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LIMA - PERU
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What to Visit
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Climate & Weather in Lima
Entertainment in Lima
Restaurants in Lima
Information of Lima
The Rebirth of Lima
Mansions and Palaces
Churches and Convents
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LIMA HISTORICAL CENTER
Construction was begun on Lima Cathedral, on the city's Main Square (Plaza Mayor), with the city's foundation, on January 18, 1535. Initially a modest church, in 1564, architect Jeronimo de Aliaga designed a temple of monumental dimensions modeled on Seville Cathedral in Spain.
Notable features in its interior are its choir pews, the ivory baroque chapel of La Inmaculada and the Christ donated by Carlos V of Spain, and the tomb of Francisco Pizarro, the "conquistador" of Peru.
Santo Domingo Church:
Santo Domingo, the oldest convent in Lima, is one the city's most peaceful spots due to its harmonious architectural style. Consisting of a series of cloisters and courtyards surrounded by service areas and community halls, to the right of its main altar, you will find the final resting places of Saint Rose of Lima, San Martin de Porres and the beatified Juan Masías. Church and Convent of San Francisco:
Due to its magnificent harmony of volume and color, San Francisco is considered by some as the greatest architectural complex of its kind in Latin America. Its construction was started in 1542 and completed in 1674.The convent, the cloisters and gatehouse are decorated with tiles from Seville. In the basement are underground galleries or catacombs that, during the Viceroyalty, served as a cemetery for the city.
LIMA HISTORICAL HOUSES
Casa Aliaga (House of Aliaga):
This mansion was built over the private temple of the native chief Taulischusco, leading authority of the Rimac Valley during Inca times. The house belonged to Jeronimo de Aliaga who was given the land by Francisco Pizarro. Almost uniquely in both Peru and Latin America, the house continues to be occupied by descendants of the conquistador right to this day.
Casa de Pilatos (House of Pilate):
This house is one of the oldest in Lima. Built in 1590 by Jesuit Luis Portillo, it owes its name due to its similarity with the Casa de Pilatos in Seville, Spain.
Casa Goyeneche or Rada (House of Goyeneche or Rada):
One of the first mansions in Lima to display the French influence common in the mid 18th century, it still maintains its traditional structure today, most notably with its balconies and doorways, characteristic of that period.
Palacio de Torre Tagle (Torre Tagle Palace):
The most beautiful of Lima's 18th century mansions, due to its true Limeño' architectural originality, harmoniously combining as it does Andalusian, Moorish, Creole and Asian features. The Palace, nowadays home to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has a stone facade and two carved balconies; both authentic "Limeño" architectural jewels.
The Government (or Presidential) Palace:
Located on the Main Square (Plaza de Armas), it houses elegant apartments and halls, in addition to priceless paintings. It is also known as the Casa de Pizarro (House of Pizarro) due to the fact that it stands on the site the conquistador selected to govern from.
Court of the Holy Office or the Inquisition (Tribunal del Santo Oficio):
The Inquisition was established in Peru in 1569 to punish heresies and other offenses against the Catholic religion, and wasn't abolished until 1820. The building has an imposing neoclassical portico and an exquisite ceiling carved in wood in its main hall, the finest extant in Lima.
SQUARES AND PARKS IN LIMA
Plaza Mayor (Main Square):
Lima's Plaza Mayor is the "heart" of the city, lively and Creole to the core, a "heart" which started to beat the very day the city was founded. More beautiful than ever due to its recent renovation, its bronze fountain stands out; with its statue of the Angel of Fame holding a clarion in its left hand and its right a flag bearing both Lima's and the Crown's coat of arms.
Plaza San Martin (San Martin's Square):
This "plaza" was inaugurated in 1921 on the Centennial of Peru's Independence. The monument in honor of General José de San Martín, Argentine Liberator of Peru, was created by Catalan sculptor, don Mariano Benlluire. The upper part shows the independence warrior ascending the Andes on horseback. The figure is leaning against a granite pedestal, which has the shape of a truncated pyramid with a stepped base.
Parque Universitario (University Park):
Dating from 1870, when the city's colonial walls were demolished and 20,000 thousand square meters were designated for a small square. It was only decided to cobblestone it in 1920, and the German community of Peru arranged for the construction of a 30-meter high tower clock which chimes the music of the National Anthem every day at noon, to celebrate Peru's Independence Centennial
Pantanos de Villa (Villa Swamps):
A Metropolitan Ecological Park in Chorrillos, 30 minutes from downtown Lima. The swamps or "humedales" (humid lands) stretch over more than 2,000 hectares and are a refuge for migrating birds.
LIMA CITY AT NIGHT
Lima nights had one name: Barranco, a traditional district with an old-fashioned atmosphere full of romance, and gathering point for Lima's bohemians. In this normally quiet part of the city, at nightfall that peace vanishes: Barranco changes with the moon. Hundreds of people take the discos, bars, restaurants, pubs, casinos and pinball halls as a storm. Too much noise and people. Not recommended at these days.
The night however is not just Barranco's, it can also be enjoyed in many other districts all over Lima, such as San Isidro and Miraflores where there are a great variety of options. As well as casinos, discos, bars, and pubs there are Peñas Criollas (live Afroperuvian music and dancing) where the 'jarana' (party) is at the rhythm of the guitar and the "cajón" (traditional percussion box), with waltzes and polkas, in the style of traditional Lima.
There is a multitude of reasons for chasing sleep away in Lima, as the "limeño" night is both seductive and tempting.
HOTEL AND LODGING IN LIMA
Due to increased tourism, Lima has improved hotel availability in recent years. Large, modern hotels have been built in Lima, mainly in the districts of Miraflores and San Isidro, with personnel trained in first class service, to the standards of leading cities worldwide.
As a result of this new competition, existing hotels have improved their infrastructure with further benefits for the tourist; offering wider choice and the possibility of enjoying an efficient, comfortable and guaranteed service.
Lima has hotels and hostels to suit the most diverse of budgets, with rates varying according to the services offered. In the city there are 1, 2 and 3 star hostels; 3, 4 and 5 star Apart Hotels and hotels ranging from 1 to 5 stars; outside. All establishments must display a sign indicating their category and authorization.
LIMA RESTAURANTS AND TYPICAL FOOD
Lima's menus offer a wide variety of dishes from all parts of the world as well as the more select dishes of Peruvian cuisine, amongst the best in the world. Whoever comes to Lima cannot leave without trying its "criollo" (traditional) food; particularly its many dishes based on fish and shellfish, which magnificently combine flavors and aromas beyond imagining. Ceviche, raw fish marinated in lemon juice and seasoned with chili, is the most representative of all Peruvian seafood dishes. Other favorites are the "jalea" (deep fried mixed fish and shellfish) and "tiradito", (strips of fish marinated in lemon juice, similar to ceviche) and "coctel de camarones" (shrimp cocktail).
Other jewels of "criollo" food are lomo saltado (stir fried pork and vegetables), carapulcra (a type of potato and meat stew), arroz con pato (duck cooked with rice), cau cau (tripe and vegetable stew) and anticuchos (barbecued pieces of meat, chicken or fish on a skewer). Desserts such as arroz con leche (rice pudding), mazamorra morada (a purple coloured jelly), suspiros a la limeña (a sticky sweet classic pudding), picarones (deep friend pumpkin and sweet potato doughnuts eaten dipped in sugar cane syrup) and turrón de Doña Pepa (a multi coloured cake). All these dishes are delicious enough to satisfy even the most demanding of tastes.
In Lima you will find excellent restaurants specializing in Chinese food; better known in Peru as 'chifas'. Chinese cuisine, which reached the City of the Kings with the first Asians who came to work in the haciendas close to the capital during the last century, has mixed in many cases with Peruvian cuisine, to create unique dishes such as Arroz Chaufa (stir fried rice).
One can also enjoy French, Italian, Japanese, Arab, and Argentine cuisine as well as a wide variety of international dishes at excellent restaurants within the 3 to 5-star category.
CLIMATE & WEATHER IN LIMA
Average temperature in summer (mid December to mid March) is around 25º - 28º C. Summer is the best time to enjoy Lima's many beautiful beaches, such as those along the Costa Verde, about 15 minutes from Lima Historical Center, or along the Pan-American highway within 30 to 45 minutes south of Lima.
Winter days are grey, overcast and quite humid, and average temperatures are between 12 to 15º.
Lima, with a mild climate of neither heavy rain nor intense cold, can be visited quite easily at any time of the year.
FLIGHTS TO LIMA
Jorge Chávez International Airport, in the Constitutional Province of Callao, 30 minutes from Lima's Historic Center, is the main point of entry to Peru's capital.
International airlines such as Aces, Aeroflot, Aerolíneas Argentinas, Aeromexico, Aeropostal, Air France, American Airlines, Avianca, British Airways, Continental Airlines, Copa, Cubana de Aviación, Delta Airlines, Ecuatoriana, Iberia, Lacsa, Lan Chile, Lan Perú, Lloyd Aero Boliviano, K.L.M., Mexicana, Servivensa, Saeta, Taca, Tame y Varig, have flights to and from Lima airport, linking the capital of Peru with leading cities worldwide.
Planes flying to Peru's main cities such as Andahuaylas, Arequipa, Ayacucho, Cajamarca, Chiclayo, Cusco, Huánuco, Iquitos, Ilo, Juanjui, Juliaca, Piura, Puerto Maldonado, Pucallpa, Rioja, Tacna, Talara, Tarapoto, Tingo María, Tocache, Trujillo, Tumbes and Yurimaguas also depart from Jorge Chávez Airport.
TRANSPORTATION IN LIMA
For transport around the city, visitors can use public transport, buses and minibuses, or taxis. There are three types of taxis: black limousine services available at the airport and outside most hotels; radio taxi companies requested by phone, and standard yellow taxis registered with the Municipality.
It is inadvisable to use independent taxis as they offer no security.
Something to bear in mind is that in Lima there are no taximeters and fares are settled before boarding the vehicle, except you take a hotel or radio taxi services.
Public transportation is available from 5am to around midnight. Some vehicles provide night services and increase their rates by 50%. Vehicles are old minibuses or buses, which are hardly not recommended to use.
For touring the city you can hire specialized companies, with tour guides in your language, modern units and which make all the arrengements you need, as entrance fees or lunch.
LIMA - PERU
Map of City Lima
Historical Center Map
San Isidro and