Lima offers the tourist great attractions and the comfort a traveler seeks. The rich history of the city, its beautiful beaches, great museums,
and delicious cuisine are just some of the delights you can find in the “City of the Kings”.
Lima Basic Facts
Area or Surface: 34,802 km².
Main Resources: cotton, corn, sugar cane, fruit trees. It is the first industrial center in the country.
Population: 8,000,000 inhabitants. The capital is Lima.
Number of Provinces and Districts: 10 provinces and 171 districts.
Date of Department Foundation: August 4, 1821.
Typical Foods: carapulcra limeña, cau-cau, anticuchos, arroz con conchas, mazamorra morada and arroz con leche.
Weather: The average temperature is 19° C (66° F). The best time to visit is December to April.
In Lima the remains of the first Andean inhabitant can be found. They were hunters and harpoon fishermen from approximately 1,000 years ago. These remains were found in Chivateros, Ancón and Lurín.
Many years later, farming, ceramics and weaving became popular here. People lived in the valleys. They built temples and communities around grand ceremonial centers such as the Huacoy on the ChillónRiver; Garagay and La Florida on the RímacRiver, Manchay on the LurínRiver. They constructed finely ornamented temples with figures modeled in clay. The Lima culture began to take shape, especially in the area from Chancay down to Lurín. The painted adobe buildings of the Márquez on the Chillón and Cerro Trinidad on the Chancay are the most well known.
During this time, the Wari conquest occurred. Wari style ceramics and a local style known as Nievería took over. The population grew and the culture changed. Then the decline of the Wari culture happened and new cultures were born. The most notable of all of them is the Chancay. It was during the time of Chancay that immense urban centers, notable textile production, and mass-produced ceramics were developed. In the 15th Century the Incas arrived, occupying important sites such as the Pachacámac Sanctuary.
Francisco Pizarro founded Lima on January 18, 1535. Before becoming the capital of Peru, it was a first class religious place of worship. Lima reached its greatest splendor in the 17th century. Beautiful homes and palaces were built for the prosperous nobility and Lima became the richest colony.
During the Independence period, many of Lima’s patriots shed their blood in the name of freedom. Among these were Don Pablo de Olavide, José Baquíjano y Carrillo, José Olaya and José Bernardo Alcedo, author of the National Anthem.
Ica, Nazca, Paracas
From the mysterious Nasca Lines and the marine preserve of Islas Ballestas to the wineries of Ica and the museums filled with ancient pottery
and fossils, the department of Ica has become a favorite among tourists.
Ica Basic Facts
Area or Surface: 21,328 km².
Main Resources: cotton, grapevine, pallares, kidney beans, iron
Population: 600,000 inhabitants. The capital is Ica and has 106,381 inhabitants.
Number of Provinces and Districts: 5 provinces and 43 districts.
Date of Department Foundation: January 30th, 1866.
Typical Food: carapulcra, chupe de pallares, turtle soup, frejol colado, tejas.
Ethnic Groups: Negroid (El Carmen district, Chincha).
Fauna: sea wolves, guano birds, condors, flamingos.
Ica is an important region historically to Peru. The fossil remains found in this zone, corresponding to the tertiary age, confirm the antiquity of the zone. The bony remains of the “Man of Paracas”, the second horticulturist of Peru (6,870 B.C.) were found in the Santo Domingo Pampa. The people of this era lived in straw huts, fished, farmed and exchanged goods.
Between 1925-7 in the Paracas Peninsula, Julio C. Tello discovered the great cemeteries known as Necrópolis. They were from a Pre-Columbian culture. The ancient Paracas bodies were found mummified with fine colorful clothing that was full of symbols.
Years later in Cahuachi the Nazca culture was developed. The ceramics created during this time are considered to be the best in Pre-Columbian American. The painters that depicted these pictures on pots’ surfaces were considered to be masters of their time and craft. And we can’t forget the world famous “Nazca Lines”, which are figures of animals and objects imprinted in the desert surface. To this day no one is sure how they got there.
The Inca Empire’s domination of Ica’s territory began at the time of Inca Pachacutec. During the conquest, Nicolás de Rivera el Viejo arrived to Ica looking for a proper place to found a new city. The IcaValley’s Villa de Valverde was founded on September 30, 1563 by the Spanish captain Jerónimo Luis de Cabrera. Many years later, San Martín with its expedition team landed in Pisco, thus beginning the Peru’s independence from Spain. Colonel Mariano Ignacio Prado created the Department of Ica in 1866.
The capital of the department is called Arequipa or “the WhiteCity”, due to the many structures built using the white sillar stone.
Arequipa is a popular tourist destination due to its diverse architecture such as: temples, convents, monasteries and the
very famous Santa Catalina Convent, which dates back to 1580.
Arequipa Basic Facts
Area or Surface: 63,345 km².
Main Resources: wheat, cotton, rice, onion, garlic, quinoa seed fruits, milk.
Population: 972,000 inhabitants. The capital is Arequipa and has 750,000 inhabitants.
Number of Provinces and Districts: 8 provinces and 107 districts.
Date of Department Foundation: April 26, 1822.
Fauna: condors, vicuñas and alpacas.
Weather: The average temperature is 20° C (68° F). The rainy season is from December to March.
Arequipa is located in the point where the central Andean area and the Andean south center are divided. The valleys to the south of the Sihuas Rivers are incorporated into this area. This division was more notorious in the Wari Age, which embraces the valleys in the north up to Sihuas.
The most brilliant era is identified with the Churajon culture, which conducted big agricultural and irrigation projects. The Chuquibamba culture was developed at the same time as the Churajons. The settlements of this culture are generally identified with the Collaguas and are especially important in the ColcaValley.
The Incas descended to the Yunga region through Arequipa looking for new conquests. Lead by Manuel de Carbajal, the Spaniard conquistadors founded the city of Arequipa in the foothills of the Misti Volcano. In the Republican Age, important battles were waged in this department like the ones performed by Ramon Castilla, Mariano Prado, Nicolas de Pierola, and Sánchez Cerro among others.
Arequipa has become the economic center for the south of Peru. It is one of the most important milk producers in the country.
The main tourist attraction in Puno is Lake Titicaca, the world’s highest navigable lake. The amazing landscapes and impressive
snow-capped mountains of the Cordillera Real are not to be missed.
Puno Basic Facts
Area or Surface: 71,999 km².
Main Resources: quinua, sheep, alpacas and llamas.
Population: 1,135,000 inhabitants. The capital is Puno and has 100,168 inhabitants.
Number of Provinces and Districts: 13 provinces and 108 districts.
Date of Department Foundation: April 26, 1822.
Ethnic Groups: The Uros (in the TiticacaLake).
Typical Foods: caldo de ranas.
Fauna: giant frogs, lake birds, auquenida.
Weather: The average temperature is 8° C (46° F). The rainy season is from December to April.
Around 1,000 B.C. the Qaluyu culture was prominent in Puno. They were related to the Marcavalle culture in Cusco. During this time they constructed great buildings shaped as elongated pyramids that became characteristic of Pucará. Around 200 to 300 A.D., Tiahuanaco started to develop, thus coinciding with the decline of Pucara. From this point on, Puno began to depend on that culture whose center was to the southeast of Lake Titicaca.
As the Tiahuanaco culture began to breakdown between the 12th to 13th centuries, several independent kingdoms were formed. The Collas were centered in Hatuncolla and Sillustani. The Lupaca, centered in Juli and Chuchuito, had such notable settlements as Cochacacha and the Pacajes.
The Chullpas of Sillustani and the temples of Pucará are important historical sites. The majority of the Chullpas belong to the Inca Period.
The Inca conquest began in the 15th century. According to the legend, Lake Titicaca was the cradle of Incan civilization. At the time of the conquest, the Spaniards (among them Francisco Pizarro) settled down in Cusco. In 1825 during the Republic, Simón Bolívar visited Puno and was received with the historical euology of Choquehuanca “As years go by, grows our glory as shadows grow when the sun sets”.
Cusco is a magical city filled with history and beauty. From the stunning churches in the Plaza de Armas to the Incan ruins and the
gorgeous landscape of the SacredValley, this is treasured spot that should not be missed.
Cusco Basic Facts
Area or Surface: 71,892 km².
Main Resources: corn, barley, quinoa, tea and coffee, gold.
Population: 1,097,000 inhabitants. The capital is Cusco and has approximately 300,000 inhabitants.
Number of Provinces and Districts: 13 provinces and 107 districts.
Date of Department Foundation: April 26, 1822.
Weather: The rainy season runs from May to September.
The fame achieved by archeological Cusco can be found well before the Inca Age. Cusco dates back about 1000 years before Christ when the Marcavalle culture was in force. From there, Chamepata began. The history of the contemporary culture of Pucara in Puno was lost until the Waris conquered the zone, including it in the Wari’s Empire. After the Waris, the region re-established itself, first with the Killke Culture and then with the Incas.
In the past, Cusco represented the center of Incan civilization. It was the capital of the Andean state of Tahuantinsuyo. According to legend, it was founded by Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo between the 11th and 12th centuries. Later, due to an order by Spaniard Francisco Pizarro, this city was founded again in March 23, 1534.
Tourists come from around the world to discover Madre de Dios’ treasure: ManuNational Park. You can see wonderful landscapes,
mysterious forests, beautiful lakes and wildlife.
Puerto Maldonado Basic Facts
Area or Surface: 85,183 km².
Main Resources: rice, yuca, coconut, rubber, wood, gold.
Population: 76,000 inhabitants. The capital is Puerto Maldonado and has 46,732 inhabitants.
Number of Provinces and Districts: 3 provinces and 10 districts.
Date of Department Foundation: December 26, 1912.
Ethnic Groups: machiguengas, mashcos, campas.
Typical foods: pataraschca, sopa de motelo, timbuche, masato, tacacho.
Fauna: reptiles (boa constrictor, shushupe, naka naka), lizards (white lizard and black lizard), birds (blue partridge, sharara, cushuri, herons, camungo, parrots, guacamayos), monkeys (frailecillo, pichicos), felines (jaguar, tigrillo, puma), and fish (zúngaro and paiche).
Flora: cedar and mahogany.
The territory of Madre de Dios, in the areas near the Cusco provinces of Paucartambo and Quispicanchis, was known since the Inca Era. First Inca Roca and then Túpac Yupanqui arrived to the higher part of the watershed of Alto Madre de Dios, incorporating it into the empire.
In 1566, Mr. Juan Alvarez de Maldonado, heading an important expedition, went through the territory of Madre de Dios and navigated this river. However, in 1860 the most important expedition was lead by Mr. Faustino Maldonado. After traveling the Ucayali and UrubambaRivers, Maldonado arrived in Cusco. After staying two months in this city, he departed to Madre de Dios navigating by the Piñipiñi, Madre de Dios, and MadeiraRivers with the purpose of going back to the starting point. However, he died after drowning in the Madeira. His son continued the expedition and completed the scheduled route with the other survivors.
By the end of the 19th century, the “caucheros” (rubber men) would go scout the territory in search of rubber and shiringa trees. The most famous rubber man was Fermín Fitzcarrald. In 1893 he discovered an isthmus, which has since been named after him as the “Varadero de Fitzcarrald”.