Top places to see in Magdalena del Mar, Lima: Begin at the Parque Municipal, an open space surrounded by colonial architecture. From there walk down Zapita, over Puente de Los Suspiros (Bridge of Sighs), and out to the cliff lookout. The private Museo de Arte Colonial Pedro de Osma is housed in the historic mansion Palacio de Osma. The museum’s exceptional collection of colonial art from around Peru includes paintings, sculptures, metalwork, stonework, silver, and furniture.

Head to Museo Larco for, of all things, some erotic pre-Columbian pottery. The museum is located in an 18th-century building and has a large archaeological collection, including a lot of Peru’s pre-Colombian art, but it is most famous for its collection of erotic pottery. There are also changing temporary exhibitions. At the Miraflores boardwalk you can paraglide over the upscale beach city and the Pacific Ocean. If the sun is out, you’ll have a beautiful view of the Pacific and of Lima’s beach neighborhoods. It cost around $70 for 10 minutes.

The Plaza de Armas, also known as the Plaza Mayor, sits at the heart of Lima’s historic center, one of the few remaining parts of the city that still gives a sense of the city’s colonial past. Acknowledged for its historical and cultural significance by being awarded UNESCO World Heritage status in 1988, this is the spot where Francisco Pizarro founded the city in 1535. A colonial fountain serves as the square’s centerpiece, while some of Lima’s most important buildings surround the historic plaza. Arm yourself with a camera and take a trip to the Palacio de Gobierno, official home to Peru’s President, on the northern side of the square where, at noon, you can watch the changing of the palace guard. To the southeast lies the Catedral de Lima, the final resting place of Pizarro himself and built on the plot of Lima’s first church. Further photo opportunities include the Archbishop’s Palace and the Municipal Palace (Lima’s City Hall), both of which are adorned with ornately carved, and magnificently preserved, wooden balconies.

For traditional Peruvian handicrafts, try the numerous Artisanal Markets along Av. La Marina, just north of the neighborhood (technically in Pueblo Libre, which we’ll talk about next week). There are all the usual suspects of crafts from all over the country, and it’s a great place to go to get your last-minute gifts. The prices are slightly higher than they would be in a smaller town, but they’re lower than the artisan shopping area of Miraflores. Read more pictures of this fabulous ocean view penthouse on FB. Need a place to stay in Lima, Peru? Discover a few more info at Amazing Penthouse in Lima, Peru.

The Plaza de Armas is where the city of Lima was born. Also known as the Plaza Mayor, it is the heart of the city, located in its historic district, with streets radiating out in a grid. The location was picked by the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro in 1535. Though not one original building remains, at the center of the plaza is an impressive bronze fountain erected in 1650. Today the plaza is flanked by the cathedral and several palaces including Palacio Arzobispal, which boasts some of the most exquisite Moorish-style balconies in the city.