Ubication : Western Central part.
Altitude : 154 masl
Population : 8 million
Climate : From april to december winter. From january to march summer. Rainfall in Lima is very low all year round.
A vast polluted metropolis situated in the middle of Peru’s desert coastline, Lima is a magnet for struggling highland villagers. But it also has plenty to offer the adventurous traveller – interesting museums, a vibrant cafe scene, striking architecture and genuinely friendly people.Downtown Lima is distinctly Spanish with a colonial feel. The streets follow a checkerboard pattern surrounding the Plaza de Armas, flanked by the Palacio de Gobierno, the cathedral and other important buildings. Street names can be confusing here due to a mixture of old and new names. The pedestrian thoroughfare Jiron de la Union contains many shops and is a good place to wander. There are some parks and gardens towards the southern end of downtown surrounding Plaza Grau. The most pleasant downtown places are those around the major plazas (Plaza de Arms, Plaza San Martín, Parque Universitario and Parque Italiano). These places have striking buildings and are quite safe during business hours due to a large police presence.
When the cathedral was originally constructed in 1555, it was considered too small and had to be rebuilt. It was badly damaged in the 1687 earthquakes and was almost totally destroyed when Mother Nature made the earth move once more in 1746. The church has interesting woodcarvings in the choir stalls and the altars are finely covered with silver. You can appreciate the original Spanish mosaics on the walls with the inscriptions of Lima’s founder, Francisco Pizarro, and the city’s coat of arms. Of great interest are the coffin and remains of Pizarro in the mosaic-covered chapel to the right. There is a small, but informative Museum of Art Religious (Religious Museum) at the back.
One of the best things about travelling around Peru is to experience daily Peruvian life, which revolves around its plazas (squares). Lima’s plazas are no exception. They are the social hub of town, and each town or city has a Main Plaza , or main square. Lima’s Plaza de Armas (also called Plaza Mayor) was the old heart of Lima and its foundation place. The only original parts of it are the central old bronze fountain built in 1650 and the building (Casa del Oidor) in the corner of the Government Palace and the Archbishop’s Palace. Be sure to catch the changing of the presidential guard here at daily. At the east is the Archbishop’s Palace, built early last century with a superb balcony, with the cathedral to the right. Nearby is the Municipal Palace, with an arcade corridor in the ground floor and two cannons, recently found in the square, now pointing proudly skyward from the balcony
The San Francisco church and monastery is known for its stunning baroque architecture and catacombs. Built in the 17th century, this church has cloisters with the famous Sevillian tiles, a good library containing thousands of antique texts, José de Rivera paintings, a museum of religious art and the well-visited catacombs, which are said to contain the remains of 70,000 to 90,000 people. The church itself is one of the best preserved in Lima. The building has survived numerous earthquakes, most recently in 1970, which caused considerable damage. But be warned: with their bone-filled crypts, the catacombs are no place for the squeamish.
The Pachacamac shrine is today an archaelogical zone in the department of Lima with an on-site museum and natural protected areas, such as the carob forest and lake. To tour the site is to go back in time through the history of the Lurín River Valley and the central coast, the burial sites and temples. Four hundred years before the Incas, the Ishmay culture developed a major ceremonial center, featuring streets, dozens of temples fitted with ramps and the painted temple, evidence of their sense of religious urbanism. When the Incas overran the valley in the fourteenth century, they adapted the existing constructions to their administrative needs, stripping the citadel of its sacred status and banishing the oracle to oblivion.
This fabulous museum includes the exquisite Collection of Peruvian old and Silver form the olden days, and the Pre hispanic Erotic Art Salon. Its pieces have toured major world museums. Larco is among only a few museums around the world opening their vaults to the public, with over 45,000 archaeological pieces that have been classified by renowned specialists and scholars. The Larco Museum exhibits the largest private collection of pre-Colombian Peruvian art in the world.
This is Peru´s grandest museum and houses the Estela Raymondi and the Tello Obelisk monuments, two important carved stone pieces dating back to the formative period 1000 years B.C. It features the largest textile collection, with fabrics from the Inca Empire, and a major collection of Ancient Peruvian metals. The remarkable Tawantinsuyo room illustrates one hundred years of the Inca Empire through virtual models and re-creations.
Larcomar is a shopping and entertainment center with a privileged location on a cliff overlooking the sea. It has a wide range of restaurants, from fast food to upscale dining, and shops that offer sports gear, handicrafts, books and gifts, as well as a multiplex cinema, bowling alley, and entertainment for children.
The district of San Isidro represents the modern face of Lima. It is the business and financial center of the city, but in spite of its constant renovations and changes, the district boasts a long history and a cultural wealth that preserves the legacy or our indigenous and colonial past. In San Isidro, it is possible to take part in many cultural and recreational activities as the district has a large number of establishments: hotels, restaurants, cinemas, shopping centers, pubs. The principal tourist attractions to be found in San Isidro are the Huaca Hualla-marca, the ancient olive grove known as the El Olivar, The Virgen del Pliar Church.