Lima was founded in 1535 and for a short period of time it was the most important city in the Americas. Today Lima together with the port Callao holds more than nine million inhabitants and is a true cosmopolitan city. The city is situated in the middle of Peru on the coastal area between the Pacific Ocean and the Andes by the river Rimac. It is the centre for administration, economics and also the biggest city for industry in Peru. The city also is of great cultural importance; the oldest university in South America, San Marcos from 1551, is situated here, great museums with gold-, textile- and ceramics objects from pre-Inca and earlier. Lima is also a hub for flights and road traffic.
Lima is the place to start and end the trip to Peru and is nowadays a destination worth visiting for the value of itself. In the historic centre, on the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List, you can see splendid samples of colonial architecture like the Cathedral, the Convent of San Francisco and Santo Domingo, and the amazing wood carven balconies. There is plenty of culture in Lima, demonstrated by the existence of numerous museums like the National Museum of Archeology, Anthropology and History and the Rafael Larco Herrera Archeological Museum, that guards priceless Inca and pre-Inca treasures.
In Miraflores you can find the great archeological monument of Huaca Pucllana and south of Lima by the ocean is the most important pre-Inca sanctuary on the coast, Pachacamac, build in the 3rd century A.C. In the summer there are plenty of nice beaches along the coast where you can do all types of aquatic sports.
Lima is the gastronomical capital of the Americas and there are plenty of world-class restaurants in the city, by many regarded to be the best cuisine in the world. One of the reasons for this is the many immigrants that came to Peru during the 19th and 20th centuries from Europe, Asia and other parts of the world and mixed the existing ways of cooking with many new influences. Lima is a real melting-pot with people from all over the world.
The population in Lima has grown from 175 000 inhabitants in the year 1919, more than 500 000 twenty years later, to the population of today, more than 9 millions.
Lima has a peculiar climate without extreme heat or cold. The average temperature is about 19 C (66 F), which in the summertime may reach about 30 C (86 F) and in the winter may be between 15 – 19 C (59 – 66 F). It never rains but especially in the winter the humidity is so high that it sometimes may be considered as rain. The climate is sub-tropic with desert and humidity at the same time, due to the cold Humbold current from the Antarctic and the nearness to the Andes.