Big City Tales

Fall in Love with Life (and Colour!) in Lima | March 29, 2013

Image of traditional Peruvean dancers

A parade in downtown Lima features traditional Peruvian dancers and costumes.

Bustling with life and full of colour at every turn, there’s a lot about Lima to fall in love with!

From its rich cultural heritage to its modern-day status as the Gastronomical Capital of the Americas, the city oozes with energy and excitement, and good eats are easy to find.

Sample a mouth-watering ceviche offering (raw fish, spices and lime juice), lovingly prepared by top chefs at local cevicherias, top it off with a punchy pisco sour, then set out to soak up the rest of Lima’s vibrant atmosphere.

Historic Centre of Lima

One of the best places to capture the city’s essence is at the Historic Centre of Lima where lavish colonial architecture celebrates the influence of Spanish royalty from centuries gone by.

Thousands of elaborately decorated balconies add to the unique look and feel of this district, along with the abundance of historical buildings and monuments. Some of the most popular to visit include:

  • The Archbishop’s Palace – Built in the 1500s, the palace is home to the Archbishop of Lima and its patron is Saint Rosa of Lima.
  • The Basilica and Convent of San Francisco – Beyond its pretty yellow baroque-style stone exterior, this building is known for its extensive underground catacombs.
  • The Cathedral of Lima – Visited by Pope John Paul II on two occasions, the Cathedral is also the burial-place of Francisco Pizzaro, the Spanish conquistador who established the city of Lima in 1535.
Image of Cathedral of Lima

Flowers and fountains add to the splendor of the Historic Centre of Lima.

Miraflores

For the best city views, shopping and eating areas, head to Miraflores where the shores of the Pacific Ocean are lined with beaches, hotels and walkways. While enjoying the ocean view, be sure to stop by the shops in Larcomar or the pubs in Pizza Street.

Miraflores is also a district to explore history and contemporary culture in. The Huaca Pucllana is a pre-Inca pyramid constructed of adobe and clay that was used for ceremonial games and administrative purposes by the earliest members of the Lima Culture between 200-700 AD. Jump ahead to modern times, the theaters, cinemas and art galleries of Miraflores are where tourists and locals still come out to play.

Speaking of places to play, Lima also has its fair share of parks and pathways to enjoy.

Image of Miraflores district in Lima

Miraflores is a major tourist hub in Lima.

Park of the Reserve

Lima is known as “The Garden City” for good reason. The Miraflores district is chock-full of elaborately landscaped green spaces and expansive parks, but many happen to be located in the downtown core.

One of the largest and most visited is the Park of the Reserve. A main attraction in this park is the Magic Water Circuit, which features a series of 13 fountains that are fully lit up and best viewed at night.

For daytime water fun that offers a similar cascade of colours, check out the Lima beach scene.

Image of Rainbow Fountain in Lima

The Rainbow Fountain is one of thirteen installations making up the Magic Water Circuit.

The Beach Scene

While Lima’s climate is not overly hot, in the summer months the place to be is the beach. That is, of course, if you can find a spot to lay your towel, raise your umbrella, and wade out into the Pacific surf.

If a mass of humanity is not your idea of a “day at the beach,” refuge can be found south of the city at remote white sand dune beach areas that are less-populated and more peaceful.

Image of crowded beach in Lima

A sea of people, umbrellas and towels makes up the Lima beach scene.

Where Life and Colour Collide

Aptly described as a “mosaic” of smaller towns that makes up a larger megacity, the landscape of Lima glimmers with an array of natural attractions and manmade enhancements that seemingly contradict, yet complement each other. Contrasting  styles aside, what is crystal clear about Lima is that it truly is a city full of life and colour that inhabitants and visitors alike have come to know and, yes, love!

Image of homes on the hill of Cerro San Cristobal

The colourful hill of Cerro San Cristobal.

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