Peru's incredibly rich and compelling archaeological heritage and its
great natural beauty--remarkable even in a continent renowned for its
exotic vistas--draw tens of thousands of visitors each year. Almost all
make a stop at Lima, which is Peru's cultural and business center. Lima
runs at a slower pace than many South American metropolises; its rhythm is
more traditional, and its people reflect a steadier, calmer constitution.
Lima's unusually amenable inhabitants give the metropolis the feeling, at
times, of a cluster of smaller towns.
Lima's physical atmosphere is slightly dreamlike, mostly because of the
garua--a mist that settles over the city between May and October. Under
its blanket, Lima's inhabitants meet at the penas (bars offering folk and
Creole music), shop at the open marketplaces, and dine at Lima's
celebrated restaurants. Several museums display and preserve Peru's golden
past, including most notably the internationally famed Museo Nacional de
Antropologia y Arqueologia.
of Lima, long white beaches washed by the cold waters of the southern
Pacific stretch away in an uninterrupted string, backed by row upon row of
huge, brilliant white sand dunes. In contrast to the tourist beaches of
warmer climes, these shores have few amenities other than small
restaurants and cafes. One of the best of these remote beaches, as if to
confirm its tranquillity, is known as El Silencio. Like Lima itself, these
beaches seem to exist in an eddy of time, pleasantly removed from the
relentless pace of more frequented destinations.
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