Nestled along the Pacific coast, Lima stands as the vibrant capital city of Peru. It boasts a unique blend of colonial architecture and modern skyscrapers, which means there are many eye-opening historical and cultural facts about Lima to uncover.
Often serving as the gateway for international travelers exploring the wonders of the Andean nation, this sprawling metropolis is bursting with hidden gems and cultural treasures. But there’s more to this city than meets the eye.
Historical Facts About Lima, Peru
It Is One Of The Largest Cities In South America
Lima is one of the most populated cities in its region. It has a population of around 11.2 million, allowing it to rank fourth in a list of the largest metropolitan areas of South America.
Along with being the capital, Lima is Peru’s largest city covering an area of 2,672 square kilometers.
A Spanish Conquistador Discovered Lima
Lima is well known in Peru as “the city of kings” because it was founded by Francisco Pizzaro in 1535. He gave the place its nickname because he discovered the city during the Three Kings Day.
This is a Catholic holiday that celebrates the day the three wise men encountered Jesus Christ. Some people also believe that Pizzaro gave the nickname to honor the Holy Roman Emperor.
Cultural Facts About Lima, Peru
Lima Has One Of The Smallest Chapels On Earth
Our Lady of the Rosary is famous in Lima for its petite size. Predating the 17th century, the chapel is only 9.7 meters tall and 4.8 meters wide. But despite the small size, this chapel has all the important structures.
You can learn many interesting facts about Lima, Peru, by exploring this chapel with a guide.
Ceviche Is The Main Dish Of Lima
Ceviche is the main Peruvian food served in Lima and other cities, loved for its refreshing taste. The marinated fish is prepared using lime juice to offer a flavorful dish that locals and tourists alike can appreciate.
There are many opportunities to try this dish if you go on a Lima food tour. On these fooding adventures, you may even get to try Cuy, another food item that many would consider peculiar or even controversial.
Cuy is essentially a guinea pig roasted whole with its tail, head, and other parts intact. It is a street food delicacy in countries like Peru and Ecuador.
The City Is Home To Pre-Columbian Buildings
Many famous landmarks in Peru can be found in Lima due to its strategic location. The city was inhabited by ancient civilizations such as the Incas and Yschmas. That is also why the ruins of their buildings remain in Lima.
Explore the ruins of centers such as the Huaca Pucllana to learn more fun facts about Lima and its rich history.
Simple Facts About Lima, Peru For Kids
Many Nobel Prize Winners Have Graduated From A University In Lima
Another proud Lima fact is that it’s home to the National University of San Marcos. This is one of the oldest educational institutes in South America. It was founded by the Holy Roman Emperor in 1551.
The institute began as a monastic university with only theology and arts classes. Later, medicine and law programs were introduced into the curriculum. Mario Vargas Llosa is a Nobel prize winner who graduated from this university.
Centuries Ago, Lima Was A Major Target Of Pirates
This Peruvian city had its fair share of pirate issues in the 16th century.
The city had many treasures, such as gold statues and jewels, and continued to attract pirates until at least the 19th century.
Interestingly, it is said that an explorer tried to rescue his fellow pirates in 1579, but failed due to the advanced prison mechanisms.
Useful Lima Facts For Travelers
Lima’s Very Own Feline Kingdom
Ever thought of a city park dominated by furry, whiskered royals? Well, Lima’s got the purrfect place! Parque Kennedy, located in the heart of the Miraflores district, is often lovingly dubbed “Cat Park” because of its surprising number of feline inhabitants.
These adorable kitties are not shy; they lounge around, play, and even pose for selfies with locals and tourists alike. It’s like Lima decided that the world needed a park where cats reign supreme, and honestly, we’re all for it.
So, if you’re a cat enthusiast (or even if you’re not), a visit to this feline kingdom is a must. Just remember: while it’s great fun to watch and pet them, always approach with care and respect!
Black Vultures Are Common In The City
One of the most fascinating and unusual facts about Lima is that it’s filled with black vultures. These large birds may seem scary and awful, but they serve a useful purpose and are being used by the government to “clean” the city.
For instance, these birds are made to fly with cameras tied to their body, to help spot and thus prevent illegal activities such as dumping and fly-tipping.
Heavy Rainfall Is Rare In Lima
A rather convenient fact about Lima is that the city seldom experiences heavy rainfall. Most of the time, it only drizzles here.
This is a welcoming aspect for travelers since it’s less likely to affect your itinerary. And there are also some nice beaches in Lima you can enjoy during good weather days.
Discovering More Fun Facts About Lima, Peru
Lima is not just another stopover on your way to Machu Picchu; it’s a treasure trove of quirky tidbits, deep-rooted history, and spicy surprises.
Who would’ve thought that beneath its coastal mist and bustling avenues, Lima hid such intriguing stories? When you head down to Peru, be sure to allocate sufficient time to enjoy this Peruvian capital. You will uncover more interesting facts about Lima that set the foundation for your Peru adventure.