Lima is the capital and the largest city of Peru. It is located in the valleys of the Chillón, Rímac and Lurín Rivers, in the desert zone of the central coastal part of the country, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Together with the seaport of Callao, it forms a contiguous urban area known as the Lima Metropolitan Area. With a population of more than 9.5 million, Lima is one of the largest cities in the Americas.
Lima was named by natives in the agricultural region known by native Peruvians as Limaq. It became the capital and most important city in the Viceroyalty of Peru. Following the Peruvian War of Independence, it became the capital of the Republic of Peru (República del Perú). Around one-third of the national population lives in the metropolitan area.
Nowadays, the city is considered to be the political, cultural, financial and commercial center of the country. Internationally, it is one of the thirty most populated urban agglomerations in the world. Due to its geostrategic importance, it has been defined as a “beta” city.
Jurisdictionally, the metropolis extends mainly within the province of Lima and in a smaller portion, to the west, within the Constitutional Province of Callao, where the seaport and the Jorge Chávez Airport are located. Both provinces have regional autonomy since 2002.
In October 2013, Lima was chosen to host the 2019 Pan American Games; these games were held at venues in and around Lima, and were the largest sporting event ever hosted by the country. It also hosted the APEC Meetings of 2008 and 2016, the Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group in October 2015, the United Nations Climate Change Conference in December 2014, and the Miss Universe 1982 contest.
- Explore the historic center of Lima, a UNESCO World Heritage Site packed with fascinating Spanish architecture.
- Wander over to the 16th-century cathedral, which took 80 years to construct and was built in the grandiose style of the Spanish Empire.
- Discover the Larco Museum of pre-Columbian art, a splendid privately-owned museum in Pueblo Libre and housed in a beautifully restored viceregal mansion built over a 7th-century pre-Columbian pyramid.
- Meander along the cliff tops in Miraflores, heading to the Parque del Amor or ‘Love Park’.
- Enjoy a drink or meal in Miraflores at the neighborhood’s great and lively selection of highly-regarded bars and restaurants.
1 – 2 Days: Explore the ancient colonial city of Lima over the course of a couple of days before heading onto the next part of your Peruvian Adventure!