Leisure time and tourism in Peru
Leisure time and tourism in Lima
Lima was founded in 1535 and still preserves part of its colonial architecture in the city center with its traces of tradition and history. In Lima you never stop discovering things: the historic city center with its old buildings, monasteries and churches, traces of old indigenous cultures, museums, plazas, and, last but not least, the nightlife of modern Lima. The vitality and kindness of the city and the people who live in it, make Lima interesting and memorable for its visitors. In the historic center you should visit the Cathedral from the 16th century on the Plaza Mayor. Santo Domingo is one of Lima’s oldest monasteries. The church San Francisco is known as one of the most important historical buildings from the colonial era in Latin America. It was built between 1542 and 1674. The cloister and the main portal are decorated with Sevillian wall-tiles. Below the building there are sub-terrestrial corridors and catacombs, which were used as sepulchres in colonial times. What’s more you shouldn’t miss to see the many old town houses, mostly built between the 16th and the 18th century.
Museums and archaeological sites
Several important museums and archaeological sites in Lima shelter part of the Peruvian cultural heritage and countless art treasures. Only to mention a few you shouldn’t miss the Museo Nacional de Antropología y Arqueología (National Museum for Ethnology and Archaeology), the Museo de Oro (Gold Museum), the Museo de la Nación (National Museum) and the Museo Nacional de la Cultura Peruana (National Museum of Peruvian Culture).
Cinemas, Theaters and Culture Centers
Lima has a broad range of cultural offers. In the city center as well as in other districts you will find modern movie theaters, small independent cinemas and theaters. In Barranco the Cinematógrafo de Barranco shows a lot of movies from Europe and independent movies. Also the Cine PUCP and the Filmoteca PUCP show classics and international independent movies. The many cultural centers in Lima offer an astonishing diversity on their cultural agenda. It’s always worth to have a look at their current programs. Amongst many others you’ll find the French cultural institute Alianza Francesa, the Spanish Centro Cultural de España, the Japanese Centro Cultural Peruano Japonés and the German Goethe Institut. We gladly provide you with more individual cultural tips.
Lima and its surroundings
Traditional seaside resort 42 km north of Lima. Close to the place there are 13 islands which can be visited. You also find here the archaeological museum Museo del Centro de Investigación Arqueológica de Ancón.
Picturesque village 182 km south-east of Lima. Here you can swim or practice Rafting in the Rio Cañete. The place has a mild and enjoyable climate with sun the whole year round.
The second biggest city of Peru is located in the southern Andes of the country and is also known as the „white city“. The historical city center has been declared world heritage site. Especially outstanding is the impressive monastery complex in the middle of town. From Arequipa you can make excursions to the Valle del Colca and the Cañón del Colca, as well as to the nature reserves Reserva Nacional de Salinas, Aguada Blanca and the Lagunas de Mejía. Arequipa is the perfect spot to see colonial buildings while at the same time having beautiful nature at reach. Many people combine a trip to Arequipa with visits to Puno and Cusco.
Chiclayo – Señor de Sipan
In the colonial era Chiclayo on the north coast of Peru was a modest indigenous and mestizo village. The city is located in a very interesting archaeological area with excavations from pre-Inca times (Mochica-Chimú). Spectacular archaeological discoveries were made, like the Señor de Sipán in Huaca Rajada, the Señor de Sicán in Batán Grande and the Pirámides de Túcume. These discoveries led to the opening of the Museo de Tumbas Reales de Sipán, which now offers a collection of invaluable magnitude. Chiclayo and the surrounding villages are famous for witchcraft and esotericism. On the coast you’ll find picturesque fishing villages. A visit to Chiclayo can be easily combined with a visit to Trujillo.
Cusco is the “Archaeological Capital of America” and probably the most visited touristic site in Peru. Cusco was the biggest city of the Inca Empire and its capital, before it was taken by the Spanish conquerors. Today it’s full of traces of old Inca architecture as well as Spanish colonial architecture, which makes this city unique worldwide. Last but not least, Cusco is the starting point for excursions to the mystic Machu Picchu ruins, the holy town of the Incas which was first discovered in 1911. Cusco and Machu Picchu are world heritage sites, because of their historical value and their beauty of nature. The holy valley of the Inca and its surroundings are fascinating spots waiting to be discovered by you. A visit to Cusco can be combined with Puno (Lake Titicaca), Arequipa and/or Tambopata or Manu.
Huaraz – Callejon de Huaylas
The Callejón de Huaylas offers a paradisiacal Andean ambience full of snow-topped mountains, beautiful landscapes and thousands of blue lagoons. It’s the perfect spot for adventure sports and at the same time the birth place of the oldest culture of Peru, the Chavín-culture. You also find here the national park Huascarán, which has been declared world nature heritage, and the archaeological center Chavín de Huántar, a world cultural heritage. Here you find the oldest stone constructions of Peru.
Iquitos – Río Amazonas
Starting point for the northern Amazon of Peru. In the Amazonia forests you have direct contact with pure virgin nature. From Iquitos you can start excursions on the Amazon river or to the virgin forests, including overnight stays in Lodges amidst the virgin forest. If you are very adventurous, you can even start expeditions to the nature parks and reservations of hard access, deep in the forest and with an abundant flora and fauna, where you can get in contact with the native people of the Amazon.
Nazca is a unique place full of mysteries, famous for the giant drawings and lines in the soil of astonishing perfection which you can discover from above taking a sightseeing flight. The lines are a master piece of the Nazca-culture (300 B.C.-1,000 A.C.). Also this place has been declared world culture heritage by the UNESCO. You can combine the visit to Nazca with Paracas.
Paracas is an ideal destination for bird and nature lovers. It’s one of the few places in the world that combine an abundant maritime biodiversity with one of the driest deserts of the world. The national reservation of Paracas is a world nature heritage. It’s also perfect for relaxing on virgin beaches. You can combine the visit to Paracas with Nazca.
Puno – Lake Titicaca
The city of Puno is located in the southern Andes of Peru on the banks of Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world. On the islands Taquile and Amantani you can discover villages which maintain their old habits. This is the land of the legendary Aymara people and the Tiahuanaco culture. You’ll also find many colonial churches and other architectural pearls. Puno is the Folk Capital of Peru, more than 300 folk dances come from here. You can visit Puno in combination with Cusco and Arequipa.
Tacna is a city in the outermost south of Peru on the border to Chile. A few minutes outside of town there are several sites of historical interest. You can also take a trip to Chile. In Tacna you’ll find the museum and monument Sitio Alto de la Alianza, in memory of the Pacific War against Chile which took place here in 1880 and which Peru lost. Only 2 km from Tacna you also find the thermal spring Calientes.
Trujillo is the “Capital of spring” on the Peruvian north coast. It has an interesting historical city center and is famous for the Marinera folk dance competitions. Trujillo is close to Chan Chan, capital of the Chimú culture (12th century), worldwide one of the biggest cities built with adobe and also declared UNESCO world culture heritage.