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Summer in Peru - 2017

Lima - Peru

Dog inside Calama Airport

I had been in San Pedro de Atacama, Chile for a few days, then had to return to Calama to catch a flight back to Santiago, then another flight to Lima, Peru. It was a day of Airports and Aeroplanes.

Eventually I arrived at Lima Airport, a big, busy, noisy airport where immigration had trouble with my passport, I have no idea why. A man took over from the woman, punched some numbers in and I was through immigration without a problem. I bought a ticket for a safe and reliable taxi to take me to the Gran Hotel Bolivar, located on San Martin Square, Lima.

The taxi had a screen fitted in the back of the seat where I watched a preview on what to see and do in Peru - It was informative and had good photography.


Well, once we drove away from the airport, I found out just how busy Lima was, and just how impatient and reckless Peruvian drivers are! The road was marked as 3 lanes, but there were 5 lanes of traffic filling the 3 lanes with much pushing and shoving taking place, horns were blaring, arms were hanging out of windows, buses stopped in the middle of the road to let passengers off - WELCOME TO LIMA!

I was pleased when I eventually arrived at my Hotel and was inside away from the honking and noise. A quiet and peaceful Hotel interior with helpful staff who could speak English, and a lift to the upper floors was just what the Doctor ordered.

Gran Hotel Bolivar

Interior of the Gran Hotel Bolivar

Interior of the Gran Hotel Bolivar

Gran Hotel Bolivar Lift

After having a rest, I checked out this historic Hotel which in its heyday, was the most luxurious hotel in South America.

I loved the old lift, the chandeliers, the Model T Ford in reception, the antique furniture, lamp posts and so much more, the Hotel oozed elegance.

Model T Ford
Bottom of lamp post at Hotel Gran Bolivar

Many famous entertainers, politicians, country leaders, film stars and singers such as Orson Welles, Ava Gardner, John Wayne, the Rolling Stones and Ernest Hemingway to name a few, stayed at the Gran Hotel Bolivar.

Famous people

My room was enormous and filled with antique furniture that I liked, plus it was in the centre of the Hotel, so I had a good nights sleep every night.
Breakfast was in the Dining room where I enjoyed a cooked breakfast every morning along with a choice of rolls, juice, tea & coffee. I could have had more, but that was enough for me.

Gran Hotel Bolivar Dining room

I thoroughly enjoyed my time here and would definitely stay here again.

Tomorrow, I begin exploring Lima

Posted by balhannahrise 03:39 Archived in Peru Tagged architecture taxi hotel transport Comments (11)

Summer in Peru - 2017

Lima - Peru #Day 2

It's my first full day in Lima, so after a hearty breakfast I am on a walking mission to see as much as I can today

My Hotel was located in San Martin Plaza which is a beautiful park established July 27, 1921 for the centenary of Peru's independence. The Plaza is Lima’s second most important public space, after Plaza de Armas.

San Martin Plaza - Lima

San Martin Plaza

Flowerbeds, lawn, benches made from marble and paving from granite, four water fountains and old style street lamps made this a very appealing park, then at night it was packed with Chileans who had finished work for the day.

Located in the park is a monument of General José de San Martín, the liberator who led Peru to victory during its struggle for independence from Spain. A competition was held and won by Spanish sculptor Mariano Benlliure who created this impressive monument. It's a wonderful sculpture of San Martin on his horse, whilst on the sides of the monument are bronze reliefs of San Martin during his voyage across the Andes.

José de San Martín - Lima

José de San Martín - Lima

Surrounding San Martin Plaza were many buildings, some in Neo-classical style, most a mix of Baroque with a lot of French influence.


When the Teatro Colon was built in 1914 as a luxurious Theatre, it pre-dated the construction of the plaza. Luxurious when first built, it was left to deteriorate, finally closing in 2003. Since then, the exterior has been refurbished and looks great, now the interior awaits refurbishment.

Giacoletti building
Located across the street and jammed between two streets is the Giacoletti building, built the same time as Teatro Colon. Both buildings were remodeled early in the 20th century so they would blend in better with the architectural style of the other buildings in the Plaza.

The Gran Hotel Bolivar was built next in 1924

In 1926, the Zela and Pumacahua arcades were built, the Club Nacional in 1929, then finally the rest was completed between 1935-1945 with the construction of the Cine Metro, Fénix, Boza, and Sudamérica buildings, built in the Neo-colonial style (similar to the Spanish Colonial Revival architecture).


Nearly all of these Baroque buildings are white, blending together beautifully to put the finishing touch to this stylish Plaza.

Carabaya street

Since I had finished exploring San Martin Plaza, I decided to walk south along Carabaya street to Plaza Grau, a park established in honor of the Pacific War hero and famous captain of the Navy - Admiral Miguel Grau.


Plaza Grau was re-modeled in 2010 after the construction of the Metropolitan Central Station. Its shape is a long rectangle with a paved centre piece where old style lamps and the heads of Naval heroes line either side. I wanted to sit down but every bench was in the sun and already the sun was quite hot. It was here I had a chat to one of the men in uniform who make sure the tourists come to no harm.

Where I entered the plaza was a beautiful building on the corner of Avenue Franklin D. Roosevelt and Carabaya street known as Palace Rimac. Even though it is built in French "Beaux Arts" style of architecture, it wasn't a French architect who designed it, instead it was the design of Polish architect Ricardo de Jaxa Malachowski.
It was boom time in Lima when it was built between 1919 and 1924, it's easy to see no expense was spared as the facade includes arches and balconies, wreaths, medallions and other decorations, making me wonder how extravagant the interior was.
It was the first apartment building built in Lima.

Palace Rimac

Between the paved area and the road at Grau Plaza was the lawned area where I found some interesting sculptures of Lions, Panthers, Vultures, Llamas and a Peruvian man with Oxen.

large_IMG_2344.jpgLlamas @ Plaza Grau


Plaza Grau

When I'd reached the centre of Plaza Grau, I looked across the road to the formidable Palace of Justice, built in 1938 in neoclassical style, similar in design to the Justice Palace of Brussels.

Palace of Justice - Lima


Monument of Admiral Grau

Continuing along this long paved pathway, I finally came to the end where traffic was buzzing around a very busy 8 lane round-about of which the centre was another part of Plaza Grau, but how to reach it?
Too much traffic for me, and I knew I wouldn't be able to read the Spanish, so I zoomed in on the huge monument when there was a slight lull in the traffic.
The biggest monument was saved for the best, Miguel María Grau Seminario, hero of the Naval Battle of Angamos during the War of the Pacific.
I doubt if you would find many like him in war, for this man was known as the "Gentleman of the Seas" as he was kind and courteous even when dealing with the defeated enemies.

He is an iconic figure, one that is both respected and admired by both Peruvians and Chileans.

Policewoman controlling the traffic

Looking at this traffic and needing to cross the road made me head to the traffic lights where I could safely cross the road. The lights were on green but nobody was moving, then I saw why, a Police woman in a small hut in the centre of the road was busy directing the traffic with her hands and with a whistle which she played in some kind of tune. Everybody understood the whistle, so I followed the Peruvian pedestrians across the road, then went into Park Juana Alarco de Dammert, another well set out and maintained park with plenty of lawn, garden seats and greenery.

Juana Alarco de Dammert Park

In the park, I found a couple of statues, one of them of Juana Alarco de Dammert, after whom the park is named. She was known as the "Granny of children" as she spent her life helping, finding food and giving education to orphans from 7 to 12 years of age.

Juana Alarco de Dammert
Neptune Fountain

In the park was quite a large fountain with Neptune in the centre and lots of big fish heads where water would flow out their mouths, sadly, the fountain was dry

Museum of Italian Art - Lima

At one end of the park was the Museum of Italian Art located in a beautiful Neo-Renaissance building, decorated with two large mosaics on the exterior wall. These mosaics were given as a gift from the Italian community living in Peru to commemorate the centenary of independence in 1921.


When I walked to the other end of the park I found another building with attractive architecture, this was the Military History Study Centre. What a shame this nice building had been graffitied!

Military History Study Centre



In-front of the building was a bus stop for all size buses.

My original plan was to use these to get around, but when I saw how packed and busy they were I changed my mind.
I stood and watched bus after bus pull in, the tout yelling and hanging out the door as the bus pulled up.
People rushed to get off and rushed to get on, no mucking around here or you were left behind.
It was interesting to watch, as there is nothing like this in my home country.

Along Paseo Colon - Lima

With bus out of the question, it meant more walking for me on a hot day, though I did manage to buy some resfreshing cold pineapple and watermelon from road-side stalls, both went down well! I decided Plaza Bolognesi was as far as I was walking.

Paseo Colon was a busy main road, with a lawned median street, statues and a pathway in the centre. I walked along here admiring many buildings with distinctive architectural features, some had mosaics on their facades, others looked Moorish, I really was enjoying the mix of Lima architecture.

Along Paseo Colon - Lima

Along Paseo Colon- Lima

Plaza Bolognesi was actually the centre of another large roundabout, it too is named after a national hero, this time Colonel Francisco Bolognesi , who was in the battle of Arica during the War with Chile.

Colonel Bolognesi monument

This is not the original sculpture from 1905 of Colonel Bolognesi, that was controversial and was removed to the Historical Museum of the Real Felipe.
Why you may ask?

I guess most sculptures show people like this triumphant, but the original sculpture showed Bolognesi clutching a flagpole and with his head bowed, about to collapse after being beaten in battle.
People complained it didn't show him at his best - he looked drunk!
Eventually a new sculpture was commissioned and this is what I saw, not a man with his head bowed, but an obelisk with a bronze sculpture of a triumphant Colonel Bolognesi, with one hand raising the flag of Peru and the other with a revolver.
Peruvian sculptor Artemio Ocaña, used material from three tons of artillery shells to make the sculpture.


Around this Plaza most of the buildings had similar architectural patterns, a coat of fresh paint would have done wonders.

La Basílica de María Auxiliadora de Lima

Just around the corner in Avenue Brasil was La Basílica de María Auxiliadora de Lima, impressive on the outside with some great doors, unfortunately I couldn't visit the interior.IMG_2454.jpg270_IMG_2462.jpg


I didn't know how many kilometers I had walked, so I decided to head back along a different road, this happened to be a good choice as I came across this lovely building

270_IMG_2476.jpg 270_IMG_2477.jpg

Then a round-about with a monument in memory of Jorge Chávez , an Aviator who died when only 23 years old. This is the man the Lima International airport is named after and where I saw a life-sized replica of his famous Blériot XI monoplane.


Jorge Chávez Memorial- Lima

Continuing my walk, my next point of interest was Exhibition Park,, a park built especially to house the Lima International Exhibition of 1872. The Exhibition Palace, a huge building that is now the Lima's Museum of Art, was designed by Italian Antonio Leonardi and constructed in Neo-Renaissance style,

Museum of Art

I had arrived at lunch time, and lucky for me, there was a stall selling food and drinks in the park. I bought lunch and a Chicha Morado drink, a typical Peruvian non-alcoholic drink that was very popular with the Peruvians. The purple colour is because purple maize is boiled with chunks of pineapple, quinces, cinnamon and cloves in water until the maize is soft and the liquid has taken on the deep purple colour. My first taste and I liked it, in-fact I found it a very refreshing drink on a hot day, from then on I bought many Chicha Morados from roadside stalls.

Moorish Pavilion, Lima

Moorish Pavilion, Lima

After lunch, I wandered around the park to see some of the beautiful pavilions. One I really liked was the Moorish pavilion, then I walked a little further and found another beauty - the Byzantine Pavilion, both of these styles I never expected to find in Lima.

Byzantine Pavilion, Lima


Chinese Fountain - Lima
This park is huge, with lots of lawn, shade trees and gardens, one of them was the Japanese garden, unfortunately there wasn't any water running, so it wasn't very attractive. Nearby was the impressive Chinese fountain, a gift from the Chinese colony to mark the centenary of the Independence of Peru.


Many gifts were given from countries around the world for the centenary of Peru's independence in 1921, another I came across was a 30m high clock tower in University Park, where at 12 noon every day, it plays the Peruvian National Anthem.


There were more monuments in the park, this one is a marble statue of Bartolomé Herrera,
an important Peruvian personality.
Another nice park in Lima of which there are many!

Well, it was time to get moving and make my way back to the Hotel and I still had a bit of distance to cover.


Pantheon of the Proceres - Lima

On one side of University park is the Casona of the National University of San Marcos, a recognized historic building
Adjoining it was what looked to be a church, but there was a guard out the front and it was fenced. Not sure if I could go inside, I tried asking the guard but was lost in translation, at least he waved me inside with his rifle.

Inside I paid a small fee and was told the building originally belonged to the Jesuits, then in 1876 it became the chapel of the National University of San Marcos .


Pantheon of the Proceres-
In 1924, the remains of several heroes of the wars of independence (1821-1824) were transferred to the crypt under the altar, at that time the name was changed to the "Pantheon of the Proceres."


Altar @ Pantheon of the Proceres Lima

Today there are 24 remains and 41 effigies.

Pantheon of the Proceres - Lima

Immediately after entering, I walked past the busts of many famous Peruvians, then past a beautiful wooden pulpit with lots of marvelous carvings and onto the eternal flame and the amazing wooden Altar with so many detailed carvings.
Pantheon of the Proceres - Lima

Downstairs, where the tombs were, the centre of the ceiling was round and open, surrounded by a blue mosaic mural. I found when I was in different positions and looking upwards, I could see the Altar, the Pulpit and other parts of upstairs - Very clever!

Pantheon of the Proceres - Lima

La Iglesia de los Huérfanos de Lima.
When I walked outside, I spotted a church located across the park painted pink, this was La Iglesia de los Huérfanos de Lima. The outside was lovely and the inside was better still, only I couldn't take photos as a service was being held.

Finally I was on the homeward stretch and this is where I saw these men moving house, a bit different to home!

Moving house


Posted by balhannahrise 15:08 Archived in Peru Tagged churches buildings museums parks architecture monuments lima historic wallking Comments (13)

Summer in Peru - 2017

Peru - LIma # Day 3


Lima historic centre

Today I am heading into the Central Historic area of Lima where I know I am going to find lots of buildings with balconies. I have seen these in Malta, but not to the extent as in Lima.


The noble and wealthy had balconies built on their houses mostly during the 18th and 19th centuries. Women were not allowed to stroll the streets, so the balcony was an ideal place for upper-class women to sit and observe the goings on of the city from behind cover. Some of the more wealthy residents built their homes in Spanish-Moorish architecture, and just like in Morocco, most of the balconies were decorated with Seville tiles and mosaics, although not many of these have stood the ravages of earthquakes in Lima.
Along the streets in the historic centre were many houses with balconies, some were quite plain, some had decorative windows and others were a piece of art.

Torre Tagle Palace - Lima


Torre Tagle Palace, a Spanish Sevillian Baroque palace built in 1735. was one with attractive balconies. In the centre was an impressive baroque stone doorway, with a large wooden door decorated with bronze nails and with two Lion's heads for knockers. What I admired were the two large balconies, built from dark wood with carved patterns, lattice work and small columns which made them very attractive. Underneath each balcony the rafters were carved in the shape of a woman. It was quite obvious, these were "upmarket" balconies.
Today, Torre Tagle Palace is used by the Peruvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, so if you wish to see the interior which I have seen photos of, then you have to do a tour. The tour is a chance to Seville tiles and mosaics.

A few steps away and in the same street as Torre Tagle Palace was the impressive 18th century mansion, "Casa de Goyeneche." It was painted in a bright yellow with white trimmings, for some unknown reason, lots of buildings in Lima are painted in these colours.

Casa de Goyeneche. ( yellow building)


Casa de Goyeneche Door Knocker

This too had beautiful balconies and in many ways was similar to Torre Tagle Palace. As I passed through the doors I noticed the interesting door knockers, part fish, part panther? - I really aren't sure what they represented, then I came to a gate and that was as far as I could go.

The Metropolitan Municipality of Lima is trying to get people interested in restoring balconies, so are running a campaign under the slogan “take a balcony,” to be restored. I noticed lots had been restored and looked wonderful!


Lima Historic Centre


My walk today took me from my Hotel, along Jirón de la Unión that ran alongside San Pedro Plaza to my destination, Plaza Mayor, the main and most important plaza in Lima. Early morning and Jirón de la Unión was quite quiet, but as the day progressed it became packed with people. Nearly every street I walked had some interesting buildings, this one was no exception. There was one run-down building, but the rest were looking great.

There were so many different styles of architecture, many were painted brightly, a few were in pastel colours. Plenty of impressive wooden doors, decorative bars on windows, balconies, lots of decorative facades, old fashioned lights and more.

Lima Historic cente

Our Lady of Mercy Basilica
Our Lady of Mercy Basilica Tower

San Pablo Church

Next, I went to see San Pablo (Pedro) Church, a famous one which has hardly altered since first built. This small church was consecrated by the Jesuits in 1638 and like nearly all the churches I had seen in Lima, it had gold overload.


San Pedro Cloisters

I wandered into the cloisters and found it a beautiful, peaceful area. I like the Jesuits style of building, and here the yellow and white complimented the garden, it really was a delightful spot.


San Pedro Cloisters

Plaza Mayor

Plaza Mayor (Plaza de Armas till 1990) is a real eye-catcher!
Conquistador Francisco Pizarro designed the main square, then all important buildings were built around it.

Plaza Mayor Water Fountain

The center of the Plaza de Armas was once home to the city gallows, it's hard to imagine now as in its place is a very attractive fountain.

Plaza Mayor Water Fountain

The Plaza Mayor is the oldest public place in Lima, it is also where all important events took place. Religious, state and military processions, all kinds of festivities and entertainment. It was here the first bullfight was held in 1538, where public executions took place and where General Jose de San Martin declared the independence of Peru. Much more has taken place here in its 500+ years, today demonstrations are held here, there was even one planned for the day I was there, but I didn't see anything, other than the Police water cannon vehicle laying in wait for them.

Police Water Cannon


The buildings around Plaza Mayor were magnificent!

Government Palace


Located on the north side of Plaza Mayor was the Government Palace [House of Pizarro], the seat of the executive branch of the Peruvian Government and the official residence of the President of Peru.
Government Palace

Over five centuries it has been reconstructed and expanded to become a much grander building than it originally was when first built in 1535. I came here first to view the Neo-Colonial building, whose facade is Neo- Baroque, then later on to watch the changing of the guards.

I found a barrier had been put up away from the fence, meaning everybody had to stand behind that and all the photos would have bars.. I was really disappointed with this and didn't even bother to watch the whole ceremony.

Palace Ceremonial Band

On the eastern side was the Archbishop's Palace which is now open to the public. Despite its grand colonial appearance, this building is quite new having been built in 1924. The Palace serves as the official home of the Archbishop of Lima and as the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Lima.
The Archbishop's Palace has a beautiful Baroque façade with two stunning wooden balconies, some of the best I saw in Lima.
It's a beautiful building, built from only the best materials which were shipped from around the world. The palace flies both the Peruvian and Vatican flags.

Archbishops Palace - Lima270_IMG_2896.jpg
Archbishops Palace Door Knocker - Lima


Situated next to the Archbishops Palace is the Basilica Cathedral of Lima, a Roman Catholic cathedral from 1535 built upon the site of a palace owned by the Inca prince Sinchi Puma. The Cathedral took a long time to complete, eventually it was finished in a mix of baroque, gothic and neoclassical architecture. On the main facade are statues of the 12 Apostles surrounding the cathedral’s main entrance, the Door of Forgiveness. In total there are eight entrances to the cathedral and 14 small side-chapels. Entry is free. Once inside, I found there were plenty of people looking and others praying, it was one of the busiest chuches in Lima

Basilica Cathedral of Lima

Two beautifully painted yellow buildings with colonial style balconies are located either side of Passage Santa Rosa, one is the Palace of the Union

Palace of the Union

....and the other is City Hall (Palacio Municipal), easy to pick which is which, as City Hall has the city coat of arms on its facade. This was another building from the 16th century that had been damaged badly by earthquakes and rebuilt many times, today the architecture is a neo-colonial facade with a French renaissance interior.


City Hall @ Plaza Mayor - Lima

I had finished exploring the Plaza Mayor and was wondering where to go next when a church tower in the distance made that decision for me. Heading in that direction, I first came across Plaza Peru, a pretty Plaza where lots of Peruvians were taking family photos.


Plaza Peru

Continuing a short distance, I stopped at the old pink Post office building (Casa de Correos y Telegrafos) which is now a Gastronomy Museum covering the history of Peruvian cuisine, a museum I wasn't interested in. I had a peek through the main entrance to see what the Casa was like.

Gastronomy Museum

I could see the church was only a few metres away - surprise, surprise .... It was another pink church!
The 46 metre high Bell Tower was reconstructed in 1766 in rococo style to include three levels, each with its own balcony and with an angel at the very top.

large_270_IMG_2809.jpgBell Tower

Sunday wasn't the best time to be viewing churches as they were full of people or a service was being held, because of this I did miss some chapels and I didn't bother taking the tour of the Museum of the Convent of St. Domingo - I should have!


Santo Domingo church

The Santo Domingo Church is very important as it contains the skeletal remains of the 3 saints of the Dominican Order - Santa Rosa de Lima, San Martín de Porres and San Juan Macías. Another church with a beautiful interior, a wonderful main altar in neo-classical style with turquoise and gold, whilst the rest of the church was in green. There were many chapels to see, a beautiful high ceiling and much more.


Basilica and Convent of San Agustín

Jirón Camana is where the Basilica and Convent of San Agustín was located. Its facade is Churrigueresque baroque, only one of two Churrigueresque facades left in Lima.


Coming out of the church, I walked along Jirón Camana, a historic street which led towards the Rimac River. It was along here I came across the Passage Del Correo, a walkway between two streets covered by elegant metal arches. Its impressive entrance beckoned me and so did the market stalls, then I saw I was too early, there were only a few stalls open. The building was beautifully detailed and painted pink!

Passage Del Correo



Walking out of Jirón Camana, brought me to a paved pedestrian area with some unusual sculptures, further along was parkland beside the Rimac river.
A bridge was here, so I walked to the centre to get a better view of this river that has flooded many times and caused a lot of destruction, then did the same after I arrived home in March 2017.


As I walked along the paved area I noticed these strange domes, but what were they? My guess is observatory domes, but that may not be correct, I would be interested if anybody knows what they are.


I didn't want to walk that way anymore, so I turned around and walked to the markets by the river that had handbags for sale


A browse here and I was on my way again, this time sticking to the road alongside the river which brought me to the House of Peruvian Literature. This was once Lima's old train station and was renamed to Casa de la Literatura. Today it houses a Cultural Center and Library.

San Francisco Church


It was time to make my way slowly back to my Hotel, only this time along some different streets. I was only one block away from Plaza Mayor when I came across the San Francisco church and monastery that contains a library and catacombs.


San Francisco church

Building of this lemon coloured Spanish Baroque church began in 1673 and was finally completed in 1774. The centre has a granite carved portal like many of the churches I saw in Lima

San Francisco Church

Inside, the vaults of the central and two side naves are painted in a mix of Moorish and Spanish designs, and it looked like a lot of the carvings were from wood - all were beautifully done. In this church, Jude the Apostle is venerated.


San Francisco Church

My next stop was at Plaza Bolivar, also known as the Plaza of Congress or Plaza of the Inquisition. It's here where the Legislative Palace, where the seat of the Congress of Peru is located. The Plaza is named after Simon Bolivar, the liberator of five South American countries.

Plaza of Congress

Well, it was another interesting walk.


I passed by this bright blue church, I found China town and a huge market which reminded me of Vietnam, as the stalls sold the same kind of product in each street.


Next blog, I go to Lima's zoo

Posted by balhannahrise 01:30 Archived in Peru Tagged churches buildings museums parks architecture monuments lima historic wallking Comments (8)

Summer in Peru - 2017 - Lima's ZOO

Parque de Las Leyendas


Parque de las Leyendas - Jungle area

The zoo is all about South America and Peruvian flora and fauna. It's divided into the 3 climatic regions of Peru: Jungle - Mountains -Coast. The coastal region is where I saw the pelicans, cormorants, sea lions, penguins and turtles, whilst the mountain area was home to llamas, vicunas, guanacos, pumas, condors and owls, of course the jungle area is where I found the monkeys, jaguars, snakes, toucans, parrots and crocodiles.

I love seeing animals and birds in their natural habitat in the wild, but in South America I didn't see a real lot. I managed to see in the wild, Llamas, Vicunas, Guanacos, Foxes, Penguins and some birds, not a real lot after reading the Zoo has 210 native animals along with a few African animals.


This Zoo differs from the normal as it was built on the Maranga huacas, a pre-Hispanic site and burial ground.

As I walked around, I saw many of these sites, each with an interpretive board written in spanish - Not much use to me!

Archaeological Complex Maranga


The "Archaeological Complex Maranga" once covered a huge area, but nobody thought to preserve it, instead it was left and gobbled up by the sprawling capital city of Lima. Many different cultures lived here from 600 BC until the Inca period in 1532.

In 1960, only a small area was left and somebody thought to save it, thanks to this, there are some sites left of the archaeological Maranga Huacas.
Maranga houses 14 large pyramids and at least 50 small buildings. In 1964, the city of Maranga and the "Parque de las Leyendas" became one.


Parque de las Leyendas

Parts of the Zoo were closed as they were in the process of building new free range enclosures for their animals. It was good to see this was happening and that one day the animals would not be in cages.

I began my tour in the Coastal Region at the Humboldt Penguin enclosure where I saw many adult and baby penguins. I had seen them on Chiloe Island, Chile, but here I had a much closer view.


Humboldt Penguins

In the same enclosure were brown Pelicans, no-where near as pretty as the black and white ones in Australia. Viewing was from behind dirty glass.



I saw a couple of large Galapagos Turtles and an Andean Bear who was being teased by a number of Vultures.


In the Jungle area was quite a good display of South American birds, the problem with photos were the cage bars and dirty glass.


# 1Loro Farinosa parrots # 2 Orange Winged Amazon Parrot # 3 Loro Chiricle Cabeza Negra Parrot


There was quite a good selection of South American Primates that weren't behind bars and were fun to watch.



Probably the bird I was most happy to find, was the Gallito De Las Rocas whose common name is Andean Cock of the Rock. It sure was brightly coloured.


Probably my favorite animal exhibit was the shiny Black Panther.



The park also has a botanical garden and other lawned areas, one includes a couple of Butterflies.


I followed the pathway which took me around the whole park, past the man made lake and cave where long queues of people were waiting to take a boat ride through the cave or for the paddleboats, this was a very popular area.


Scattered around the park were some excellent playgrounds.


I found plenty of food and drink stalls along the pathways, and found buying from these people was quite cheap.

The Zoo enabled me to see many South American animals.

This park had something for every-one. The children were well catered for, as were the adults and I was able to see some very old ruins.
All of this was made better as I received free entry (I think age.)

The only downer was leaving when the park closed. There was an enormous amount of people and many of us were looking to catch a taxi.


Tomorrow morning I catch a flight to CUSCO - PERU

Posted by balhannahrise 22:07 Archived in Peru Tagged animals birds zoo lima boating archaeological playgrounds complex maranga Comments (5)

Summer in Peru - 2017

Cusco - Peru


Sadly it was time to leave Lima and head to Lima's Jorge Chávez International Airport to catch my flight to Cusco, a city located 583 kms from Lima at an altitude of 3,399 metres (11,152 feet) above sea-level, much higher than our highest mountain in Australia.

I allowed plenty of time to reach the Airport in anticipation of travelling in frenetic traffic like on my arrival, thank-goodness this wasn't the case on my return journey.

I was flying with Peruvian Air, one of the cheaper airlines with flies to many Peruvian towns. As I was early and had plenty of time, I browsed the souvenir shops and found a good range of souvenirs, I didn't buy though as I thought souvenirs would be cheaper at market stalls in Cusco.


My flight with Peruvian Airlines from Lima to Cusco took about 1hour 15minutes. Once departing Lima airport, the plane flew out over the ocean and then turned and made its way back inland and over over the Andes mountain range where I saw snow capped mountains peaks popping out of the many clouds that had gathered in the high altitude.



It wasn't long and we were flying over the fairly large city of Cusco, a city with lots of orange roofs.


Surrounding the city were hills and valleys that looked like a patchwork quilt.
Cusco is only a small airport with a couple travel agents from where I picked up a free map, then I caught a taxi to my Hotel, the La Casa De Fray Bartolomo. The lady at reception was very helpful and pleasant, in-fact all the receptionists were, and they could speak English. I appreciated one of the staff carrying my luggage upstairs to my room on the first floor, a good size room which included a bathroom/toilet. Even though I overlooked a main street, I found I had a very quiet night. Breakfast was included in the deal and that was across a nice garden in a separate room, or you could have breakfast in the garden. Sadly the morning was too cold to be eating outside.


La Casa De Fray Bartolomo - I enjoyed my stay here.
As I had the whole afternoon for exploring Cusco, I had a cup of cocoa leaf tea then hit the streets. The hotel was in a good position in the historic centre, only a short walk uphill to the Plaza de Armas, Cathedral and Monastery. I was told to walk slowly until I acclimatized to the high altitude, this I did and still found myself short of breath.


At least after my mishap that resulted in a sprained ankle in Lima, I knew to watch where I was walking, thank-goodness I did, as anybody could have a nasty accident walking along these streets.
The footpaths were uneven and there were deep holes that looked like they should have been covered, but they weren't, no good for tourists who are looking at other things instead of where they are putting their feet. I noticed some other people nearly falling over through not seeing these dangerous hazards.


As I walked, I noticed a lot of the buildings had balconies, but not like the historic enclosed balconies I had seen earlier in Lima. These were open
Being a tourist destination, it was no surprise to find a young Quechua girl approach me to have her photo taken.
Not being a novice, I knew money would be involved.

Quechua girl @ Cusco

She was dressed in a beautiful brightly coloured outfit, which today is a mixture of styles from pre-Spanish days and Spanish Colonial peasant dress. Some women wore embroided skirts, hats and jackets, whilst others wore clothing decorated with beads and flowers.

The locals can tell by the way these ethnic people dress and do their hair, what their social status in the community is and what region that person is from.

The young girl I took a photo of, was wearing a Lliclla - a small rectangular handwoven shoulder cloth worn on the front of her body in which she was carrying a tiny Lamb. It looked like she was wearing one skirt or Polleras, but many women wear 3 or 4 skirts layered or up to 15 skirts during festivals.


Two older woman had a K'eperina, a larger rectangular carrying cloth worn over the back and knotted in front. They had children in theirs but I saw many with their shopping/ goods in the K'eperina.
All were wearing Monteras (hats ) which can identify which village the women comes from. The white straps are woven sanq'apa straps adorned with white beads and their sandals are made from recycled truck tyres and are known as Ajotas.


As I walked along the streets, I noticed many buildings built with stone foundation from Inca times, then the top was plastered. Many of them had beautiful open balconies, different to the historic enclosed balconies in Lima, although both are Spanish architecture design.

Cusco Balconies


I walked to Cusco’s main square, the Plaza de Armas where the Cusco Cathedral and the Church La Compañía de Jesús is located.


The square was filled with locals and tourists wandering around, many just taking time out on one of the many garden seats in the square. I liked the layout which had a large fountain in the centre with paths radiating out from there, lawn and pretty gardens.

Plaza de Armas
There was a group of Artists painting and selling their work, others were walking around trying to sell their paintings, whilst some ladies were selling painted Gourds.

Plaza de Armas
This square covers part of the area that was once the Great Inca Square, today it looks different as it's surrounded by Spanish colonial buildings with balconies and long stone arcades.

Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption of the Virgin and the Triunfo church

On either side of the cathedral were 2 smaller churches which were included in my entrance fee to the Cathedral, and so was the no photo policy.
The Sagrada Familia (Sacred Family Church- 1723) was on the left, and on the right-hand side was Triunfo (Church of Triumph).
The Triunfo church was built in 1536 over an Inca ceremonial building, inside the church is a statue of St. James atop a horse slaying an Inca.

While in the Plaza de Armas, I went into the Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption of the Virgin, also known as Cusco Cathedral. The Spaniards drew up the plan of the church, then building began using Incas as labour to build the church. Finally in 1654, after 95 years construction, the Gothic-Renaissance Cathedral with a facade incorporating some Baroque architecture was complete. The Incas carved the head of a jaguar (an important god) on the cathedral doors.

Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption of the Sacred Family church

The interior was magnificent! The entrance fee was 25 soles, sadly NO photos were allowed. The main altar was embossed in silver and consecrated to Our Lady of the Assumption, behind it was the crypt that holds the ashes of many of Cusco’s deceased archbishops . The cathedral has 14 side chapels, all gold and silver overload, many famous artworks, paintings, altars and statues of saints and virgins. The choir stalls were beautiful, so was the 'Silver Room,” that contained a collection of religious silver artefacts dating back hundreds of years. It took me quite a while to look around the cathedral, I just wished they had allowed photos!

The Iglesia de la Compania de Jesus was another impressive church in the Plaza.

The Iglesia de la Compania de Jesus

When the Jesuits began construction of this church in 1571, they decided to make it the most magnificent of Cusco's churches. The archbishop of Cusco argued that it should not be allowed to compete with the cathedral as the seat of the diocese, how-ever, this caused so much conflict that a message was sent by ship to the Pope in The Vatican. Communication this way was very slow, so by the time the Pope had written a message back to the Jesuits in South America, the Iglesia de la Compania de Jesus was almost finished.

Viewing the churches took quite a bit of my time so now I had to hurry and find the Mercado Central de San Pedro markets I wanted to see. Lucky for me the walk was only around 10mins and I was there. On speaking to an American, I was told they are not like they used to be, instead they have come a bit of a tourist attraction with many of the items not being made by the local people. This didn't put me off!

IMG_3636.jpg I must say that I love oversea's markets where I find different things to home.
As it was getting late in the day, the market wasn't very busy, some of the stalls were packing up for the day.
The markets are open from 9am - 6pm and are located on the corner of Calles Tupac Amaru and Cascaparo streets. Morning is said to be the best time to visit, although I found the afternoon a good time and not that busy at all.

On entering the building I was blinded by colourful bags and other souvenirs, the smell of traditional local food being cooked and a mixture of other smells. I took my time walking past the stalls manned mainly by women, some of them so bored they were asleep! IMG_3644.jpg

The stalls are grouped together - souvenirs take up quite a few aisles, vegetable stalls together, meat, cheese, bread and much more. I found I was the centre of attention at this time of the day, that didn't matter, I just smiled and asked if I could take photos and was allowed every time.
I wished I came from a cold climate as the Alpaca clothing was so reasonably priced.

The meat area of the market was particularly interesting. No refrigeration here! Most of the meat was on open benches, so If you have a weak stomach, then you may find it hard viewing intestines and other offal on display, even skinned cow's heads!

I thoroughly enjoyed wandering around this market and seeing the unusual sights. Time was marching on and it was getting near Dinner time. Ladies with Bowler hats were converging on the street footpaths and in the parks with their portable cookers to cook genuine Peruvian food.


Lots of people had finished work and were coming here for food and pleasure. I found a good chicken shop for my meal, then made my way back to my Hotel for the night and a good sleep, as tomorrow was an early start for a tour of the Sacred Valley[center]

Posted by balhannahrise 01:07 Archived in Peru Tagged churches markets parks history cusco Comments (11)

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