From a number of trails (including Inka ones) for the restless backpacker to small and hospitable villages for the relaxed traveller, choices for going out of metropolitan Lima are wide and numerous. Every province of this department has lots of attractions, some of them very known and touristy and others off the beaten track.
This is the main port of Lima, but in fact, it is a Constitutional Province. Now, is the same to say Lima-Callao, because they are like one city. The international airport of Lima is located in Callao, as well as the main industries. But Callao, has an important role in history because it was the major port of all the Spanish Colony in South America. As it was the entrance gate of Lima, it had to resist the pirates attacks during the 16th and 17th centuries.
In the centre we can visit the old houses, the Museo Naval, the Real Felipe fortress (with a museum) and the Plaza Miguel Grau, where you can take a boat to visit the nearby islands (San Lorenzo, El Frontón) in the Pacific Ocean. If you want to see marine fauna, take a yatch to the Palomino islands (behind San Lorenzo), a good option to supply those who cannot go to Ballestas Islands in Pisco (Ica).
This is the sun resort for limeños during the winter. Located 35km to the east of Lima, Chosica is a countryside town (850masl) in the Andes slopes and near the river Rímac. Linked with Lima through the Central Highway, this long valley can be used as a starting point for visits to other towns, villages and for trekking routes. Up to the Andes, every village has something to offer: landscapes, archaeological sites, waterfalls and products from the cultivated fields. If interested in this area, after visiting Chosica you can go to San Pedro de Casta (Markawasi for trekking), San Bartolomé (Bosques de Zárate for trekking), San Jerónimo de Surco, Matucana, San Mateo and Ticlio. An alternative visit to this area could be using the Lima-Huancayo train.
This is the capital of the province of same name. Located in the "Valle del río Chillón" (left hand of Chosica from Lima), the andean Canta and its surroundings are nice spots for resting and exploring. Canta can be reached from Lima by bus or car (2h30m-3h) through a good highway. In the way, you can visit Santa Rosa de Quives, a former place where the saint lived; the Checta petrogliphs and the archaeological site of Cantamarca. Canta is a good place for staying in the night and continue your trip up the valley (by a dirt road) visiting Obrajillo, Huaros, Cullhuay and if possible to the "Cordillera de La Viuda", the snowed mountain range in the border with Pasco department and near the Huayllay National Sanctuary, which is a great geological park called "stone forest".
Lomas de Lachay National Reserve
In the km. 105 of the Panamericana Norte highway we find the Lomas de Lachay, an oasis in the coastal desert. This is a protected area where you will feel like an enchanted place in the middle of the desert. It has centennial tara trees and other flora like flower plants, cactuses and bushes. There are animals like foxes, owls, eagles and other birds, lizards and insects. This place only "lives" during the season between August and November, when the condensation of the fog coming from the sea makes all these area to be green and full of life.
Another sun resort used by limeños during the winter. It is located in the river Lurín valley. There are restaurants, zoos and hotels for staying in a warm weekend. One hour from Lima through a paved road. This road takes us to small villages located along the Lurín valley.
This town is located in the Andes of Cañete (150km S of Lima). From Cañete, you have to take a road that goes to Lunahuaná (45m), a good place for rafting, and then continue up the highlands for a total distance of 280km from Lima.
Surely, Yauyos is the most beautiful place of the department of Lima. There is not a similar place that have rivers, waterfalls, Inka trails, archaeological sites, fields, lakes, snowed mountains and picturesque villages. This is the place for backpackers visiting Lima. A good option and round trip is to continue ahead and reach the city of Huancayo.
Known as the thermo-medicinal springs resort of Lima, Churín is a nice town in the Andes, specially visited by people in search of relax and cure to their illnesses. This bathing resort has a good deal of hotels, but a half of the way is unpaved. From Lima you must take the Panamericana Norte highway, turn right in Huaura (km. 152) and going ahead until Churín. The total distance from the capital city is 307km. Other nearby places are Chiuchín, Rapaz (with 400 year old church, reknowned by World Monuments Watch), Huancahuasi, Andajes and Sayán.
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