The Peruvian capital of Lima is the country’s largest city, with a population of nearly 9 million one third of the population of Peru. Its history spans millennia, with its pre-Columbian pyramids, Spanish colonial churches and palaces, and the rising skyscrapers of the financial district. Lima’s beaches are popular during the summer, and resort towns consisting of clubs, bars, restaurants and hotels have sprung up to serve beachgoers. Museums like the Larco Museum, with its famous Gallery of Erotic Pottery, and Gold Museum, with its vast collection of pre-Columbian gold and precious stone masterpieces, are also must-see stops for with tourists and nationals alike. Popular neighborhoods include the ocean-side districts of ritzy and relaxed Miraflores and bohemian Barranco, with its seaside cliffs and Bridge of Sighs, have some of the liveliest nightlife and best restaurants in Lima.
In the historical center of Lima, the Plaza de Armas, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, you’ll find the baroque 16th century Cathedral, where city founder Francisco Pizarro laid the first stone and carried the first log. The French-style Government Palace, built upon the site of the house of Taulichusco, Chief of the Rímac Valley, is also found here. Once a viceroyal palace, San Martín declared Peru’s independence here and it is now the president’s residence. One unmissable stop is the monumental 16th-18th century baroque San Francisco Monastery, the largest of its type in the New World, with its thousands of rare volumes and scrolls and subterranean crypt with artfully arranged skulls and bones from 25,000-75,000 bodies.
Throughout its history Lima has seen various influential immigration waves: African influence has given the city its lively peñas and one of its most important religious festivals, the Lord of Miracles, whose miraculous image painted by a freed slave is venerated in the Sanctuary of Las Nazarenas. The Chinese left their mark with thousands of chifas, Peruvian-Chinese restaurants, the best of which are in Lima’s Chinatown, Calle Capón. The Japanese left their sophisticated techniques on various dishes, most notably the sashimi-ceviche fusion known as tiradito. With the influence of its indigenous, Spanish, African, Chinese, and Japanese populations, Lima has earned a reputation as the “Gastronomical Capital of the Americas”.
Explore the different ecosystems of the subtropical desert of the Paracas Peninsula, walking along pristine beaches, looking across desert vistas, visiting a picturesque fishing village and scanning the Pacific Ocean for marine life in the Bay of Paracas, considered one of the richest seas on the planet. Take unforgettable photographs of the profusion of migratory and resident birds such as Inca terns, flamingoes, eagles, cormorants, or with luck perhaps an Andean Condor or sea turtle, both endangered.
Journey through the thousand-year history of Lima to learn about the ancient pre-Columbian cultures which inhabited the area, relive the grand viceroyal period when Lima was the Spanish Empire’s most powerful and prosperous colonial city in South America, and see the modern face of this bustling coastal city.
Visit a pilgrimage site older than the Inca, more ancient than the Wari, the principal site for rendering cult to the god Pachacamac, whose pyramid temples housed the southern coast’s preeminent oracle.
See the detailed colonial architecture of Lima in the dusk, when it is enchantingly illuminated against the darkening sky and you have the opportunity to take some amazing photos, ending the evening with a dinner show highlighting the cuisine, traditional dress, and dances of Peru.
See the colonial buildings of the historical center of Lima strikingly illuminated against the night sky and visit the Magical Water Circuit of Lima to see the unique fountains.
Admire the breathtaking artistry, culture, and wealth of the Inca and pre-Inca civilizations of Peru at the Gold Museum in Lima with a private guide eager to share with you the relics which the Spanish conquistadors did not find in time to melt down.
Visit the two most impressive Lima museums with a knowledgeable guide who will share with you the history of Peru‘s civilizations as you marvel at ancient riches, mummies, ornate textiles, erotic ceramics, and more.
Let yourself be carried away by the enchantment of this moonlit tour through two centuries of art and architecture by renowned 19th and 20th century artists and the fascinating histories of presidents, artists, scientists, heroes and martyrs who have all come to rest here in this massive cemetery, complete with its own buildings, streets, gardens, and more than 760 mausoleums.
Come and discover the magic of the Peruvian coast on a tour full of tales about pirates and cemeteries. Join us to swim with the beautiful sea lions that will make your visit to Peru an unforgettable and unique journey.