South America is packed with adventure destinations. However, when it comes time to picking the perfect place to start, Lima offers what many consider to be the ultimate South American city in Peru. Lima is the capital of the country, and its history dates back to 1535 when it was founded by Spanish conquistadors. Spanish architecture can be seen in its churches, monasteries, and other ancient buildings. Home to around 10 million people along the coast, with the backdrop of the Andes Mountains behind, Peru is the perfect headquarters for a South American adventure, and there's nowhere else on the continent where you can go from seaside to mountains to crumbling pre-Incan ruins to colonial Spanish architecture very quickly.
Lima is a shoppers, a history-lovers and and a food-lover’s paradise. If you can dream, you can experience it while in Lima. From the hand-crafted goods of the native people to the Peruvian cuisine or the surfing, the hiking, the biking, or places like the Plaza de Armas, which is the majestic main square in downtown Lima, surrounded by the amazing ancient Spanish architecture of the government buildings, you will be amazed. Visit the colonial church La Iglesia de San Fransisco, or the Casa Pilatos, which is the headquarters for the National Culture Institute. There's also the National Museum of Archaeology and History, not to mention the various local festivals and traditions that will keep you occupied.
Between the history of the Spanish colonials to the native tribes to the ancient Incan people, there is plenty to experience, but Lima should absolutely take up the spotlight for the first part of your trip. Many people will even make a trip to Peru simply to spend time in this amazing coastal town, so don't be surprised if you end up sticking around longer than you first planned.