In the Miraflores district of Lima one can find the Huaca Pucllana, a great adobe brick pyramid, surrounded by the city.
It rises on multiple platforms, and give fine views of the surrounds and continuing works from the top.
In the plaza can be found a small zoo, with llamas and Peruvian Hairless dogs. Clay staues depict priests and workers around the main courtyard.
There is a small museum on the site, with finds from the site, including pottery with shark motifs.
The San Francisco Church and Monastery was originally constructed in the middle of the 17th century. It survived the earthquakes of 1687 and 1746, but was serious damaged in 1970. Today, the church has been well restored and is regarded one of the best preserved colonial churches in Lima.
We visited the beautiful church on our own, but joined a 1-hour guided tour to see the old monastery (only way possible). Quite interesting tour, we passed through many halls and gangways with great woodwork, beautiful ceilings, paintings, and religious art items. We also visited the monastery library, it is one of the most historically important libraries with antique texts dating back to the conquistadors. The tour also included a visit to the labyrinth catacombs beneath the church. The church used to serve as a cemetery and estimated 25,000 people are buried here. There are bones and skulls everywhere in the dark catacombs, some sorted and neatly arranged...
Huaca Pucllana is an old archaeological site located in the neighbourhood of Miraflores in Lima. It was built by the Lima culture in 400 A.D., but has also been an important place for both the Wari and Inca cultures. The site used to be much bigger than today, and was split into an administrative part and a ceremonial part. The ceremonial part with a the big pyramid made of handmade bricks is the most impressive...
A guided tour is included in the entrance fee, and the tour takes you around the site. From the top of the pyramid is a very nice view of the site, and there is a small park displaying local flora and fauna and a few animals like lamas and guinea pigs... Huaca Pucllana is quite a sight lying there in the middle of a modern residential area...
Museo Rafael Larco Herrera is considered to be the most complete collection of pre-Columbian artefacts and relics in the world. It consist of more than 40,000 pieces of pottery and 5,000 pieces of gold, silver and textiles, and the collection is so big that only a small part are on display at the main exhibition. But you can also visit a storage room, which is stacked right to the ceiling with pottery - and a separate building contains the world's largest collection of erotic pottery!
We went on a one-hour guided tour (in English), and it gave a great overview of the Peruvian ancient history. Besides the Incas, we also learned about the cultures of Mochica, Nazca, and Chimu. The guided tour is not included in the entrance fee, but we only paid a small tip for the tour and it is highly recommendable.
Museo de la Nacion (the National Museum) is housed in a huge concrete building in the San Borja neighbourhood of Lima. It is the largest museum in Peru and the exhibition area is spread out over four floors. The collections cover ancient civilisations up to present day history, and gold, silver, ceramic, textiles, paintings, and much more are on display.
The museum is absolutely recommendable, but the highlight of my visit was one of the temporary exhibits... There was a big photographic exhibition called ‘Yuyanapaq: Para Recordar’ (‘To Remember’), and it documents the internal conflict in Peru during the period 1980-2000. Many powerful and horrifying photos, but it is a part of the recent history of Peru – and I think it was a great exhibition…
On my way from and back to the airport I passed Plaza 2 de Mayo, a square that was inaugurated in 1874. Plaza 2 de Mayo is surrounded by blue painted houses and one of the taxi drivers told me that this is where big protests are usually held, as it is now prohibited to demonstrate on Plaza Mayor.
Sitting close to the Government Palace the Desmparados is the oldest railway station in Lima. It was constructed beginning in 1911 as the central train station. Today it is used for office and exhibition uses. The buiilding was designed by Rafael Marquina an innovative Peruvian architect.
The interior of the building is worthy of seeing. It contains a beautiful stained glass ceiling and skylight. The exterior od the building is considered to be of the Beaux Arts style.
I had to pass through Lima before continuing my travles throughout the country and I wanted to experience the gastronomy because I've heard so much about it lately. I ended up finding this great culinary tour. It was the perfect amount of time, we visited a local market and I got to try many of the typical plates that I may have missed otherwise. The best part was that we actually got to get our hands dirty and make the ceviche and a pisco sour. I even met some Chileans on the tour and we ended up being travel buddies. All in all I recommend it. The company we went with was Capital Culinaria Lima Gourmet Tours. It was also an added bonus that they donate part of their profits to alleviating malnutrition. Good luck to other Lima-bound travelers!
Huaca Pucllana was at one time a political and administrative centre. Tours are available for around 10PEN ($3.50 CAD) which include an English guide. The tour was informative and the site offered nice views of the city.
The small Larco Mar Park is above the large shopping center of the same name. It is a very pleasant place to relax and look at the ocean, watch people, and take pictures. Or you can go downstairs to the shopping center with its restaurands and shops, or to the beach,
The Plaza de Armas (main square) is surrounded by the important buildings—The cathedral (built in 1607) is on one side, the Presidential Palace on another, City Hall on a third. The Archbishop’s palace, next to the cathedral, was built in 1936, but it looks much older—It matches the cathedral.
The fountain in the center of the Plaza is kilometer 0 for distance measurements in Peru.
Kennedy Park is a pleasant greeen space with lots of flowers, benches for people watching, and a children's playground. In the evenings it turns into a handicraft market when vendors set up tables to display their wares .
This small but lovely park is full of beautiful mosaic walls and is situated on the cliffs above the Costa Verde shoreline, offering great views over the Pacific Ocean and coast. At its center is a giant sculpture of two lovers kissing, thus the name “Park of Love”. It commemorates the many young locals who come here to get away from the lack of privacy at home. It’s located in what’s referred to as the touristy neighborhood of Miraflores, straight down the street from the Ovalo and Parque Kennedy. If you walk to the park from the Ovalo you’ll see a path leading down to the beach below on your left just before you get to the park.
Miraflores is a district of the Lima Province in Peru. Known for its shopping areas, gardens, flower-filled parks and beaches, it is one of the upscale districts that make up the city of Lima.
Originally founded as San Miguel de Miraflores, it was established officially as a district on January 2, 1857. As a result of the Battle of Miraflores fought during the War of the Pacific, Miraflores got the designation of Ciudad Heroica ("Heroic City"). The current mayor is Manuel Masias. The district's postal code is 18.
There are over 700 shantytowns in Lima, mostly in the south end of the city, and Villa El Salvador is the oldest. It began in 1971 with 9,000 poor families, and now has over 300,000 residents. It became an official district of Lima in 1983. The community has some notable programs in cooperation with the Peruvian government, including the El Salvador Mother’s Club and Mothers’ Kitchen.
Only a small part of the population earns more than 1000 soles per month (about $315) and men earn more than women. There is an industrial area within the community, and 17% of the residents work within it. The rest, if they are employed, travel elsewhere to work.
Furniture seems to be the main thing produced—there are rows and rows of furniture stores. Another industry is manufactured housing. These are very small wood houses (about the size of a small storage locker) that can be purchased for about 600 soles. There are no utilities in El Salvador. People buy water from a truck every 2 days, and they have to boil it.
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