As the culinary capital of South America, it is worth spending a few extra days to unwind and get to know Peru’s most important city.
If you’re planning a luxury retreat to Lima, it is likely that you will stay in one of three districts: San Isidro, Miraflores or Barranco. Each district is unique and has a rich history and a lot to offer for visitors. However, where you stay is probably dependent on the experience you are looking for, so here is a little information about what you will encounter in each district.
This is the most upscale district in all of Lima and home to many important Peruvian figures, including President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski. In recent years, as many important banks and businesses have relocated to modern office buildings in this area, San Isidro has become the financial district of Lima and a very important business center. For tourists, San Isidro has much to offer in the way of shopping and restaurants. Renowned eateries, such as Astrid & Gaston and Malabar, can be found in this district, as well as many small boutiques and fashionable brands along Avenida Los Conquistadores. In the heart of San Isidro is the Lima Golf Club and its 5-star Country Club hotel. Moreover, in San Isidro you will find Huaca Huallamarca, a per-Inca burial temple that is believed to date back to the 4th century. Not far from that there is El Olivar, a beautiful park full of old olive trees.
If you´re traveling as a family or with a group of people with diverse interests, Miraflores has a little bit of everything for everyone. Considered one of the most affluent districts in Lima, Miraflores offers upscale shopping as well as many of the main tourist attractions of that nation’s capital. Here, you can spend a relaxing day in the parks along the Malecon or shopping on the ocean cliffs at Larcomar shopping center. You will also find the famous Parque Kennedy, known for its resident cats as well as art and music, and Huaca Pucllana, perhaps the most important pre-Inca site in Lima. In addition, Miraflores features some of the best restaurants in all of Peru, including Central, Maido and Cala. These restaurants have helped Lima earn the reputation as the culinary capital of South America, and though you’ll likely need to make reservations in advance, they are perfect for a fancy evening out!
In the 19th century, Barranco was a fashionable beach resort for the Limeño aristocracy and many wealthy families would spend their summers there. Many of the old colonial and republican style houses in this area are still around today, making Barranco a fascinating district for architecture buffs. Today, Barranco is known as the artistic, bohemian district that is home to many of Lima’s leading artists, designers and photographers. Some not-to-miss museums include MATE, the museum of famous photographer Mario Testino; and Museo Pedro de Osma, which houses a fascinating collection of colonial artwork. In the center of Barranco is a ravine that cuts down to the ocean. This ravine is called Bajada de los Bañosand was originally used as a walkway for fishermen from the eastern side of the district. Nowadays, Bajada de los Baños is known for its restaurants and the Puente de los Suspiros (the Bridge of Sighs), which was inspiration for the famous Peruvian Vals by Chabuca Granda – La Flor de la Canela. Tradition has it that if you make a wish and are able to cross the bridge without breathing, your wish will come true. With many great restaurants, art galleries and independent clothing labels, Barranco is definitely the trendiest district, and is a favorite among all manner of tourists.
There is a lot to do in Lima, but many people only stay for a couple days before heading to Cusco and Machu Picchu. Instead of rushing through the capital, take some time to enjoy the luxuries of city life and treat yourself to an unforgettable dinner and maybe a fancy souvenir. Between San Isidro, Miraflores and Barranco, there is something for every type of traveler.
If you have any questions about these districts and the best hotels in Lima, Enigma is happy to help in any way we can!