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POPULATION: 8,000,000

CURRENCY: Nuevo sol (PEN)

LANGUAGE: Spanish (official), Quechua (official)

MAYOR: Luis Castañeda Lossio

MAJOR EVENTS: Independence Day, July 28 (1821)

Fiesta de la Vendimia de Surco, March (celebrates the grape harvest at this annual wine festival south of the city in Santiago de Surco)

The Lord of the Miracles, October religious procession (also launches bullfight season)

Other religious holidays

Study Abroad in Lima...

Lima, the largest city in Peru and its capital, sits on top of a high cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. With a population just over 8 million, Lima has one of the largest and densest urban concentrations in Latin America. Peruvian citizens of Spanish, Asian, Quechuan, Italian, German, and mestizo (mixed European and Amerindian ancestry) heritage alike call the city home.

Lima was founded by Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro in 1535 and was dubbed the City of Kings. History majors will be fascinated to learn that it became the most important city in the Spanish Viceroyalty of Peruan, which was an administrative area that included most of Spain's South American possessions during the colonial period. For more than three centuries, Lima was South America's most vital city.

Today, almost a third of Peru's population lives within Lima's borders, and, as a result, the city contains the largest concentration of higher education institutions in the country. The Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos (the National University of San Marcos), founded in 1551, is the oldest, continuously-functioning school in all of the Americas. Lima's oldest private university, the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, was not established until 1917. Dozens of other higher education institutions are spread throughout Lima, including the Universidad Nacional de Ingeniería, Universidad Nacional Federico Villarreal, Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina, Universidad del Pacifico and Cayetano Heredia University. Due to the significant influence the city had upon the rest of the country and South America as a whole, these universities attract some of the best professors in the world and provide study abroad students with outstanding educational opportunities.

Students studying in Lima find no shortage of things to learn outside of the classroom as well. Lima's historic center that was declared a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization recognizing the significance of the city's historic buildings which date back to the Spanish colonial era. Students can explore a16th century cathedral and its catacombs, as well as remnants of a medieval city wall built to defend the citizens from pirates. Archaeology majors especially will enjoy the National Museum of Anthropology, Archaeology, and History as well as the Rafael Larco Herrera Archaeological Museum.

Lima also provides an excellent location for students interested in studying economic development. Peru's economic growth centers largely on its minerals, textiles, and agriculture. In addition, the country has made impressive progress in the energy arena Probably the best known of the country's efforts is the massive Camisea Project which aims to make natural gas and natural gas liquids available for both export and domestic consumption. Students studying in Lima have the opportunity to observe the initial effects of this project as the natural gas, brought to the city by the two pipelines, affects the city's energy supply.

Students can visit one of the many nearby beaches or mountain towns, such as Chosica. Additionally, many students visit the Palomino Islands, home to a dense population of sea lions. It is also easy for students studying in Lima to book travel to other parts of Peru, such as Cuzco from where many hike the Inca Trail, or other destinations in South America.

Whether it's for a summer, semester or year, students studying in Lima will be delighted by this ocean-side city. Mixing tranquil vistas with strong indigenous roots, and fast-paced urban life, Lima makes an ideal study abroad location.

Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos: http://www.unmsm.edu.pe/
Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú: http://www.pucp.edu.pe/
Embassy of Peru, Study in Peru: http://www.peruvianembassy.us/study-in-peru.php
Municipalidad de Metropolitana de Lima: http://www.munlima.gob.pe/
Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program: http://www.iie.org/gilman
National Security Education Program: http://www.iie.org/NSEP

Find study abroad programs in Lima

Find study abroad scholarships in Peru

Explore Other Featured Cities

Find out more about studying in Peru.