Lima Peru might not be South America’s most beautiful city, but with excellent museums, interesting historic attractions, friendly people and plenty more to offer, it is surely worthy of exploration. Most visitors to Peru will find themselves in the country’s capital at some point during their Peru vacation. Good thing that there are plenty of options for Lima hotels, covering all sorts of budgets. Backpackers will appreciate the city’s hostels, while the more discerning traveler will likely opt for the more luxurious accommodations. If you plan on spending more than a day or so in Lima, then deciding when to go will help you better enjoy your time here. Unfortunately, Lima is known for being covered in fog most of the year. Roughly from April to November, a gray cloud known as the garúa settles in over the city, making for a rather dull setting. But, from December to April, the sun shines in the country’s largest city, and it is during these hot and humid months that the bulk of Limeños hit the nearby Peru beaches.
Lima travel will take you to the central part of the country’s western Pacific coast. The city is located within the Lima Province, which is the only province that does not pertain to one of Peru’s primary 25 regions. Lima Peru is without question the financial and industrial hub of the country, and about one-third of all Peruvians call the Lima metropolitan area home. The history of Lima started much like that of most South American cities, with agriculture-based peoples setting up territories as far back as 5000 BC. The fertile Lima valleys of the Rimac, Chillon and Lurin rivers undoubtedly brought settlers to the area. Before the arrival of the Spaniards in the 16th century, the Pachacmac temple complex near Lima was a considerable place of worship for pre-Columbian natives, including the Inca. You might book a Lima tour that includes a visit to the ruins found at Pachacmac.
On old maps of Lima Peru, the city’s full name of Lima City of Kings is observed, as it was on the Day of the Kings that Francisco Pizarro founded the city in the name of the Spanish Catholic Empire. Pizarro arrived in Lima on January 6, 1535, a day also recognized as the Catholic Feast of Epiphany. The founding conquistadors would experience turmoil within the ranks during the initial years, and Pizarro would be assassinated by a fellow countryman in 1541. Lima gained primary importance in 1542, when it was declared the capital of the Viceroyalty of Peru. This Viceroyalty was the most powerful Spanish district in the Americas, covering the majority of Spanish-ruled South America. In 1569, Lima would see the arrival of Francisco de Toledo, who was a notable Spanish colonial administrator and Viceroy. The repressive system of government that Toledo established saw Spanish officials wielding their power down the ranks, deciding the destiny of Peruvian officials and native peoples. Toledo’s administration system would carry on as the way of life here for some 200 years. In 1746, a massive earthquake devastated Lima Peru, destroying most of the buildings and leaving thousands dead. On July 28, 1821, the Argentinian General, José de San Martín would declare Peru’s Independence from Lima.
As Lima continued to grow and grow throughout the years, it saw the arrival of scores of rural Peruvians who came looking for a better living. Suburbs of Lima such as Miraflores and San Isidro have some upper class citizens, but poverty pretty much reigns supreme here. Shantytowns lie on the fringes of the city, and basically the infrastructure of Lima could not adequately keep up with its growth. You will notice poverty on a Lima Peru vacation, but that’s true of most anywhere you will go in South America. As for positives, Lima Peru has many. The city boasts some of the best dining you will find on the entire continent, and its museums are ideal for exploring Peru’s culture and history. Museums of interest include the Museo de la Nación, where you can learn about past civilizations, and the Rafael Larco Herrera Museum, where you can observe the largest private collection of pre-Colombian art in the world. Relaxing in the central Plaza de Armas in Lima Peru is a pleasure if you like to people watch, and it is here where you will find yellow buildings integral to the government, not to mention the historic Cathedral where the body of Pizarro rests. Of significant interest in the Plaza de Armas is the bronze fountain, which dates back to around 1650. A Lima tour can be a great way to learn about the city, and guided tours at museums like the Museo de la Inquisición are particularly rewarding.
Lima travel doesn’t just whet the appetite of
those looking for strictly urban pursuits. Outdoor enthusiasts
might enjoy surfing at the
nearby beaches of Costa Verde and Barranco, and upscale
Miraflores’s cliffs are ideal for paragliding. After
taking to the air in Miraflores, you can get back to enjoying
the suburb’s commercial offerings. There are various
craft markets in Lima where you can barter for goods,
and for some of the city’s best shops and boutique
stores, Miraflores joins the suburb of San Isidro as a
top place to shop. Among the top attractions in Lima Peru
is the city’s nightlife. San Isidro has some of
the top elite Lima bars, while the artsy neighborhood
of Barranco boasts some of the city’s best clubs.
The rates for hotels in Lima are generally higher than
other Peruvian cities, but the selection is rich with
choices. There’s just so much to cover in Lima,
and a Lima Peru vacation can prove rewarding in so many
ways. Lima travel is a big part of understanding Peru
on a whole, and with the range of attractions in Lima
Peru, virtually every visitor will find interest here.
Plan a Lima Peru vacation during Carnival or during the
Feast of Santa Rosa de Lima if you want to experience
the city at its liveliest.