Lima has become increasingly popular as a tourist destination in recent years, mainly after Machu Picchu was named one of the new world wonders. While Lima serves as an initial stop into the country for many tourists, it is also becoming a hotspot for nomads. There are several nomad programs that offer Lima as a temporary base – such as Wifi Tribe and Remote Year. However, these programs only give you a small look into life in Lima. If you’re looking to fully experience this city, known for its amazing food and nightlife, you’ll want to consider moving here for at least a few months. We have put together this guide to the best neighborhoods to live in Lima for nomads, specifically outlining ideal bases for lifestyle travelers.
The Best Neighborhoods To Live In Lima For Nomads
Miraflores is one of the most popular neighborhoods to live in Lima for nomads, expats, and even locals who are trying to decide between Barranco or Miraflores. This neighborhood is well-known for its amazing array of restaurants, bars, and its proximity to the sea. Most tourists will stay in Miraflores since many of the city’s best hotels are here, next to the malecon. If you’re looking for a centric location, to be seaside, and to be close to an expat community, then Miraflores is your place.
Where to eat
Amore – If you’re craving some delicious pasta, come to Amore. This restaurant is a bit of a fusion, serving some traditional peruvian dishes, but what I recommend is their fresh pasta. I tried the lasagna and the mushroom spaghetti and they were to die for. Also be sure to get conchitas a la parmesana as an appetizer, and all of their desserts. Oh, and the lucuma gelato.
Anticuchos Carmencita – literally a lady that sells anticuchos out of her little cart on the street in Miraflores. You will find her parked right outside of Butrich on Avenida La Mar. She has some of the best anticuchos in Lima. Just look at her tagged photos on Instagram (yes, she has an IG for her anticucho cart… all-around goals).
Panchita – Panchita is by far the best restaurant to go to get traditional peruvian food. The place is best suited for a nice lunch or dinner with a group. The plates here are huge, so coming with a group will allow you to order several things to share so you can try everything. Because trust me, you will want to try everything. Come hungry and be ready to take leftovers. I once came here with a group of 4 and I had leftovers that lasted a week. It was a delicious week.
Where to play
Lima Bar – A popular bar for locals and expats located in Miraflores’ outdoor shopping center – Larcomar. This bar is a hybrid between an actual bar and a nightclub, as people here end up dancing the night away. The vibe at Lima Bar is really cool, and unique, as its both chill and crazy. Come here to start the night chilling with some cocktails, make some new friends, and dance till sunrise.
Open Bar – This bar is highly popular on Thursdays. Open is a Spanish bar with a cool vibe, where you can either chill or dance – you choose. There’s a nice, albeit small, rooftop area popular with smokers, and a spacious indoor area where the dancefloor is located. You must get their gin tonics here.
Where to work
El Pan De La Chola – By far the best cafe to work from in Lima. El Pan De La Chola has won over locals and expats, with both my 80-year-old Peruvian grandma, and my Lima best friend recommending it to me when I first arrived in the city. The sandwiches and salads are great (they make their own bread), as is their coffee and tea. You can also stay here working on your laptop for hours without anyone giving you dirty looks.
CHE CHA Tea Bar – A newer cafe in the neighborhood, CHE CHA is quickly winning people over. The cafe has an artsy vibe, and serves a great array of teas. There is plenty of seating available, but I particularly loved the hidden single-person patio located after you come in and walk down some short stairs. I worked and sipped on a few cups of green tea for hours here without a bother. It’s like having your own private corner of the city.
Kaldi’s – This cafe was right down the street from my apartment when I lived in Lima, and became my go-to for everyday working. While the cafe is small, it’s also underrated so you’ll usually be able to find a spot to sit and work. Kaldi’s has some nice treats like empanadas and cakes, and some great coffee. People come here to work from their laptops all the time, so you won’t face any troubles.
Barranco is Lima’s bohemian district, which also happens to boast some of the best nightlife. You will find many artsy cafes, galleries, boutiques, and general good vibes in Barranco. While Barranco is a must-see for tourists, it is also one of the ideal neighborhoods to live in Lima for nomads, given its close proximity to the sea, amazing nightlife, restaurants, and wide array of cafes to work from. If you’re looking for a more laid-back experience full of art and partying, then Barranco is your place.
Where to eat
Canta Rana – We’ve featured this location in the guide to the best ceviche in Lima, because it’s really the best ceviche around! Canta Rana is super popular with locals, and you’ll especially find the place packed on Sundays. Ceviche in Lima is like brunch in the states – mainly a weekend tradition. Come hungry and order everything. For more detailed ceviche recommendations, check the guide here!
Isolina – for traditional peruvian food. Isolina is similar to Panchita, but in Barranco. You will find really great “comida criolla” here, and will likely also end in a food coma.
Mario’s – Mario’s has been around since before I was a kid (90’s child here!), and it’s remained the most popular spot for anticuchos. A typical local Mario’s plan – go for a stroll around Barranco with the fam, take some pictures, maybe have a little argument, and then finish the day at Mario’s with too-many-orders of anticuchos.
Must Read: Local’s Guide: The Best Ceviche In Lima
Where to play
Ayahuasca – One of the most well-known and beautiful bars in Lima. Ayahuasca is a huge bar that’s built inside an old casona (mansions from around the 1800s). It’s obviously been restored and updated to become a bar, but its original beauty has been kept intact. This place is ideal to start your night with a group of friends, before heading out to the nearby nightclubs.
Dada Bar – A popular bar with Lima’s locals, Dada has a similar vibe to Ayahuasca, but it’s more underrated. Dada is also built in a casona, and has beautiful outdoor and indoor spaces. They sometimes do special events, so be sure to stay up-to-date via their Instagram.
Cala – This bar is gorgeous for sunset drinks. Located down by the sea, you can sip on a delicious craft cocktail with a sea breeze and view. Come here for upscale, but chill vibes.
Dali – This is one of Lima’s most popular nightclubs – at least for now. Lima is notorious for switching up its night scene almost yearly, with new and refreshed nightclubs popping up in Barranco and along Punta Hermosa every season. Usually, you will need to get on a list to get into Dali, so try to make some effort and befriend some locals. Dress up, but wear comfortable shoes as you will be forced to dance to reggaeton till the sun comes up.
Where to work
Caleta Dolsa – The most aesthetic cafe in Barranco, Caleta Dolsa is an ideal place to work from when you’re seeking Bali-type vibes. Here you will find a wide array of millennial health foods like acai bowls and matcha lattes (best one in Lima, btw), along with strong wifi, friendly service, and wait for it…. AC! You will be living at this cafe in the summer.
Dedalo – This is a boutique, with a cafe in the back. The cafe is super artsy and there is strong wifi to work from and plenty of seating. Most of the tables are located in their spacious patio, so if you feel like getting some fresh air and inspiration, come here.
San Isidro is one of Lima’s most upscale neighborhoods, and a highly popular place for the upper class locals to live. Many expats also move to San Isidro, especially because the financial district is based here. In San Isidro, you will find some of the city’s more luxurious apartments, best restaurants, cafes, and some upscale bars. San Isidro is the ideal base if you’re looking for a more luxurious experience, and if you want to intermingle with Lima’s elite. It is one of the quintessential neighborhoods to live in Lima for the lavish nomads.
Where to Eat
Franklin Restaurant – A New York style restaurant serving aesthetic American food. The place is beautifully decorated, and it is dog friendly so you can sit and enjoy a meal while making new furry friends. Franklin Restaurant also serves brunch on the weekends – a concept that is still fairly new to Lima.
Where to play
Carnaval – a fancy cocktail bar serving unique drinks in a cool ambiance. Come here for a chill cocktail with a group of friends. We love coming here on Thursdays as it’s an ideal place when you want to go out, but not a full-on party.
Celeste Solar Bar – If you’re looking for a cocktail with a view, then this is your place. This place is a rooftop bar from the Hyatt and has some of the best views in the area. Come here for a chill night, or perhaps pre-drinking before heading to Barranco for the nightclubs.
Bottega Dasso – This mediterranean bar is the perfect place to come for some tapas and drinks in San Isidro. The restobar is very aesthetic and serves great cocktails and food. Bottega Dasso makes for an ideal place to have dinner, followed by some craft cocktails at the bar.
Where to work
El Pan De La Chola Dasso – This is my absolute favorite cafe to work from. Like the Miraflores location, Chola Dasso offers great wifi, plenty of seating, and amazing treats to fuel your creativity. I prefer this location to the one in Miraflores, however, because the ambiance here always feels a bit more refined, yet also more chill. My friends and I would always gather here to work for hours, without any issues. You’ll find lots of people working from their laptops here, so it is also a great place to meet other nomads and local entrepreneurs.
Puku Puku – Located near Chola Dasso, Puku Puku is also a popular cafe to work from. Their coffee has become famous in Lima, and they have quickly expanded to most popular neighborhoods in the city. The ambiance here is a bit more boho than the surrounding cafes, so if you want a different vibe, this is a good place to go to.