ABOUT LIMA.- Lima is the capital of Peru. It is located in the valleys of the Chillón, Rímac and Lurín rivers, in the coast of the Peru, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Together with the seaport of Callao, it forms a contiguous urban area known as the Lima Metropolitan Area. With a population of 10 million, Lima is the most populous metropolitan area of Peru.
Lima was founded by Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro on January 18, 1535, as Ciudad de los Reyes. 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 is home to one of the oldest higher learning institutions in the New World. The National University of San Marcos, founded on May 12, 1551 during Spanish colonial regime, is the oldest continuously functioning university in the Americas.
In October 2013, Lima was chosen in a ceremony in Toronto to host the 2019 Pan American Games. It will also host the 2014 United Nations Climate Change Conference in December of that year.
In 1746, a powerful earthquake severely damaged Lima and destroyed Callao, forcing a massive rebuilding effort under Viceroy José Antonio Manso de Velasco. In the later half of the 18th century, Enlightenment ideas on public health and social control shaped the development of the city. During this period, Lima was adversely affected by the Bourbon Reforms as it lost its monopoly on overseas trade and its control over the important mining region of Upper Peru. The city's economic decline made its elite dependent on royal and ecclesiastical appointment and thus, reluctant to advocate independence.
A combined expedition of Argentine and Chilean patriots under General José de San Martín landed south of Lima in 1820 but did not attack the city. Faced with a naval blockade and the action of guerrillas on land, Viceroy José de la Serna e Hinojosa evacuated its capital on July 1821 to save the Royalist army. Fearing a popular uprising and lacking any means to impose order, the city council invited San Martín to enter Lima and signed a Declaration of Independence at his request. However, the war was not over; in the next two years the city changed hands several times.
ABOUT TOURISM .- As the major point of entry to the country, Lima has developed a tourism industry, characterized by its historic center, archeological sites, nightlife, museums, art galleries, festivals, and traditions. Lima is home to restaurants and bars where local and international cuisine is served.
The Historic Centre of Lima, made up of the districts of Lima and Rímac, was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1988. Some examples of colonial architecture include the Monastery of San Francisco, the Plaza Mayor, the Cathedral, Convent 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 trip through the central district goes through 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, Sevilian tile, and 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 Walls of Lima 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, located along the Pan-American Highway, to the south of the city in districts such as Lurín, Punta Hermosa, Santa María del Mar (Peru), San Bartolo and Asia. Restaurants, nightclubs, lounges, bars, clubs, and hotels have developed to cater to beachgoers.
The suburban districts of Cieneguilla, Pachacamac, and the city of Chosica, are 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.
ABOUT FOOD .- Lima is known as the Gastronomical Capital of the Americas. A center of immigration and the center of the Spanish Viceroyalty, Lima has incorporated dishes brought from the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors and waves of immigrants: African, European, Chinese, and Japanese. Besides international immigration there has been, since the second half of the 20th century, a strong internal flow from rural areas to cities, in particular to Lima. This has influenced Lima's cuisine with the incorporation of the immigrant's ingredients and techniques (for example, the Chinese extensive use of rice or the Japanese approach to preparing raw fish). The genres of restaurants in Lima include Creole food, Chifas, Cebicherias, and Pollerias.
ABOUT TRANSPORTATION.- The traffic is terrible. Lots of drivers do not respect the signals or signs. Eighty percent of the city's history having occurred during the pre-automobile era, Lima's road network is based mostly on large divided avenues rather than freeways. Lima has developed a freeway network of nine freeways - the Via Expresa Paseo de la Republica, Via Expresa Javier Prado, Via Expresa Grau, Panamericana Norte, Panamericana Sur, Carretera Central, Via Expresa Callao, Autopista Chillon Trapiche, and the Autopista Ramiro Priale.
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 one sol or $ 0.40. The city of Lima has more than 100 kilometres (62 miles) of cycle paths.
Metro train at Villa el Salvador station
Taxis in the city are mostly informal; they are cheap but can be dangerous because of the way the "taxistas" drive. 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 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.
Colectivos render express service on some major roads of the Lima Metropolitan Area. The colectivos signal their specific destination with a sign on the their windshield. Their routes are not generally publicitized but are understood by frequent users. The cost is generally higher than public transport; however, they cover greater distances at greater speeds due to the lack of stops. This service is informal and is illegal in the city. Some people in the periphery of the city use the so-called "mototaxi" for short distances.
The Metropolitan Transportation System or El Metropolitano is a public Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system which integrates the Independent Corridor of Mass-Transit Buses known by its Spanish initials as (COSAC 1). This system links the principal points of the Lima Metropolitan Area. The first phase of this project has thirty three kilometres (21 miles) of line from the north of the city to Chorrillos in the south of the city. It began commercial operations on July 28, 2010. Since 2014, Lima Council operates the "Sistema Integrado de Transporte Urbano" (Urban integrated transport system), which comprises brand-new buses all over Avenida Arequipa.
The Lima Metro has twenty six passenger stations, located at an average distance of 1.2 km (0.7 miles). It starts its path in the Industrial Park of Villa El Salvador, south of the city, continuing on to Av. Pachacútec in Villa María del Triunfo and then to Av. Los Héroes in San Juan de Miraflores. Afterwards, it continues through Av. Tomás Marsano in Surco to reach Ov. Los Cabitos, to Av. Aviación and then cross the river Rimac to finish, after almost 35 km (22 mi) , in the east of San Juan de Lurigancho.