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Lima, Peru

Parque de las Leyendas

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Animal Zone

The "Park of Legends" encompasses Lima's zoo and botanical gardens, but those main attractions come set against some fascinating historical context. The grounds here are part of the Maranga Archaeological Complex, a pre-Hispanic cityscape of pyramidal temples, palaces, tombs, and homes occupied between roughly 600 B.C. and A.D. 1532. Some of these relics, including the Huaca Cruz Blanca, are open to the public. The zoo, meanwhile, presents an overview of Peruvian wildlife divided between three ecological realms: costa (coast), sierra (mountains), and selva (jungle), with everything from toucans and coatis to condors, guanacos, pumas, and sea lions on display. Animals from other parts of the world--hippos, tigers, giraffes, brown bears, etc.--round out the bestiary. The park also hosts several museums, including one dedicated to the area's rich archaeology.

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