The Top Things to See and Do in Miraflores, Peru

The clifftops of Miraflores offer a great promenade along the ocean
The clifftops of Miraflores offer a great promenade along the ocean | © Ian Dagnall / Alamy
Carrie Back

The epicenter of the Peruvian well-to-do set is the glitzy suburb of Miraflores, in downtown Lima – the nation’s capital. A lot of spots in this area will cost you, but there are parks and markets and other places where you won’t have to part with vast sums in order to have fun. Here are the top things to see and do in Miraflores, Peru.

Playa Waikiki

Playa Waikiki – in homage to the iconic Hawaiian beach – is one of the best-loved beach destinations in the city. After all, here is one of the cleanest stretches that, crucially, hardly ever gets overcrowded. If you want to learn how to surf, you’ve come to the right place, as you’ll find a good 10 or surf schools that provide lessons. The waves here are reliable, and the beach break with its sandy bottom and lack of rocks or reefs makes for a perfect beginner’s spot.

El Malecón

Overlooking the Pacific Ocean, El Malecón is a parade of parks and scenic paths that follow the clifftop. You’ll also find a handful of cycle lanes and a sprinkling of cafés and restaurants. People in town for business use it as a jogging course. But even if you just need a space to clear your head, you’ll be at home: Parque del Amor is filled with sculptures and mosaics, and is a fine green area in which to forget the big-city hustle – especially given such photogenic views of the sunset over the ocean.

Paraglide over the ocean

If you want to contemplate Lima from a unique perspective, sign up for a paragliding trip that’ll have you floating over the ocean and the Costa Verde cliffs of Miraflores. Aeroxtreme provides tandem flights with an expert pilot at the controls, so you can sit back and enjoy the thrill of it all. The lift-off site is in Raimondi’s Park, next to Parque del Amor. They will even record it, so you’ll have a high-definition video of your flight as a lifelong souvenir.

Shop at Larcomar

Take some time out of life, sit back and people-watch at Larcomar, the most stylish contemporary shopping center in Miraflores. Here, you’ve got more than 70 stores in which to flex your plastic, whether you desire handmade Peruvian jewelry or alpaca sweaters – you’ll find gifts to satisfy everyone. Even if you don’t like shopping, this is a great place to come for a punchy pisco sour, a plate of ceviche and sunset views at one of the 17 restaurants on site.

Eat at Maido

Dining in Miraflores doesn’t get more delicious than at Maido Restaurant, a modern spot where Peruvian cuisine is prepared with a Japanese twist. The head chef Mitsuharu Tsumura fuses Peruvian flavors with Japanese techniques for an unforgettable meal. It’s a fine-dining establishment, but the atmosphere is casual, unpretentious and friendly. Try the Poda ceviche, with zarandaja (hyacinth-bean) cream, mackerel, shallots and chulpe corn, all marinated perfectly in a citrusy leche de tigre (tiger’s milk) sauce. Top tip: reserve ahead or risk not getting a table.

Visit Huaca Pucllana

You don’t even have to leave the city limits to get to enjoy one of Peru‘s most fascinating pre-Incan ruins. In the north of Miraflores, Huaca Pucllana is made up of seven adobe pyramids and clay platforms. Built sometime around 500 CE, it is believed to have been the location of important religious ceremonies, also serving as an administrative center. Guided tours include entrance to the site and the museum, which displays all kinds of curiosities found at the site.

Belo Bar

Here is a great reason to visit the luxurious Belmond Miraflores Park Hotel – a buzzy spot for a laid-back night out. With its cozy decor, robin’s-egg-blue wood paneling and dramatic chandeliers, the Belo Bar makes its guests instantly at home. It’s known for its take on Peru’s signature cocktail, the pisco sour – try the “Punch en el Pacifico,” a pisco drink fused with rum, lime juice, orange juice, cinnamon, clove syrup and sparkling water. One more and you’ll be all set up for the rest of the evening.

Kennedy Park

Time now for a visit to one of Lima’s most unique green spaces: Parque Kennedy. This manicured verdant spot is lined with colorful flower beds. Come and settle in for a few hours – you will be entertained by street performers, while street-food vendors go about their business. If you’re a cat-lover, you’ll be in your element – curiously, this park is home to hundreds of strays, all well-fed and looked after by a team of willing volunteers.

The Indian Market

You can’t fail to pick up nicely priced souvenirs at the massive Mercado Indio – it covers four blocks in the center of Miraflores – as you wander around in the warm air, browsing booths piled high with Peruvian crafts and practicing your haggling skills. Covetable finds include vividly colored textiles, ceramics and time-honored arts and crafts. If you’ve worked up a thirst, you’ll find outlets around the edges of the market selling freshly squeezed juice that are worth a stop.

Bioferia Miraflores

Held every Saturday in Parque Reducto, Bioferia sells a huge selection of organic produce – this open-air market has numerous stands with stalls selling organic fruit and vegetables. The local farmers and food vendors also sell high-quality artisanal products including Peruvian coffees, breads, cheeses and fresh preserves. If you’re vegan or vegetarian, you’ll be in seventh heaven – pick up appetizing bakery items to go so that you can have a picnic in the adjacent park.

This is an updated rewrite of an article by Harry Stewart.

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