Lima Vacation Travel Guide | Expedia
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Lima Vacation Travel Guide | Expedia

Before you set out exploring the mysterious
mountain city of Machu Picchu, the floating villages of Lake Titicaca and the tropical treasures of the Amazon jungle, discover the striking contrasts of Peru’s
coastal capital Lima. Ancient and modern… rich and poor… fascinating and entertaining… practical and elegant: Lima is a city of contrasts. Almost a third of all Peruvians call this
sprawling metropolis home and they live in everything from modern high-rise
condos to humble hill-top shacks. The painted façades burst with color in summer… but this image is paled by the fog that rises
from the Pacific Ocean in winter. In this ever-changing city you can find a
new surprise at every turn. All you have to do is prepare your senses; Along the boulevards of Central Lima you’ll
be immersed in the sounds of chaotic traffic, while quiet benches await in coastal parks. Everywhere you go in Lima you can feel the
hot desert sun warm your skin, and at the same time taste the salty sea air. To experience the bohemian side of Lima, follow
the Bajada de los Baños, a walkway that runs from the coast through
the quaint Barranco district. Stroll over the Bridge of Sighs, a legendary place of forbidden romance between
a wealthy girl and a handsome street sweeper. Rich or poor, all Peruvians find common ground
in the city’s many public parks. El Malecón, a continuous stretch of paths
and flower beds, allows you to explore the coastal cliffs of
the Miraflores district on foot. It’s in modern neighborhoods like this that
you almost forget that Lima was built on the ruined pyramids
and temples of ancient civilizations. Yet, in its heart you can retrace the steps of the Lima people
in Huaca Pucllana, a place of ceremony and sacrifice from around
1,500 years ago. Indigenous Peruvians still observe the rituals
and beliefs of their forefathers, despite being devout Catholics today. This religion was introduced to them by Spanish
conquistadores, along with the Castilian language and Baroque
architecture. To see fine examples of their colonial legacy,
visit the Plaza de Armas, which is also known as the Plaza Mayor. It was here that the Spanish explorer Francisco
Pizarro founded Lima in the 16th century. His quest to make the “City of the Kings” the capital of the New World started with
the construction of the Lima Cathedral. Inside, look for Pizarro’s tomb, early religious
artworks and the gold-plated altar. Pizarro lived and worked in the Government
Palace across the street, which is still the official seat of government
today. Take a horse-and-carriage tour from the Plaza, a romantic way of exploring Lima’s UNESCO-protected Historic Center with its typical colonial
balconies. Peru gained independence in 1821, but the
Spanish influence has never been erased. Take a peek inside inner-city museums and
libraries to find stately rooms, soaring glass ceilings and colorful tiled
courtyards. Another highlight is the 18th-century Museo
Larco, which stands on the ruins of a 7th-century
pyramid. The colonial mansion in the Pueblo Libre district
houses an impressive collection of ceramics, artworks and golden jewelry from pre-Columbian
times. The exhibits show the history of ancient Peru
through arts and crafts. After lunch on the patio, cross the garden to the Sala Erótica to see
the museum’s most talked about pieces… Nearby Parque de las Leyendas, which is Lima’s zoo, introduces the wild animals of Peru’s remote
Amazon jungle to all who can’t travel there themselves. Another popular family attraction is Parque
de Exposición in the city center, where kids and adults alike love splashing
around in the water fountains. As the day turns into night, the park’s magical light show is a reminder
that ANYTHING is possible in Lima. Don’t forget, Lima is the perfect stepping
stone to the many natural, cultural and historic treasures that Peru
is so famous for. Take your pick from coastal deserts… lush
rainforests…. fertile altiplanos…. and snow-capped mountains to see the many
faces of Peru.


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