Location: Western central part.
Area: 34 802 km2.
Capital: Lima (154 masl)
Altitude: Minimum: 3 masl (Ancón)
Maximum: 4278 masl (Tanta)
Centuries before it was founded as the City of Kings, the territory of Lima, capital of Peru and of the department of Lima, was inhabited by civilizations that had gauged its wealth and strategic location. Proof of that can be seen in the countless huacas or temples that dotted the valley, particularly the Pachacamac shrine, a major pilgrimage center during the Inca empire. This spurred Spanish Conqueror Francisco Pizarro in 1535 to choose the Rímac River Valley to found the capital, as its location by the sea provided a link with sailing routes.
Lima is the main gateway to Peru, a major city bustling with living history and movement. It is an ethnic melting pot, featuring pre-Hispanic, colonial and modern elements. The metropolis is also surrounded by every aspect of Nature: the sea, islands, mountains, desert and plantlife. Its various quarters feature an active nightlife and well-endowed cultural scene, as well as plentiful public transport and non-stop activities, a city of more than 8 million souls.