Jorge Chávez International Airport serves the capital and largest city of Peru, Lima. Named after Peruvian aviator Jorge Chávez Dartnell, the airport is operated by Lima Airport Partners and is considered one of the best air transport hubs of South America, having won the Skytrax award for ‘Best Airport in South America’ and ‘South American Leading Airport’ numerous times since 2005. Jorge Chávez Airport offers flights to dozens of domestic and international destinations, and handles more than 10 million passengers yearly.
Despite its impressive figures, there is only 1 double-storeyed airport terminal in Jorge Chávez International Airport (as of August 2015).
Jorge Chávez International Airport is located about 10 kilometres from the heart of Lima, in the province of Callao. Tourists to Lima are advised to grab a cab from the airport direct to their destination in Lima – taxis can readily be found outside the terminal, but travelers should take care to only board those from cab companies registered with the airport (some examples include Taxi CMV (Taxi Remisse Ejecutivo), Taxi Mitsu Remisse and Taxis Verdes). Fares are fixed depending on the type of vehicle and the destination, and the ride into town should take about half an hour or so.
Though first-time tourists to Lima are advised against driving in the city, those confident of their skills on the road may rent a vehicle from car hire agencies like Hertz, Dollar and Budget at the airport.
What to see and do
When it comes iconic Lima architecture, 2 buildings immediately come to mind – the magnificent Government Palace, and its adjourning Aliaga House. Though vastly different, these 2 buildings both served as residence for powerful men of Lima’s ancient past and have histories that are intricately woven with that of the city itself. The Government Palace (sometimes also referred to as the Presidential Palace) is exactly what it sounds like – the headquarters of the Peruvian government, and a luxurious home for the President of Peru. Constructed in 1535 by Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro (who conquered Peru and founded the city of Lima), the imposing building has withstood the test of time and is today open for public access.
The adjacent Aliaga House, though far less luxurious, is not without its own charm – the plot of land on which the House stands was Francisco Pizarro’s gift to his ally Jerónimo de Aliaga in 1535, so they could be neighbors (since he lived in the Government Palace next door). The House went on to shelter 18 generations of Aliagas, and is today the oldest standing colonial mansion in Peru. Observe the Aliagas’ collection of prized ancient artefacts in the House, like the sword Jerónimo de Aliaga used to fight when he was conquering Peru alongside Francisco Pizarro, and gorgeous rooms decorated with luxurious, colonial-style furnishings.
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