Lima, a city situated on the mountains of the Pacific Ocean, is among Latin America's most colourful cities, full of tradition, colour and culture at any stage. The capital of Peru is slowly coming into its own, no longer just a flight link for travellers going straight to Machu Picchu. Its vibrant gastronomic scene is one of the most thrilling in the world. Nightlife is at its head, with a constant line of cocktail bars and live music clubs popping up in Barranco, the boho neighbourhood that draws art lovers to its daytime galleries and party animals arriving in the night. If you're a nature lover, a beach bum or an art history expert, there's plenty for everybody in Lima. The scenes are the imagination of a historian, with pre-Columbian pyramids and colonial churches competing for publicity. And while room and dining costs are still fair, it's never been cheaper to experience Lima.
1. Visit the Museo de Arte de Lima (MALI).
2. Huaca Pucllana: Rising out of a non-described suburban community is a huge, mud-brick temple complex. You'll be astounded by the scale — this pre-Inca huaca (pronounced "wha kah"), or mosque, occupies many city blocks.
3. Convento de San Francisco: The 50-minute tour involves a cathedral, a monastery library filled with old books, abundant colonial paintings, and catacombs.
4. Museo Pedro de Osma: The greatest feature of his portfolio is constantly on show. The best of the portraits, the Virgen de Pomato of the 18th century, is the Earth, with its mountain-shaped robe draped with corn garlands.
There are only two seasons in Lima — summer and winter — and the temperature doesn’t vary wildly too much during the year. Although Lima is in the southern hemisphere, its climates are the reverse of those of the United States. The hottest time is between December and April, while January is the month where even the sun is able to burn through the almost infinite clouds and fog.
Area: 2,672 km²
Urban area: 800 km²
Province: Lima Province
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