Lima  can be thought of as a triangle, with the center at the apex. The base begins with the port of Callao and the nearby airport and runs along the coast through the neighborhoods of Miraflores , Barranco , and Chorillos. Other neighborhoods, such as Pueblo Libre  and San Isidro , are in the middle of the triangle.
Lima is jam-packed with sights, but most interesting to many people are the colonial churches, convents, and homes in Lima’s center, which is safe but warrants precautions nonetheless: Leave your passport and money in the hotel, and guard your camera.
Lima’s best museums are spread out, set in neighborhoods that are sandwiched between the coast and the center. Excellent collections of pre-Columbian gold, textiles, and ceramics can be found at the Museo Larco in Pueblo Libre , Museo de la Nación in San Borja , and Museo de Oro in Monterrico . English- and sometimes French-speaking guides are usually available at these museums.
Most Lima  visitors stay in San Isidro, Miraflores , and Barranco , neighborhoods near the coast with the best selection of hotels, restaurants, and nightlife. There is little to see here, however, except for giant adobe platforms that were built by the Lima culture (A.D. 200–700) and now rise above the upscale neighborhoods.
There are so many sights to see in downtown Lima that you would need a few days to see them all. The best idea is to start early with the big sights, be selective, and work your way down the list as energy allows. Be sure to make a lunchtime foray to Chinatown  or take a taxi to Museo de los Descalzos , on the other side of the river.
Mornings are best reserved for visits to Lima’s main churches, which are mostly open 8 a.m.–1 p.m. and 5–8 p.m. daily and have English-speaking guides who request a tip only. Taxis into the center from Miraflores  cost US$5 (15–30 minutes), or on Arequipa Avenue catch a Todo Arequipa bus that runs to within walking distance of the center (US$0.50, 20–50 minutes).