Any mention of visiting Peru is naturally first going to bring up the country’s jewel in the crown that is Machu Picchu, but any visit to this undoubted wonder of the Americas really needs to start in the city of Cuzco, rather than Lima.
You might want to start a Peruvian road trip in Lima and then head towards Machu Picchu as the highlight, but you are looking at a full day of driving, or perhaps a very long overnight bus trip. It’s no wonder that most people with the means to get to Peru in the first place will travel on to Cuzco by internal flight.
Needless to say, Lima isn’t the sort of city where there’s any point in getting a hire car just to drive around, and there is certainly no point if you are only stopping here briefly before continuing on elsewhere. However, Lima also sits as a major gateway to the Andes mountains, and as such, the city provides access to some of the most breathtaking roads anywhere in the world.
Now we do need to be very clear about what these roads entail – hugging to the sides of steep cliff faces, with sheer, unforgiving, drops that aren’t for those of a nervous disposition, whether they are doing the driving or not.
So maybe Lima isn’t somewhere where you want to rent a car and drive it yourself, but it is certainly a city from where you will want to start a road trip of some sort, and for this reason, and with this caveat, our recommendation is a yes, quite possibly as a hired car with driver or private tour.