WHAT YOU WILL SEE
Founded in 1535, Lima is a fascinating city with a rich history, elegant architecture, and delicious food. Known as the gastronomical capital of South America, your time here would be well spent if you planned your days around meals.
In addition to incredible ceviche, Lima is home to a host of sites that are worth your time.
In the Miraflores area, there are never-ending boardwalks and parks that overlook the Pacific Ocean. After a nice lunch, one of the best things you can do is walk along the Costa Verde, admiring the coastal views, until you arrive at the Park of Love. You can also wander around Parque Kennedy and peruse the street vendors, cafes, and artisan markets that make it famous.
Downtown Lima is for government, business, and religion. The city gets distinctly more colonial as you get closer to the main plaza. The Governor's Palace is home to Peru's president and features a changing of the guard each day. The National Cathedral houses the remains of Francisco Pizarro, the famous conquistador who overtook the Incas. The San Francisco Monastery features one of the oldest libraries in South America, paintings from the Rubbens school, and intricate catacombs that make you feel like you're in a movie.
Usually just a stopover for your time in Cusco or the Amazon, you may want to consider giving Lima a day or two for some incredible meals and a healthy dose of Peruvian culture
Lima is a treasure trove of history. The first inhabitants who settled in this regions were gatherers, fishermen, and hunters who gradually began to discover and develop agriculture.
It is often said that Lima was founded by Francisco Pizarro in 1535. However, there were a variety of pre-Inca civilizations that lived in the Lima area many thousands of years before Spanish colonization.
The most prominent Pre-Inca site in Lima is Huaca Pucllana, a pyramid structure that now has a restaurant on property. Impressive huacas and beautiful ceramics serve as an evidence for beautiful culture and heritage they carried.
Lima was the most important South American city, and the center of Spanish viceroyalty, until the 19th century. Later, in 1821, Lima was the core of Peru's fight for independence from Spain.
Lima is all about culture. The best way to understand Lima is by taking a walk through one of it's many parks or boardwalks. You'll observe locals, enjoying an espresso at a local cafe, or grabbing a quick ceviche on lunch break at a seafood joint.
Or, if you take a quick visit to the Barranco neighborhood, you will see Limeños working on their latest piece of art, or thinking deeply about their next great novel.
One of the best ways to experience Lima's culture and history is by attending a Peña, which is a dinner/show that highlights all of Peru's famous folk dances, while serving some of the most known dishes.
If you were to divide Peru into thirds, vertically, you could visualize the three main areas: coastal desert, high-Andes, and Amazon rainforest. Lima, located at tropical latitudes, is a part of the desert.
The temperature fluctuates between 60 - 75 degrees (F) depending on the season and on the fog. In Lima it never, ever..... ever rains. Ok, maybe a little bit. Literally less than 2 inches per year.
Population in Lima accounts to one-fourth of the total population of Peru.
WHAT YOU WILL SEE
The deserts of Ica and Nazca are home to the mysterious Nazca Lines, the huacachina sand dunes, and the Paracas Wildlife Reserve.
The Nazca Lines are huge images on the desert floor. In the 1920s, these images were spotted by pilots flying over the area. These huge drawings on the flat desert floor are so large that it requires an aerial view to be fully appreciated.
Over 70 different varieties of plant and animal drawings – including hummingbird, killer whale, spider and monkey – in addition to hundreds of lines and other geometrical shapes can be found here. It is not exactly known who created the lines, how and why it was created. However, most historians attribute the creation to Paracas and Nazca culture that dates back to 900 BC to AD 600.
Ica has a rich historical background and its first inhabitants date back to 10,000 years old and cultures of Wari, Nazca, Ica and Paracas were developed from this. The region was mostly inhabited by people belonging to the Paracas and Nazca. These groups had great expertise in textiles, metalwork, and pottery.
Further on, in 1563, with the arrival of the Spanish, Jeronimo Luise de Cabrera founded the Villa de Valverde Del Valle de Ica. This region is know today for it's vineyards and cotton crops.
This area is home to the world famous Pisco and Pisco Sour drinks.
La Vendimia, a grape harvest festival is celebrated during the month of March in the Ica region. This festival is celebrated in local vineyards to spread greenery across vast tracts of once a dry desert. During the celebration local sweets known as tejas, prepared from candied fruits or pecans will be served. These sweets are filled with caramel and covered with sugar icing. If you are a part of festival, you must try the typical drink called Cachaina, a liquor made from fermented grapes.
Ica is the capital of the Ica region is southern Peru. This entire region is coastal desert, which means dry and hot.
Between December and March, Peru's summer months, the temperature is usually in the 80s and 90s (F) and in the winter months those temperatures drop into the 60s and 70s.