In Lima everything is in endless movement, and even the past is constantly being rediscovered. Lima offers an extraordinary range of emotions, sensations, colors and flavors: travelers can visit the city’s impressive cathedral, fly over the ocean, enjoy a photogenic sunset, or savor unmatched cuisine.
Lima is a place of converging trends, created by its people and their living culture, where you will find every corner of Peru represented. One visit to Lima can never be enough. Lima, filled with colonial-era riches, is the only capital in South America that faces the sea, and it is hailed as the gastronomic capital of Latin America.
The most ancient civilization in the Americas
Caral is the origin of Andean culture. More than five thousand years old, Caral developed at the same time as other great cultures in Mesopotamia, Egypt and China.
This sacred city is situated in the middle of the Supe Valley, amid fertile lands close to the sea, and was inhabited by skilled fishermen, farmers and expert seafarers. Among its many mud brick structures and circular plazas, six main pyramids once stood.
Now a World Heritage Site, Caral was an imposing urban center, and its farming techniques and sustainable practices remain a reference point to this day.
Historic Center of Lima
A capital with a noble history
Lima is love at first sight. Not only because it is the only South American capital built on the Pacific coast, but also because of its long and noble history.
To wander through its historic center, a World Heritage Site, is to commune with both the past and the present. Its beautiful squares and monuments; its imposing mansion houses with their colonial and republican balconies; its many churches filled with priceless works of art; and its restaurants and bars offering countless traditional experiences and flavors, are just some of the options that can be enjoyed on foot.
Huaca Pucllana and Huaca Huallamarca
Ancient vestiges in the metropolis
The history of Lima can be traced back to long before its foundation by the Spanish in 1535. Evidence has survived in the form of huacas, truncated mud brick pyramids that now stand among modern buildings.
Right in the heart of Miraflores and San Isidro, respectively, stand the imposing Huaca Pucllana and Huaca Huallamarca, which were built to serve as ceremonial and funerary centers by the ancient Lima culture. They were constructed from small adobe bricks and straw, and the remains of tombs, pottery and mummies have been excavated.
Pachacamac Archaeological Site
Pachacamac is an archaeological site 40 kilometres (25 mi) southeast of Lima, Peru in the Valley of the Lurín River. The site was first settled around A.D. 200 and was named after the “Earth Maker” creator god Pacha Kamaq. The site flourished for about 1,300 years until the Spanish invaded. Pachacamac covers about 600 hectares of land.
Pacha Kamaq (‘Earth-Maker’) was considered the creator god by the people who lived in this part of Peru before the Inca conquest. The Inca received him into their pantheon, but he was never an equal of Viracocha, whom they viewed as more powerful.
The myths that survive of Pacha Kamaq are sparse and confused: some accounts, for example, identify him as Manco Cápac’s cowardly brother Ayca, while others say that he, Manco Cápac and Viracocha were the sole three sons of Inti, the sun god. Another story says that he made the first man and the first woman, but forgot to give them food – and when the man died and the woman prayed over Pachacamac’s head, to his father Inti to make her the mother of all the peoples of earth, Pachacamac was furious. One by one, as the children were born, he tried to kill them – only to be beaten and to be thrown into the sea by her hero-son Wichama, after which Pachacamac gave up the struggle and contented himself by becoming the supreme god of fish.