As Peru’s capital and largest city, Lima is a sprawling metropolis constituting an architectural blend of pre-Hispanic, colonial and modern infrastructure that is every bit as colorful as its multicultural population. The city was founded in 1535 by the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro and offers a rich history as well as exceptional food, a vibrant culture and lively nightlife but also widespread poverty and many poor areas.
While Lima is comprised of several neighborhoods, the city’s historic district features the most interesting attractions with old churches, monasteries, Spanish palaces and one of the oldest universities in the Americas. Additionally, Lima’s downtown is home to a large concentration of museums, art galleries, theaters, cinemas, markets and shopping zones as well as restaurants, cafes and bars.
Beaches at the north and south ends of the city are popular crowd-pullers, such as the popular Miraflores suburb that has an abundance of hotels, restaurants, bars and shops catering to tourists.
Boasting the title of “Gastronomical Capital of the Americas,” Lima is known for its delectable cuisine with thousands of restaurants ranging from traditional to international. The city’s most popular dish is ceviche, a serving of fresh, raw fish marinated in lemon or lime juice and other seasonings. Fresh fruit drinks are abundant here along with the national specialty, Pisco Sour, a brandy drink made from grapes.
Lima’s nightlife is one of its big attractions with bars, lounges and dance clubs to suit every preference in addition to live performances by indigenous groups. Sports such as football, basketball, volleyball, golf, horse racing and bullfighting are prevalent in Lima.
Lima’s public transportation includes an above ground metro system, buses and combis, which are passenger vans.