Solo Traveler Itenary for 3 Days in Lima, Peru
This guide features a detailed outline of the my highlights of my trip in Lima, Peru. All links featured are not affiliated, this is just what I found to be the most affordable, safe, and best experience for a solo female traveler.
Where to Stay?
Lima is a big and busy place from the time you leave the airport you will pass various districts. Each district offers different things depending on how you are wanting to spend your time in Lima. As this was my first time visiting Peru I was looking for the safest district for female travelers. I decided to stay in Miraflores it is known for its stunning views of the coast, upscale shopping, and restaurants. I found this area to be clean, easy to walk around, and safe. Many of the people staying in Miraflores are tourists, students, or higher middle class. This is because it is the most expensive district in Lima to live in. However, coming from the United States I found it to be quite reasonable or similar in luxury restaurants in Miraflores.
Most of the hostels in the area will range from $7-10 for a dorm or a private room for $15-40 per night. My recommendation for stay in Lima is Selina. Selina is part of a group of hostels around the world called Outside. The hostel features fast wifi, a breakfast cafe, bar/lounge, kitchen, and a coworking space nearby. This place is perfect for anyone looking for an affordable clean stay, plus the decor is chic, and the staff is super helpful.
First Day in Lima, Peru
10:30am Downtown Lima Walking Tour
Starting outside the hostels in Miraflores is a free walking tour put on by “Lima By Walking.” The tour is offered in both English and Spanish. What I really liked about this tour is the detail on Peruvian culture and advice on the area. The tour is about 3 hours long and ends in the center of Downtown Lima near a bunch of restaurants. In this tour you will experience the famous guard change at the capitol, ancient churches, and a tasting of pisco (the signature drink of Peru.)
I found this tour to be very useful on areas to avoid in Lima , as some spots they are not so safe. This tour is also great for meeting other travelers as there are times throughout to connect with the people touring with you. (I was able to make friends with 3 girls, who I ended spending hanging with the rest of my trip.)
1:30pm Lunch in City Center
Once the tour ends you will be left in the center of all the restaurants downtown. I found the restaurants downtown to be more budget-friendly than the ones in Miraflores. During lunch, I was able to get an appetizer and meal for $4. The experience of the food was very authentic I recommend eating the causa a la limeña.
3:30pm Walking tour of Barranco
After finishing the lunch the same tour group “Lima By Walking” meets in the center of Downtown Lima or has another option leaving from Miraflores for the tour of Barranco. Barranco is the art district in Lima, it is known for its beautiful street art, bright colored buildings, and modern architecture. During this tour, you will learn what inspired the famous Jade Rivera and how his art impacted equality in Peru. The vivid colors used by the street artist and creative scene is what makes this place remarkable. The tours ends around Sunset.
7pm Dinner by Sunset
After a long day walking this exactly what I needed. The restaurant Rustica is known for its ceviche and amazing view. The prices are fair and the sunset is breathtaking.
Day 2 Peru Hop Trip to Paracos and Huchaunica
The tour belong is the full day tour offered through Peru Hop. There are 3 main reasons I choice this tour:
- pick up from hostel and drop off from hostel
- one transaction for activites paid upfront
- activities included: speed boat charter of Paracas, dune buggy ride, and sand surfing in Huacachina
Paracas and Huacachina could easily be 1-2 full day trips, however both the location are small and can be explored within 2-4 hours. Before signing up for this tour I looked into taking public passes to these places as it is more affordable, however as solo travel this is the safest option. The reason being you can avoid taking a taxis during odd hours and being on the public busses at the wrong time. Though did not have any issues in Peru, there have been many instances where busses are stopped in middle of the road because people are blocking them. Usually, these people will rob the bus before letting it pass. The Peru Hop buses are GPS tracked too which is essential have when traveling alone.
What to expect on this tour
5:00-5:30am Pick up from hostel
(picks up from most hostels from Miraflores, Downtown, and Airbnb if arranged before)
Drive to Paracas 5:30-8:45am
8:45-9am Arrive at restaurant in Paracos
At this point you will exit the bus taking all your belongings with you. Don’t worry they will be safe and locked up. The restaurant the bus stops at has 3 floors and from the third floor overlooks the water. This is where you have lunch after the boat tour.
9am-930am Breakfast and bathroom break
9:45-11:30 am Speed Boat Ride
This part of the tour you are on a speed boat enjoying the view of the Ballestas Islands. You will see the mountains, the nazca lines, sea lions, and baby penguins. The views of the coast are mesmerizing and extraordinary.
11:45-2pm Free time and Lunch Time
At this time you will have a chance to eat at lunch at the place you locked your things or something along the cost. The prices for lunch in this area are 4-12 soles with many places including 2 courses. Make sure you check out the local shops nearby as to they offer an authentic experience of the Peruvian goods.
2-4pm Bus ride to Huacachina
4:15pm-Sunset Dune Buggy Ride and Sandboarding
This was the highlight of my entire trip to Peru. This experience was is unlike anything I had done before full of an adrenaline rush, unforgettable sunset over the desert, and sand surfing. Following the sunset, there are is time to get dinner to go and then head back to Lima.
12pm- Arrive back in Lima
The bus ride takes 4 hours and is very peaceful given they have movies and even popped free popcorn for us for ride back.
3 Day In Lima
10:30-2pm Visiting Larcomar
This mall features high in shopping with over 70 stores. It also has a food court and restaurants in the center overlooking the mountains in Miraflores. This place is awesome for soaking in the view and having a drink outside.
2-2:30pm Walk to the Beach
Given the terrain of the city this walk and be a little long, however, has steps and features the view of the coast as you go down. If you are not big on walking you can always get a taxi down the beach before from the mall.
2:30-Sunset Enjoy the Beach and Surfing/Surfing lessons
The beach of Miraflores features a pebble beach with massive surf culture. All around the coast you will see tents offering surf lessons. Most of them charge 20 soles for an hour this is way cheaper than anything you will see offered at your hostel or online. The surfing is super fun even for beginners and found everyone along the beach to be very friendly.
Dinner at Parque Kennedy Square
This area features most high in restaurant in Peru with many offering outdoor seating. My personal favorites are Panchita, Punto Axum and Osaka. This area was great to spend your evenings in Lima and safe for solo travelers.
As you can see Lima is a notable place with tons of things to eat, do, and experience. Overall I would recommend visiting Lima to anyone who looking for an experience they won’t forget.
Adventure must start with running away from home.”William Bolitho
For more of my experience in Peru check out my travel diary for perspective and personal thoughts of Lima.