Lima (Callao), Peru
In 1535, Francisco Pizarro labeled the open plains where Lima now stands as inhospitable. Despite the verdict of the great conquistador, Lima became the center of imperial Spanish power, a "City of Kings" where 40 viceroys would rule as the direct representatives of the King of Spain. With independence in 1821, Lima became Peru's capital. Near Lima, one of the world's most desolate deserts is home to the famed drawings of Nazca. These drawings inspired Erik von Daniken's best-selling book "Chariots of the Gods." With mysteries seeming to be part of Peru's history, perhaps these "drawings" are in fact "the largest astronomy book in the world."