10 Surprising Things To Know About Miss Universe 2021’s 2nd Runner-Up Lima, Peru – South Pacific Ocean

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Port of Callao, Peru

Peru‘s main port, serving the city of Lima and which handles dry and liquid bulk, liquefied gas, containers, passengers, metals and breakbulks. Just 12 km. west from downtown Lima, this port has one of South America‘s few amazing natural harbors along the Pacific Ocean. It lies south of the Rimac River by the tip of a peninsula, protected by the offshore island of San Lorenzo and a long promontory.

It was once the main shipping point for gold and silver looted by Spanish “conquistadores” from the wealthy Inca Empire and frequently assaulted by pirates and European rivals of Spain. A tsunami caused by an earthquake destroyed the Port of Callao in 1746 and then captured by nationalist forces led by Simon Bolivar in the 1800s. Another devastating earthquake destroyed this port in 1940 which has to be rebuilt in the following years and in 1949, Port of Callao became “notorious” for its traffic of coca-based products like cocaine. But it is now a modern maritime terminal with a dry dock, a petroleum jetty and an ore and cargo terminal.

About the Pacific Ocean:

Located between the Americas to the East and the Asian and Australian continents to the west, this is the largest ocean on the planet, covering 30% of the earth’s surface. Named by the Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan, the word “pacific” means peaceful because when he crossed this vast body of water from its southern tip in South America on his way to discover Las Islas Filipinas (the Philippines) the water was calm thus he called it “mar pacific” (peaceful sea). It stretches from the Arctic to the Southern Ocean from the Bering Sea in Alaska to the Ross Sea in Antartica. The equator divides this ocean into North Pacific Ocean (which is cold) and South Pacific Ocean (temperate to warm).

The ring of fire is located in this ocean, on its basin wherein a number of volcanoes form a ring and responsible for the movement of tectonic plates, volcanic activity and earthquakes. It is home to most of the word’s islands like Hawaii and my Philippines, of course. The Great Barrier Reef can also be found in the Pacific Ocean, off the coast of Australia, as well as atolls (coral islands surrounded by lagoons) like the Bikini Atoll. Marianas Trench, the deepest ocean trench in the world is also situated in this ocean, at 11,034 meters deep and more than the height of Mt. Everest.

An Overview on Lima:

Before its discovery by the Spanish conquistador, Francisco Pizarro in 1535, there used to be different Indian civilizations established in the area such as the Chanca and Maranga settlements. In the 15th century, all Indian territories were incorporated into one strong Inca Empire. However, the Inca king, Atahualca was taken prisoner in Cajamarca under the order of Francisco Pizarro in 1532 and sentenced to death. On January 18, 1535, he founded the capital along the valley of Rimac River, Lima became the designated capital of the Viceroyalty of Peru and the center of a broad trade network between the Americas, Europe and East Asia.

When a strong earthquake damaged Callao Port in 1746, Lima lost its supremacy on foreign trade. In 1820, Gen. Jose de San Martin landed in the south of Lima after an expedition at Argentina and Chile. The viceroy during that time fled from the city in July 1821 that would led to Peru‘s independence from Spain by Gen San Martin. However in 1880, it was occupied by the Chilean military during the War of the Pacific but Lima has been returned back to Peru after the conflict. This city has to suffer again a devastating earthquake in 1940 and by that time there was an influx of people from the rural areas to the capital Lima which resulted to an aggression until the 1990s but today this city has been rebuilt to an astonishing degree.

Map showing the location of Lima, Peru

In December 1998 aboard the tanker Knock Muir, we docked at the Port of Callao in Peru for oil discharging. Just a mere 12 km. from Lima so my friends and I made a quick side trip to the capital. A stopping point as well to famous Machu Picchu, Lima is a melting pot of cultures. It is an electrifying mix of old and new like a tune that is a mash-up of musical genres combined into a modern masterpiece. There indeed is a lot of reasons to stay around for a day or two and here are 10 surprising things to know about Miss Universe 2021’s 2nd runner-up Lima, Peru.

1. The 2nd desert city in the world after Cairo, Egypt.

Perched on the margin of the South Pacific, Lima is the 2nd largest desert city in the world after Cairo in Egypt, which is a surprising to know about Miss Universe 2021’s 2nd runner-up Lima, Peru. Situated on a desert strip between the Andes Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, it gets 80% of its water supply from the Rimac River which runs through the city via water canals built before the Spanish conquest, around 2000 years back and are still being used today. Lima does not experience heavy rains but mainly drizzles.

2. It is a town teeming with Inca culture.

The history of Lima goes back to thousands of years before the Spaniards came. You can see numerous traces of Inca culture who left traces of their temples and administrative centers right in the heart of the city, a surprising thing to know about Miss Universe 2021’s 2nd runner-up Lima, Peru. Follow the steps of the Incas at Huaca Pucllana an archeological site at Miraflores district or admire the collection of pre-Columbian artifacts at Museo Larco, another pioneer of Peruvian archeology.

Inca artifacts on display at Museo Larco.

3. The only metropolis in the universe where you can find an ancient mud pyramid – Huaca Pucllana.

Right in the heart of an upscale quarter of Miraflores district in Lima sits an ancient pyramid that dates back to 500 C.E. (common era). Huaca Pucllana, once the center of a lost civilization, is a mud pyramid revered for its cultural and religious importance to the Incas and dedicated to the God Pachacamac. A spectacular place to visit, Huaca Pucllana is a fine example of the ingenuity of the Inca people, a surprising thing to know about Miss Universe 2021’s 2nd runner-up Lima, Peru.

4. A place of hermosas damas.

Absolutely, Lima is home to some of the most prettiest women in the world. Peruvian beauties have always placed very well in the big 4 international pageants like Janick Maceta del Castillo, 2nd runner in the recently concluded Miss Universe 2021. Credit goes to their ancestors, Amerinidans and Spanish blood that make them one of the most beautiful women in the universe, a surprising thing to know about Miss Universe 2021’s 2nd runner-up Lima, Peru.

5. The smallest Catholic Church in the world is found here.

While St. Martin’s Church is the smallest Catholic Church in the world by denomination (seating approximately of 20 people), the Chapel of Our Lady of the Rosary in the Rimac neighborhood in Lima is claimed by Peruvian Catholics as actually the smallest Church in the world. Built in 1550, it is 16 ft. wide, 39 ft. long, 32 ft. tall and with all that a large Church possess, a surprising thing to know about Miss Universe 2021’s 2nd runner-up Lima, Peru.

6. Where you can experience the ultimate food tour in Latin America.

If you want to experience the true side of Lima, take a food tour. Learn about the history of the city while trying one mouth watering thing after the next. Considered as the culinary capital of Latin America, it highlights some of the country’s best restaurants especially Nikei cuisine. This is a fusion of Japanese and Peruvian cooking which is very popular in the city, a surprising thing to know about Miss Universe 2021’s 2nd runner up Lima, Peru.

7. Pisco Sour rules and so does the frog juice.

A cocktail that many tourists visiting Peru fall in love with. This brandy-like liquor, Pisco is distilled from left-over grapes then mixed with lime juice, Angostura bitters and egg whites to become a Pisco Sour drink. On the other hand, a concoction believed to cure asthma, sluggishness and low libido is also making waves in this side of the world. The frog juice, considered an energy booster is a blend of Lake Titicaca water frog, maca root and honey and almost a spiritual beverage in this city, a surprising thing to know about Miss Universe 2021’s 2nd runner-up Lima, Peru.

8. Home of the ceviche (raw fish) and cuy (guinea pig).

When you travel to Lima, one thing not to miss is the ceviche. It is a raw dish that consist of fish or mixed sea foods marinated in leche de tigre ( a tiger’s milk composed of lime juice and aji chilli). Meanwhile, another famous dish, the cuy (pronounced kwee) has been a staple in the Andean diet for around 5,000 years. Not recommended if you have a faint heart though as cuy is a guinea pig (ugh) and although it is considered as a pet in the West, here it is a delicacy. Ceviche and cuy, don’t miss these essential specialties on your way up to Machu Picchu, a surprising thing to know about Miss Universe 2021’s 2nd runner-up Lima, Peru.

9. Where you can “taste the feeling” of Inca Cola instead of Coke.

El sabor del Peru (The taste of Peru), a bubble gum in a bottle, the yellow and sweet Inca Cola and Coke‘s strong competitor in Lima. The brainchild of an Englishman, Joseph Robinson Lindley who moved to Peru in 1910, he launched Inca Cola in 1935 which had won the hearts of the locals since then. “Solo hay una y no se parece a ninguna” (There is only one and it’s like any other). Inca Cola‘s popularity grew with its local sales overtaking Goliath Coca Cola, a surprising thing to know about Miss Universe 2021’s 2nd runner-up Lima, Peru.

10. And it has a market for witches – Mercado de Brujas.

Well, they sell snake oil for arthritis, frog smoothies mixed with herbs for various ailments, black candles for curses, spiriluna for health supplement and dried llama fetus to attract good fortune, and so on. Just outside Gamarna train station here in Lima is the Mercado de Brujas (witch market), center for traditional folk medicine which is still practiced among indigenous groups in Peruvian society. And if you need a little guidance before you leave the city, witch doctors are ready to help you through their readings and treatments…a surprising thing to know about Miss Universe 2021’s 2nd runner-up Lima, Peru.

Lima is called “La Ciudad de los Reyes” or the City of Kings and it’s one of those fascinating places that you wish you could stay forever. If you’re in for an unforgettable experience, then choose this South American city. It will give you stories to tell for generations. Definitely a place you should not miss in this lifetime. Hasta pronto, Lima, don’t you think?

Reference: Wikipedia