In the eighteenth century, Lima fell into decadence and instability due mainly to the creation of the Vice-regency of Río de la Plata,
who took over the great mines of Alto Perú (now Bolivia ). Things came to a head in 1821, when Peru daclared its independence as a Republic. At the start of the twentieth century, during la belle Epoque (1915-30), the city enjoyed a privileged position once more as one of the most modern cities on the continent.
In the 1940s, as growing waves of migrants left the countryside bound for Lima, the capital became a miniature replica of the country itself, - a melting pot of people and cultures. Today, with a population of 6.7 million, Lima is home to a quarter of the country's population and nearly two-thirds of Perú's economic and industrial activity. More than 460 years have passed since its founding as a Spanish city, and Lima today has become synonym of Peru's mestizo or mixed-blood heritage, one that baffles those in the know and first-time visitors alike. In fact, this quandary is one of Lima's greatest features. This alchemy of influences is most clearly seen in the city's innovative cuisine, which gourmets rate as one of the world's finest. UNESCO meanwhile, ranks Lima's architecture as a world heritage site, while the city's inhabitants, fun-loving and skillful, have become experts at adapting to change.
Furthermore, Lima offers tourists superb museums, dozens of art galleries, theater productions and every kind o top-notch cultural exhibition, modern shopping malls and recreational areas, in addition to archaeological and natural attractions.