Cruise ships dock at the Cruise Portao, located approximately 14 km west of Lima. Bus and taxi services are available at the port to take you to the capital city of Peru. A ride into Lima can take between 60 minutes and cost around $12 or more as traffic is very heavy if not horrible here.
Taxis charge about $20 an hour, make sure your driver speaks some English.
The immediate area round the docks is known to be very dangerous and passengers are advised not to venture past the dock gates unless on an official tour or in an approved taxi only available from inside the gates.
Printable map to take along on your cruise.
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The Cruise Portao is Lima's center for cruise passengers. While Callao does not contain tourist attractions, the city of Lima is a colorful, historic, and cosmopolitan attracting visitors from around the world. Its historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, graced by colonial Spanish mansions, beautiful churches, and some lingering Inca ruins. Visitors arrive at Lima to explore Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca, and the amazing Amazon jungle.
Any trip to Lima should include a visit to Central Lima and visit Plaza de Armas this is where Lima was founded the Government Palace is the home of the Peruvian President. The changing of the guard happens at 11:45. Also in the same Plaza is the Cathedral Construction which took 58 years to complete and was rebuilt in the 1700´s after an earthquake. There is some religious art to see inside it too.
Walk about five minutes away and you have a real national treasure the Church and Covenant of San Fransico is it simply amazing and a miracle that it survived the earthquakes in 1687 and 1746. Much of it has been restored and they even have catacombs. Rumor has it that there are over 75,000 people there. The monastery has a huge library of 17th-century books and other treasures.
To the east of the Plaza is the Torre Tagle Palace which is a fine example of Spanish Colonial architecture in Lima. The Foreign Ministry now occupies it which is why you see soldiers with machine guns on the roof and a lot of security around it. Access is limited but you can still visit the Courtyard. The entry is an amazing carved stone and the wood balconies are of carved dark-wood. Access to the inner courtyard is unreliable it just depends on who is inside and what the security report of the day is.
Taxis are divided between "formal" taxis, painted and marked as such, and informal ones, that are just cars with a windshield sticker that says "Taxi". The last ones are better left to the locals, especially if you don't speak Spanish. Apart from the more upscale radio taxi (also the more expensive ones), the fare is not fixed or metered, but it is negotiated with the driver before getting into the vehicle.
Public transportation is not a good option here.
A taxi tour should cost around $10 per hour.
It pays to compare your cruise line tours here.
Lima is a bustling city filled with beautiful Spanish architecture, splendid museums and ancient ruins. Enjoy the scenic gardens and fountains of Lima's main square and tour the Presidential Palace, its city hall, and cathedral.
In 1535, the open plains where Lima now stands was once declared inhospitable by the conquistador Francisco Pizarro. Despite his verdict, Lima became the center of imperial Spanish power. With the nation's independence in 1821, Lima became Peru's capital.
The Museo de Oro del Peru is home to a priceless collection of fine gold, pre-Colombian treasures and a display of weapons with more than 6,500 Incan and Pre-Incan pieces.
This ancient religious center, thought to date back to around 700 A.D., is the most important archaeological site close to Lima.
Located in a desolate desert, these immense drawings of animals, birds and geometric figures range in size, up to 1,000 feet across. They were the inspiration for the book, "Chariots of the Gods."
The Indian Market in Miraflores is a good place to shop for Peruvian Indian crafts.
The currency of Peru is the nuevo sol. Credit cards are usual accepted. ATMs are available in big cities, up market hotels and touristic areas.
Most restaurants and shops accept U.S. dollars, but they'll give change in Peruvian soles.
In tourist centers like Cusco and Machu Picchu or in high class hotels, English is spoken. If you intend to visit other sites, especially in the countryside, you'll need Spanish.
Emergency numbers in Peru are 011 / 5114. In Lima ring 105.
Cafes which offer free WiFi for customers, called in Peru cabinas públicas, grow like mushrooms in Peru.
Most of the companies are open from 9:00 am until 6:00 pm. Shopping centers and stores are open from 10:00 am until 8:00 pm; however some companies now stay open 24 hours a day.
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