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The epitome of a developing world city

Young and exciting, Lima has an oceanfront setting, colonial-era splendor, sophisticated dining and nonstop nightlife. In 1535 Francisco Pizarro found the perfect place for the capital of Spain's colonial empire. On a natural port, the so-called Ciudad de los Reyes (City of Kings) allowed Spain to ship home all the gold the conquistador plundered from the Inca. Lima served as the capital of Spain's South American empire for 300 years, and it's safe to say that no other colonial city enjoyed such power and prestige during this period. In no time the city can transport you from crumbling pre-Inca pyramids and the waning splendor of Spanish colonial architecture to glitzy, ultramodern shopping malls and many of the countrys best museums. You can feast on fresh seafood by the ocean, go paragliding off the cliffs in Miraores and groove all night in bohemian Barrancos bars and clubs.

Getting there
Limas Aeropuerto Internacional Jorge Chvez is in Callao. Departure taxes (payable in dollars or nuevos soles, cash only) are around US$30 for international and US$6 for domestic ights. Many airlines tag this tax onto the price of the ticket, but not all of them do so make sure to check rst.

Lima Built on the banks of the Rio Rimac, Lima is Peru's largest city. Founded in 1535 by Francisco Pizarro, Lima was used as the headquarters of the Spanish conquistadors, ideally located because of the surrounding fertile planes irrigated by the Rimac and its close proximity to the natural port at Callao.

Arrival at the airport can be chaotic. Most ights from overseas arrive in clumps either early in the morning or very late at night, which means that getting through immigration and customs can be tremendously time consuming. The airport is a 20-40 min drive from San Isidro or Miraores. A taxi can cost anything between $15 and $70 depending on demand and cars become scarce very quickly - make sure to make reservations online if you can! Check out Another good company is Taxi Green (, just past the Arrivals Hall. There is also an Express bus to the city center and Miraores leaving from the Arrival hall; ask at the airport information desk.

Lima has a great subtropical climate, it is never too warm or too cold. Temperatures range between the high 80s and 60s in the summer (December-March), and the 60s and 50s in winter (June-September). People in Lima do not use raincoats or umbrellas, since rain is rare. In fact, Lima is built upon a valley surrounded by an extremely arid desert. The weather can be taxing, however, as thick coastal fog (bruma) shrouds the city for most of the year. When the sun comes out in the summer, however, limeos head in droves to the Pacic beaches nearby.

Top Attractions
Iglesia de San Francisco Jr. Ancash 471 Bonesincluding thousands and thousands of human skullsare piled in eerie geometric patterns in the crypt of this church. This was the city's rst cemetery, and the underground tunnels contain the earthly remains of some 75,000 people, which you visit on a tour (available in English). The Church of Saint Francis is the most visited in Lima, mostly because of these catacombs. But it's also the best example of what is known as "Lima Baroque" style of architecture. The handsome carved portal would later inuence those on other churches, including the Iglesia de la Merced. The central nave is known for its beautiful ceilings painted in a style called mudejar (a blend of Moorish and Spanish designs). On the tour you'll see the adjoining monastery's immense collection of antique texts, some dating back to the 17th century. Museo Arqueolgico Rafael Larco Herrera Av. Bolvar 1515 Fuchsia bougainvillea tumbles over the white walls surrounding the home of the world's largest private collection of pre-Columbian art. The oldest pieces are crude vessels dating back several thousand years. Most intriguing are the thousands of ceramic "portrait heads" crafted more than a millennium ago. Some owners commissioned more than one, allowing you to see how they changed over the course of their lives. The sala ertica reveals that these ancient artists were surprisingly uninhibited. Everyday objects are adorned with images that are frankly sexual and frequently humorous. Guides are a good idea, and are just S/25 per group. Pedro de Osma Muesum Av. Pedro de Osma 423 Even if there was no art inside this museum, it would still be worth the trip to see the century-old mansion that houses it. The mansard-roofed structurewith inlaid wood oors, delicately painted ceilings, and breathtaking stained-glass windows in every room was the home of a wealthy collector of religious art. The best of his collection is permanently on display. The nest of the paintings, the 18th-century Virgen de Pomato, represents the Earth, with her mountain-shape cloak covered with garlands of corn. A more modern wing contains some ne pieces of silver, including a lamb-shape incense holder with shining ruby eyes. Make sure to explore the manicured grounds. Casa Pilatos Azangaro Jirn Ancash 390 Lima unfurls a multitude of historic estates but few stack up to Casa Pilatos. The oldest house in the city was built in 1590 and is available for tours. Museo de la Inquisicin Jr. Junn # 548 The Peruvian Inquisition was a brutal period of oppression for thousands of marginalized people, from slaves of African descent to women, Jews to mestizos. From 1570 to 1820, the Church was judge, jury and executioner in Peru and, at the behest of the Spanish Crown, effectively ran the country. The Museo de la Inquisicin was the headquarters of the Inquisition and commemorates the era in vivid fashion. National Archeological Museum Plaza Bolvar, no number If you can only make time for one museum while in Lima, the excellent National Museum of Archaeology, Anthropology and History is the one. This is, after all, the museum of Peru and the Peruvian people and, as a result, tells the countrys extraordinary story with nonpareil dramatic air. Pachacamac Situated about 31km southeast of the city center, the archaeological complex of Pachacamac is a preColumbian citadel made up of adobe and stone palaces and temple pyramids. If youve been to Machu Picchu, it may not look like much, but this was an important Inca site and a major city when the Spanish arrived. It began as a ceremonial center for the Lima culture beginning at about AD 100, and was later expanded by the Waris before being taken over by the Ichsma. The Incas added numerous other structures upon their arrival to the area in 1450. The name Pachacamac, which can be variously translated as He who Animated the World or He who Created Land and Time, comes from the Wari god, whose wooden, two-faced image can be seen in the on-site museum.

The Districts of Lima

Lima is not only the name for the capital of Peru and the province around it but also one of the citys districts called Lima. The district of Lima is characterized by some very different zones. While the industrial zone and residential areas might not be very interesting, the historic city center is an absolute must for every visitor. Limas historical center was declared a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO in 1988 and a Cultural Patrimony of Humanity in 1996. Downtown Lima shows us the impressing history of the colonial City of Kings. The streets are lled with great examples of Spanish colonial architecture. Miraores is without a doubt the most popular place for tourists, visitors, foreign expats and locals (who can afford it) to nd accommodation, go shopping, have a good meal, relax in a nice caf, party in one of the many bars, clubs and discotheques, savor the cultural life and enjoy your time. The district has a lot to offer and therefore we can only highly recommend spending some time here and having fun in one of Limas nicest suburbs. San Isidro is the major nancial district of Lima, but also a district with many gardens, parks and a quite exclusive residential area. Next to modern ofce blocks occupied by the main businesses and nancial institutions, you nd exclusive shops, excellent restaurants, inviting bars, cafes and of course many hotels. Nevertheless San Isidro managed to combine this modernity and progress with its cultural and traditional past. You still nd some unique colonial mansions and beautiful old houses from the beginning of the 20th century which once gave San Isidro its personality. Today San Isidro is a beautiful, modern and at the same time traditional district.

Hundreds of stores around Lima offer traditional crafts of the highest quality. The same goes for silver and gold jewelry. Wander down Avenida La Paz in Miraores and you'll be astounded at the number of shops selling oneof-a-kind pieces of jewelry; the street also yields clothing and antiques at reasonable prices. Miraores is also full of crafts shops, many of them along Avenida Petit Thouars. For upscale merchandise, many people now turn to the boutiques of San Isidro. For original works of art, the bohemian neighborhood of Barranco has many small galleries. Mercado Indios Av. Petit Thouars 5245, Miraores Ask a local about the best place for handicrafts and you'll probably be told to go to Mercado Indios. Among the mass-produced souvenirs are a few one-of-a-kind pieces. La Portada del Sol Av. Petit Thouars 5411, Miraores Better-quality goods can be found at La Portada del Sol. In this miniature mall the vendors show off their wares in glassed cases lighted with halogen lamps. Some even accept credit cards. Jockey Plaza Av. Javier Prado 4200, Surco Limeos love to shop, as you'll discover when you walk through any of the city's massive malls. With more than 200 shops, Jockey Plaza is by far the largest in Lima. Just about every chic boutique has opened a branch here. The only trouble is that it's in Surco, a hike from most hotels. Centro Comercial El Suche Av de la Paz, Miraores This shady colonial passageway houses highly exclusive jewelry and handicrafts stores. La Casa de la Mujer Artesana Manuela Ramos 15th block of Brasil, Juan Pablo Fernandini 1550, Pueblo Libre La Casa de la Mujer Artesana Manuela Ramos, at the 15th block of Brasil, is a crafts cooperative with good-quality work from all over Peru. The proceeds support women's programs that are funded by the Movimiento Manuela Ramos.

Restaurants & Dining

Astrid y Gastn $$$ Cantuarias 175, Lima, 18 You can't help but watch the kitchen dooreach dish the waiters carry out is a work of art. Take advantage of the wine listit's one of the best in town. In a colonial-style building on a quiet street, the restaurant is lovely, with pumpkin-color walls and original artwork. Huaca Pucllana $$$$ Av. General Borgoa, Lima, 18 You feel like a part of history at this beautiful restaurant, which faces the ruins of a 1,500-year-old pyramid. Excavations are ongoing, so you can watch archaeologists at work as you enjoy the breezes on the covered terrace. Rough-hewn columns hold up the dining room's soaring ceiling. This is novo andino cuisine, which puts a new spin on old recipes. Wash it all down with one of many pisco preparations. La Tranquera $$$ Av. Jos Pardo 285, Lima, 18 A butcher's front window couldn't display more cuts of meat than the glass case along the wall of this local landmark. Check out the different cuts, then inform your waiter which one you want and how it should be cooked. It will arrive at your table atop a charcoal brazier, sizzling from the grill. Even the smallest steaks, labeled junior, are the size of a dinner plate. Javier $ Bajada de Baos 403, Lima, 04 Seafood restaurants are huddled together along the street leading down to the oceanin fact, several share a single staircase. What sets Javier apart is its rooftop terrace, which overlooks the crashing waves. There's nothing fancy here, just incredibly fresh sh. Las Mesitas $ Grau 341, Lima, 04 Filled with a dozen or so marbletopped tables, this charming oldfashioned caf is a block north of Parque Municipal. The constant stream of Limeos informs you that the food is rst-rate. If the oor's pinwheel design doesn't put you off balance, then the spinning dessert display certainly will. Cebicheria La Mar $$ 770 Avenida La Mar, Miraores +5114213365 La Mar is one of the many hot-spots from famous Peruvian chef Gastn Acurio. He does a swift business there for lunchit's not open for dinnerbut be prepared to wait on line as they don't take reservation. Cala Restaurante $$ Espign B2 Cdra., Costa Verde, Playa Barranquito - +512529187 This is one of the hippest restaurants in the happening district of Barranco, a newly revitalized oceanfront community on the outskirts of Lima. Some people might nd that the DJ-spun tunes drown out the sound of the nearby waves, but that doesn't seem to bother the young and trendy crowd that likes to sun themselves on the terrace, enjoying cocktails and fresh seafood and Peruvian fusion dishes which can sometimes be less impressive than the breathtaking views.This is a fun spot to just come just for drinks and small plates too. Pescados Capitales $ 1337 Avenida La Mar, Miraores +5114218808 You'll have to book in advance or wait patiently on line to score a lunch table at this casual seafood spot beloved by locals. And note that it's only open for lunch, closing by 5 p.m.! It's run by a VietnamesePeruvian family with a air for light and delicious Peruvian-style seafood dishes, including an innovated array of ceviche recipes. The breezy indoor/outdoor terrace and restaurant has a rustic, tropical decor with wooden beams and potted plants dotted about. Its name is a play on the Spanish words pecados capitales, which means deadly sins, and dishes on cheeky menu are categorized according to sins or virutes, and the names of specials are inspired by the latest in Peruvian politics and current affairs, which give the locals a chuckle. La Gloria $$ 201 Calle Atahualpa, Miraores +5114455705 La Gloria is more Mediterranean than Peruvian in terms of cuisine and clientelewhich tends to be a very posh international jet set crowd (with prices to match), but if you want to see the beau monde of Lima dine nearly elbow to elbow, this narrow room in former private residence in Miraores is the place to go. Don't go if you want a quiet dinner as the place can be a bit lively. It's more about the scene than the cuisine but makes for a fun and convivial night out if you've already sampled the city's top culinary temples. Brujas de Cachiche $$$ 460 Jr. Bolognesi, Miraores +5114471883 For the classic Peruvian cuisine called comida criolla, head to Brujas de Cachiche, an upscale restaurant in Miraores that attracts attracts well-heeled locals and expats. The buffet or the tasting menu are highly recommended to anyone who wants to be introduced to Peruvian creole cuisine in a 5-star settingthey will be totally delighted.

Music, Bars and Nightlife

Lima may not be the city that doesn't sleep, but it certainly can't be getting enough rest. Limeos love to go out, as you'll notice on any Friday or Saturday night. Early in the evening they're clustered around movie theaters and concert halls, while late at night they are piling into taxis headed to the bars and clubs of Miraores and Barranco. Ask at your hotel for a free copy of Peru Guide, an English-language monthly full of information on bars and clubs as well as galleries and performances. La Posada del Mirador Ermita 104, Barranco, Lima When you're in Barranco, a pleasant place to start off the evening is La Posada del Mirador. The bar has a second-story balcony that looks out to sea, making this a great place to watch the sunset. El Ekeko Caf Bar Av Grau 266, Barranco A generally more sedate option, with free poetry readings on Monday, this faithful old bar comes alive at weekends when the grandfathers of bohemia play live music, trotting out their lively tango, msica folklrica and cha-cha-chas. The bar also serves up a range of hors d'oeuvres. La Candelaria Bolognesi 292, Barranco This is a good pea that has lively criollo music and dancing, with plenty of audience participation. Dja Vu Av. Grau 294, Barranco, Lima In Barranco, the most popular dance club is the second-oor Dj Vu. A triangular wood staircase leads up to a collection of odd-shape rooms where little tables are pushed together to accommodate big groups. The dance oor, off to one side, is something of an afterthought. Should the noise get to you, head out to the balcony overlooking the central square. Jazz Zone Av. La Paz 656, Miraores, Lima It's easy to miss the Jazz Zone, as the unassuming little club is down an alley. You head up a bright red stairway to the dimly lighted second-story lounge. Expect jazz avored with local rhythms.

Health and Safety

Asthma, sinus and bronchial problems can be aggravated by the polluted atmosphere in the major cities.If you have specic conditions (e.g. diabetes) you should bring a sufcient quantity of medical supplies and medicines with you for the trip. Always seek medical advice before traveling and ensure that all appropriate vaccinations are up to date.

Travel Information
All people entering Peru must have a passport that is valid for at least six months from the date of entry. Nationals of the USA, Canada, most Western European countries, Australia and New Zealand do not need special travel visas to visit Peru. For more information check the Entry Visa tab on your ofcial Trip Website.

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