- The modern and Colonial Lima
- The Gold Museum
- Pachacamac and Archeological Museum
The city of Lima
Lima was founded in 1535 and in a short period of time became the most important city in the Americas. Today, there are more than eight million inhabitants, and the city shelters immigrants from all corners of the globe, which has transformed it into a mixed city par excellence. In the historic centre, placed by UNESCO on the World Cultural Heritage List, you can visit splendid samples of Colonial architecture like the Cathedral, the Convent of Santo Domingo, and the Convent of San Francisco as well as fantastically wood carven balconies. Lima is also an inexhaustible source of culture, demonstrated by the existence of numerous and varied museums like the National Museum of Archeology, Anthropology, and History and the Rafael Larco Herrera Archeological Museum, which guards priceless Incan and pre-Incan treasures. Situated in the heart of the city are great archeological monuments such as the Huallamarca Huaca or the Pucllana Huaca. And, on the outskirts of Lima facing the ocean is Pachacamac, the most important pre-Incan sanctuary on the coast, built in the third century A.D. Some of the other great attractions are the beaches where you can do all types of aquatic sports, enjoy the sun, or simply gaze at the mesmerizing beauty of the Pacific Ocean. During this trip, you must also remember to sample one of the best cuisines in the world. The city offers a wide variety of restaurants and inviting locales where you will be able to taste delicious dishes, the result of the mixing of European, African, Asian, and Andean cuisines.
The provinces of Lima
Lima is a destination that offers something for everyone. 105 kilometers north of the city, you find the Lomas of Lachay National Reserve where the desert mountains turn green between July and November due to the winds that carry the fog from the ocean to create an abundance of humidity. This natural enclave is home to foxes, deer, and uncountable numbers of birds as well as a large amount of wild flowers.
Farther north, in the middle of the desert, lies the sacred city of Caral that, according to recent research, would be the oldest civilization center in the Americas at 5,000 years of age.
It is said that the Churín hot springs, 207 kilometers northeast of Lima, can cure people with its mineral waters. Located a little higher than 2,000 meters, this lovely inter-Andean valley also contains diverse archeological remains and an excellent climate.
Towards the center, you find the Marcahuasi mesa, a location much visited by mystics, nature lovers, and people connected to the esoteric. The gigantic granite rock formations, naturally created, that are similar to many types of figures give this place an overwhelming aspect.
And to the south, there is the province of Cañete where it is possible to experience rural, archeological, and adventure tourism, mainly in the city of Lunahuaná
Surroundings of Lima
District of Lurin
Area of clear skies, hills, beaches, agro-ecological parcels, horse farms, archeological sites, and clubs for sports and other open air activities. It is known for its wine bodegas, artisans workshops, and country restaurants.
-Pachacamac Archeological Complex
31 km / 19 miles from Lima on the Pan-American Highway South (45 minutes by car). SiteMuseum Telephone: (511) 430-0168. Visiting hours: Mon. – Sun. 9:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M.
It was the most important pre-Inca ceremonial center on the Peruvian coast. The main building material was mud. Around the complex, there are palaces, plazas, and temples (some of them restored), the most important being the Temple of the Sun and the Acllahuasi, both built during the Inca reign (1440 A.D. – 1533 A.D.) and the best preserved parts of the area. You will find a site museum that displays pieces found during the excavation.
District of Cieneguilla
20 km / 12 miles east of Lima on an asphalt highway towards Huarochirí (30 minutes by car).
District located in the LurinRiver valley where you can enjoy its natural beauty. There are areas for camping and country restaurants for a family day.
Eastward from Lima on the Carretera Central
-Puruchuco Archeological Site
Kilometer marker 4,5. Telephone / fax: (511) 494-2641. Visiting hours: Mon. – Sun. and holidays – 8:30 A.M. – 4:30 P.M. Web site: http://museopuruchuco.perucultural.org.pe
The Inca buildings (1440 A.D. – 1533 A.D.) are made of mud and adobe. It is thought to be a palace or a very important regional administrative center. The space is distributed along geometric lines and divided into three sectors, the most interesting being the area of patios and lookouts. During the excavation process, several human corpses were recovered, characterized by being placed in a fetal position and accompanied by everyday objects. You will find an interesting site Museum.
-Cajamarquilla Archeological Site
Kilometer Marker 10, take the turnoff on the right hand side of the Rimac River and drive 5 km / 3 miles (lower part of the Jicamarca gorge).
It was built during the sixth and seventh centuries A.D., the period corresponding to the Lima culture. Its 167 hectares of mud buildings are considered the second largest among the pre-Hispanic Andean mud cities (after Chan Chan in La Libertad).
-Huachipa Zoological Gardens
Av. Las Torres, Ate-Vitarte. Kilometer marker 11 next to the HuachipaBridge. Telephone: (511) 356-3666, 356-1208, 356-3141. Visiting hours: Mon. – Sun. 9:00 A.M. – 5:30 P.M. including holidays except Christmas Eve. Web site: www.zoohuachipa.com
It shelters more than 2000 animals belonging to about 300 species of mammals, birds, reptiles, and fish. The BirdForest with its replicas of Peruvian tropical forests is very impressive as well as the Interactive Farm dedicated to children.
-Chosica and Santa Eulalia
Kilometer markers 36-39 (50 minutes by car) in the highlands of Lima.
Area with entertainment centers, clubs, and traditional restaurants. The place is ideal for relaxing in its fresh and sunny climate. It is also the entrance to the central Peruvian highlands.
-Towards the North
You will find the resorts of Santa Rosa (km 43) and Ancon (km 44) known for its very calm waters, has been frequented by the people of Lima since the nineteenth century, and today it is a small city almost integrated to metropolitan Lima. It reached its heights as a beach resort in the 50's and 60's. It still maintains elegant buildings and an impressive marina, the Yacht Club.
-Towards the South
Starting at kilometer marker 35 on unfold to reach the Pan-American Highway South, a series of beautiful beaches ungold to reach the city of Cañete, 135 km / 84 miles from Lima. The sandy or pebbly beaches whit perfect waves for surfing are: El Silencio (km 41.5), Señoritas (km 42), Peñascal (km 51 - San Bartolo), Pico Alto (km 43), and Punta Rocas (km 45). Many have been turned into residential beach resorts: Pulpos (km 41), Santa María and Embajadores (km 51), and Naplo (km 51). Others offer many services such as hotels, restaurants, and entertainment centers: Punta Hermosa and Punta Negra (km 45), San Bartolo (km 51), and Pucusana (km 57).