The Jorge Chavez International Airport is the largest and busiest airport in Peru. In 2010 Skytrax voted it the best airport in South America and it has all the facilities and amenities that a traveler would expect from a modern international airport.
At just 11 kilometers away, the city center makes for an easy visit. Unfortunately, Lima is a somewhat overlooked city as tourists rush through the airport on their way to the famous Machu Picchu or the Amazon rain forest. Because of this, the city, a UNESCO World Heritage site, remains something of an undiscovered gem.
There is plenty to see and experience here, and even if you are only passing through en route to one of the better-known tourist destinations, you will be doing yourself a disservice if you don't devote at least a day or two to exploring Lima. You can easily drop your baggage at a locker rental service near Lima Airport and then hop on one of the regular buses into the city, carrying just enough for the time that you are there.
Lima Airport baggage policy
The golden rule in any airport is not to leave your bags unattended. Lima Airport is no different in this regard. Unattended bags are a security risk and will be treated as such. Also, the international rule regarding liquids in baggage applies here. Don't carry liquids in volumes of more than 100 milliliters, as these will not be allowed through security. As with all airports, travelers are required to carry liquids and gels in bottles of less than 100 mls in see-through plastic bags for ease of inspection.
Lima Airport camera policy
It's fine to take pictures inside Lima Airport. But be careful where you point that camera. Security staff won't appreciate having their photo taken, and secure areas of the airport are off-limits to photography. Also, don't try to set up a tripod, lights, or other professional grade equipment in this busy airport. Better to leave that stuff at a luggage locker near Lima Airport
Lima Airport food policy
Although not a big airport, there you will still have access to everything you need to make your stay comfortable and safe. You will have a wide range of dining options to choose from which will include foods you are familiar with, as well as some traditional Peruvian cuisine. There is also a large and well-supplied duty-free shopping area. Both the shops and the restaurants operate twenty-four hours a day.
The airport boasts three private lounges and even if you are simply traveling economy class, you can access these lounges for a small fee. That will provide you entry to their showers which is always refreshing after a long-haul flight.
Lima Airport rules
This is an open country and the airport does not seem to impose some of the restrictions that many South American countries feel necessary. With so many travelers heading on to other destinations, many people sleep in the airport and there is no attempt made to discourage this. You are free to take photos for your personal use, and if you are looking for some footage or some shots for commercial purposes, then simply contacting the airport publicity team will elicit all sorts of help.
Lima Airport city links
Whether you are including Lima on your itinerary or just hopping into town to explore for a few hours during a stopover, getting to the city is easy. There are three different taxi companies that service the airport and they can be found at both airport exits.
Another option, which is both cheap and convenient, is the Airport Express bus service which will drop you directly in the center of town from where you can access the main attractions on foot. The service runs each way seventeen times a day and a one-way ticket costs around eight dollars.
Lima Airport lockers
This somewhat undiscovered city boasts some attractions that make a visit really worthwhile. At night, the El Circuito Magico de Agua illuminated fountains and laser show offers some spectacular imagery and photo opportunities.
On a slightly less flamboyant scale, the historic Inglesia de Santo Domingo church and monastery date back to the 16th century, while the Museo Larco boasts a collection of over 50 000 pots and ceramic items, along with an extraordinary display of pre-Columbian erotica, which is not something you see every day.
Finally there is the Peruvian cuisine to sample. Lima regards itself as the culinary capital of South America and a quick tour of some of the restaurants will soon show you why. You can choose from beef skewers to super-fresh seafood, as well as more local dishes such as roast guinea pig. There are even 3800 different types of potato. The locals like their food super spicy, but tend to tone it down a notch or two for foreigners. If you like things hot, then just say the word and they will give your meal a zing to remember.
About the only thing likely to detract from a visit to this delightful city is having to drag your bags around with you. Luckily there are locker rental services that will free you of this burden allowing you to explore unencumbered.
Look for a service that allows online booking in advance, and offers free insurance thus ensuring yourself a relaxed and worry-free visit.