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Iglesia y Convento de San Francisco

#7 in Best Things To Do in Lima

Iglesia y Convento de San Francisco picture in Lima
Artie Photography (Artie Ng) / Getty Images

Key Info

Details

  • Churches/Religious Sites Type
  • 2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.3
Overall
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  • Value
    4.0
  • Facilities
    4.0
  • Atmosphere
    4.0

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Inaugurated in 1672, this baroque-style church named in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi is best known for the network of catacombs located underneath the chapel. The catacombs contain an estimated 70,000 remains dating back to the 17th century. The church and convent are also home to a library with approximately 25,000 antique texts dating back to the 15th century.

Thanks to the intricate web of catacombs, this is one of the most-visited tourist sites in the city. But even with the crowds, recent travelers said exploring the underground graves is worth the wait. Tours of the church and catacombs last about 40 minutes and are offered in English. If you aren't interested in a tour, reviewers point out that the functioning church is free to enter, so you can take a peek at the magnificent architecture inside the church nave without having to fork over an admission fee.

The church is open daily from 9 a.m. to 8:15 p.m.; admission for tours costs 10 sol (about $3) and 1 sol (about $0.31) for children. The Iglesia y Convento de San Francisco is located two blocks northeast of Plaza de Armas (Plaza Mayor) near the Desamparados rail station. 

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#2 Museo Larco Named after the collector and father of Peruvian archaeology, Rafael Larco Hoyle, the Museo Larco boasts the world's largest private collection of pre-Columbian art. Housed in an 18th-century mansion ... Read more » Chloe Francois / Getty Images

#3 Huaca Pucllana This active archaeological site sits in the middle of the Miraflores neighborhood. The clay and adobe structure, which once functioned as a ceremonial site during the pre-Columbian era, dates back ... Read more » saiko3p / Getty Images

antorti / Getty Images

#5 Museo de Arte de Lima Lima's art museum – also known as MALI – is home to more than 1,200 pieces of Peruvian art spanning 3,000 years, from the pre-Columbian times to the contemporary ... Read more » VasenkaPhotography / Flickr

#6 Museo Nacional de Arqueologia, Antropologia e Historia del Peru The Museo Nacional de Arqueología, Antropología e Historia del Perú (the National Museum of Archaeology, Anthropology and History of Peru, or MNAAHP) is the largest and most extensive in Peru ... Read more » Kathy / flickr

#7 Iglesia y Convento de San Francisco Inaugurated in 1672, this baroque-style church named in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi is best known for the network of catacombs located underneath the chapel. The catacombs contain an ... Read more » Artie Photography (Artie Ng) / Getty Images

#8 MATE Museo Mario Testino For a break from the many history museums in the city, make a visit to the MATE Museo Mario Testino. This small museum in the Barranco district is named after ... Read more » Philippe Guglielmetti / Flickr

jirivondrous / Getty Images

Plaza de Armas picture in Lima
Museo Larco picture in Lima
Huaca Pucllana picture in Lima
Malécon picture in Lima
Museo de Arte de Lima picture in Lima
Anthrologphy museum picture in Lima
Iglesia y Convento de San Francisco picture in Lima
MATE Museo Mario Testino picture in Lima
Circuito Magico del Agua picture in Lima
Plaza de Armas picture in Lima
Museo Larco picture in Lima
Huaca Pucllana picture in Lima
Malécon picture in Lima
Museo de Arte de Lima picture in Lima
Anthrologphy museum picture in Lima
Iglesia y Convento de San Francisco picture in Lima
MATE Museo Mario Testino picture in Lima
Circuito Magico del Agua picture in Lima

The Plaza de Armas is the main square in the Historic Center of Lima. Domingo Leiva / Getty Images

You'll find the largest private collection of pre-Columbian artifacts at the Museo Larco Chloe Francois / Getty Images

Huaca Pucllana is an active archaeological site in the middle of the Miraflores neighborhood.  saiko3p / Getty Images

The 6-mile stretch of pedestrian parks that make up the Malecón are the perfect place to stroll, people-watch and snap photos of the coastline.  antorti / Getty Images

Known as MALI, the Museo de Arte de Lima is home to more than 1,200 pieces of Peruvian art.  VasenkaPhotography / Flickr

Kathy / flickr

Located on the Plaza de Armas, the Iglesia y Convento de San Francisco is one of the city's most popular attractions.  Artie Photography (Artie Ng) / Getty Images

One of Peru's most acclaimed photographers, Mario Testino, showcases his most famous works at the MATE museum in Lima.  Philippe Guglielmetti / Flickr

At night, the fountains within Parque de la Reserva (Reserve Park) turn into a dancing show of lights and music known as the Circuito Magico del Agua (Magic Water Circuit).  jirivondrous / Getty Images

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