Lima is the capital and largest city of Peru. Founded by Francisco Pizarro in 1535, this "City of Kings" served as one of Spain's most important colonial power centers for nearly three centuries.
The city's historic center was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988. Several of its structures—churches, palaces, convents and catacombs—date to the 16th century. Earlier sites within the city include Huaca Pucllana and Huaca Huallamarca—pre-Inca adobe pyramids dating back 1500-years.
Lima is well known for its museums. The National Anthropology, Archeology and History Museum of Peru houses over 100,000 artifacts, including the intricate Raimondi Stele found at Chavin de Huantar. The Rafael Larco Herrera Museum displays pre-Columbian jewelry, textiles and a large collection of ancient erotic pottery.
Day trips are available to several important archeological sites, such as Caral and Pachacamac. Caral, known for its two massive pyramids, is one of the earliest settlements in the Americas; excavators believe it may have been established as early as 2600 BC by the peaceful Norte Chico civilization. The site is located 125 miles north of Lima in the arid Supe Valley.
Located on the dry coastal plain approximately 40 minutes' south of Lima, Pachacamac was first occupied around 200 AD. The site was a seat Early Intermediate, then Huari and finally Inca culture. These cultures built on top of each other, creating adobe pyramids, high walls and a temple of the sun. The site was originally built as a temple to the "earth maker" or creator God.
Lima lies on the Pacific coast and enjoys a mild, if foggy climate. December to April usually offer the most sunshine, although light showers are possible. The June to October winters tend to be overcast. Year round, temperatures rarely exceed 80F or fall below 60F. Outright rain is relatively rare.
Direct flights are available from New York (8 hours), Los Angeles (under 9 hours), Miami (under 6 hours), and Houston (6.5 hours). These flights usually arrive late at night or very early in the morning. For this reason, most visitors spend at least one or two nights in the capital. Several excellent hotel options are available within 30 minutes' drive of the international airport.
Lima is a gateway to most other airports in Peru. Direct flights link the capital to destinationa such as Cusco (80 minutes), Arequipa (90 minutes), Juliaca (under 2 hours), and Iquitos (one hour 40 minutes). Direct flights are also available to Buenos Aires (4.5 hours), Santiago de Chile (3.5 hours), Rio de Janeiro (5 hours), and Quito (2.5 hours).
Mosaico Travel Services arranges personalized travel in Peru and throughout South America. We organize luxury accommodation, private transportation, and tours with expert guides. Speak with a Mosaico travel planner today at 801.582.2100. We’ll take care of the details.
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