This educational Lima tour takes you off the beaten path to a different and authentic side of Lima, where locals live and work. A day full of responsible cultural immersion, local culture, social impact and learning.
The highlight of this social tour is the visit to one of Lima’s human settlements, where you visit a local artisan, a social project, have lunch at a local family’s house and learn about daily life in this harsh environment. You will not only learn interesting historical, political and cultural facts but most importantly, your day will be filled with responsible and meaningful encounters with locals who work very hard to improve their community. The general focus of the tour is positive initiatives and hope.
If you are motivated to get to know Peru´s capital, but not sure if this tour is the right one for you, feel free to have a look at our other Day Tours in Lima. Here, you will also come across a tour called Lima´s Local Communities Tour. This experience is very similar to the Full-Day Authentic Lima Tour. The difference is that it takes only 5 hours instead of 7, leaving out the visit to the local fish market and Lima´s Christ (more information below). So, if you like community tours, but have less time in Lima, or if you are traveling with kids, the shorter version of this tour might be the better option for you.
To inspire you for your trip to the capital, we have also written quite a few blogs about Lima that you might want to check out to prepare for this city.
What to expect on this Full Day private Lima tour.
There are so many things that we want to show you that we simply can’t fit into one day! That is why this Lima tour can vary a bit every day.
Pick-up is at 11 am from your hotel, if located in a central area of Lima. We can also arrange pick-up from a cruise shuttle stop or the airport for an additional fee. As this is a private tour, the starting hour can be adapted a bit to your personal preferences and needs.
Throughout the day, we will visit different families and places according to availability and your specific interests. If you have a special request, please let us know and we’ll try to accommodate it.
We start this day with a visit to an artisanal fish market with a picturesque pier, where we might even go on a short boat ride along the coast (with life vests) on some days. After that, we head to Lima’s version of the Christ and the Morro Solar with its great views of the city before heading to the amazing second largest cemetery in the world. This one is probably very different to any other cemetery you’ve ever seen before!
Then, we continue towards the human settlement where we’ll learn more about fair trade and a typical aspect of Lima life: its small informal businesses. On most days, we visit the workshop of a group of ladies who organised themselves into a small business of handicrafts. On some days, we can also see the so-called ‘wall of shame’ that separates one of the poorest neighborhoods of Lima from one of the richest.
In the afternoon, a local guide will show us around the neighborhood and we’ll also learn more about a local project set up and run by locals. But first, you’ll enjoy a delicious lunch at a local family’s house. The local cook/mom also loves to learn more about where you come from and will in return share some stories about herself.
The local guide will tell you more about daily life in this harsh environment, but at the same time point out some of the efforts carried out to improve the situation. He will tell you about a local organization, its aims and its projects and you will also meet and talk to some of the families who participate in these projects. On most days, you will meet the local kids and teenagers while they are participating in the activities of the local NGO.
This tour ends around 5 pm and we will bring you back to your hotel. Again, we can adapt the schedule according to your wishes.
Your visit provides an (additional) income to several community, and part of your money paid for this experience will also go into different projects, such as cleaning campaigns, reforestation and social inclusion of vulnerable kids and women.
In addition to financial benefits, the interest and attention of people who come from all over the world increase the pride of the local people in their communities. The local people you will meet on the tour are all, in a way, community leaders who work hard to improve their environment and community. The admiration of visitors from across the world reinforces their engagement, as too often, they are looked down upon by fellow Peruvians from more affluent neighborhoods.
You will visit different local communities of Lima, learning about their craftwork and food traditions. Sometimes, in the cemetery, music is played, and people are dancing (a cemetery here is a more colorful and positive place than in other parts of the world). All of these experiences will bring you closer to Peruvian culture and contribute to its valorization.
Sometimes, real friendships and long term engagements have resulted from our tours. We’d love to see more of this happening!
Lima weather can vary from relatively cold to relatively hot depending on the time of the year, but normally it is manageable when checking the forecast in advance. What makes the weather a little bit annoying is the high humidity that makes the cold days colder and the hot ones hotter.
Moving across Lima certainly requires a certain level of caution, but don’t let this to discourage you from experiencing this very particular destination, as with the right attitude you won’t be bothered by the thought of not feeling safe. Tourists attract attention, that is a fact, so it is wise to travel ‘low profile’ and avoid showing valuable items (big cameras, flashy cellphones, bulky wallets, expensive watches). Also, keep an eye over your personal belongings at all times.
Not really. But, of course, you´ll be out and about for 7 hours potentially in the heat, so we don´t recommend this tour for people with serious physical restrictions.
For questions about booking a tour, prices, preparation for your trip, health and safety or other themes, please check our Frequently Asked Questions page. If you can’t find your question & answer, email us and we’ll add it!
I’m Alfredo, partner and expert tour leader at Alternative Peru, an educational and sustainable tourism company based in Lima; and founder of Social Andean Expedition, an initiative that provides solar energy to schools in vulnerable communities, through sustainable tourism programs. I graduated in Communications in Peru, and lived and studied in different Asian countries, where I worked as an advertiser, journalist and chef.
My long stay in other culturally rich countries encouraged me to take a deeper look into my own people, embrace my own culture, and return home to work for the less privileged in Peru.
I firmly believe in the transformative power of responsible tourism to strengthen the economies and dignity of the most vulnerable peoples of Peru, and I see the same values in RESPONS.