The streets of Barranco—a small neighborhood in Lima, Peru, sandwiched between the upscale business and tourist district of Miraflores to the north and Chorrillos to the south—are both beautiful and inspiring, offering people a break from the city’s gray malaise with colorful houses and vibrant street art. Dubbed the bohemian district of Lima, the tiny neighborhood might just have the most concentrated collection of street art and murals in the entire city. You won’t go more than a block before coming across street art worth stopping for or a colorful house that you’ll want to photograph.
Lima has some of the most stunning colonial architecture in the world, much of it clustered around the city’s Plaza de Armas. Lima became the capital for the Spanish Viceroy in 1535, and while not all of the city’s architecture has survived the wars and numerous earthquakes since, what remains is nonetheless spectacular. From old cathedrals to colonial mansions, Lima’s historical center can keep you walking around for days just by taking in all the beautiful sights and trying to navigate the streets.
The Malecón is one of the most beautiful stretches of boardwalk anywhere in the world, running through Lima’s neighborhoods of Barranco, Miraflores, San Isidro, and Chorrillos. The area, situated on top of a cliffside, provides unobstructed and spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean. The boardwalk winds its way through Miraflores’ pristine gardens, a skate park, soccer courts, and beautiful and diverse Limeño houses. Rent a bike to ride along the coast, paraglide over the ocean or curl up with a book in the park—there are many different ways to enjoy the Malecón.
Located not too far from Lima’s historical center, right next to Estadio Nacional, you’ll find Lima’s water attraction. Part water park and part light show, Circuito Mágico del Agua is perfect for the family or a date. During the day, the park provides families a perfect escape from the Lima heat, and at night, the park transforms into a magical water show.
Peru has quickly gained a reputation as the gastronomical capital of Latin America, and so too has its flagship dish, ceviche. This mix of raw fish “cooked” in citrus juice and traditionally dressed with chili peppers is an addictive dish that combines hot and cold with fresh flavors. You’ll find it everywhere you go in Peru, but Lima just might do it the best. After scarfing down some ceviche, head for some picarones. The fried, donut-shaped dessert is made from squash and sweet potato and covered with syrup and will taste good after any meal. You can buy picarones in most busy outdoor areas such as Parque Kennedy in Miraflores and Puente de Los Suspiros (the bridge of sighs) in Barranco.