Historic City Center

Attractions & Activities In Lima


Today, Lima is a large, sprawling city. But it wasn’t always this way. Back in 1535, the recently arrived Spanish conquistadors established their small city in what is now the UNESCO-listed downtown historic area. Known as the “City of Kings,” Lima was one of the most important centers in Spain’s South American empire for commerce, religion, politics and culture. These days, Lima is, of course, a much different beast: bigger, more cosmopolitan and a lot more diverse.

To understand the Lima of old, all one has to do is visit this city’s historic nucleus, where many of the original buildings from the era remain. Elegant, stately mansions and embellished Baroque church facades exude an air of faded grandeur. On a private tour of Lima’s colonial hub, you’ll see the Archbishop’s Palace with its exquisite balconies; the Sagrario Chapel, one of the oldest chapels in Lima; and the huge San Francisco Church complex, best known for its catacombs, where the remains of tens of thousands of people are stored – their skulls and bones often arrange in a surprisingly decorative manner.

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