One of our favorite places to visit in Lima is Barranco: a neighboring district, just a couple miles south of us.
There’s a beautiful bike path that runs by our house along the coast so we usually load up the kids in the stroller and make the trek there on foot.
Barranco is very different from Miraflores, which definitely caters to tourists and the wealthy Limeneans. It’s earthy, hip and bohemian; filled with local artist shops, wall murals, and brightly colored houses and buildings.
The Plaza de Armas is especially pretty. In case you haven’t noticed in our travels, there are many Plaza de Armas. Every district/town in Latin America (that we’ve seen) has one. This one has a nice big fountain and faces a beautiful old church. Often, there are events going on here.
It’s surrounded by local restaurants and a couple of coffee shops, including our favorite coffee shop in Lima, Arabica. When we went with John’s parents and Aunt this summer, we got to sit out back on the beautiful patio surrounded with lanterns and chirping birds.
We were happy to find they were serving iced coffee, since it was a pretty warm day.
We’ve been to almost all the museums in Barranco, now, but our favorite is definitely the Museo Pedro de Osma. It’s a little pricey at S./20 per person, but definitely worth it anyways. Shoot, I’ve paid to go three times with different visitors we’ve had in town. It’s a great place.
It’s housed in a Spanish Viceroy’s mansion and the home alone is worth seeing with gorgeous stained glass windows and a beautifully manicured lawn.
The silver exhibit is the highlight of the museum, though the last time we were there they had a wonderful temporary exhibit with some breathtaking modern oil paintings.
The MATE Mario Testino is a neat museum to visit, depending on what photographers are being showcased.
We were lucky enough the visit when they were showcasing some shockingly beautiful photographs of classic movie stars from the early 1900’s. There’s also a permanent exhibit of Princess Diana there.
Recently, we also visited the free electricity museum with the kids.
They enjoyed the interactive stations.
The room of old electronics (many of which were the first ones marketed) was really fascinating.
There was even a big juke box where you could play a classic song for a sole.
A favorite restaurant of ours in Barranco is Burrito Bar…where Texans go when they’ve got a hankering for Mexican food. Because let’s face it, the worst thing about South America is that it’s not anything like Central America. Finding chips in this city is impossible. It’s been served at exactly two restaurants (and we hunted for those!). After living here for 3 months, stumbling upon Burrito Bar was like finding a buried treasure on a desert island.
They even have guacamole! That is to die for. Anyways, enough with that, I’m getting hungry again. Another favorite restaurant of ours is Sofie’s Cafe. If you’ve got a hankering for waffles, it’s the place to go. We went twice when Grams was visiting. We liked that it was super kid-friendly.
It was a wonderful Sunday morning walk to make for a nice brunch.
On the weekends, there’s also a Feria on Jr. Unión that can be fun to peruse. They cater to hippies, I would say. You can find anything from homemade clothing, incense, handmade soaps and lotions to jewelry and some possibly scarring nude photography (watch your kids! hah!). The Puente de los Suspiros (Bridge of Sighs) is a pretty place to visit, too.
Legend goes that if you make a wish and walk across the bridge with your sweetheart, it will come true. Near the bridge there’s also a look out over the ocean that’s really breathtaking.
So…those are some of our favorite things to do when we visit Barranco. It’s definitely my favorite way to spend a day in Lima. If you’re ever in Lima, it’s worth putting on the “to see” list!