Lima Centro

wpid-P1090698.JPGWithin Central Lima is the city’s historic heart with beautiful colonial architecture and baroque churches. Centro Historico or the historic centre of Lima is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

I only spent a couple hours here one morning to see the main attractions. I took the Metropolitano C bus from the hostel to the Estacion Centro stop (20 min, 1.50 soles). Otherwise, a taxi should cost about 15 soles from Miraflores. The bus put me right at Plaza Grau from which I started my own walking tour of the area.

wpid-P1090690.JPGAs I headed north, the grand boulevards quickly turned into narrow winding streets. The first point of interest was the Plaza San Martín, named for the liberator of Peru, Jose de San Martín.

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I continued up to Plaza de Armas (Plaza Mayor) which had served as the center of the 16th century settlement established by Francisco Pizzaro. The plaza is surrounded by several impressive buildings, including the Palacio Arzobispal (Archbishop’s Palace), La Cathedral de Lima, and the Palacio de Gobierno where the president lives. There is a changing of the guard at noon daily.

wpid-P1090704.JPGA few blocks away from the plaza towards the river is the bright yellow Monasterio de San Francisco. I wanted to enter to see the famous bone-lined catacombs but unfortunately I didn’t have enough time for the guided tour you have to take when you buy admission (5 soles I think).

wpid-P1090711.JPGFrom there I strolled around the park along the main river, Rio Rimac. I loved the bright colors of the historic houses and lively wall murals throughout Central Lima.

wpid-P1090715.JPGThe last religious site I visited was the pink Iglesia de Santo Domingo. The church is quite large and houses the skulls of couple Peru’s colonial saints, San Martin and Santa Rosa. I took a quick peek because it was free to the enter.

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There are tons of other churches, museums, and plazas to visit as well but I had to hurry back for my Peruvian cooking class!

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