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Lima: The City of the Kings. What's been a coastal, cultural hub for hundreds of years has blossomed into one of the most vibrant, cosmopolitan cities in the world. It's also massive: 10 million people call the Lima area home (which means that it's the second largest desert city in the world), making it quite a colossus to tackle. Thankfully, the city is broken up into 43 districts, each with its own personality and flavor. While you'll almost certainly want to stroll around in Miraflores and the historic center of Lima, ducking into a few of its other enclaves could be very well worth your while; from the regal San Isidro to the bohemian Barranco and the stunningly historic Pueblo Libre to Surco (host of the annual wine festival); Lima's a city with many facets—but that's to be expected when you're The City of the Kings.
Hailed as a one of the great food cities of the world, Lima has become a bastion for all things culinary. You'll find some of the busier parts of town festooned with carts doling out everything from donuts to grilled meats (like, anticuchos—among other favorites), and each neighborhood has its own favorite haunts for the ubiquitous-as-it-is-delicious ceviche, which is most often made from locally caught fish. Lima also plays host to some of the best restaurants in the world. Many establishments offer their own take on contemporary, locally sourced Peruvian cuisine (which can sometimes be painstakingly presented in 11, 13, or even 17-course tasting menus), but you'll also find arguably the best Nikkei (Japanese-Peruvian) anywhere, not to mention Japanese, Cantonese, and other international cuisines, all of which pay a sumptuous homage to Lima's status as a major world city.
While the cuisine is vibrant, stunning, and simultaneously ever-evolving as it is rooted in tradition, Lima's weather has earned it another, less prestigious nickname: Lima La Gris (or Lima the Grey). While this might conjure up images of a drearily sopping cityscape, Lima is actually fairly mild. With warmer months (December to March) peaking at 80°F or 26.5°C, and the cooler months dipping around 60°F (15°C), Lima’s a pretty pleasant place to be whenever you’re planning on being there.
This surprisingly even-keeled weather is an excellent asset when it comes to exploring the facets of this amazing city. Adventure junkies can soak up the sights on an ultralight from Parque de Amor; shoppers can duck into boutiques that dot Miraflores, Barranco, and San Isidro; and, of course, there are bars. Lots of bars. This is the birthplace of the pisco sour, after all. You’ll need to keep your energy up (which shouldn’t be a problem with the prolific amounts of coffee around) because Lima’s also packed with art galleries, museums, and churches, most of which are pretty stunning and worth checking out. But while Lima is a gorgeous city to behold, you might want to head out of the main part of town to discover more of its epic history. While the city itself is packed with ruins, outside of town you’ll find some most important archaeological sites in the world, many of which (including Caral, one of the oldest human settlements in the Americas) predate the Inca culture.
Lima’s city that whirrs and zips around tradition. It’s cosmopolitan, sprawling, and modern, but it’s brimming with quaint nooks, classic architecture, and local hideaways. It’s rife with history and on the cutting edge of the world of gastronomy. While its weather may be mild (and admittedly, a little grey), this city is the furthest thing from bland, and while that may push you out of your comfort zone, you’ll always be able to hole up somewhere with a pisco sour and treat yourself to a day well lived. You’re in Lima, after all. Cheers to that.