Lima Travel Guide
Ester Ventura sells intriguing gold and silver jewelry that incorporates seeds, weavings, seashells, coral, and pre-Columbian fragments.
Bargain for clay vessels and ponchos at the sprawling daily market. This is the place to find deals on inexpensive souvenirs.
Located in quiet Pueblo Libre, this museum is known for its unusual collection of erotic pottery, made more than 1,300 years ago.
Stock up on colorful and reasonably-priced sweaters, knee-length coats, and scarves, all made from downy-soft Peruvian alpaca wool sourced in the Andes.
A minor basilica and museum, this Lima Baroque church was inaugurated in 1672 and is best known for its large system of catacombs. Uncovered in 1943, the subterranean passageways contain hundreds of thousands of bones, some of which are arranged in elaborate geometric patterns.
Open since 1821, the hotel proudly declares that the pisco sour was invented here. True or not, the bartenders serve up a very good version of the drink—made from limes, pisco (a grape brandy), and foamy egg whites—in a wood-paneled room.
Years as agent: 15. Specialties: Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Galápagos. Consultation fee: $250.
With pieces made from materials both expected (Amazonian wood carvings) and unusual (recycled tin-can mobiles), the emphasis here is on contemporary artisans. An excellent selection of silver jewelry is displayed in one of the converted mansion's front rooms.
The alpaca in most sweaters is blended with either llama fur (which can smell unpleasant when wet) or synthetic fibers, so it's worth paying extra for quality. Find the real thing in a rainbow of colors at this chain; the Miraflores location has the largest selection in town.
The pre-Columbian brick ruins can't compare with Machu Picchu and Cuzco, but the location—in the middle of a modern cityscape—has a surreal appeal.
More distinctive than the touristed Plaza Mayor is the Palacio de Torre Tagle, a former marquis' mansion. Completed around 1735, its stone arches and airy inner courtyard reference Moorish Spain and are reminiscent of buildings in Andalusia.
Up-and-coming jewelry designer Anna Dannon creates the imaginative silver baubles sold at this shop on the lively Álvarez Calderón. You’ll find everything from sculptural cube-shaped necklaces to thick, gold-dipped arm cuffs.
Owner Mari Solari stocks her shop, which doubles as her residence, with handicrafts from around the country.
Two courtyards filled with everything from wood beads and strung seed necklaces to gourds carved with scenes of village life. Open every day, it's the smaller, more convenient equivalent of the Mercado Indio.