Most imagine Lima as a concrete jungle with swarming cars that constantly beep horns while stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic. Others think of it as a city with beautiful colonial architecture and mind-blowing gastronomy, which is entirely accurate. However, few people would think of Lima as being a great place to hike. If you know where to look, Lima has some great trekking options in some of the world's most unique landscapes. Here are some hikes you can take in Lima to help burn off all that delicious cuisine you have been sampling in the capital!
These hills are located about an hour by bus from central Lima in the district of Pachacamac. This district is most famous for the impressive pre-Inca ruins that give the area its name. Further inland from the coast is a place of rocky crags and lush vegetation that stands out from the surrounding desert and coast. Hikers can enjoy the fresh air, spot wildlife, enjoy the magnificent bird watching, and take in amazing views of the town below. Virtually unknown to tourists and rarely frequented by locals, Lomas de Lucumo makes for the perfect escape from the chaos of Lima. Not only will you find craggy rocks surrounded by stunning landscapes, but you can also visit Pachacamac Inca ruins as a bonus!
Located in the district of Surco within Lima, this urban ecological park has several trails for hikers and a variety of beautiful and well-maintained flora. La Loma Amarilla, which means "The Yellow Hill," is a great place to spend a relaxing afternoon only a few minutes from central Lima. Home to 34 species of birds and 25 tree varieties, it is an unexpected natural refuge in a city lacking natural prowess.
Las Lomas de Lachay, similar to Las Lomas de Lúcumo, is an area of lush natural greenery formed among desert surroundings due to unique weather conditions. Located halfway between central Lima and the city of Huacho, this nature reserve provides an important sanctuary for wildlife, such as foxes, in an urbanized area. The green vegetation, gnarled trees, and hazy mist enveloping the hills create a feeling of eerie otherworldliness that makes for some surreal photographs. The site offers a unique perspective on the different ecospheres of Peru, and right next to the desert are bright-green forests. This diversity is one of the things that makes Peru such a remarkable country.
A couple of hours from Lima, near the small town of San Jeronimo de Surco, is this beautiful mountainside waterfall and a trekker's paradise. The trail ascends 800 meters along a mule trail, hiking through a forest and around mountains to find the waterfall. Along the way, visitors will be blessed with stunning nature and great views of the valley below. This Lima trek is an excellent place for quiet contemplation or appreciation of nature, and this is one of the best Lima trekking options to reconnect with nature.
The Antankallo waterfall is located in Huarochirí, just 74 km from Lima. It's a popular destination for families and those who want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and dive into nature for a few days. The route takes you toward the town of Matucana in the highlands of Lima. From there, you will begin a two-hour trekking adventure. The road has slopes and zigzagging roads that will allow you to appreciate the valley's beauty. This Lima trek ends with crossing a suspended bridge, after which you will reach the waterfall, which is two meters tall.
This enchanting stone forest in the Andes, which aliens created some belief, is one of the most beautiful and mysterious places in Peru due to its strange wind-sculpted rock formations resembling human faces, animals, and other figures. The site also held significance for pre-Columbian civilizations; some ancient tombs are in the area. Travel inland from the Pacific Coast to thousands of meters above sea level to avoid altitude sickness. If you decide to hike from the little pueblo San Pedro de Casta, you can take horses, and then it will be about a four- to five-hour hike, one of the unique Lima treks you can do in the capital. Since Marcahuasi is a few hours from Lima, most people stay to camp for a day or two, but it's also possible to visit for a single day and return to the city.
If you look to the south, you're bound to spot the white Christ; arms spread on top of a barren hill in Chorrillos. The statue looks over the city of Lima and makes for a fun hike or run to the top, rewarding your efforts with one of Lima's best views. The area isn't the safest, so leave your valuables home on your trip to the Lima version of Christ the Redeemer.