If you’re researching where to stay in Lima, you’ve probably found that recommendations generally fall into two camps: the district of Miraflores or downtown. But a small, yet growing minority advocate another area of the city – Barranco. This is where I stayed during my five day visit of the city. I guess the big question now is, do I recommend it?
Yup – Barranco gets a hearty two thumbs up from me!
Once upon a time, Barranco was the “it” place of Lima – the famous, the wealthy, and the fabulous all had their summer homes here – it was the fashionable seaside resort for those living in Lima. During the mid-20th century, the area was absorbed into Lima and it was no longer fashionable to vacation here. However, today, Barranco is being revived and gentrified – it’s now a hip, cool, relaxed, and atmospheric place to be.
What I loved about Barranco was its restored historical architecture, the bright colours of the buildings, the many trees, the abundant restaurants, the coastal views, and the bohemian feel given by its population and the street art – Barranco is about character and so it is very different from downtown Lima and Miraflores.
What to Eat
One of the things I really enjoyed about Barranco was the creole food. There were many options from which to choose and we ended up at one right by the Bridge of Sighs, Songoro Cosongo. Located in a colonial-era family home, this restaurant is all about Afro-Peruvian home-cooking. And it was fantastic –the flavours were amazing and the fresh ingredients, great service, and a low-key comfortable atmosphere. They also generally have Afro-Peruvian live music at night. Highly recommended, especially since you can then go for an after dinner walk in the area and check out the Barranco night life.
Also check out Verde Café – it has a charming garden, a funky interior, a really low door, and popular milkshakes (try Peruvian fruit ones such as lucuma).
What to See and Do
There are no grand sights to see in Barranco but at the same time, you can spend a very pleasant day wandering around the street.
- Bridge of Sighs – the first time you visit it, make a wish, hold your breath, and cross over. If you make it all the way across, your wish apparently comes true!
- Stroll in the steps of old time fashionable Limeños along the Bajada a los Banos, a small walkway that leads under the Bridge of Sighs to the Pacific Ocean.
- Take in the beautiful coastal views and colourful colonial architecture.
- View the pretty tree-lined decommissioned train tracks that host the last Peruvian electrical train.
- Check out the popular nightlife around Parque Municipal, if you want to meet new people and get your party on!
- There is absolutely no shortage of galleries and museums, if art is your thing. If you like street art, Barranco has no shortage of this either, that’s for sure.
Where to Stay
3B Barranco is a small, simple, and cute hotel run by very friendly, informative, and accommodating people. It’s located on a residential street within walking distance of great restaurants, the ocean, museums, galleries, and night life. From here, you can also walk to Miraflores but you’d need to take a taxi or a bus to downtown. A good American-style breakfast is included with the price as well as pretty good wi-fi. They have a security gate and they always look out the window to see who is buzzing the doorbell before opening the door – safety first!
How to Get Around
Walk! Barranco is very walkable so strap on some good shoes and go. Miraflores is also in walking distance, about 40 minutes – I think I walked it about four or five times during my stay of five days! Going downtown? Well, you either take a cab (have your accommodation call you one and know the price before getting in the cab) or you can take the Metropolitano bus from Balta station. To take the bus, however, you need to use a bus card – ask your accommodations if they have one to lend you (3B Barranco does).
TAKE ME WITH YOU
You can now download this article on to your smartphone or tablet with the GPSmyCity app; for a small upgrade fee, you will be able to read it offline as well as get a city map with GPS directions! Pretty neat, eh