Lima is a sprawling desert capital characterized by lots of gray architecture, dusty cliffs and gritty streets, but underneath the rough surface is a soulful, edgy and vibrant city. Under the layers of thick fog lay colonial mansions with Moorish-style balconies, pre-Columbian temples, eclectic art spaces, stately museums, crowded nightclubs and exceptional eateries. Visitors who take the time to penetrate the humble facade will be treated with these delights and many more.
The Peruvian capital is home to a number of impressive museums. One of the best is the Museo Rafael Larco Herrera, housed in an 18th-century mansion. The museum is home to one of the world’s largest collections of ceramics, including more than 50,000 pots. The first few galleries have an almost storeroom-like feel because pieces are stacked in a jumble that reaches the ceilings, but the galleries located further within the museum give the best pieces uncluttered displays. The dazzling collection includes feathered textiles, gold and silver pieces, pre-Columbian erotic pots and more.
To gain a better understanding of the country’s history and culture, visit the Museo Nacional de Antropologia, Arqueologia e Historia del Peru. The building itself is an historic icon, once home o revolutionary heroes Bolivar and San Martin, and the expansive collection spans the history of Peru from the ancient era to the early republic. Among the many treasures are an 18th-century painting of the Last Supper and the Raimondi Stela, one of the earliest Andean rock carvings.
Peru has a long history of bullfighting, and it comes alive at the Museo Taurino. Located in the Plaza de Acho bullring, the museum tells the story of the national pastime through paintings, gilded outfits, photographs and tools used by some of the most famous toreadors in the world. Some of the outfits even have bloody gore holes left by the bull’s horns.
Lima also has a rich religious heritage, and the Monasterio de San Francisco is a must-see sight for any visitor to the capital. The sunshine-yellow Franciscan church and monastery is home to a remarkable library, where visitors can gaze upon more than 25,000 antique texts. The stunning baroque structure also boasts a refectory with 13 paintings by Spanish master Francisco de Zurbarán, a spectacular Moorish-style cupola and catacombs filled with the bones of more than 70,000 people.
One of the most storied religious sites in the city is the Iglesia de Santo Domingo. Built in the 16th century, the bright pink church is the final resting place of three of Peru’s most important saints: Santa Rosa de Lima, San Juan Macías and San Martin de Porres. The saints’ tombs sit in the convent, a complex studded with courtyards, vintage Spanish tiles and baroque paintings.
It can be difficult to gain entry into the Palacio de Gobierno, but it is well worth the hassle to tour the remarkable palace. Built in 1937, the palace is home to the country’s president, and tours must be arranged at least two days in advance at the Office of Public Relations.
Other sights worth exploring in the Peruvian capital include the Pachacamac archaeological complex, the colonial Palacio Torre Tagle, the Iglesia de las Nazarenas, the 16th-century Iglesia de la Merced, the Museo de Arte de Lima, the Descalzos convent and museum and the Museo de la Inquisición, which is dedicated to the Spanish Inquisition.
Lima Geographical Location
Lima is located on the central west coast of Peru overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
Lima is the largest city in Peru and has a population of approximately 8,475,000 in the metropolitan area.
Spanish and Quechua are the two official languages of Peru although Spanish is the most commonly spoken by far. There is also a multitude of native and Amazonian languages spoken in small minorities across the country.
Lima Predominant Religion
- 81% Roman Catholic
- 12.5% Evangelical
- 3.5% Other
- 3% Unspecified or None
Roman Catholicism has close ties with the Peruvian government and is recognized in the constitution as an important part of Peruvian culture.
The Nuevo Sol is the official currency of Peru.
Lima is pleasantly warm throughout the year with humidity and little rainfall.
Lima Main Attractions
- Historic Center of Lima
- Larco Museum
- Magic Water Circuit
Other Attraction in Lima
- Church of San Francisco