Barranco is the artsy, bohemian neighborhood of Lima popular with visitors. It is a must-see while in town, offering visitors world-class food, culture and nightlife – basically, all the best things the capital has to offer in one charming neighborhood. Here are the things you’ll want to do while in Barranco, Peru.
Admire the Bridge of Sighs
The poetic ambiance of Barranco’s Puente de los Suspiros (Bridge of Sighs) has inspired writers and artists alike, and makes for the most romantic place to bring your partner in Peru. The bridge itself is not an architectural wonder, but at night, when the lights go on, it’s an unforgettable spot to be. After dark, vendors come out selling drinks and Peru’s famous picarones dessert, alongside musicians performing near the bridge.
Party the night away
As Peru’s capital, Lima has plenty of things going on and the best nightlife in the country, with Barranco being one of the best destinations to party in. The best part about partying in Barranco are all the options. You can drink cocktails in colonial mansions like Ayahuasca, visit a peña and dance traditional Peruvian dances, or hit some of the clubs like Dragon. Whatever you want, Barranco has it.
Check out the street art
Barranco is arguably the most colorful neighborhood in Peru, and requires some thorough exploring. The best way to enjoy the bohemian neighborhood is to wander around, taking in all the colorful houses and unique street art. The art is everywhere, so you can’t miss it! Visitors can also take walking tours of Barranco to give an even more in-depth understanding.
Go to the beach
Lima isn’t known for its beaches, considering most are covered with rocks, but Barranco is the exception. The only stretch of beach with sand in Lima is in Barranco, a short walk from the Bridge of Sighs – vendors on the beach offer chairs and umbrellas and fresh fish. The best time to visit the beaches is during the summer months (December to March) and any occasional sunny day, which during the winter are extremely rare.
Visit the galleries
Barranco is known as the artsy part of Lima for a reason, one being that so many of Peru’s famous artists live here. Supporting a large population of artists, galleries have sprung up all over the city showing off Peru’s finest art. You can easily spend an entire day exploring all the galleries that Barranco has to offer.
Barranco is home to some of Lima’s best and quaintest coffee shops. You can’t beat the quality at Biscetti, a coffee shop that has deep roots in Barranco. You’ll find coffee shops in old, gutted-out mansions with verdant gardens, and others that also bake fresh bread on site. If you have the time, start your day in Barranco with some quality caffeine.
Enjoy the food
Lima has exploded on the world food scene, and has quickly become the capital of gastronomy in Latin America. Lima is home to fine restaurants scattered throughout the city, but no where more so than in Miraflores and Barranco. While in Barranco, look for La Canta Rana, Isolina and Juanitos, some of the best local restaurants the neighborhood has to offer.
Hit the waves
A good place to learn how to surf is just below the Barranco cliff. On surfable days you’ll find tents lined with boards and eager surf instructors. This break doesn’t get big like other places in Lima, but during the right swell it can make for the perfect beach to learn on.
Hang out at the Plaza de Armas
Barranco has a beautiful Plaza de Armas that really gets popping at night when families, vendors and performers all make the spot their own. It is the perfect place to hang out with friends before going out.
Stop by Mario Testino’s place
One of the best museums in Barranco is Mario Testino‘s photography museum, where he exhibits his art as well as hosting other up-and-coming Peruvian artists. It’s only a short walk from the plaza, and is a perfect way to spend an afternoon.