So many travelers to Peru skip out on Lima and head straight for Cusco. But for those who want to experience the City of Kings, there’s art galleries, museums, ocean views, night clubs, and amazing restaurants to be had on a Lima City Tour.
This article takes you step-by-step on a walking tour of Barranco, the bohemian neighbor to Miraflores in Lima. This coastal district of Lima is known for its artist studios, 19th-century plazas and casonas, an open-air market, and picturesque parks. It’s a delightful way to get out and explore a bit of the city while you’re on a Lima City Tour.
From the Ovalo Miraflores (near Parke Kennedy), hop on a combi or taxi heading down Av. Miguel Grau, and get off near Av. Sáenz Peña. This street is lined with derelict mansions, some renovated into theatre-houses, art galleries, and art boutiques. You can browse the boutiques, such as the one on the corner of Tacna, which sells artsy household items. At the end of the street, turn left to walk along the Malecon cliffside. You can see the surfers below, and the district of Chorrillos to the south.
Walk south along Av. Jr. Junin until you find Av. Jr. Domeyer. Turn right onto this small street, and at the end, you’ll find the home of Victor Delfin, the famous Peruvian artist and sculptor. One of his most popular works is The Kiss, a statue of a couple locked in passionate embrace, located at the Parke del Amor near the Larcomar. While on a Lima City Tour, a tour guide will show you this “Love Park,” and can point out the iconic initials VD on the back pocket of the man in the statue).
You can take a tour of Victor Delfin’s home, called The Second Home. Delfin occasionally can be found working in his studio, but the home is now run as a bed & breakfast. The front door and iron gate are works of art themselves; once you enter the property grounds, you are transported into a world where Delfin’s sensuous, larger-than-life style take over.
Right next door is the old Malecon tram musuem. Behind the gate is a sign “Pasaje Funicular,” the name of the tram that once ran along the Malecon. There apparently is part of the tram in the museum, but the museum is seldom open.
The Bridge of Sighs
On this walking tour of Barranco, head back towards Av. Jr. Jumin and continue south to the Parke de la Cruz del Barranco. Here you can see the La Ermita church just beyond it. The church facade is a brilliant yellow, typical colonial style, but the roof is splintered and derelict, thanks to the War of the Pacific.
Walk along the “La Puente de Suspiros,” the Bridge of Sighs, and take a deep breath as you peer over the railing. The cobblestone street below, Pasaje Alameda Chabuca Granda, has great shops and restaurants.
You can walk down Calle Abregu for a great view from the cliffside, the statues Chabuca Granda and Jose Antonio de Lavalle, and the Mirador Catalina Recavarren. Or, walk to the other side of the bridge to the Barranco plaza, lined with colonial yellow buildings and a busy open-air market. On weekends around lunch-time, this market is packed. You can find criollo food heaped with meat, rice, beans, corn, and a variety of favorite Peruvian dishes.
An Evening in Barranco
Barranco is also the place to be at nighttime, when locals head to the Parque Municipal, restaurants, discotecas, and peñas. Discotecas will be pumping cumbia and chicha music, while at a peña, musicians plan traditional Afro-Peruvian music, and dancers take to the stage. Sit back and enjoy the music, or try dancing to a criollo song. You may be treated to professional dancers performing La Marinera, Peru’s romantic couples dance. Enjoy the night with a glass of wine from the Ica wine region in southern Peru, or a strong Pisco sour.
Some of the best peñas in Barranco include Don Porfirio, La Oficina, La Estación de Barranco, and Manos Morenas. Kick back a Pisco at La Noche, where you’ll also find great live music and an art gallery.
There’s also open-air markets scattered throughout Barranco, where locals sell their handicrafts to bar-goers and families visiting Barranco’s hotspots. You can find alpaca wool clothing, carved gourds, jewelry, and much more.
Interested in a Lima City Tour?
We offer several Peru Tours that include Lima, and we can arrange a tour guide to take you on a walking tour of Barranco as well. Contact us to start planning your Lima city tour!
Lima City Tour: A Walking Tour of Barranco by Kaitlin McMichael