Founded in 1535 by Francisco Pizarro, Lima is today a sprawling place ringed by shantytowns. Nonetheless, Lima is the inevitable arrival point for foreign visitors, and it does possess some impressive Spanish Colonial buildings in its historic center. Several museums will also appeal to the inquisitive traveler, especially the Museo Larco, which displays one of the world’s largest collections of pre-Columbian art in an 18th-century colonial mansion constructed atop the remains of a seventh-century pyramid. Peruvian cuisine has become a global phenomenon, and Lima now boasts some of South America’s top restaurants. December to March is reliably sunny, but from May to September, sea fog blankets the city.

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