Photo by Judith Hernández
Though civilizations have occupied the Lima area since before the time of the Inca, it is, in fact, more a Spanish city. Nicknamed the “City of Kings,” it was once the capital of the colonial Viceroyalty of Peru. To get a feel for that era of Peruvian history, head downtown, and use the main square, the Plaza de Armas, as your anchor point. From there, visit the Lima Cathedral, the Casa Aliaga (the residence of Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro; by appointment only), and—a major must-do on most visitors’ lists—the catacombs at the Convento de San Francisco. (While you’re visiting the catacombs, don’t miss one of the oldest libraries in the Americas, also part of the monastery). Numerous palaces and other colonial piles lie nearby, and several are open to the public.
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