Lima is Peru's capital city, and its biggest and most important metropolis. It is located on Peru's central shore, by the Pacific Ocean, on the valleys of the Chillón, Rímac and Lurín rivers. It is part of the continuous urban area of Callao.
The so-called "City of Kings" was, during the viceroyalty times, the pride of Spain in America. That is why its inhabitants took up the task of embellishing it with houses, cathedrals and squares. Lima was also known as the "Garden City" because of its numerous parks, especially in the early XXth century. Nowadays, the city has recovered the green spaces it was famous for. Beautiful parks, ornamental fountains and tree-lined avenues can be seen in many of its neighborhoods.
Machu Picchu (from southern Quechua, "Machu Pikchu", "Old Mountain") is an ancient Andean Inca village built on the hill that binds the Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu mountains, on the eastern side of the Central Andes, in southern Peru. It is believed its original name was Picchu, or Picho. The edified area in Machu Picchu is about 1,740 feet long, 650 feet wide and includes at least 172 rooms.
The complex is clearly divided in to main areas: the farming area, made up by farming terraces on the South, and the urban area, which is, of course, where its inhabitants lived and where they carried out their main civil and religious activities. The areas are separated by a wall, a moat and a large staircase. All of these elements go along the eastern side of the mountain.
Cusco is Peru's historic and its region's administrative historic capital city. It is located in the southern area of the country, on the Huatanay river basin, and has about 300,000 inhabitants. Cusco is Peru's main touristic attraction, and is visited by about one million people each year. It was the capital of the Inca empire and was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Its important colonial and cultural heritage is made by the Convento e Iglesia de la Merced, a church that, due to the earthquakes, was rebuilt several times. It was originally built in the XVIth century.
One of its most remarkable sights is its cathedral. The cathedral, with its Renaissance facade and its Baroque interiors, has one of the most remarkable exhibitions of colonial gold and silver work. It also has beautiful carved wood altars. It is the seat of Cusco's archidiose.
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