Overview of Lima

Geography of Lima

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Geography of Perú

Perú is located in the western coast of South America. Its territory borders Ecuador and Colombia to the north; Brazil and Bolivia to the east, and Chile to the south. The South Pacific Ocean lies to the west.

It covers an area of 496,224 square miles. Additionally, the Peruvian maritime domain covers as many as 200 nautical miles of the Pacific Ocean.

Perú is a diverse country, with 11 ecological regions and 84 of the world's 117 different types of "life zone". It also homes a huge variety of landscapes thanks to its climate and geography, which also provides it with a wide range of natural resources. The country has 3 main regions according to its altitude: coast, highlands, and jungle.

  • Peruvian Coast (La Costa): It is characterised by a narrow band of deserts and fertile valleys alongside the Pacific Ocean. The fertile valleys spring from the rivers that flow down from the Andes mountain range itself, as opposed to the lower-lying sierra, and into the sea.
  • Peruvian Highlands (La Sierra or the Andean zone): This is the mountainous region of Perú, where the Andes mountain range dominates the landscape and contains various ecological regions and altitudes. The northern Andes are lower and more humid than the rest, while the central Andes are the tallest and steepest. It is here where you will be able to find the country's highest peak, Huascarán, at 6,768 metres above sea level.
  • Peruvian Jungle (La Selva): Located in the east, this is a vast region of plains covered by vegetation in the Amazon River basin, which begins at the confluence of the Marañón and Ucayali rivers. It is Perú's largest region and it consists of highland jungle (over 700 metres above sea level) recognized by its cloud forests.

Regions of Perú

Perú is considered the third largest country in South America and one of the 20 largest countries in the world. Its extensive territory occupies an area of 1.285.215 km² and it is divided into 24 departments and a Constitutional Province (Callao).

These departments are also divided into smaller provinces and districts, each with its own regional government, municipality and authority. The 24 departments in Perú are:

  • Amazonas
  • Ancash
  • Apurímac
  • Arequipa
  • Ayacucho
  • Cajamarca
  • Cusco
  • Huancavelica
  • Huánuco
  • Ica
  • Junín
  • La Libertad
  • Lambayeque
  • Lima
  • Loreto
  • Madre de Dios
  • Moquegua
  • Pasco
  • Piura
  • Puno
  • San Martín
  • Tacna
  • Tumbes
  • Ucayali

Perú Major Cities

Lima (city population 8.574.974 inhabitants) is the chief commercial, industrial, administrative, educational and cultural centre. Cusco (428.450 inhabitants aprox.) has become Perú's prime tourist destination, with at least 80% of all foreign tourists heading there during their stay, regarding figures from the Base de Datos Turísticos del Perú (BADATUR).

In terms of population, Puno only just sneaks onto the list of Perú's 20 biggest cities (128.637 inhabitants). Nevertheless, Puno has attributes that keep the tourists coming, such as: its annual festivities drawing big crowds from across Perú and beyond and Lake Titicaca, a mystical, romantic and altogether stunning body of water between Perú and Bolivia.

Arequipa has turned Perú's second largest city (784.651 inhabitants). The city itself is brimming with colonial, republican and religious architecture, and the Colca Canyon, twice as deep as the Grand Canyon, turned one of Perú's most visited attractions.

The small port town of Paracas is big on tourism thanks to the nearby Paracas National Reserve and Islas Ballestas. As well as being a paradise for nature lovers, Paracas has also turned itself into a major beach resort, with Paracas Bay now home to a range of luxurious hotels.

Trujillo (760.436 inhabitants) is the third largest city in Perú and certainly a prime destination for anyone heading north of Lima.

Climate in Perú

Due to its geographical location in the hemisphere, Perú is considered a tropical country. Consequently, its climate is temperate on the coast, yet humid in the Amazon, colder temperatures in higher altitudes.

Altitude of the Andean Mountain Range

Some Andean ranges mountains are covered by snow all year long. Therefore, as you travel through the territory you can notice a variety of climates as the altitude increases, from the warm temperatures to coldest ones.

In the northern part of the country, the warm El Niño current increases the sea temperature and influences the warm and rainy climate of the Peruvian northern coast. On the other side, the cold Humboldt current increases the coldness of the sea that generates an arid climate of the central-southern coast.

  • Spring: During spring season in Perú, climate is still a bit cold and occasional drizzles may occur. However, its temperatures rise gradually day after day, although at night you can still feel cold winds/temperatures. Spring in Perú begins around September 21st and ends on December 21st.
  • Summer: Summer season in Perú presents sunny days and intense heat. However, the weather can vary depending on the latitude. While the coast offers hot temperatures all day long; in the mountains, days start under a sunny day and they change into rainy afternoons. In the jungle, both mornings and evenings are very warm and humid. Summer season in Perú begins on December 21st and it ends on March 21st.
  • Autumn: During the day, weather remains warm in autumn. However, the temperature drops at night and you can feel the cold winds. Especially during the month of June, the temperature drops remarkably with the winter cold arriving along with some occasional drizzles. Autumn in Perú begins on March 21st and ends on June 21st
  • Winter: During winter season, temperatures can drop up to 2ºC, in addition, the weather is very cold, humid and presents occasional mists. Winter in Perú begins on June 21st and ends on September 21st.

For up-to-date weather information, consult the Peruvian Meteorological Service.

Time zone in Perú

Perú uses International Standard Time (UTC-05:00) and it does not change its time zone between the winter and the summer period.

Geography of Lima

Lima is the capital city of the Republic of Perú and the largest city of the country, and its population is around 8.574.974 inhabitants.

Nowadays, Lima is considered the political, cultural, financial and commercial centre of the country. At an international level, it is the third most inhabited metropolitan area in Latin America, it occupies the fifth place among the most populated cities in Latin America and it is one of the thirty most populated in the world.

The city homes amazing beaches, vast deserts, valleys and green hills, inaccessible mountain ranges, emerald lakes and peaks that struggle to stay snowy white. Although locals tend to envy the mountains and the blue and cotton-coloured sky, the fog that dyes of sadness all winter days has the important function of giving life to a varied flora and fauna located in the nearby coastal hills, such as Lúcumo and Lachay.

In the nearby La Viuda and Pariacaca mountain ranges, which rise to the east of the department and mark the border with Pasco, Junín and Huánuco, the rivers that irrigate the lower fields of the coast are born. In there, the industrial crops such as asparagus, marigold and paprika are developed, as well as various fruit trees.

Lima's coast also stands out for its wetlands, such as the Medio Mundo, Villa, Puerto Viejo, Chilca and Cerro Azul, which are an important refuge for several species of birds. The main coastal features are the bay of Callao and the island of San Lorenzo, the largest in Perú.

Districts in Lima

Lima is not just the name of the capital of Perú, yet the capital district where the historical city centre is located, it is also called Lima. The region around it is called Lima, as well as the name of the Province, located in the Department of Lima.

Today, the Metropolitan area of Lima is divided into 43 districts (districtos). Thirty of these districts belong geographically to the city of Lima and each has its own flair, charm and character. Nevertheless, the other thirteen districts are surrounding the core of the urban area and are located outside of Lima, in rural zones. Additionally the province of Callao counts with 6 districts that officially belong to the Lima Metropolitan area.

  • Ancón
  • Ate
  • Barranco
  • Breña
  • Carabayllo
  • Chaclacayo
  • Chorrillos
  • Cieneguilla
  • Comas
  • El Agustino
  • Independencia
  • Jesús María
  • La Molina
  • La Victoria
  • Lima
  • Lince
  • Los Olivos
  • Lurigancho
  • Lurín
  • Magdalena del Mar
  • Miraflores
  • Pachacamac
  • Pucusana
  • Pueblo Libre
  • Puente Piedra
  • Punta Hermosa
  • Punta Negra          
  • Rímac       
  • San Bartolo
  • San Borja  
  • San Isidro  
  • San Juan de Lurigancho
  • San Juan de Miraflores
  • San Luis    
  • San Martín de Porres
  • San Miguel
  • Santa Anita
  • Santa María del Mar District          
  • Santa Rosa
  • Santiago de Surco  
  • Surquillo   
  • Villa El Salvador   
  • Villa María del Triunfo

Climate in Lima

Due to its geographical characteristics, the climate in Lima is very pleasant and humid, with very little changes, so any time of year is the perfect time to visit the city. However, to enjoy Lima at its best it is better to visit it during summer time, since the cloudiness decreases considerably and allows, among other things, visitors to enjoy the sea.

The temperature also varies according to the time of year. There are a couple of seasons especially remarkable: summer and a winter, which even though it does not bring snow, temperatures drop more than usual, especially at night.

  • Temperatures in January and February are between 22-28ºC (71-82°F), being the hottest months, while the average temperature in July and August are 12-19°C (53-66°F), the coldest months.
  • Additionally, the sunniest months are December and January (13h of sun per day).
  • However, sunlight keeps very static throughout the year with a minimum of 11,5h of sun per day in June and July.
  • The same happens with rainfall, which is very occasional in the months of December and January (between 10 and 17mm per month). The rest of the year is almost dry in the city of Lima. 

Whether summer or winter, it is always important to use sunscreen to care for the skin.

Update 7/05/2019

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