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Lima Holidays Overview

Many people across the world might not be familiar with the name Lima, but this underrated capital of Peru is known to be one of the best travel destinations in the world. The city was founded in the year 1535 and was under Spanish rule for almost 300 years. As a result, it boasts of a unique mix of a modern day mega city, beautiful colonial architecture, ancient monasteries and a large number of slum areas.

Travellers might not be able to witness its beauty at the first sight. It simply seems to be a sprawling city that has unmaintained architecture, chaotic streets and a perpetual fog. However, once you manage to remove the blankets of grey, Lima offers you with stunning pre-Columbian temples, lavish colonial mansions and beautiful modern day structures that are definitely worth a visit. The unique location between the Andes and the Pacific Coastline also ensures that there is no shortage of natural sights and attractions. It's a shame that most travellers simply use Lima as a stepping stone to the greener Andes.

Lima is also considered to be the best places to sample Peruvian cuisines and it offers a delicious array of dishes and ingredients from the Amazon region, the coastline and the mountains. The humongous coastline not only allows for exotic seafood, but also provides travellers with beautiful beaches that can be found by the dozen. Travellers who prefer to stay away from the sun, sea and sand can always spend time in one of the many museums, art galleries, Spanish churches and distinguished mansions that the city has to offer.

Other things to do in the city include exploratory tours to ancient Incan sites, strolls through opulent palaces that date back to the colonial era, exploring the vibrant neighbourhoods of the city and indulging in an array of unique fashion and dining opportunities.

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Lima holidays - Top Places To Go

1. Plaza Mayor and Plaza San Martin

What is it? A long pedestrian street crowded with shoppers, vendors and sightseers connects Lima's two main plazas to each other. The heart of the old town is centred on the striking Plaza Mayor, or Plaza de Armas, gracefully colonial with its bronze fountain and old street lamps. It was once the central marketplace, where bullfights were held during Spanish rule. Surrounding the square are several notable buildings, including the grand Spanish Baroque Cathedral, occupying the site of an ancient Inca temple and housing the Museum of Religious Art and Treasures; the impressive Government Palace where the changing of the guard takes place; the Town Hall; and the Archbishop's Palace sporting a beautiful wooden balcony. The Plaza San Martin is an impressive square with a hive of activity surrounding its central fountains; a busy area of shoe-shiners, soapbox speakers, street artists and the site for political rallies and rioting workers. Hours of Operation: Phone:



2. Museo de la Nación (National Museum)
Avenida Javier Prado Este, San Borja
What is it? The superb anthropological and archaeological National Museum contains excellent exhibits tracing the history of Peru's ancient civilisations and provides an outstanding overview of the archaeological richness of the country. It is the city's largest and the country's most important museum and the chronological layout guides visitors easily through the complicated ancient history, highlighting the many conquering cultures and their achievements, from the art and history of the original inhabitants to the Inca Empire. Hours of Operation: Tuesday to Sunday from 9am to 6pm Phone:(0)1 476 9875 or 476 9882



3. Museo de Oro del Peru (Gold Museum)
Avenida Alonso de Molina, Monterrico
What is it? Housed in a fortress-like building are the safe-rooms crammed with treasures from the Inca civilisation and their predecessors. The massive collection of gleaming gold, ceremonial objects and jewellery compete for attention, and the famous golden Tumi, the symbol of Peru, has been exhibited around the world. The rest of the museum is just as interesting with thousands of exquisite tapestries, pre-Incan weapons and wooden staffs, masks, mummies, and clothing. There is also a vast display of antique weapons and uniforms, a reminder of Peru's violent past. Hours of Operation: Daily 11.30am to 7pm Phone:(0)1 345 1291, 345 1292 or 435 2917



Lima holidays - Top Events


1. The Lord of the Miracles

From 2007-10-18

To 2007-10-28

What is it? The Lord of the Miracles is the most spectacular of Peru's thousands of religious festivals. The annual 24-hour procession through Lima honours the venerated image of a black Christ, which was allegedly drawn by an Angolan slave on a wall in colonial times, and has survived all attempts to erase it, including an earthquake in 1746, which levelled all surrounding buildings. The painting, weighing two tons, is carried aloft from the church of Las Nazarenas across Lima to the church of La Merced in Barrios Altos. The procession consists of tens of thousands of believers, dressed in purple, singing hymns and praying. The route is lined with vendors offering traditional sweets and dishes. The festival also launches the Lima bullfight season at the Acho Arena in which toreadors contend for the coveted 'Golden Cape of Our Lord of Miracles'. Contact the Tourist Office on +51 (0)1 224 3279 or +51 (01 224 3271/3125 or email for more information. Where is it? Streets of downtown Lima



2. Fiesta de la Vendimia de Surco

From 2007-03-01

To 2007-03-31

What is it? Peruvians celebrate their grape harvest in fine style at the annual wine festival in Santiago de Surco, south of Lima. Among the local vineyards the craft of winemaking in the old way, from treading grapes by foot, through fermentation and aging processes, are demonstrated. The festival also provides a stage for local performers, a Queen of the Harvest is chosen, and there are various processions, competitions and parties where visitors are avidly taught to dance the Afro-Peruvian festejo. Make sure to sample the delicious local sweets, called tejas, made of pecans and candied fruits filled with caramel; and 'pisco', the aromatic grape brandy unique to the region. Where is it? Santiago de Surco



3. Independence Day

From 2007-07-28

To 2007-07-29

What is it? Peruvians celebrate the anniversary of their independence from Spain with great patriotic gusto throughout the country, but particularly in Lima, where flags fly high and the fun starts the night before the official ceremonies with dancing and folk music filling all the city's parks and plazas. The next morning at dawn a 21-cannon salute marks the start of ceremonials, which include a military parade downtown and a special service in the Lima Cathedral. For more information phone tourist information service on (01) 574 8000. Where is it? Throughout the city




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About This Page

Information on Lima Holidays, Lima Hotels, Holiday Packages in Lima (city breaks, short stays, all inclusive and luxury deals). Also provides links and resources to Air Travel, Flights and Lima Car Hire Options

Holidays Travel Guide content part sourced rom, copyright © Globe Media Ltd. By its very nature much of the information contained in the travel guide is subject to change at short notice. Travellers are urged to verify information on which they're relying with the relevent authorities. We cannot accept any responsibility for any loss or inconvenience to a person as result of information contained above.