Lima is the capital and largest city of Peru. It is located in the valleys of the Chillón, Rímac and Lurín rivers, in the central part of the country, on a desert coast overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Together with the seaport of Callao, it forms a contiguous urban area known as the Lima Metropolitan Area. With a population fast approaching 9 million, Lima is the fifth largest city in Latin America, behind Mexico City, São Paulo, Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro. Lima is home to one of the largest financial hubs in Latin America. It has been defined as a beta world city by GaWC international rankings.
Lima was founded by Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro on January 18, 1535, as la Ciudad de los Reyes, or "the City of Kings". It became the capital and most important city in the Spanish Viceroyalty of Peru. Following the Peruvian War of Independence, it became the capital of the Republic of Peru. Today, around one-third of the Peruvian population lives in the metropolitan area.
Lima's climate is mild and comfortable, despite being located in the tropics and in a desert. Although classified as subtropical, Lima's proximity to the cool waters of the Pacific Ocean leads to temperatures much cooler than those expected for a subtropical desert, and can be classified as a cool desert climate. It is neither cold nor very hot. Temperatures rarely fall below 12 °C (54 °F) or rise above 29 °C (84 °F) throughout the entire year.
Lima's architecture is characterized by a mix in styles as reflected from shifts between trends throughout various time periods of the city's history.
As the major point of entry to the country, Lima has developed an important tourism industry, characterized by its historic center, archeological sites, nightlife, museums, art galleries, festivals, and popular traditions. Lima is home to an ample range of restaurants and bars where local as well as international cuisine is served.