Lima has a bit of a bad rep for being dangerous and our past trips to capital cities hadn’t left us enamoured so we weren’t overly excited about this bit of the Peru trip. How wrong we were!
We stayed in a lovely big appartment outside of the centre, surrounded by broaster chicken places and local tiendas. Really friendly and safe, everyone we passed smiled at us and wished us a happy new year. It was an hour (?!) into the city by bus as Lima is huge and very busy but the conductors told us when to get off the bus and where to head to in the centre.
Lima city centre is absolutely beautiful and full of historical buildings and history of the city. On the second day there we took a private tour so we could get around easier to see the sights and with an English speaking guide. This also didn’t disappoint and we saw loads and learnt loads in a short time.
“Lovers Park” where the artist had lived in Barcelona, Spain for 10 years so a heavy Dali/Gaudí influence. Every year they hold an annual kissing competition on Valentine’s Day. Record is currently 45mins!
“Huaca Pucllana” one of 52 Huaca’s found in Lima in the last 20yrs and restored. They date back to pre-inca as a centre of religious rituals where they used to sacrifice women as an offer of fertility to the gods (?!). There have also been Incan reminants found suggesting that these temples were later used by the incans as well for burial sites. They are made of mudstone so were all trampled over and largely crushed as worthless when Peru was colonised but recently the newly appointed ministry of culture has started to preserve and restore these temples.
San Martin Square is the stunning centre square of Lima. With a huge cathedral built with Saint Rose on the top looking out towards the coast as she the prophet who predicted a tsunami which hit Lima so now she watches the coast to protect the city. We saw the statue of San Martin with a helmet with a llama on. Legend has it that the artist making the statue asked his apprentice to make the helmet with a flame but it’s the same word as llama so the apprentice put a llama on the helmet instead. We also saw the last remaining stone from the Incan rule commemorated in the centre.
So all in all we were very impressed with Lima!