While in Lima, we took a free walking tour to explore the Historic Centre of the city. In 1988, this beautiful old part of Lima was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its originality and high concentration of historic monuments constructed during the time the Spanish were present here.
Despite damage caused by several earthquakes over the past century, it’s a great place to see some of Peru’s gorgeous colonial architecture.
Plaza de Armas, Lima’s colourful main square, was considered the foundation for the “City of Kings” in 1535 when it was founded by Spanish conqueror Francisco Pizarro. This public square is also where Peru was declared a Republic in 1821.
The Government Palace (Palacio de Gobierno) is located at one end of the square. Every day at noon, you can go and watch the Changing of the Guards, an hour of music and marching (and high kicks!) displayed behind the palace gates. This is where the Peruvian president resides.
It certainly is a beautiful spot to wander around. Below are a few of my favourite sights!
Cathedral of Lima
Entrance to the Cathedral
Fountain in the centre of Plaza de Armas
Plaza de Armas
San Francisco Church
Beautiful stained glass ceiling at the Mario Vargas Llosa library
Inside the Church of Santo Domingo
Beautiful alter in Santo Domingo
San Martin de Porres, Santa Rosa de Lima & San Juan Macias tombs
Basilica and Convent of Nuestra Señora de la Merced
Jumping into freezing, smelly water isn’t something I generally enjoy doing, but that’s exactly what this excursion was…and I LOVED it!!
While travelling in Peru, we opted for a unique excursion in Lima – swimming with sea lions!
We headed to the marina in Callao to meet up with our tour before setting out into the Pacific Ocean. Our guide pointed out the smaller islands we passed en route, as well as different wildlife including pelicans and Humboldt penguins! It was a rough ride out, but as we rounded the bend to Palomino Island, you could already hear the sea lions. There were hundreds of them. They began jumping off the rocks to follow the boat, splashing and barking away. They were ready to play!
We got our wetsuits on and one by one jumped into the chilly water and swam out to them. The curious sea lions would come very close, sometimes even touching your toes, before swimming away again. We spent 20 minutes in the water swimming with them all around us. What an incredible experience!!