most of your day.
Your first stop will be the beautiful beach of El Chaco, where you’ll hop on a boat tour to the stunning Ballestas Islands. On the way to the islands, keep an eye out for the mysterious “El Candelabro” – a large geoglyph with many theories surrounding its origin, but no one knows for sure who created it.
Once you arrive at the Ballestas Islands, you’ll be treated to a diverse array of wildlife, including sea lions, pelicans, red-headed turkey buzzards, and even Humboldt penguins. The boats can’t land on the islands, but they’ll make sure you get the best views possible. Just be prepared for the strong smell of guano – seabird droppings which were once a lucrative industry in Peru. Despite the smell, it’s an experience you won’t want to miss!
How to get to Ballestas Islands from Lima
Most of the time, you will have to go to Paracas first and then head to the Ballestas Islands. Paracas is located about 260 kilometres south of Lima and only has a nearby small airport in Pisco that receives charter flights. Therefore, you can get there on a private flight or by road.
Here is how to get to Ballestas Islands from the most relevant points in Lima.
The recommended tours offer knowledgeable and experienced guides to ensure that you have a truly memorable and enjoyable experience.
These are expertly curated by my trusted partner, Viator, and they all depart from and return to Lima.
By Public Transportation
Several bus companies operate the Lima-Paracas route, but I recommend Cruz del Sur for comfort, service, and safety. These buses make the journey from the Javier Prado station in Lima in 3 hours or 3.5 hours, and ticket prices range from S/.21 to S/.60 depending on the type of bus and schedule.
It’s advisable to buy tickets in advance, as there are often discounts available. The bus will drop you off in the centre of Paracas, so you don’t need to worry, as it’s a small place where everything is relatively close by. There are also taxis waiting at the station.
Welcome to Paracas! Once you’re settled in, it’s time to head to the El Chaco pier for a boat tour of the beautiful Ballestas Islands. Be sure to book your spot ahead of time, either through a local agency or online.
During the tour, you’ll be provided with a life jacket and a knowledgeable tour guide who will share interesting facts about the sites you’ll see. The tours last around two hours and are an unforgettable experience.
Make sure to check the previous section about how to get to Paracas for other ways to get there.
Day Trip From Lima to Caral
Get a glimpse into the past and visit the Sacred City of Caral, a hidden gem that is sure to become a major tourist attraction in the coming years.
Located just a 2.5-hour drive from Lima, near the central Pacific coast, this ancient city is a must-see for anyone interested in history and archaeology.
With a history dating back almost 5,000 years, Caral is the oldest city on the American continent and is approximately the same age as the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia and Egypt. The site features plazas, temples, pyramids, and an amphitheatre, with the most impressive attraction being the 18-meter tall pyramid.
Texts in both Spanish and English are available throughout the site to explain points of interest. To avoid crowds, consider visiting on a weekday. However, keep in mind that there are no food stands or restaurants at the site, so be sure to bring your own snacks and water.
During the weekends, you can find food stands and handicrafts for sale. Don’t miss this opportunity to explore a truly unique and fascinating ancient city.
How to get to Caral from Lima
To get to the Sacred City of Caral from Lima, you can either drive or take a bus.
If you prefer to drive, the journey from Lima to Caral takes around 2.5 hours and is relatively straightforward.
From Lima, you will need to take the Carretera Panamericana north towards the central coast. After about 2 hours, you will reach the town of Supe, where you will need to take a turn-off towards Caral.
From there, the journey to the archaeological site takes around 30 minutes. You can also rent a car in Lima or hire a private driver to take you to Caral.
By Public Transportation
If you prefer to take the bus, you can catch a bus from the Terminal Plaza Norte in Lima.
Several companies operate regular services to Caral, with journey times ranging from 3 to 4 hours depending on the specific route taken.
The buses are comfortable and air-conditioned, and tickets can be purchased at the terminal or in advance through the bus company’s website. Upon arrival in Caral, you will need to take a short taxi ride to the archaeological site.
Day Trip from Lima to Palomino Islands
Palomino Islands (or Palomino Islets) are a quick day trip from Lima to Callao with a boat trip of 6 miles from the coast.
The islets are home to a large fauna population of sea lions and seabirds like seagulls, guanay shags, tendrils, pelicans, etc. There is also an interesting old lighthouse that is used to guide ships and steamers heading to Callao port.
There are many things to do in the Palomino Islands! Here are a few ideas:
- Snorkelling: The Palomino Islands are home to a diverse array of marine life, making them a great place to go snorkelling. You can see a variety of colourful fish, coral reefs, and other marine animals.
- Swimming with sea lions: The Palomino Islands are home to a large population of sea lions, and you can swim with them in crystal-clear waters. This is a unique and unforgettable experience!
- Sunbathing: The Palomino Islands are known for their beautiful beaches and warm, sunny weather, making them a great place to relax and soak up the sun.
- Hiking: The islands are surrounded by lush green forests, and there are several trails that you can explore. Hiking is a great way to see the natural beauty of the islands and get some exercise at the same time.
- Fishing: The waters around the Palomino Islands are home to a variety of fish, and you can go fishing either from the shore or by boat. This is a popular activity for both locals and tourists.
How to get to Palomino Islands from Lima
To get to the Palomino Islands from Lima, you will first need to travel to the city of Callao, which is located North West of Lima. From Callao, you can take a boat to the Palomino Islands.
To start, take a taxi or ride-sharing service from your location in Lima to the port of Callao. This will likely take around 30-60 minutes, depending on traffic.
Once you arrive at the port of Callao, you will need to purchase a boat ticket to the Palomino Islands. There are several companies that offer boat trips to the islands, and you can usually find tickets for sale at the port.
Board the boat and enjoy the ride to the Palomino Islands. The trip typically takes around 1-2 hours, depending on the specific route and the speed of the boat.
Once you arrive at the Palomino Islands, you can start exploring and enjoying all that the islands have to offer!
Day Trip From Lima to La Punta
Callao is a port city located in the Lima Metropolitan Area of Peru. It is the country’s main naval base and one of the most important ports in South America.
One area worth visiting in Callao is La Punta, a colourful and historic district known for its upper-middle-class atmosphere and strong Italian influence. Many families of Italian origin settled in La Punta in the 19th century and their legacy can still be seen today in the well-preserved houses and manors that dot the district.
These historic buildings, with their unique style and colors, transport visitors back in time.
If you’re looking for a place to have lunch in La Punta, you might want to consider El Mirador restaurant. This seafood restaurant is known for its delicious food and stunning views.
If you’re looking for a unique way to experience La Punta, consider going on a boat ride. There are many local agencies that offer these services at affordable prices. One such company is Perú Riders, which offers boat rides for as low as S/ 20.00. With so many options to choose from, you’re sure to find a boat ride that fits your budget and interests.
So, if you’re in Callao and want to experience a bit of local history and culture, make sure to add La Punta to your itinerary.
How to get to La Punta from Lima
Here are two different routes you can take to reach Callao:
- Head towards Av. Miguel Grau (formerly Buenos Aires), which can be accessed via Av. La Marina, by crossing the new Óvalo de La Perla bridge and then following Guardia Chalaca until you reach the intersection.
- After reaching the end of Av. Sáenz Peña (the avenue that follows Av. Colonial), turn right and follow the Real Felipe. Once you pass Chucuito, you will arrive in La Punta.
Day Trip From Lima to Antioquía
Antioquía is a charming district located just 77 km from Lima that makes for a delightful day trip from the city. This unique location is known for its houses and streets decorated with colorful paintings of flowers, angels, and animals.
The district is situated in a rich valley that produces a variety of fruit, including apples, quinces, and custard apples, which are used to make delicious nectars and jams.
While in Antioquía, be sure to visit the Main Square and the Cerrito de Amancaes viewpoint for stunning views of the surrounding countryside.
And if you’re looking for a delicious meal, try the local specialty – river shrimp – although it’s only available during the open season (from April 1st to December 19th each year). Remember to enjoy responsibly.
Antioquía is a fantastic day trip from Lima that offers a unique blend of art, nature, and culinary delights.
How to get to Antioquía from Lima
By Public Transportation
To reach Antioquía from Lima, one option is to take a mini van from the corner of Av. Nicolás Arriola and Av. Rosa Toro, located in front of the fruit market (Mercado Modelo de Frutas).
You can easily get to this station by taking the Metropolitano and getting off at the Canada station. From there, a taxi ride to the fruit market should cost around S/. 8.00.
The mini van to Antioquía should cost about S/. 20.00.
If you prefer to take the bus, you can also catch a ride with the company Asunción from the same location in front of the fruit market.
These buses depart at 8:00 AM on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays and cost S/. 15.00.
The journey duration can be of about 3 hours.
For the most convenient route to Antioquía, it is recommended to take the road towards Cieneguilla, in the direction of La Molina.
Continue straight until you reach the province of Huarochirí. This road may have bumps or be unpaved.
You’ll know you’re on the right track if you pass through Sisicaya and Ocurure before reaching Antioquía.
Keep in mind that streets in Antioquía are narrow and there are not many parking options. However, going by car is totally doable.
Day Trip From Lima to Azpitia
Surrounded by beautiful fruit valleys, this serene countryside is perfect for those seeking a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.
In addition to its stunning natural surroundings, Azpitia is a great destination for outdoor enthusiasts. From trekking and mountain biking to exploring on a motorbike or horse, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the great outdoors in this charming town.
But perhaps the biggest draw of Azpitia is its breathtaking views of the Mala river valley. Known as “Heaven’s balcony,” this picturesque town offers the perfect spot to sit back and take in the beauty of nature.
And if you’re a fan of wine and pisco, be sure to visit the nearby town of Santa Cruz de Flores, where these artisanal spirits are produced. So why wait? Escape to Azpitia and discover all that this charming destination has to offer.
How to get to Azpitia from Lima
You can go to Azpitia by public transportation or by car. I’d suggest going with your own or rental car for comfort and safety reasons, as the public transportation requires you to do several connections.
To reach the district of Azpitia, in Mala, you must take the Panamericana Highway until Km. 79 at León Dormido Beach. Then take the detour to the left to enter Mala.
Pass through San Antonio and when you reach the police station, a few meters away there is a street on the left that leads first to Santa Cruz de Flores, and after 10 more minutes, by a well-paved and in good condition path, you reach San Vicente de Azpitia, also known as The Balcony of Heaven.
By Public Transportation
You can take the buses that go to Mala (also known as “maleños”).
There is a line whose station is on Jr. Leticia, almost at the intersection with Jr Ayacucho, one block from Av. Abancay and two blocks from Av Grau in the center of Lima.
There is another line that leaves from Jr. Andahuaylas (next to the José Pardo Institute) 1,5 blocks from Av. Grau and 2 from Av. Manco Cápac (La Victoria).
Both stations are somewhat dangerous, but they are recommended if you want to find a seat because both tend to carry standing passengers.
The buses from both lines pass through these stops:
- On Av. Circunvalación: Las Viñas stop, in front of the San Luis Essalud Clinic.
- On Av. Circunvalación with Av. Canadá. Walk a little bit until you are in front of the Salamanca Arch before the first traffic light.
- Av. Circunvalación in front of Plaza Vea de Salamanca, outside the San Marcos Veterinary Faculty.
- Atocongo Bridge. At this stop, most likely, there are no seats available.
- Alipio Ponce Bridge
Both lines charge around S/.4 to S/.5. It can increase 50% during holidays.
Once in Mala, ask where to take the combis that take you to Azpitia. The stop will be one or two block away. These combis charge you up to San Vicente de Azpitia S /.2 on regular days. On holidays the prices go up to maybe double.
A taxi from Mala to Azpitia can charge you between S /.12 and S /.15.
Day Trip From Lima to Canta and Obrajillo
If you’re looking for a peaceful and scenic day trip from Lima, consider visiting Canta and Obrajillo. Located just two hours from the city, Canta is a charming town with a colonial fountain in the main square, a beautiful church, and old mansions to explore. Don’t forget to stop at the local market on your way back to pick up some delicious honey, manjarblanco, cheeses, tamales, or other fresh products.
After exploring Canta, head to Obrajillo, just a 15-minute drive away. This rural area is known for its stunning landscapes and waterfalls, including La Ñusta and Luckle waterfalls. You can enjoy panoramic views and even take a swim in the river, either by walking or horseback.
After all that sightseeing, be sure to sit down for a typical meal by the Chillón river and try their famous trout or pachamanca. With its peaceful atmosphere and breathtaking views, Canta and Obrajillo make the perfect day trip from Lima.
How to get to Canta and Obrajillo from Lima
By Public Transportation
One of the most common ways to reach Canta is to take a minibus from Km 22 of Tupac Amaru Avenue in Carabayllo. You can use the corner of Manuel Prado and Tupac Amaru as a reference point. There, you will find many minibuses that can take you to Canta. The fare is typically around S/. 25 – S/.30 after the pandemic.
It takes around 3 hours to get to Canta from Lima by bus.
To get from Canta to Obrajillo, there are mini vans but you can even get there walking through the highway. On a van, it should take around 15 minutes to get to Obrajillo.
To get to Canta, you should start by taking either Av. Túpac Amaru or Av. Universitaria going north. Once you reach kilometer 22, where these two roads join, you’ll begin the Lima-Canta road, which is about 80 kilometers long. Follow this road until you reach your destination. It should take you around 2 hours.
Tell me, which day trip from Lima will you choose?
That’s a great compilation. Although I have my home base in Lima, I haven’t been to all those places yet. My biggest issue is always to figure out how to get there without a car, relying only on public transport. In December, I’ll take a Peruvian friend to Pachacámac because she never went there. Antioquía is a place where I’ve never been but hope to go to in the near future.