Culture

Interesting Lima Facts That You Didn’t Know About

Everyone knows that Peru is famous for Machu Picchu, mouth-watering food, and llamas but did you know that Lima is one of the most interesting capital cities in Latin America? If you didn’t here are some interesting Lima facts that you might enjoy reading about…

1. It’s the 3rd largest desert capital in the world.

View of the Sechura Desert Sand Dunes
Credit: Sechura Desert. Digital Image. Cultura Colectiva. October 31, 2017.

With its 10.4M people, Lima is the 3rd largest city in the desert after Cairo, Egypt (19.6M) and Karachi, Pakistan (18.1M).

2. Riding waves is 2,000-year old tradition.

 Surfers riding waves at the Pico Alto beach
Credit: Pico Alto. Digital Image. Viaja Perú. October 17, 2017.

While Hawaii is indisputably the surf capital of the world, there has been proof found that surf was first recorded in ancient Peru (even before the Incas). Researchers claim that this activity could go back as far as 5,000 years when the indigenous people of the Peruvian coast used this method for fishing.

3. Lima is the 5th largest city in Latin America.

Air view of the Lima coastline
Credit: Coast Line. Digital Image. New Peruvian. August 4, 2017.

After Sao Paulo (21.7M), Mexico City (21.4M), Buenos Aires (15.6M), and Rio de Janeiro (13.1M).

4. There are 25,000 bodies in the catacombs below the Monastery of San Francisco.

View of the Catacombs of the Monastery of San Francisco
Credit: Catacombs. Digital Image. Nihaowang. September 30, 2008.

Also in the monastery’s library, there are 25,000 books including the 1st dictionary published by the Royal Spanish Academy in the 1700s.

5. Paddington Bear is Peruvian.

Still Image of Paddington Bear's movie
Credit: Paddington. Digital Image. Variety. March 3, 2015.

His real name is Pastuso but he changed to Paddington when he arrived in London as no one could understand it.

6. (Literal) Frog juice is a popular beverage.

Image of the Titicaca Water Frog
Credit: Flickr @Brad Wilson

Many believe that this juice made from Titicaca water frog has medicinal properties.

7. You can’t have ceviche for dinner.

Image of Peruvian Ceviche
Credit: Ceviche. Digital Image. Peru Hop. March 13, 2017.

Because it’s raw fish they prefer to eat it freshly caught, that’s why almost none of the restaurants in Lima serves it after 3:00 PM.

8. It never rains.

Image of Fog Catchers at the top the Peruvian mountains
Credit: Fog Catchers. Digital Image. Creating Water Foundation. September 19, 2016.

This natural phenomenon happens because rain clouds (cumulonimbus) can’t fully form due to the hot wind currents that pass over the city. The way they collect water is by using “Fog Catchers”, which are nets that help take the humidity out the fog.

9. It’s one of the only 3 places in the world where Coca-Cola is not the leading soda brand.

Image of Inca Kola products
Credit: Inca Kola. Digital Image. Navalwiki.

The other 2 being India and Scotland. In Lima, the soft-drink of choice is the bright yellow Inca Kola (now owned worldwide by Coca-Cola, except in Peru).

10. Guinea Pigs are a local delicacy.

Image of several guinea pigs
Credit: Cuy. Digital Image. Navalwiki.

We may be accustomed to seeing these cute little furry fellow as classrooms pets but in Lima they’re called Cuy, they’re a traditional dish from Los Andes that’s gaining popularity due to its savory taste and high nutritious value.

11. Lima has the fastest growing tourism in Latin America.

Image of tourist at Punta Hermosa beach
Credit: Lima Beaches. Digital Image. Destinia.

Growing 15.2% yearly, it’s the 3rd Top Destination City in Latin America after Punta Cana and Mexico City.

12. There are 2 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Lima region.

Air view of the Sacred City of Caral

Credit: Caral. Digital Image. Peru.com. March 19, 2017.

Peru is the 4th Latin American country with more Heritage Sites. Out of the 12 sites they have, 2 can be found in Lima: Lima’s Historic Center and the Sacred City of Caral (the most ancient city of the Americas).

13. Black vultures can be seen everywhere.

Black Vultures (Gallinazos) resting on a roof in Lima
Credit: Flickr @Bernhard WK

These birds are called Gallinazos and they’re the official bird of the city. They’re respected because as scavenger birds they have helped clean the city and avoid the creation of hygiene-related diseases throughout the centuries.

14. There are over 300 Pre-columbian relics all over town.

Image of Huaca Pucllana
Credit: Huaca Pucllana. Digital Image. El Universal. August 22, 2015.

These relics or ceremonial sanctuaries are called “Huacas“. Some of the most important ones are Pucllana, Huallamarca. and Mateo Salado.

15. Lima has the biggest Chinese community in Latin America.

Image of the dragon dance in capón street
Credit: Calle Capón. Digital Image. Erasmusu. April 18, 2016.

There are over 1 million Chinese people in Peru, from which 200,000 live in Lima.

16. It once was a walled city.

View of Parque de la Muralla
Credit: Parque de la Muralla. Digital Image. El Comercio. September 23, 2015.

The city walls were built by the end of the 1600s to protect it from foreign attacks. Most of it was teared down during the 1800s as the city needed to expand.

17. Peru has the 2nd largest silver production in the world.

Image of silver bars and coins
Credit: Plata. Digital Image. Minería Perú.

Lima, alongside Áncash and Junín extract over 55% of the country’s silver.

18. Capillita del Puente is the smallest church in the world.

Street view of Capillita del Puente
Credit: Chapel. Digital Image. Medium. July 4, 2016.

It’s believed to be the smallest church in the world and it was built in the 1600s. The chapel is 16 ft wide, 32 ft tall, and 39 ft long.

19. Parque de la Reserva is the public park with more fountains in the world.

Night view of the lit fountains on Parque de la Reserva
Credit: Circuíto Mágico del Agua. Digital Image. La República. January 7, 2015.

With it’s 13 interactive fountains, Parque de la Reserva earned itself a Guinness World Record.

20. Most of the year the sky is grey.

Air view of Lima's foggy coastline
Credit: Lima Beaches. Digital Image. Destinia.

This constant fog is caused by the low temperatures in the water and the high temperatures in the air.

Travel Restrictions Limit Americans To Only Flying Into Havana But Sube Let’s Americans Explore The Island

Things That Matter

Travel Restrictions Limit Americans To Only Flying Into Havana But Sube Let’s Americans Explore The Island

subecuba / Instagram

The progression of Cuba’s modern world has been a slow one, but it’s also been eager to thrive thanks to the younger generation. The integration of the internet didn’t arrive on the island until the late aughts. Back then, when U.S. relations with Cuba became friendlier under the Obama Administration, it looked as if Cuba was ready to get online. However, it wasn’t until 2007 that Cuba decided to team up with Venezuela in order for the country to help them venture into the digital age. Now, under the Trump Administration, who is putting the breaks on the Cuba/U.S. relationship, the Cuban people have something more to aspire to. 

A Cuban startup has launched a cab service that will help tourists get around the island now that the Trump Administration has blocked airline travel to all areas of Cuba except Havana.

Credit: subecuba / Instagram

The company is called Sube (which translations to “get on” or “hop on”), and it’s basically a ride-share service like Uber and Lyft, although their intention is to seek out tourists who wish to visit the areas outside of Havana. 

Late last year, the Trump Administration issued a travel ban throughout the island, which meant that American airlines could only fly into Havana. All other airports in Cuba were forbidden. The announcement didn’t automatically erase flights that were already booked. U.S. travelers can only arrive in Havana, so if they have plans outside of the capital, getting there is trickier and expensive. The solution is Sube. 

Sube wants tourists to know that their service is safe and that they can provide an exciting and fun way to get around the island.

Credit: subecuba / Instagram

“Sube is a ridesharing app founded in Cuba,” their About section states. “Our drivers will help you move around safely and fast while sharing their knowledge of our customs and culture.”

One of the most popular attractions in Cuba is their vintage cars. So how can these old cars keep up with this new motive of transportation? Sube owners say all cars, vintage ones as well, are in perfect condition and can drive long distances. All drivers have verified licenses as well. 

The app launched in 2018, and since then, the app has been downloaded at least 10,000 times and so far has 6,000 registered users.

Credit: subecuba / Instagram

“We knew the trouble people go through in Cuba to get to work every day, to get home, or if they just want to go out,” Claudia Cuevas Alarcón told NBC News. Aside from Cuevas Alarcón, a 27-year-old, Sube’s creators include 26-year-old Damián Martín, 26, and 27-year-old Darién González. 

What makes this company even more fascinating is that these young entrepreneurs have found a way to work the system to their benefit. For example, U.S. credit cards are prohibited on the island, which means travelers can only use cash. 

Sube creators registered their company in the U.S., so this makes it possible for travelers to download the app before they leave their home country, upload their credit card information. Once they arrive on the island, they have already reserved their car service, and the exchange of payment is not needed. 

It’s not just tourists who use the app, locals are using Sube to get around the island as well.

Credit: subecuba / Instagram

“If you are visiting Cuba this December, move with SUBE and pay from abroad,” one of their beautiful Instagram posts says. “We have 70 registered and available taxis, which will make your trips more enjoyable and safe. You can book them before your arrival at the airport, until departure. Do not hesitate.”

Other ways to use Sube is pretty straightforward. You can use Whatsapp or Facebook to reserve a cab. Travel experts also suggest that if you’re traveling to Cuba, you should also download apps that will help not only with travel information but translation, money exchange, and texting capabilities. Here are some useful apps that extremely useful: Maps.me, XE currency, Google Translate, Pocket, Havanatrans, Zapya, AlaMesa, CubaMessenger, and ProtonVPN. And, of course, Whatsapp and Airbnb. 

It’s very exciting to see young Cubans not allowing connectivity or travel regulations (or any sort of limitation) stop them from progressing into a new frontier of digital capabilities.

READ: The Trump Administration Took Another Swipe At Cuba By Banning Almost All Flights To The Island

Drones And Security Cameras Will Monitor Machu Picchu After Tourists Were Caught Pooping On Ancient Site

Culture

Drones And Security Cameras Will Monitor Machu Picchu After Tourists Were Caught Pooping On Ancient Site

The Peruvian government is stepping up its security at Machu Picchu after some tourists pooped on the ancient site. Six tourists were arrested after human feces were found in a sacred room in the ancient site. Now, Peru is turning to technology to make sure they can preserve the site form further defacement.

Security cameras and drones are going to keep a close eye on Machu Picchu after six tourists defecated in a sacred room.

Credit: @nypost / Twitter

Five tourists were deported to Bolivia after the feces was discovered in the Temple of the Sun. The temple was used by the Incans to perform ceremonies in the citadel. One tourist was fined $360 and an additional $1,500 owed to the cultural ministry after he knocked a panel from the wall that cracked the floor. The tourists are four men and two women from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and France.

The citadel in the Peruvian mountains is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the world.

Credit: Giphy

Around 1.4 million people visited Machu Picchu in 2016 with an average of 5,000 people walking the paths of the citadel daily. The ancient site has seen a fast increase of tourists over the years with fewer than 200,000 people visiting in 1993.

Some people are really leaning into the comedy of the whole situation.

Credit: @LightsOut / Twitter

It is very important to make sure you treat ancient sites like Machu Picchu with respect. They are part of the larger story of human history on the planet. It is even more important to be a responsible visitor when you are traveling from a foreign country. However, the woman makes a point.

Some folks are offering up some suggestions to curb any future public defecation.

Credit: @ZombieSpaceWolf / Twitter

Portable toilets do seem like a good idea. People need to go to the bathroom and offering a place for them to do so could cut down on human waste on the landmark.

Some are being a little more strict with how they’d save the cultural site.

Credit: @redhsiao / Twitter

This seems too extreme. How do you expect to close Machu Picchu from the public entirely? Imagine the loss of revenue to Peru from closing Machu Picchu.

Basically, prepare to see something like this over the skies of Machu Picchu.

Credit: Giphy

Güau. How beautiful.

READ: These Tourists Thought It Would Be Funny To Poop Inside A Temple In Machu Picchu: They’re Facing Prison Time