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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.

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