Spend an afternoon visiting colonial-era Lima. Founded by the ruthless Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro in 1535, Lima went on to become a viceroyalty of the Spanish empire before it became the capital of the newly independent republic.
Admire the sweeping plaza of Lima’s colonial center, known as the Plaza de Armas, which was once an Inca religious center. On the buildings around the plaza you can observe the carved, covered, wooden balconies, a hallmark of Lima’s colonial architecture. Looming over the plaza’s north side is the neo-baroque façade of the Presidential Palace, which was originally built for Pizarro himself and now houses the President’s residence and offices.
A short block away is the 17th century San Francisco Monastery, famous for its Sevillian tile work and paneled cloister ceilings. Descend into the catacombs beneath the monastery to explore its passageways which lead you past artfully arranged stacks of bones, some of the 70,000 human remains rumored to be housed there.
Later visit Casa Aliaga, the oldest family-owned and occupied home in the Americas. This gorgeous colonial-era mansion, built around a leafy internal courtyard, originally belonged to Spanish conquistador Jeronimo de Aliaga and has been inhabited by seventeen generations of his descendants since then. The family has chosen to open its doors to visitors to share with them the rich history of their home, which is as old as the city itself.
Afterwards you will return to the modern, seaside district of Miraflores, where you can enjoy a ceviche, do some shopping, and watch Limeños going about their day. Lunch and dinner on your own.