Lima is the capital of Peru. It is one of the largest cities in South America, with over 8 million people (about 1/3 of the country's total population).
Pizarro originally chose the site for his "home base" because it was on the Pacific coast and is at the convergence of the Lurin, Chillon and Rimac rivers as they outflow to the sea.
The city grew quickly, swelled by all the new settlers from Spain who were seeking a better life in the new world.
In the city today there are many examples of old stately Spanish style buildings and monuments. There are also a lot of newer buildings, making the skyline of the city quite modern in appearance.
Unfortunately there is a great disparity between the "Old City", the "modern Sector" and the reality of the large shantytowns on the outskirts of the city.
We lived here for over 2 years back in the mid '70's and our most recent visit was in the spring of 2009. The difference in the city's atmosphere is quite amazing, and from all reports, life is much easier and definitely more peaceful than it was 30 years ago. People appear much happier and the standard of living seems to have improved measurably.