Plaza Mayor and Plaza San Martin - Abbey Travel, Ireland

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Welcome to Plaza Mayor and Plaza San Martin

Plaza Mayor and Plaza San Martin

A long pedestrian street crowded with shoppers, vendors and sightseers connects Lima's two main plazas to each other. The heart of the old town is centred on the striking Plaza Mayor, or Plaza de Armas, gracefully colonial with its bronze fountain and old street lamps. It was once the central marketplace, where bullfights were held during Spanish rule. Surrounding the square are several notable buildings, including the grand Spanish Baroque Cathedral, occupying the site of an ancient Inca temple and housing the Museum of Religious Art and Treasures; the impressive Government Palace where the changing of the guard takes place; the Town Hall; and the Archbishop's Palace sporting a beautiful wooden balcony. The Plaza San Martin is an impressive square with a hive of activity surrounding its central fountains; a busy area of shoe-shiners, soapbox speakers, street artists and the site for political rallies and rioting workers.

Information & Facts

Jr. Junin and Jr. Carabaya
Spanish and Quechua are the official languages, but many other dialects are spoken. English is spoken only in major tourist centres and hotels.

The official currency is Nuevo Sol (PEN) divided into 100 céntimos. Visa is the most widely accepted credit card, but all major international credit cards, including Diners Club and MasterCard, are accepted in many, but not all, establishments. Outside Lima facilities may be more limited. Travellers cheques may also be difficult to exchange in small towns and villages, and travellers are advised to have cash on hand. US Dollars are the easiest currency to exchange and plenty of restaurants, hotels and shops in the main cities accept dollars for payment. Casas de cambio(exchange bureaux) often give better rates than hotels and banks and can be found in any town on the tourist circuit. ATMs are available in the main cities.

Local time is GMT -5.
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