While Lima has so much to see, there’s also lots of places nearby to also check out. If you find yourself wanting to explore beyond Peru’s capital city then this list of Lima day trips is perfect for you! 

For this list of day trips from Lima we’ll be starting from the closest to the farthest. I’ll always recommend extending day trips into weekend ones or longer if you can, but if you’re short on time then they are possible in a day. Each location is a bit different and included are best times to go and possibly when to avoid based on weather or other factors. Always double check weather conditions or other happenings before setting off on any Lima day trips.

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Day Trips from Lima


Located south of Lima about 15 miles (24 km) from Parque Kennedy in Miraflores and very near the Panamerican highway South is Pachacamac. One of the main attractions here is the Archaeological Sanctuary and Museum

So what is Pachacamac and why visit? It’s actually one of the most important archaeological sites on the Peruvian coast and is about 3 times the size of Machu Picchu. For 1500 years it was in use until 1533 when the Spanish conquerors arrived. Learn more about the Incan Empire from a spot that many tourists rarely get to see.

Getting to Pachacamac:

  • By tour with the transportation included. I suggest this one as it includes hotel pick up and drop off, a guide, and alfajores (Peruvian dessert).
  • By car it will be about 45 minutes to an hour based on traffic. If you want to rent a car then this would be the fastest way to get there. 
  • By public transportation it can take up to 2 hours and it would be best to ask the bus drivers which go here or look for the buses or combis that say Villa el Salvador as those will bring you closer to your destination.


Pucusana boats and pelicans - day trips from Lima

Pucusana is mainly known as a fishing village. Its bay is filled with cute little colorful boats that during the early mornings go out to fish. If you’re lucky you’ll be able to see Peruvian pelicans up close as they attempt to steal any fisherman’s catch of the day.

Getting to Pucusana

  • By car it takes a little over an hour depending on traffic. This isn’t a super touristy spot so there is public transportation but not as often as other places. 

Castillo de Chancay

The Chancay Castle near Huaral was built in 1920 and has since turned into a medieval-themed park. It’s located north of Lima in the coastal town of Chancay, near Huaral. It’s a three level castle, ten thematic rooms with museums, with a replica of a ship located on a cliff facing the sea. The castle was left unfinished and abandoned for 30 years when it was originally being built after the death of the builders. This gives it a bit of a haunted feel in parts of the castle.

Getting to Castillo de Chancay:

  • By car it’s a drive of just under 2 hours as it’s 45 miles (73 km) north of Lima
  • By tour you’ll have visit a farm famous for its orange tree crops, a winery to try its wines and piscos, and the Chancay Castle


Lunahuana sign in red and white in front of a church in the main square

If you’re looking for some adventurous things to do near Lima then Lunahuana is just the spot! Here rafting is a common water sport as the Cañete river has rapids in categories II, III, and IV based on your skill level! The best time to go rafting is December through March. You’re also able to ride ATVs around town as part of a tour. It is an early morning so be prepared for a full day! This is one of the more adventurous day trips from Lima.

Getting to Lunahuana

  • By tour is the most convenient way as it is about a 3 hour drive each way so to get to enjoy the most you should leave early. This tour includes a stop at Cerro Azul which is a beach town on the ocean, going into Lunahuana for optional rafting and a tour of the town afterwards.
  • By car it takes about 3 hours each way with tolls on the road. I would suggest leaving early to enjoy as much as possible.


As the name claims, this is the town where Pisco comes from. So if you’re here then you need to have either a Pisco sour or Chilcanos (made with Pisco and ginger ale). There is an authentic tasting tour of the birthplace of Pisco that you should consider. Transportation from Lima isn’t included, but the notes mention that they can connect you with a driver.

Pisco is really a source of Peruvian pride, so make sure to never turn one down if you’re offered it. Just a warning that Pisco is rather strong so make sure to eat beforehand and during to avoid a nasty hangover!

Getting to Pisco:

  • By car it’s about a 3 hour drive along the coast of the Panamerican Highway South.
  • By bus, from bus stations there are 
  • By private transfer, this company advertises Pisco to Lima, but I’m sure it’d be possible to do it the other way around and round trip.


Paracas Red Sea and blue waters - day trips from Lima
Red sea in Paracas, February 2017

Considered by many to be the ‘poor man’s Galapagos’ as it’s rather cheap to go here and can be done on a day trip from Lima. It has its own charm although the waters can be a bit rough so it must be done early in the morning. You can see seals, lots of different birds, and a unique drawing in the sand. You’ll be getting early for the tour here as it includes Ballestas islands early in the morning, wine tasting in the afternoon, and dune buggies in Huacachina.

If you’re planning to stay in Paracas and only need to take the boat out to the Ballestas islands, then this tour is more aligned for your needs. There is also the option of paragliding over where the desert meets the Pacific Ocean! A unique experience that is for the adrenaline lovers.

Getting to Paracas:

  • By car it’s about a 3 and a half hour drive
  • By tour you’ll have transportation included and a boat ride to the Ballestas islands


This is one of the most common day trips people do outside of Lima. Social media has made it really popular but honestly it’s worth a visit. You’ll enter this oasis town from Ica. As soon as you get over the sand mountain you’ll see Huacachina below. It’s an oasis surrounded by sand dunes all around. Now it’s grown a bit so there’s more hotels than there were years ago when I went for the first time back in 2003. 

A day trip is enough to take the dune buggies out to sand board or just enjoy the adrenaline of how the drivers take you around. If you want to experience more of Huacachina then stay for a night or two and this way you can enjoy the sunset from the sand dunes. It really is a sight to see!

If you opt for a tour then you’ll be able to go to Paracas, Ica, and Huacachina in one day. It’ll be an early day so get some rest the night before.

My most memorable moment was climbing partially up the sand dunes and rolling down. Afterwards my dad told me that he and his brother had done the exact same thing many years before.

Getting to Huacachina:

  • By car it’ll take a little over 4 hours
  • By tour, which is what I recommend, as most include Paracas and Nazca lines, if wanted, which are must do’s if you’re in the area

Nazca lines

Do you like mysteries? Then the Nazca lines are the perfect place for you to visit. They’re said to have been created by the Nazca people back between 1 to 700 AD. Since then the lines have barely been touched or destroyed and are almost as when they were first created. There’s little rain, wind, and erosion which has preserved the designs keeping them intact for 500 to 2000 years. Apparently these lines were used for water, but studies are still being done to figure out their full purpose. This mystery alone makes the Nazca lines a great Lima day trip option.

For the more adrenaline people, there is a small plane you can take to fly over the lines. It really is the best way to observe the details and how large and intricate they are. It costs a bit over $100 and only lasts about 35 minutes. Keep in mind the plane will move from side to side a lot so you can stare straight down to the lines. If you easily get sick then this may not be for you. Otherwise there are tall towers where you are able to see a few of the lines.

Getting to the Nazca lines:

  • By car it’s a 6 hour drive and I wouldn’t recommend driving each way in a day
  • By tour would be the safest bet since you can rest on the way there and pack. The flight is included in the price of the tour. This will be a long day as you’ll only be going for the plane ride.

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Which of these Lima day trips will be the one you take or will go on all of them? Let me know below in the comments! 

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Latina Traveler

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