Christened the ‘City of Kings’ by its founder the conquistador Francisco Pizarro, Lima was once South America’s richest city and today, as Peru’s capital, it remains one of the largest financial hubs in Latin America with a population of 9 million people.
Located on Peru’s desert coastline, Lima’s urban metropolis sprawl lies in a valley created by three rivers, the Chillon, Rimac and Lurin, fronting the Pacific ocean and was once part of the Incan empire in the 15th century before the conquistadores defeated them. As such there remains today some pre-Colombian buildings hidden amongst colonial landmarks and the city’s modern façade of apartment buildings, which paints an accurate profile of many of Peru’s cities where the ancient, old and contemporary sit jumbled up together.
Lima’s charms aren’t immediately obvious but with one of our expert local guides with their insider knowledge, the city’s secrets and sophistication will be revealed. In particular, Lima excels in its museum culture and history as well as its gastronomic and fine dining experiences that have earned this cosmopolitan the reputation of “culinary capital of South America”. So, it may have once been called the City of Kings, however now Lima more or less belongs to the chefs.
Cool, hip and interesting – this sometimes overlooked Latin American capital is a must-stop for anyone heading up to Machu Picchu. With some of the top restaurants in the entire world, fascinating museums, an array of different, unique and colourful neighbourhoods, this city has something for everyone.
When to visit
Peru’s capital, Lima, has enough to keep you entertained whatever the weather. However, the most pleasant time to visit is between November and May when the days are sunny and temperate.