Peru Travel Information
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Lima, the famous "Pearl of the Pacific" or the "Garden City" was founded in 1535 and in a short period of time became the most important city in the Americas. Today, there are more than 10 million inhabitants, and the city shelters immigrants from all corners of the globe, which has transformed it into a mixed city par excellence. In the Historic Center, included by the UNESCO on the World Cultural Heritage List, you can visit splendid samples of Colonial architecture like the Cathedral, the Convent of Santo Domingo and the Convent
of San Francisco, as well as fantastically wood-carved balconies. Lima is also an unending source of culture, demonstrated by the existence of numerous and varied museums like: the National Museum of Archaeology, Anthropology & History, and the Rafael Larco Herrera Archaeological Museum too, which guards priceless Inca & pre-Inca treasures. To this day, Lima is a city in a constant move, a city that never sleeps and now developing its modern infraestructure everyday, day and night; you will find in many sections of this giant urban sprawl street detours for some new buildings, hotels, shopping malls or subway stations being built, so you will be surprised with the rapid grow and modernization of this huge capital city. Situated in the heart of the city are great archaeological monuments such as the Huaca Huallamarca or the Huaca Pucllana. And, on the outskirts of Lima, facing the ocean is Pachacamac, the most important pre-Inca sanctuary on the coast, built in the Third Century A.D. One of the latest discoveries near Lima is the ancient pre-Inka city of Caral, situated in the proximities of Supe, at 184 km. north of Lima, in the Norte Chico area, it's dated at about 5,000 years old, being the most antique civilization that lived in the Americas. To reach the ancient city, you detour at the km. 184 to the right, by the rio Supe, riding for about 20 minutes to get to the Reception Center. Some of the other great attractions are the beaches, where you can do all types of water sports to enjoy the sunshine, fishing, or simply gaze at the mesmerizing beauty of the Pacific Ocean and a romantic sunset. During this trip, you must also remember to sample one of the best cuisines in the world. The city offers a wide variety of restaurants and inviting locales where you will be able to taste delicious dishes, the result of the mixing of European, African, Asian & Andean cuisines.
USEFUL INFORMATION ABOUT LIMA
ALTITUDE: Lowest point: 3 m.a.s.l/10 f.a.s.l (Ancon). Highest point: 861 m.a.s.l/2,825 f.a.s.l (Chosica).
CLIMATE: The city of Lima has an arid & semi-warm climate. The annual maximum average temperature is 21,97ºC (71,4ºF) and the minimum is 17ºC (62ºF). The temperature increases in the years when the "El Niño" phenomenon occurs.
By land: Connected by the Pan-American Highway to different cities along the coast of Peru, Ecuador and Chile. To the East, the Carretera Central is the main highway to different highland & central jungle cities.
By air: Regular flights to major world cities from the Jorge Chavez International Airport (located in the Callao Region, approx. 30 minutes from Lima).
URBAN TRANSPORT: The brand-new Metro de Lima (Subway) System is currently under construction. This will be the most biggest and ambitious infraestructure built in Peru and also the more extense and most MODERN system in Latin America (completely automated with no conductors), starting with 7 Basic Lines which will be extended as demand grows, with a total of 180 kms. and 260 stations. At this time (15 Dec. 2015), the Line 1 (an aerial line: 29 stations in 35 km, being the longest Metro line in the Americas) is totally completed and running commercial service at 9-min. intervals, so you can visit and give it a try. Fares cost only 1,50 soles and it runs from 6am to 22hrs. (Mondays-Fridays), to see Saturdays, Sundays & Holidays Timetables, please visit its website: www.lineauno.pe Line 2, which will be totally subterranean, going for about 29 km and with 31 stations, started construction on 15 Dec. 2014, and the first section of it will be commissioned into operation approx. at midyear 2016.
AIRPORT: Jorge Chávez International Airport, avenida Faucett s/n, Callao. Phone: (511) 595-0666 (reports on national & international flights). Attention: 24 hours. Website: www.lima-airport.com/eng
LIMA CULTURAL CENTERS:
"Estación de Desamparados", Educative & Cultural Center: jiron Ancash 207, Lima. Phones: (511) 311-3900 extension 805. Visiting hours: Mon. – Sun. 9:00 am – 7:00 pm.
National School of Fine Arts & Cultural Center: jiron Huallaga 402, Lima. Phone: (511) 427-9442.
San Marcos Cultural Center: ave. Nicolás de Piérola 1222, Parque Universitario, Lima. Phone: (511) 428-0052. San Marcos Cultural Center (guided tour of Peru's oldest mansion) Mon. – Sat. 9:00 am – 6:00 pm. (guided tours of other locations on campus): Thurs. & Sat. Upon reservation.
Spanish Cultural Center: jr. Natalio Sanchez, block 1, Santa Beatriz. Phone: (511) 330-0412. Schedule: Exposition halls: Mon. – Sun. 9:00 am – 9:00 pm. Library: Mon. – Fri. 9:00 am – 2:00 pm. & 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm. Video library: Mon. – Fri. 9:00 am – 1:30 am. Website: www.aeci.org.pe/centrocultural
City of Miraflores Cultural Center: ave. Larco & jr. Diez Canseco corner, Miraflores. Phone: (511) 444-0540.
Cayetano Heredia University Cultural Center: ave. Armendáriz 445, Miraflores. Phone: (511) 446-2684.
Ricardo Palma Cultural Center: ave. Larco 770, Miraflores. Phone: (511) 446-3959.
Casa Abierta Cultural Center: ave. Petit Thouars 5390, Miraflores.
Pontificial Catholic University of Peru - (PUCP Cultural Center): Camino Real 1075, San Isidro. Telephone: (511) 222-6899. Website: http://cultural.pucp.edu.pe/
Juan Parra del Riego Cultural Center: Pedro de Osma 135, Barranco. Phone: (511) 477-4506.
Japanese-Peruvian Cultural Center: ave. Gregorio Escobedo 803, Jesus Maria. Phone: (511) 463-0606.
MALLS IN LIMA:
Larcomar Tourist & Entertainment Center: Malecon de la Reserva 610, Miraflores. Phones: (511) 620-6000 / fax: (511) 620-6011. Website: www.larcomar.com
Jockey Plaza: ave. Javier Prado Este 4200, Santiago de Surco. Phone: (511) 437-4100. Website: www.jockey-plaza.com.pe
Caminos del Inca SC: Calle Monterrey 170 – Chacarilla del Estanque, Santiago de Surco. Phone/fax: (511) 372-7067.
El Polo Shopping Center: ave. El Polo 7401, Santiago de Surco. Phone: (511) 435-9008.
Plaza Camacho: ave. Javier Prado Este 5193, La Molina. Phone: (511) 437-8591.
Plaza San Miguel: ave. La Marina, block 20, San Miguel. Phone/fax: (511) 566-3569. Website: www.plazasanmiguel.com.pe
Megaplaza Norte: ave. Alfredo Mendiola 3698, Independencia. Phone: (511) 613-9500. Website: www.megaplaza.com.pe
Real Plaza Centro Civico: Downtown Lima, next to Sheraton Lima Hotel, ave. Tacna s/n.
Real Plaza Puruchuco (opens Apr. 2016): ave. Javier Prado Este & Carretera Central corner (Ate-Vitarte).
Plaza Lima Sur: Paseo de la Republica s/n, (next to Villa Militar Matellini), Chorrillos (opens Sept. 2016).
Centro Comercial Camino Real: ave. Camino Real s/n (near El Olivar park), San Isidro (re-opens June 2016).
LIMA HEALTH CENTERS:
Arzobispo Loayza National Hospital: ave. Alfonso Ugarte 848, Cercado. Central switchboard: (511) 424-6050. Emergency Phones: 330-0264 & 330-0241. Attention: 24 hours.
Dos de Mayo National Hospital: Parque Historia de la Medicina Peruana; Central Phones: (511) 328-1414 & 328-0028. Attention: 24 hours.
Jose Casimiro Ulloa Emergency Hospital: ave. República de Panama 6355, San Antonio, Miraflores. Central Phones: (511) 445-5096 & 241-2789. Free calls from land line: dial 117. Attention: 24 hours.
Cayetano Heredia National Hospital: ave. Honorio Delgado, Ingenieria, San Martín de Porres. Phones: (511) 482-1410 / 482-0402. Attention: 24 hours.
LOCAL POLICE: Tourism Police: jr. Moore 268, Magdalena del Mar. Phone: (511) 460-4525. > Pasaje Belen 106, Cercado. Phone: (511) 424-2053.
CRAFT MARKETS: ave. La Marina, blocks 6-8, Pueblo Libre & ave. Petit Thouars, blocks 48-52, Miraflores.
POSTAL SERVICES: SERPOST: Pasaje Piura, Correo Central, Cercado, Lima. Phone: (511) 533-2005. > ave. Petit Thouars 5201, Miraflores. Phones: (511) 445-0697 / 445-5378.[acc_item title="LIMA TOURIST ATTRACTIONS"]
LIMA CITY ATTRACTIONS & MUSEUMS Main Square: It was the center of the old Colonial city. The Cathedral of Lima, the Government Palace and the Provincial City Hall of Lima are located in its perimeter. At its center, there is a 17th century bronze fountain. Cathedral of Lima: Main Square. Phone: (511) 427-9647. Visiting hours: Mon. – Sat. 9:00 am – 4:30 pm. It is placed where the first Main Church of Lima was. The interior is austere, although it shelters real historic jewels like the finely-carved wooden pews of the Pedro de Noguera choir, the different side altars, and the remains of Francisco Pizarro. In addition, you can visit the Museum of Religious Art that possesses an important collection of canvases, sculptures, chalices and chasubles. Government Palace: It was the residence of Francisco Pizarro (1535), who built it on the land that used to be occupied by Taulichusco, chief of the Rimac Valley. Since then, the place has been the center of the political power in Peru. It burnt down and was rebuilt in the 1920s. It features many patios and rooms dedicated to important people of Peruvian history and it's carefully decorated with notable art pieces. Every morning at 11:45 am, the Patio of Honor is the stage for the 'Changing of the Guard Ceremony', by the soldiers of the prestigious 'Husares de Junín Battalion'. San Francisco Church & Convent: jr. Ancash, block 3. Phones: (511) 427-1381, ext. 111. Visiting hours: Mon. – Sun. 9:30 am – 5:30 pm. A 17th century architectural complex. It includes the church, the convent and the square. The church main front was carved in stone and is characterized by its Corinthian columns. In the facade, there is an open cornice with arches with an image of the Immaculate Conception. The cloistered area, decorated with tiles, houses the Vice-royal Art Museum. Additionally, the catacombs, which was a cemetery during the Colony, can be visited. Parque de la Muralla: jr. Amazonas, block 1, close to jr. Abancay, block 1. Visiting hours: Mon. – Sun. 8:00 am – 10:00 pm. Free admission. It houses a fragment of the restored old wall that surrounded Lima and was built in the 17th century to protect it from pirates and attacks from enemies of the Spanish crown. There is a statue of the founder of Lima, Francisco Pizarro, and a site museum with exhibitions of archaeological pieces found in the area. Church & Convent of La Merced: Jiron de la Union 621. Phone: (511) 427-8199. Visiting hours: Mon. – Sun. 8:00 am – 12:00 pm. & 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm. A 16th century Colonial architectural complex. The church maintains the granite facade that dates from 1687. The roof is finely decorated with plaster figures. The Neo-classical upper altar with the image of the Virgin of La Merced and a carved figure of Saint Michael, the Archangel is the most important interior piece. The Pedro Urraca Chapel is also found inside, as well as the coarse wooden cross that, according to the legend, he used to exorcise the devil. The Aliaga House: Jiron de la Union 224. Phone: (511) 427-7736. Visiting hours: Mon. – Sun. 9:30 am – 4:00 pm. Being built with Quincha (anti-seismic building material) and Adobe, on top of existing pre-Hispanic foundations, its rooms had to be adapted to an irregular distribution and placed on different levels. The main facade possesses a Republican era balcony. It has lovely patios, the first is covered in 19th century Italian marble and the second is adorned with an old bronze fountain. The house has belonged to the same family since the year it was built (1535), and today is the location of different cultural events. Josefina Ramos de Cox Archaeological Museum of the Riva Agüero Institute - Pontificial Catholic University of Peru, Jiron de la Union 554. Phones: (511) 427-4961 / 626-2000. Visiting hours: Mon. – Sat. 10:00 am – 7:30 pm. and Sun. 11:00 am – 5:00 pm. Website: www.pucp.edu.pe/ira It gathers archaeological & ethno-historical evidence excavated in the 1960s and belonging to pre-Inca, Inca & Hispanic-Andean periods. Among the most important pieces is a specimen from the Maranga huacas. The museum is housed in a beautiful Colonial residence known as the O'Higgins House, and it is still possible to see testimonies of the Vice-royal and Republican eras there. The National Congress & the Museum of the Inquisition: jr. Junin 548. Phones: (511) 311-7777 ext. 2910. Visiting hours: Mon. – Sun. 9:00 am – 5:00 pm. Website: www.congreso.gob.pe/museo.html The museum preserves numerous objects and rooms which were used during the Inquisition process. Among them, there is the Courtroom, where the members of the Inquisition Tribunal met. Interesting sights are the Secret Door, used to conduct individuals to the Grand Inquisitor's private room, the Torture Chamber, the Secret Dungeon (with its subterranean cells & the Inquisition Library). Library of Congress: Across the same street, occupying the area that used to be the old church & Monastery of La Caridad (16th century), there is the Congressional Building of the Republic, a Neo-classical building constructed between 1912 and 1916. Museo de la Nacion, Lima: Peru's National Museum: ave. Javier Prado Este 2465, San Borja. Opens Tues-Fri 09:00 - 18:00. Sat-Sun 10:00 - 18:00. Entrance fee: 9 Soles (about US $3). From the outside, this museum looks like a large, ugly big concrete bunker monstrosity, situated next to a busy main road. However, in the inside, Lima's National Museum is well laid out & very informative, and is well worth a visit. If you only have time to visit just one museum in Lima, then this should be your first choice, even if it is located a little bit outside the city center (take the metro line 1 or a taxi there, it's much quicker than taking a bus). The numerous exhibits guide visitors through the highlights of the Pre-Conquest cultures (before the Spanish arrived). The exhibits are housed in vast salons spread over 3 floors and are ordered chronologically, which is very helpful for getting to grips with the many cultures dispersed across Peru. A visit to the museum is recommended before you go to see the archaeological sites themselves. Displays are well-labeled in both Spanish and English, and include scale models of many of the Inca sights around Cusco as well as from the north of Peru, such as the tomb of the 'Señor de Sipan', artifacts from Batan Grande (near Chiclayo), reconstructions of the friezes found at "Huaca de la Luna" & "Huaca El Brujo" (near Trujillo), and other important sites. There is also a comprehensive range of traditional costumes from around the country and miniature models depicting life in pre-Conquest times as well as a good collection of ceramics & mummies. Museo Larco (Museo Arqueologico Rafael Larco Herrera): ave. Bolivar 1515, Pueblo Libre. Opens daily: 09:00-18:00 Entrance fee: 20 Soles (about US $6). This museum has the largest private collection of pre-Columbian ceramics in the world. It was founded in 1926 and is housed in an 18th century colonial mansion which itself was built upon a 7th century pre-Columbian pyramid. The museum mainly concentrates on items from the Moche Dynasty (200-700 AD) who lived along the northern coast, in an area near to present-day Trujillo. Museo Nacional de Arqueologia, Antropologia e Historia del Peru (National Archaeology & Anthropology Museum): Plaza Bolivar, Pueblo Libre. Opens: Mon-Sat. 09:00 - 18:00, Sun. 10:00 - 17:00. Entrance fee: S/. 10 (about US $3). Houses one of the largest collections of artifacts from pre-Hispanic cultures in Peru, although it has lost some of its best pieces recently to the Museo de la Nacion. This museum was once a stately colonial mansion that was the home of the leaders of the struggle for independence, Jose de San Martin & Simon Bolivar. Exhibits include the Tello Obelisk & the Estela de Raymondi, from the site of Chavin de Huantar. Examples of the exhibits & information about the museum can be found on their website: http://museonacional.perucultural.org.pe/ingles/index.htm Torre Tagle Palace: jr. Ucayali 323. Phones: (511) 311-2400 / 311-2769. Visiting hours: Reservation required through the Ministry of Foreign Relations. The construction of this 2-story building began in 1735 by order of the Marquis of Torre Tagle, Treasurer of the Spanish Royal Navy. It is considered to be one of the best representations of the 18th century Lima residential architectural style. Notable items are the carved wooden balcony, the Baroque chapel decorated with mirrors & Colonial paintings and the carefully-worked stone entrance. Today, it is the headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Relations. Museum of the Central Reserve Bank of Peru: jr. Ucayali 271. Phones: (511) 613-2000 ext. 2655 & 2666 or 613-2773. Visiting hours: Mon. – Fri. 10:00 am – 4:30 pm. Sat. – Sun. 10:00 am – 1:00 pm. It contains three main thematic exhibition areas: Archaeology, Contemporary Peruvian Painting & Popular Art. The Museum is responsible for the recently-restored Upper Tribunal of Accounts & the Numismatic Museum. Museum of Arts & Popular Traditions of the Riva Agüero Institute – Pontificial Catholic University of Peru: jr. Camana 459. Phones: (511) 427-7678 or 4279-275. Visiting hours: Mon. – Sat. 10:00 am – 7:00 pm. Website: www.pucp.edu.pe/ira Created in 1979, it gathers more than 5,000 pieces of popular art belonging to important collections donated or submitted for their preservation. The textile & sacred image carving exhibits are the most impressive. Santo Domingo Church & Convent: jrs. Conde de Superunda & Camana corner. Phone: (511) 427-6793. Visiting hours: Mon. – Sat. 9:00 am – 12:30 pm. & 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm. Sunday and holidays: 9:00 am – 1:00 pm. The church has 3 naves with an impressive cuppola and finely-carved cedar pews in the choir. The convent walls are decorated with tiles from Seville, and the main room features Baroque carvings. In 1551, the first university founded by the Spanish crown in the New World, the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, was established in the convent. Santa Rosa de Lima Church & Monastery: ave. Tacna, block 1; 4 blocks from the Main Square. Phone: (511) 425-1279. Visiting hours: Mon. – Sun. 9:00 am – 1:00 pm. & 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm. The complex is made up of the Church & the Sanctuary. It was built between the 17th and 18th centuries, next to the house where Santa Rosa de Lima, Patron Saint of Lima, the Americas & the Philippines, was born and lived. Highlights to see are the chapel, built in 1614, the lemon orchard planted by the saint, and the 19-meter deep well where, as the story says, she threw the key to the belt that she cinched on herself as a sign of penitence. Lima Art Museum: Paseo Colon 125. Phones: (511) 423-4732 / 423-6332 & 423-5149. Visiting hours: Thurs. – Tues. 10:00 am – 5:00 pm. Website: www.museodearte.org.pe This was set up in the former World Exhibition Palace (1869). They exhibit pre-Hispanic ceramics, textiles & fine metal works. There are also collections of the most important paintings and works of art from Peru. Italian Art Museum Peru: ave. Paseo de la Republica 250. Tel: (511) 423-9932. Visiting hours: Mon. – Fri. 10:00 am – 5:00 pm. It was built by the Italian colony in honor of the hundred year anniversary of Peruvian independence and inaugurated in 1924. The Italian Renaissance facade is worked in white marble with the coats of arms of the main Italian cities and 2 mosaic panels with notable historical figures. Permanent exhibitions show art works from Italy with elements of Bramante architecture and decorative details inspired by Donatello, Ghiberti, Michelangelo & Botticcelli.
ARCHAEOLOGICAL CENTERS IN LIMA: Pachacamac Archaeological Complex: 31 km/19 miles from Lima on the Pan-American Highway South (45 minutes by car). Site Museum. Phone: (511) 430-0168. Visiting hours: Mon. – Sun. 9:00 am – 5:00 pm. It was the most important pre-Inca ceremonial center on the Peruvian coast. The main building material was mud. Around the complex, there are palaces, plazas & temples (some of them restored), the most important being the "Temple of the Sun" and the Acllahuasi, both built during the Inca reign (1440 – 1533 AD) and the best preserved parts of the area. You will find a site museum that displays pieces found during the excavation. Puruchuco Archaeological Site: Kilometer marker 4,5. Phone/fax: (511) 494-2641. Visiting hours: Mon. – Sun. & holidays – 8:30 am – 4:30 pm. Website: http://museopuruchuco.perucultural.org.pe The Inca buildings (1440 – 1533 AD) are made of mud & adobe. It is thought to be a palace or a very important regional administrative center. The space is distributed along geometric lines and divided into 3 sectors, the most interesting being the area of patios & lookouts. During the excavation process, several human corpses were recovered, characterized by being placed in a fetal position and accompanied by everyday objects. You will find an interesting Site Museum. Cajamarquilla Archaeological Site: Kilometer marker 10, take the turnoff on the right side of the Rimac river and drive 5 km/3 miles (lower part of the Jicamarca gorge). It was built during the sixth & 7th centuries AD, the period corresponding to the Lima culture. Its 167 hectares of mud buildings are considered the second largest among the pre-Hispanic Andean mud cities (after Chan Chan in La Libertad).
BEACH AND RESORTS: Towards the North: You will find the resorts of Santa Rosa (km 43) and Ancon (km 44) known for its very calm waters, has been frequented by the people of Lima since the 19th century, and today it is a small city almost integrated to metropolitan Lima. It reached its heights as a beach resort in the '50s and '60s. It still maintains elegant buildings and an impressive marina, the Yacht Club. Towards the South: Starting at kilometer marker 35 on, to reach the Pan-American Highway South, a series of beautiful beaches unfold to reach the city of Cañete, 135 km/84 miles from Lima. The sandy or pebbly beaches with perfect waves for surfing are: El Silencio (km 41.5), Señoritas (km 42), Peñascal (km 51 - San Bartolo), Pico Alto (km 43) and Punta Rocas (km 45). Many have been turned into residential beach resorts: Los Pulpos (km 41), Santa María & Embajadores (km 51), and finally Naplo (km 51). Others offer many services such as hotels, restaurants & entertainment centers: Punta Hermosa & Punta Negra (km 45), San Bartolo (km 51) and Pucusana (km 57), and the last one converted into a trendy, funny, youthful, exclusive and happy resort is Asia, complete with shopping center, discos, restaurants and hotels, at the km. 90 of the PanAm.
OTHER ATRACTIONS: Cieneguilla: 20 km/12 miles east of Lima on an asphalt highway towards Huarochirí (30 min. by car). District located in the Lurin river valley, where you can enjoy its natural beauty. There are areas for camping and country restaurants for a family day. Huachipa Zoological Gardens: ave. Las Torres, Ate-Vitarte. Kilometer marker 11, next to the Huachipa Bridge. Phones: (511) 356-3666, 356-1208, 356-3141. Visiting hours: Mon. – Sun. 9:00 am. – 5:30 pm. including holidays, except Christmas Eve. Website: www.zoohuachipa.com It shelters more than 2,000 animals belonging to about 300 species of mammals, birds, reptiles & fish. The Bird Forest with its replicas of Peruvian tropical forests is very impressive as well as the Interactive Farm dedicated to children. Chosica & Santa Eulalia: Kilometer markers 36-39 (50 minutes by car) in the highlands of Lima. Area with entertainment centers, clubs and traditional restaurants. The place is ideal for relaxing in its fresh and sunny climate. It is also the entrance to the central Peruvian highlands. [/acc_item]