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Lima- General Info

Lima is the capital and largest city of Peru. It is located in the valleys of the Chillón, Rímacand Lurín rivers, in the central part of the country, on a desert coast overlooking the Pacific Ocean.lima Together with the seaport of Callao, it forms a contiguous urban area known as theLima Metropolitan Area. With a population fast approaching 9 million, Lima is the fifth largest city in Latin America, behind Mexico City, São Paulo, Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro. Lima is home to one of the largest financial hubs in Latin America. It has been defined as a beta world city by GaWC international rankings. Lima was founded by Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro on January 18, 1535, as La Ciudad de los Reyes, or "The City of Kings." It became the capital and most important city in the Spanish Viceroyalty of Peru. Following the Peruvian War of Independence, it became the capital of the Republic of Peru. Today, around one-third of the Peruvian population lives in the metropolitan area.

Lima's climate is mild and comfortable, despite being located in the tropics and in a desert. Although classified as a subtropical, Lima's proximity to the cool waters of the Pacific Oceanleads to temperatures much cooler than those expected for a subtropical desert, and can be classified as a cool desert climate. It is neither cold nor very hot. Temperatures rarely fall below 12 °C (54 °F) or rise above 29 °C (84 °F) throughout the entire year. Two distinct seasons can be identified: summer, from December through April; and winter from June through October. May and November are generally transition months, with the warm-to-cool weather transition being more dramatic.  Summers are warm, humid and sunny. Daily temperatures oscillate between lows of 18 °C (64 °F) to 22 °C (72 °F), and highs of 24 °C (75 °F) to 29 °C (84 °F). Skies are generally cloud free, especially during daytime. Occasional coastal fogs during some mornings and high clouds during some afternoons and evenings can be present. Lima summer sunsets are well known for being colorful. As such, they have been labeled by the locals as "cielo de brujas" (Spanish for "sky of witches"), since the sky commonly turns into shades of orange, pink and red around 7 pm. Winter weather is dramatically different. Gray skies, breezy conditions, high humidity and cool temperatures prevail. Long (1-week or more) stretches of dark overcast skies are not uncommon. Persistent morning drizzle occurs occasionally from June through September, coating the streets with a thin layer of water that generally dries out by the early afternoon. Winter temperatures in Lima do not vary much between day and night. They range from lows of 12 °C (54 °F) to 16 °C (61 °F) and highs of 16 °C (61 °F) to 19 °C (66 °F), rarely exceeding 20 °C (68 °F) except in the easternmost districts.


Plaza de Armas, Lima

Lima's architecture is characterized by a mix in styles as reflected from shifts between trends throughout various time periods of the city's history. Examples of early colonial architecture include such structures as the Monastery of San Francisco, the Cathedral of Lima and the Torre Tagle Palace. These constructions are generally influenced by the Spanish baroque, Spanish Neoclassicism, and Spanish Colonial styles. After independence, a gradual shift towards the neoclassical and Art Nouveau styles took place. Many of these constructions were greatly influenced by French architectural styles. Many government buildings as well as major cultural institutions were contracted in this architectural time period. During 1960s, constructions utilizing the brutalist style began appearing in Lima due to the military government of Juan Velasco. Examples of this architecture include the Museum of the Nation and the Ministry of Defense. The 21st century has seen the appearance of glass skyscrapers, particularly around the city's financial district. Also there are several new architectural and real estate projects. Lima's urban setting is characterized by lime green-lined streets as well as the abundance of plazas throughout the city. More important streets usually contain wider green areas, and plazas usually contain monuments or statues of historical figures of importance to Peruvian historyParks and Gardens: The largest parks of Lima are located near the downtown area such as the Park of the Reserve, Park of the Exposition, Campo de Marte, and the University Park. The Park of the Reserve is home to the largest fountain complex in the world known as the Magical Circuit of Water. A number of large parks lie outside the city center, including Reducto Park, Pantanos de Villa, El Golf (San Isidro), Parque de las Leyendas (Lima Zoo), El Malecon de Miraflores, and the Golf Los Incas. The street grid of the city of Lima, is laid out with a system of plazas of which serve a purpose similar toroundabouts or junctions. In addition to this practical purpose, plazas serve as one of Lima's principal green spaces and contain a variety of different types of architecture ranging from monuments to statues, and water fountains.

Museums

gold mask

Lima is home to the highest concentration of museums of the country, the most notable of which are the Museo Nacional de Arqueología Antropología e Historia del Perú, Museum of Art of Lima, the Museum of Natural History, the Museum of the Nation, The Sala Museo Oro del Perú Larcomar, the Museum of Italian Art, and the Museum of Gold, and the Larco Museum. Thesemuseums mostly focus on art, pre-Columbian cultures, natural history, science and religion. There's a particularity with the Museum of Italian Art, which is the only museum that shows European art in Peru.

Gold mask in Larco Museum, Lima

 Tourism

As the major point of entry to the country, Lima has developed an important tourism industry, characterized by its historic center, archeological sites, nightlife, museums, art galleries, festivals, and popular traditions. Lima is home to an ample range of restaurants and bars where local as well as international cuisine is served. The Historic Center of Lima, made up of the districts of Lima and Rimac, was declared aWorld Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1988 due to its importance during the colonial era leaving a testimony to architectural achievement. Some examples of this historical colonial architecture include the Monastery of San Francisco, the Plaza Mayor, the Cathedral,Covenant of Santo Domingo, the Palace of Torre Tagle, and much more. A tour of the city's churches is a popular circuit among tourists. A short jaunt through the central district goes through many churches dating from as early as the 16th and 17th centuries, the most noteworthy of which are the Cathedral of Lima and the Monastery of San Francisco, said to be connected by their subterrestrial catacombs. Both of these churches contain paintings from various schools of art, Sevilian tile, and finely sculpted wood furnishings.

Also notable is the Sanctuary of Las Nazarenas, the point of origin for the Lord of Miracles, whose festivities in the month of October constitute the most important religious event in Lima, and a major one of Peru. Some sections of the Lima City Walls still remain and are frequented by tourists. These examples of medieval Spanish fortifications were built to defend the city from attacks by pirates and privateers.Beaches are visited during the summer months, which are located along the Pan-American Highway, to the south of the city in districts such as Lurin, Punta Hermosa, Santa María del Mar (Peru), San Bartolo and Asia. Many restaurants, nightclubs, lounges, bars, clubs, and hotels have developed in said places to cater to beachgoers. The suburban districts of Cieneguilla, Pachacamac, and the city of Chosica, are important tourist attractions among locals. Because they are located at a higher elevation than Lima, they receive more sunshine in winter months, something that the city of Lima frequently lacks under seasonal fog.

travel_busTransport

Air transport: Lima is served by the Jorge Chavez International Airport, located in Callao (LIM). It is the largest airport of the country with the largest amount of domestic and international air traffic. It also serves as a major hub in the Latin American air network. Lima's Jorge Chavez International Airport is the fourth largest air hub in South America. The airport, however it is the base for the largest cargo hub in the continent. Additionally, Lima possesses five other airports: the Las Palmas Air Force Base, Collique Airport, and runways in Santa María del Mar, San Bartolo and Chilca.

Land Transportation: Lima is connected by highway to every country that borders Peru. Because of its location on the country's central coast, Lima is an important junction in Peru's highway system. Three of the major highways originate in Lima.

The Northern Panamerican Highway, this highway extends more than 1,330 kilometres (830 mi) to the border with Ecuador connecting the northern districts of Lima with many major cities along the northern Peruvian coast.

The Central Highway (Spanish: Carretera Central), this highway connects the eastern districts of Lima with many cities in central Peru. The highway extends 860 kilometres (530 mi) with its terminus at the city of Pucallpa near Brazil.

The Southern Panamerican Highway, this highway connects the southern districts of Lima to cities on the southern coast. The highway extends 1,450 kilometres (900 mi) to the border with Chile.

Maritime Transportation: The proximity of Lima to the port of Callao allows Callao to act as the metropolitan area's foremost port. Callao concentrates nearly all of the maritime transport of the metropolitan area. There is, however, a small port in Lurín whose transit mostly is accounted for by oil tankers due to a refinery being located nearby. Nonetheless, maritime transport inside Lima's city limits is relatively insignificant compared to that of Callao, the nation's leading port and one of Latin America's largest.

Rail transaport: The urban transport system is composed of over 652 transit routes which are served by buses, microbuses, and combis. The system is unorganized and is characterized by the lack of formality. The service is run by 464 private companies which are poorly regulated by the local government. Fares average at around one sol or $0.30 USD.

Public Trasportatuon: The Metropolitan Transportation System is a public transportation system which plans to integrate the Independent Corridor of Mass-Transit Buses known by its Spanish initials as (COSAC 1). This system plans to link the principal points of the Lima Metropolitan Area and the first phase of this project is already in development with the construction of a thirty three km line from Comas to Chorrillos.

Metro system: The Lima Metro, an above ground mass transit system, is under construction and as of 2010 one line is in construction while six are in planning phase. Line 1's extension to the city's center is currently under construction, linking Villa el Salvador with downtown Lima in a matter of only forty minutes, a trip which currently lasts one hour and forty minutes with the current public transport system. It is scheduled to open July 2011.

Taxi: Taxis in the city are relatively cheap. There are no meters so drivers are told the desired destination and the fare is agreed upon before the passenger enters the taxi. Taxis vary in sizes from small four door compacts to large vans. They are virtually everywhere, accounting for a large part of the car stock. In many cases they are just a private car with a taxi sticker on the windshield. Additionally, there are several companies that provide taxi service on-call.


*Information: with Thanks to Wikipedia Oraganisation.


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