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in Callao, Peru

Callao Attractions and Things to See

Callao, Peru is the nation's biggest and most significant port, west of the capital of Lima, and is part of the metro area of that city that houses almost a third of the country's populace, bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean that offers many exciting and interesting venues for recreation and interest. The city was founded by Spanish colonists in 1537, about two after Lima, although Callao would become the main port for Spanish commerce in the Pacific, and at the height of the Viceroyalty, just about all the goods produced in Argentina, Peru and Bolivia would be carried over the Andes Mountains by mule and brought to Callao to be shipped out to Panama, then carried overland to be carried to Spain through Cuba.

The city is constructed on and around a peninsula, called the district of La Punta, that has become a very rich residential area, with the historical fortress, the Castillo de Real Filipe, and the site of Rodil's last stand, sits on a promontory that looks out over the harbor and affords magnificent views. The Jorge Chavez International Airport is located in Callao, bringing many visitors into the country here, that also has the National University of Callao, and the military high school known as Colegio Militar Leoncio Prado that sits on a wonderful bluff above the harbor. There are numerous islands included in the city's limits that are called, El Fronton, where a high security prison had been located, the Cavinzas, San Lorenzo which is now a military base, the Palominos that house many sea lions and sea birds that live in a pristine ecosystem. Their local football team, or soccer, called the Atletico Chalaco and Sports Boys. The city is served by the Ferrocarril Central Andino railway that was modernized from its older narrow gauge of three feet, 914 mm, to the world's standard gauge of 4 feet, 8.5 inches or 1435mm.

Because of its close proximity to the Pacific Ocean, there are many magnificent beaches that include the Playa Cantolao that is clean and clear, with small surf waves, and a favorite among the locals to come and swim, water ski or paddle, as well as enjoy the sand and sunbathing. La Punta beaches are made of sand and small pebbles, that is great during the summer months, between December and February, when they have lifeguards on duty, excellent piers for fishing and photography, boat trips and excursions of all kinds.

The city has many excellent restaurants that offer the best seafood in the region, especially around Malecon Figueredo and Malecon Pardo; and boat trips to Mirador de la Punta. Founded in the early 16th century, the Puerto del Callao has been watching the comings and going of ships for almost five hundred years, and some of the more favorite attractions in this area include the Real Filipe Fortress, the La Punta resort, outstanding rocky beaches and the finest seafood restaurants. The city's cuisine has some of the most diverse in the world, like French, Indian and Chinese, brought here by the flocks of immigrants from Spain, Japan, West Africa, China and Italy, but because many of the ingredients that they needed to make their specialties were not available here, they would use the local food stuffs to adapt to their recipes and created one of the finest cuisine in the country.

The country's three staples are corn, beans and potatoes, combined with staples brought by the Spanish like wheat, rice and meat that includes beef, chicken and pork, with many traditional foods like quinoa, chili peppers and kiwicha, along with tubers and various roots that had been put aside in favor of more European products from the colonial period, but have witnessed a resurgence because of a reviving interest in native Peruvian food crops and culinary techniques that has caused the cuisine to explode and blossom. The country has become a significant center for the genetic diversity of the world's crops that include 35 types of corn or maize, 2000 native species in the Andes region of potatoes, 15 types of tomatoes, 150 types of sweet potatoes, 20 native fruits and peanuts that are native to the country and exported by the Spanish and Portuguese merchants to places life Africa.