Monastery of San Francisco, Lima, Peru (Hakan Svensson)

Miraflores In Lima, Peru (iStockphoto)

Downtown in Lima Peru (Hemera)

catedral on plaza de armas mayor lima peru (iStockphoto)

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What to do in Lima

The dark, winding passageways at Lima’s Convento de San Francisco are home to thousands of centuries-old bones and skulls laid out in intricate patterns. Built in 1674, this UNESCO Cultural World Heritage site offers tours through the catacombs, convent, and library, all featuring artifacts from 16th-century Europe. Founded by Francisco Pizzaro in 1535, Lima has a reputation for being dusty and old, and travelers making a beeline for Machu Picchu often overlook it. Still, the history of this coastal capital is hard to beat, and its cuisine is gaining notoriety. The most popular street food is “five flavors,” a rice and pasta dish that blends influences from the Andes, Italy, China, Japan, and Africa. Visitors will also find traditional fare, including some of the world’s best ceviche, tamales, and butifarra (a Peruvian pork sandwich).

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