As the country's primary fishing and trading port, Callao is the maritime gateway to Peru. From the town centre, journey on to the capital, Lima, and wander around the Plaza Mayor (formerly Plaza de Armas), crowned with its gorgeous bronze fountain. Embellished with neo-colonial buildings such as the Government Palace or the Cathedral of Lima, the esplanade is a symbol of the city's founding by conquistador Francisco Pizarro in 1535. Two streets away is the Monastery of San Francisco, one of the city's best-preserved colonial structures. Further south, don't miss the superb cloisters and patios of the Casona San Marcos.