City hitlist: Lima

Once considered edgy for all the wrong reasons, Peru’s reinvented capital has become Latin America’s hottest dining destination.
Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, Lima

Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, Lima


What to see

Museo Larco

This private museum, showing the pre-Columbian art collection of founder Rafael Larco Hoyle, is housed in an 18th-century whitewashed mansion built over a 7th-century pyramid. Don’t miss the erotica hall and its collection of occasionally mind-boggling ceramic figures unearthed from tombs. It’s believed that some symbolise fertility while others are linked to sacrificial and funerary practices.

Av Simón Bolivar 1515,

Museo Larco

(Photo: Getty)

Where to eat


Juan Luis Martinez, one of Mérito’s two Venezuelan chef-owners, has spent time at Lima’s revered Central, so it’s no surprise this snug, two-storey, adobe-walled Barranco venue showcases Peruvian ingredients and craftsmanship. There’s a determined effort to incorporate Venezuela, too, with touches such as the salty llanero cheese accompanying grilled corn and aji amarillo. Finish with the playful chocolate rock, a well-disguised mousse.

Av 28 de Julio 206,

Mó Bistró

Chef Matías Cillóniz, another Central graduate, spent time in Australian kitchens, so expect a familiar approach to his cooking (above) at his new Miraflores location. Peru’s coastal-desert landscape inspired the eatery’s stark lines. Brunch fare includes artichoke gratin with ham and fries; avocado toast topped with petals of pickled onion; and the classic pan con chicharrón, a bread roll stuffed with pork and crackling, pickled red onion and sweet potato.

Av Angamos Oeste 1146,

Restaurante Huaca Pucllana

Come for the astonishing view of a pre-Incan adobe-and-clay pyramid in the ritzy Miraflores neighbourhood and stay for the menu of classic dishes. In the evenings, the pyramid’s staggered platforms are lit dramatically. Highlights include causitas (small seasoned potato cakes) topped with trout, zesty ceviche, sea bass encrusted with red quinoa, and grilled alpaca.

General Borgoño Cuadra 8,

Mó Bistró

(Photo: Jimena Agois)

Where to drink

Venture beyond the Pisco Sour. Many bars stock pisco infused with almost anything: peaches, coffee, chillies, coca. Chicha morada is a non-alcoholic punch made with purple corn, fruit, sugar and spices. Tropical juices also dazzle – try seasonal sodas at La Patarashkita.

Av Vasco Núñez de Balboa 755,

Where to stay

Casa República

Australian travel company Chimu Adventures has turned a grand mansion into a much-needed boutique hotel in artsy Barranco. The 22 light and airy rooms are divided between the original historic mansion and a new building. The district, once a seaside getaway for the wealthy, is home to cultural drawcards such as MATE (Museo Mario Testino).

Av Saenz Pena 208,

Casa República

How to get there

Flight Centre offers a wide range of small-group tours and airfares to Peru, with stays in Lima en route to destinations including the Inca Trail and the Amazon River.

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