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By: Diana Zlamalik
Diana traveled through Peru and this is her diary… 15 days Lima to La Paz
Cuzco, Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca, La Paz, Tiahuanaco… A full 2 week exploration of Peruvian and Bolivian highlights. Come experience the magic of the Inca Empire’s fascinating culture and archaeology.
After a nine hour trip with Air Canada flight from Toronto, we arrived in Lima. There were no planned activities for the first day, so we checked into our hotel and went out for a stroll thru the city. Peru is frequently referred to as the ‘Land of the Incas’. It is true that the Incas formed the greatest empire on the continent and left mysterious cities such as Machu Picchu. However, it is important to remember that the Incas were the only the last in a long series of Peruvian civilizations spanning several thousand years and the ruins of many of these earlier civilizations can also be visited. Peru is made up of three main geographical areas: the Andes, the Amazon and the desert coastal area; during this trip we concentrate on the Andean region of both Peru and Bolivia.
Known as the City of Kings, Peru’s capital city Lima was founded by Francisco Pizarro on the Day of the Three Kings (Epiphany) in 1535. The Plaza de Armas is the heart of old Lima, and it is here you find the Cathedral, Government Palace and Archbishop’s Palace. The Cathedral dates back to the 1700s and houses the remains of the conquistador Pizarro. To get a feel for colonial Lima, take a cab to the Plaza de Armas and watch the changing of the Palace Guard in the afternoon. Walk the streets surrounding the Jirón de la Unión for great examples of Spanish-colonial architecture and to get a taste for life in a large South American city. An optional city tour visits many of the city’s highlights.
There are many fine museums in and around the city, including the Museo Rafael Larco Herrera, which houses an equally impressive collection of pottery, mummies and textiles from the Paracas and Nazca cultures. The more affluent coastal districts of Miraflores, Barranco and San Isidro offer good nightlife and cafés all within walking distance. Limeños (Lima’s residents) are friendly, and the city is filled with excellent restaurants; seafood lovers in particular should be sure to try a ceviche, for which Lima is well known.
Holy Week celebrations in the April. The Last Supper is dramatized at the Cathedral portico. There is a handicraft fair with the participation of the handicraftsmen of all North Zone. On Easter Sunday begins a great dance in the Plaza de Armas of the city.
World travelers: Diana Zlamalik and her son Borna.
About Diana Zlamalik:
Diana (Dina) is my long time friend who was born in Zagreb (Croatia), the same city where I was born. Dina has Undergraduate and Masters Degree in Veterinary medicine from the University of Zagreb. She immigrated to Canada twenty years ago and now lives in Oakville (Ontario) with her family. Dina plays guitar and is very passionate about classical music. She is currently attending 5th class at Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto.
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