Callao (Lima), Peru
Information Not Currently Available
Appoximately 4 hours
Meals not included
Historic Centre of Lima
Although severely damaged by earthquakes, this 'City of the Kings' was, until the middle of the 18th century, the capital and most important city of the Spanish dominions in South America. Many of its buildings, such as the Convent of San Francisco (the largest of its type in this part of the world), are the result of collaboration between local craftspeople and others from the Old World.
Join your guide for a panoramic drive from the pier in Callao to the magnificent city of Lima.
The ever-changing backdrop of city sights includes the Plaza Mayor, where the Presidential Palace, City Hall and Archbishop's Palace stand.
Lose yourself in the stunning beauty of the Cathedral of Lima -- a magnificent example of Spanish colonial architecture. Entering by the main or central gateway, the Door of Forgiveness, or one of two other massive doorways, you'll marvel at the Churriguerra altars and beautifully-carved wooden choir stalls. And don't miss the signs at the entrance that commemorate the visits of Pope John Paul II. There are no less than 14 side doors plus a number of chapels, a baptistery, one massive piece of religious art after another, and the tomb of the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro to keep you continually amazed.
Next, visit the historic San Francisco Monastery (c 1774) to experience another exquisite example of Spanish colonial architecture. This stunning Neoclassical cathedral is one of the best preserved in the city. View the stunning interior, the world-renowned library, and the impressive collection of religious art.
Finally, before returning to the pier, head to Casa García Alvarado -- one of the first residential districts to be established outside the downtown district. Built of quincha (adobe) and decorated with wood on the façades, this type of residence became the new haven for Peru's most notable families. Life was spent in the large inner courtyards -- peaceful and private. Enjoy a refreshment the Alvarado house, which provides a glimpse of this elite Peruvian lifestyle.
The Parque del Amor is the perfect spot to celebrate romance. Wander through the gardens, gaze at the sculptures, read the romantic quotes scripted in mosaic tiles and take in the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean.
A narrated drive, featuring the Plaza Dos de Mayo, the Plaza San Martin, and the San Isidro district, returns you to the pier, your day in Lima having covered the important highlights of this vivacious capital city.
Please note: Modest attire is required for visiting churches or cathedrals; knees, shoulders and midriffs must be covered; shorts are not allowed. Photography is not allowed inside the cathedral or the San Francisco Monastery. The cathedral is closed to groups on Saturday afternoons, on Sundays, and on religious holidays.