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Things to do in Lima

Glide above the city and sea

The colourful arcs of paragliders are a frequent sight over Lima's coastline. Miraflores, with its breathtaking South Pacific views, is a particularly popular spot to take to the skies. For a unique paragliding location, try Fly Adventure (tel: +511 650 8147; www.flyadventure.net) who soar high over the desert dunes by the Pachacamac temple, just outside of Lima.

Learn how to be a Peruvian master chef

Take a rooftop cookery class at SkyKitchen (tel: +51 1 466 8554; www.skykitchen.pe) and learn how to transform fresh ingredients into some of Peru's favourite dishes. With excellent views across the city, the friendly three-hour classes serve up the history of each delicacy, which can include anything from ceviche to stuffed Alpaca.

Make waves and learn to surf

Lima's soft, sandy beaches are ideal for the aspiring surfer who hasn't quite honed their board skills. Waikiki beach in Miraflores has novice-friendly waves, whilst more experienced surfers will relish the breaks further south in Chorrillos, especially La Herradura. For lessons and equipment rental try Pukana Surf (tel: +51 9808 22946; www.pukanasurf.com).

Swim with 8,000 sea lions

Home to an estimated 8,000 sea lions, Islas Palomino barks as boats approach. Although visitors are not allowed to step onto the island, they can swim in the surrounding waters. Curiosity usually gets the better of the sea lions and they will jump in for a dip. Peru Divers (tel: +51 1 997 2055; www.perudivers.com) can arrange diving excursions to Islas Palomino.

Take a two-wheel tour of the city

While cycling in Lima may not be widely championed, local guide-led bike tours are a great way to explore its hidden spots. Bike Tours of Lima (tel: +51 1 445 3172; www.biketoursoflima.com) have rides and bilingual guides to show off the city. Choose from beachside cycles such as Barranco and Chorrillos, a bohemian tour or jaunt along the cliffs of Miraflores.

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City Highlight: Lima

Sunny beaches, lively heritage, ornate cathedrals, and otherworldly pre-Columbian ruins make Lima an exceptionally exotic getaway