Peru Vacations - 4 Reasons to Visit Lima

The capital of Peru - Lima is home to over 9 million residents and is one of the most culturally diverse cities in South America. Founded in 1535 by the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro, the city was the main trading post for the continent until it its demise when the Spanish created a rival vice regency in Rio de la Plata.

Nowadays most people visiting Peru tend to skip Lima and head for the more popular attractions located in the highlands of the Andes, like Cusco and Machu Picchu. Although we wouldn't recommend spending more than 3 days in Lima, we do recommend that you take a moment to visit and get to know this incredible city.

Here are 4 reasons to visit Lima:

1) Lima has incredible cuisine

Over the last few years Peruvian cuisine has started to rise in popularity, and although not quite as well-known as Chinese or Mexican food, it is certainly not to be missed. As the central hub of many cultures from around Peru, it is a city that combines traditional ingredients and flavours from the depths of the jungle, to the highlands and coastal regions, making Lima a hot-spot for incredible food ideas. Furthermore, a new generation of innovative and young Peruvian chefs have taken it to a whole new level, integrating Peruvian dishes with international plates, offering food we all know, but with a tasty Latin twist. Seafood is also particularly excellent in Lima, and we recommend that you head to Calle La Mar in the Miraflores district to try ceviche, a dish of fresh fish cooked in lime juice and gently spiced with ricotto pepper served with sweet potato and corn on the cob.

2) Incredible Heritage

After the Spanish conquered the Inca Empire they searched for somewhere to build a city which would serve as their new home. Lima was chosen for its location on the coast, close proximity to the Lurin River and that fact that for most of the year is covered by low level cloud protecting the residents from the harsh sun. Quickly a city of great magnitude and wealth grew, full of wide avenues with large European mansions and buildings, many of which still exist today. The historic centre of Lima is an excellent place to spend a few hours, and a guided tour of Palacio de Gobierno (Government Palace), Plaza san Martin and Plaza de Armas will give you a real flavour of the incredible heritage and history. In the historical barrio of Barranco lookout for the remains of the first tram system in South America, ancient frescos decorating original colonial mansions and even an ancient club house for the boy scouts.

3) The largest public water fountain display in the world

Located in the former Parque de la Reserva is the world's largest public water fountain display. Known as Curcuito Magico del Agua, the park features hundreds of fountains some of which pass 200 feet in height and others which dance to music. There is also a selection of interactive fountains which are great for kids and adults alike. Open Thursdays - Sundays from 4pm, the park is best visited after sunset.

4) Pachacamac

The temple of Pachacamac is an archaeological site located 40 km southeast of Lima, in the Valley of the Lurín River. Pachacámac was founded by early settlers and subsequently grew during the Huari empire. After the collapse of the Huari civilisation, it became primarily a religious site, used to worship the Pacha Kamaq creator deity, common in South American mythology. Pachacamac is noted for its great pyramidal temples, and for the remains of frescoes adorning its adobe walls. At the time of the Spanish conquest it was a major Inca shrine. Pacacamac can easily be visited in one day from the hotel districts of Lima, and is a great way to see more of the city.

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