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Lima & Surroundings

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Introduction to Lima


The capital of Peru has over 7 million inhabitants in its central area and over 8 million in the metropolitan area, a boasting South American metropolis!


Lima is a mega city with modern quarters, impressive infrastructure, old colonial architecture and pre-Columbian remains in and around it.

The outskirts of the city have wide areas covered by slums, poor neighbourhoods otherwise known as favelas in Latin America.

Just like Rio de Janeiro, Bogotá and Caracas, Lima has its slums... These are better avoided from far away, if you are a visitor to the city.




Facts & Figures


The total number of inhabitants in the urban area is 7,6 million, while the metro area has 8,4 million. Roughly one third of the country's population lives in the Lima area!

Climate doesn't fluctuate much throughout the year, making Lima an all-year-round destination. Temperatures are generally around 20 - 22 ºC (60 - 65 ºF) throughout the year. Cooler is in June - October, warmer throughout the rest of the year.

There is a general dampness, the air is humid and might seem a bit hard to breathe.




History of Lima


The city of Lima was founded on January 18th, 1535 by Francisco Pizarro. At that time it was called Ciudad de Los Reyes ("City of Kings"). It became the capital and most important city of the Spanish Viceroyalty of Peru. Later, after the Peruvian War of Independence, it became the capital of the Republic of Peru.




Attractions, Activities, Events in Lima


Lima is a mega city with lots of attractions of many categories. You will see spectacular old Spanish architecture from the colonial era. Perhaps these are the most beautiful attractions of Lima city. And, you will also be able to see modern architecture and well-developed infrastructure.


Activities include: intense nightlife, sports activities, attending cultural events, but also beach life!


Lima: the Plaza de Armas and the colonial buildings around it



Colonial Architecture and the Historical Center


The "must see" buildings include: La Merced, Palacio Arzobispal, Catedral de Lima (the Cathedral of Lima), the Plaza de Armas, the Plaza de Mayor (Main Square), the Plaza San Martín, Palacio de Gobierno, Iglesía San Francisco. These are all wonderful buildings that you mustn't miss when in Lima!

The old Spanish architecture vividly reflects from these buildings, which aren't at all less interesting than their close relatives in Spain.


The Centro Histórico (the Historical Center) of Lima is particularly interesting with beautiful ancient colonial architecture. The Historical Center of Lima is on UNESCO's World Heritage List.


Palacio del Gobierno

Palacio del Gobierno and the colourfully-dressed guards





Museo Nacional de Antropología, Arqueología e Historia, Museo Larco, Museo de Arte, Museo de Oro (Museum of Gold) are the main museums of Lima, which you might want to check out when there.

It is believed that a large part of the gold items exposed at the Museo de Oro are fake.

You will be able to get closer to the cultures of Peru and see artistical and archaeological items.


Huaca Pucllana


Archaeological site with history dating back to 200 - 700 AD, located in Miraflores. Beautiful old walls, pottery can be seen at the site and inside the museum near it.




The neighbourhood of Miraflores is one of the most modern parts of Lima. It has a beautiful Pacific coastline, green parks, high rise buildings. A nice place to take a walk in.


San Isidro


The district of San Isidro, similarly to Miraflores, is a modern, rich neighbourhood characterized by residential buildings, modern office high-rise buildings and green park.

San Isidro also has a traditional area called El Olivar (Olive Park), whose name comes from the olive trees that grow in it. If you are looking for good restaurants, shopping malls, hotels, then San Isidro should be a good place for searching.




The Barranco district is south of the more famous Miraflores and is well-known for its great views over the Pacific.

Barranco is a good place with bars, cafés, restaurants, summer resorts, but even art galleries.

Luxury villas and old architecture are characteristic to Barranco.

Might be a good idea to walk around and explore this, smallest district of the great Lima.




If you're into jazz, criollo, latin, rock music, then you'll find them all here. The neighbourhoods of Barranco and Miraflores are especially good for searching for clubs.

Some bars and restaurants in Miraflores have ocean views...

Bars are open at about 8 pm, but music clubs and discos only open at 10 pm or later. They are open until 3 or 4 pm. Rarely even later.




Attractions in the Proximity of Lima


The big Peruvian capital has several attractions close to it. We will try to present the most important ones to you.


The Port of Callao


This small city is stuck to the bigger Lima. It is in fact Lima's oceanic gateway.

This is where Peru's major Jorge Chávez International Airport is located.


Peru is a great fishing nation, so you will see a large number of fishing vessels, small boats and big boats, sometimes even military ships in the port of Callao.


Pachacamac Archaeological Site


About 25 km (16 mi) southeast of Lima in the desert there is a complex of Pre-Incan ruins called Pachacamac.

The complex includes walls, still intact and restored buildings and 17 pyramids were also identified by specialists. Unfortunately most of these are highly degraded, many unrecognizable.

Pachacamac was constructed by the Huari (Wari) culture around 600 - 800 AD. Though, the area was settled before in the 200 - 600 period AD.

The name of Pachacamac comes from the "Earth-Maker" God's name. He was considered the creator god by the Huari.


The Ruins of Pachacamac

Pachacamac, much of it is still intact, despite devastating rains and floods in the area



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