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Lima
 
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  Lima Air France Airlines fr £419
  Lima Iberia Airlines fr £409
  Lima KLM Airlines fr £419
  Lima Lan Airlines fr £419
 
Investigate the Incas in this fascinating Peruvian city by the sea.

A vast, polluted metropolis in the middle of Peru's desert coastline, Lima is an economic magnet for struggling highland and Amazonian villagers. A vibrant city with friendly people, it quickly snares the curious traveler with fine museums, striking architecture and richly historical neighborhoods.

Lima also boasts some of the best dining on the continent, from fresh seafood in suave seaside restaurants to hole-in-the-wall eateries; as well as a plethora of extreme sports: try paragliding off the cliffs of Miraflores or surfing off the cliff-backed beaches of Barranco and Costa Verde.

Weather

Lima is warm and sticky across the seasons, with very little rainfall. January through March brings warm, humid days with temperatures of about 26°C (79°F), and nightly lows which hover around a pleasant 20°C (68°F). The afternoon humidity relaxes a little during March and April, and the sun washes over the countryside. Between April and December, however, garúa (coastal fog) shrouds the sun.

If you want to catch Lima at its lively best, time your trip to coincide with Carnaval (the last few days before Lent), which is typically celebrated with music, dancing and water fights; or the Feast of Santa Rosa de Lima (August 30), which features major processions in honor of the patron saint of Lima and the Americas.
A Top Day in Lima

Most Limeños would agree that a day without eating is like a day without life, so I start off at the city's top bakery, Panko's, where the shelves are filled with fresh, sweet and savoury delights. After gulping down a rich coffee I amble up past the Plaza San Martin, presided over by the Gran Hotel Bolivar, which shakes a mean pisco sour, the national cocktail. It's a bit early in the day for that, so I keep heading north onto Jiŕon de la Union, a pedestrian-only shopping street, which darts straight into the city's historical center. It leads to the venerable Plaza de Armas, flanked by the Palacio de Gobierno, where Peru's president lives, and La Catedral, where the remains of Spanish explorer Francisco Pizarro rest. A quick detour takes me on a guided tour of the ghoulish Museo de la Inquisición or over to the Museo Taurino, with its glorious relics of bullfights past.

Then it's time for lunch at L'Eau Vive, a nonprofit restaurant inside a colonial mansion run by a French order of nuns. I devote the early afternoon to Peru's ancient civilizations at either the Museo Larco or the Museo de la Nación, either one an inexpensive taxi ride away from the city center. Then before the sun sets, I'm off to the ritzy suburb of Miraflores for shopping and sunset views of the Pacific Ocean, enjoyed from a pierside table at La Rosa Náutica or the equally gourmand El Señorio del Sulco restaurant atop the cliffs. After dark, I speed down to Barranco, an artsy, eclectic barrio (neighborhood) best-known for its live music clubs and DJs that keep the beats going till the break of dawn.

 
 
 
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