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.

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

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

Joe Raedle / Getty Images

From Day One the Trump Administration made it clear that they wouldn’t be continuing the same diplomatic efforts with Cuba that the Obama Administration had started. Trump has indicated he is not a fan of the current Cuban regime nor Obama’s rapprochement and there were plenty of right-leaning Cuban-Americans who have supported his plans.

However, Trump’s latest move against the island risks not only angering American tourists who wish to visit the Communist island nation but also those same Cuban-Americans who wish to visit their family members still living on the island.

A new rule bans all flights to Cuba outside of the capital of Havana.

The Trump administration is banning U.S. flights to all Cuban cities but Havana in the latest move to roll back the Obama-era easing of relations.

The State Department said JetBlue flights to Santa Clara in central Cuba and the eastern cities of Holguin, Camaguey would be banned starting in December. American Airlines flights to Camaguey, Holguin and Santa Clara, the beach resort of Varadero and the eastern city of Santiago are also being banned.

Flights to Havana, which account for the great majority of U.S. flights to Cuba, will remain legal.

The stated reason for the move is to prevent tourism to Cuba, which is banned by U.S. law. But it is not clear how many people take the flights for tourism purposes. Many are used by Cuban-Americans visiting relatives in cities far from Havana by road.

“This action will prevent the Castro regime from profiting from U.S. air travel and using the revenues to repress the Cuban people,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Twitter. Raul Castro stepped down as president last year but remains head of the Communist Party, the country’s highest authority. 

The ban, which goes into effect on Dec. 10, was announced Friday by the Department of Transportation.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a letter to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao that the flights are being suspended indefinitely because of Cuba’s repression of its people and support for Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro.

An excerpt of the letter said the move was to “further the administration’s policy of strengthening the economic consequences to the Cuban regime for its ongoing repression of the Cuban people and its support” for Maduro.

Two major US-based airlines and travelers with tickets already purchased with them will be affected by this latest crackdown.

American Airlines and JetBlue both fly routes to cities in Cuba other than Havana and will have to end those routes in accordance with the new regulations.

JetBlue said in a statement Friday that it plans to operate in full compliance with the new policy.

“We are beginning to work with our various government and commercial partners to understand the full impact of this change on our customers and operations in Camagüey, Holguín and Santa Clara,” the airline said.

American Airlines said it was also working to comply. American said it currently operates 11 daily flights in Cuba, six of which are in Havana.

“We are reviewing today’s announcement regarding service to non-Havana airports in Cuba,” the airline said in a statement. “We will continue to comply with federal law, work with the administration, and update our policies and procedures regarding travel to Cuba as necessary.”

The White House’s restrictions are yet another roll back of the friendlier relationship President Obama began with Cuba before the end of his administration.

In June the Department of the Treasury and the State Departmentsaid group educational or cultural trips to Cuba, or “people-to-people” travel, would no longer be permitted.

“Veiled tourism has served to line the pockets of the Cuban military, the very same people supporting Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela and repressing the Cuban people on the island,” the Department of State said in a statement at the time.

Last year the State Department added 26 tourist attractions to a long list of restricted sites Americans are barred from visiting in Cuba, including hotels, marinas and shops.

It is still legal for Americans to visit Cuba, though the increased sanctions and restrictions on travel have dampened interest and reduced tourism dramatically.

Lisa Frank And Hotels.com Created An Apartment That Looks Like The Inside Of Your 3rd Grade Backpack

Culture

Lisa Frank And Hotels.com Created An Apartment That Looks Like The Inside Of Your 3rd Grade Backpack

LisaFrank / Instagram

Calling all ’90s kids. Was there ever a better feeling in the world than getting a new shimmery, colorful Lisa Frank binder? We all know that one person who had the whole kit; pencils, erasers, notebooks, stickers. Maybe that person was you or maybe they were someone you were always just a little jealous of, whether you admit it or not. It was a rainbow-colored explosion in every elementary and middle school in the ’90s. Yet, Lisa Frank stationery wants to make the experience immersive. You now have a chance to stay in an apartment decorated in the signature rainbow-colored and slightly psychedelic style of the ’90s brand.

The Lisa Frank apartment, a collaboration between Lisa Frank and Hotels.com, screams nostalgia.

Credit: Hotels.com

Lisa Frank teamed up with Hotels.com to bring your ’90s backpack to life. Hospitality company Barsala, which specializes in delivering the best value for price to their customers. A lucky few fans will be transported to the wonderful world of fluffy rainbows, unicorns, golden retrievers, and technicolor dolphins. The Lisa Frank-themed penthouse is in the Los Angeles Fashion District in downtown. But if you want to stay there, you better hurry. The room is only available for a couple of weeks this month only.

“We wanted to design a room that celebrates all things ’90s, and nothing screams childhood nostalgia more than these iconic designs,” Adam Jay, president of Hotels.com told Curbed LA.

The bed has Lisa Frank sheets and duvet and there are pillows with the trademark colorful kitties and puppies of the brand.

Credit: LisaFrank / Instagram

The bedroom features a hot-pink four-poster bed with a light-up canopy outfitted with Lisa Frank’s signature chromatic bedding and rainbow-hued curtains. There’s a wall-sized mural featuring some of Lisa Frank’s most iconic designs like the rainbows coming out of fluffy clouds, the bear dressed like an Elton John-styled magician, and all of the animals and characters we remember.

The bathroom is an underwater technicolor oasis with all of the Lisa Frank nautical designs we all recognize.

Credit: LisaFrank / Instagram

The bathroom walls are decorated with Lisa Frank’s underwater scenes that graced out school folders for years. Heart-shaped bubbles, rainbow colored tropical fish, and the famous pink and blue dolphins cover the bathroom walls. It is everything you ever wanted your parents to do for your bedroom and bathroom growing up.

Of course, Lisa Frank’s chromatic animal print collection is on full display in the kitchen. 

Credit: LisaFrank / Instagram

You’ll find a true rainbow color spectrum in this kitchen from bright pink to pale blue and all the colors in between. Lisa Frank’s iconic animal prints come to life on the cupboards. Yellow zebra print, a red leopard print that fades to orange. The best part? The kitchen comes fully stocked with the most iconic vibrant-colored candy from your childhood —like Gushers, Pop-Tarts, Pixy Stix, and Planters Cheez Balls.

Get in touch with your inner pop artist with all the stationery and Lisa Frank goodies you can take home.

Credit: Hotels.com

If all the rainbows and colors are making you inspired, next to the lounge area, there’s an office space complete with all the cutesy rainbow Lisa Frank stationery you could ever want. The desk comes supplied with pencils, post-its, notepads and stickers. If ever we wanted to smuggle something out of a hotel room, this is it. 

Guests even get limited edition robes, slippers, and sleep-masks.

Credit: Hotels.com

With your booking, you get to take all of the goodies you like. The candy, the stationery, the Lisa Frank-embroidered robes, and slippers, all yours for the rate of $199 a night.

Yes, Lisa Frank is a real person, but the art was a collaborative effort.

Credit: LisaFrank / Instagram

The Lisa Frank brand first rose to prominence in the 1980s and ’90s as purveyors of hyper-bright, animal-centric school supplies, including Trapper Keepers, pencil bags, backpacks, stickers, and stationery. Lisa Frank is a real person and started the company while she was still in college. However, many artists collaborated to design the illustrations. 

“The artwork was a collaborative effort, but it all began with me putting it on paper as a marker rendering,” Rondi Kutz, who was Lisa Frank Inc.’s Senior Designer and Product Development Leader told HelloGiggles. “The concepts came from Lisa, James (her husband), or me, so I can say that some of the characters were my idea and original design. But by the time it went on to an illustrator to redraw it, adding detail, then to a computer artist who rendered it on the computer (which entailed hundreds of hours of work), it had many artists’ stamps on it.” Kutz went on to work at the company until 2002.

Other notable themed properties available to rent (not on Hotels.com) include Bella Swan’s house from “Twilight,” a “Taco Bell inn” pop-up and the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile. Stays at the Lisa Frank Apartment are available only from October 11 through 27. The cost per night is $199 and the room can only be booked through Hotels.com.

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