The Barranco district is known as the SoHo of Lima, Peru. There are plenty of things to do in Barranco; it is full of renowned art galleries, cute boutiques and trendy coffee shops, that were once colonial mansions of Lima’s elite. Anywhere you turn, you’ll see art on the street, live music and killer bars. The Barranco neighborhood also happens to be situated along the coastal cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean, right next to Miraflores, making it the prime spot to view Lima’s spectacular sunsets. Here is a list of the 10 best things to do in Barranco, Lima:
You can’t visit Barranco without taking a walk through the whimsical main square. It is surrounded by colorful flowers, fountains, statues and charming colonial buildings (including a library). This is where most of the action takes place in Barranco. You can often see various theatre performances, live music, art displays and artisan fairs here over the weekend. There is even a Starbucks in the corner!
Barranco’s main Catholic cathedral is located in the town square. In 1900, Barranco’s residents asked the Church to be converted into an independent parish. The Archbishop accepted the request on December 12, 1903. The church functions regularly on Sundays, and has a few masses during the week. It is also a popular church for wedding ceremonies.
The Bajada de los Baños is a walkway that connects Barranco to the Pacific ocean. It was originally used by fishermen who where coming down from Surco, to the beaches of Barranco. You’ll notice that on the slopes of the cliffs there are some preserved old wooden ranches, these were built back in the day. Today there are many restaurants and bars in the area that are often visited by tourists.
The bridge was built in 1876, in order to join the ends of the gorge. Although currently there is no water under the bridge, it still remains a favorite place for couples visiting the area and inspiration for artists, composers and writers. The bridge inspired a famous song by composer Chabuca Granda, titled “El puente de los Suspiros.”
Steps away from the Bridge of Sighs, this bright yellow church was originally a chapel used by fishermen and travelers. It was re-built in 1882 by Manuel de la Fuente Chavez, after it was burned down by the Chilean army during the war. The church is currently out of use, but it is rumored to be undergoing renovations. The sight is truly beautiful, it is more than worth while to see the church after crossing the Bridge of Sighs.
If you would like to visit an Art Gallery or Museum while in Peru, then Barranco is the place to go. Take a look at how some of Peru’s well-known artists interpret traditional Peruvian culture. You’ll be surprised to see how creative and talented Peruvians really are.
MATE is the gallery of prominent Peruvian photographer, Mario Testino. Take a look at some of his best work that he highlights in his collection. The Contemporary Art Museum– MAC, was founded in 2013, and it is the only museum in the city of Lima that specializes in modern and contemporary art. The Historical Museum, Pedro de Osma, is managed by the Pedro and Angelica de Osma Gildemeister Foundation, and was founded in 1987. It holds the colonial art collection belonging to Don Pedro de Osma Gildemeister.
The hippest shops can be found in Barranco. Vernacula, located a few steps away from the Bridge of Sighs, is a an old colonial mansion converted into an art gallery, design store and clothing shop. Some of Lima’s best independent designers have their clothing, shoes and accessories up for sale there. You can also enjoy a cup of coffee or delicious ice cream dessert in their cafe, located on the lower level.
There are plenty of restaurants to choose from to enjoy a delicious breakfast, lunch or dinner. Isolina Taberna Peruana is the place to go for some traditional Criolla Peruvian food, while Amoramar and La Canta Rana are great for Peruvian ceviche and seafood. For Vegetarians, Veggie Pizza is a great option, offering a unique and organic pizza menu, Italian coffee and raw desserts.
Barranco currently is home to some of the trendiest bars in Lima. Are you a fan of Gin? Head down to Bar 55, a gin bar with the biggest selection of gin in Peru. If you prefer beer, Barranco Beer Company or Wicks Bar will do the trick. They both offer a great selection of artisanal beers and national Peruvian brews. You can’t miss out having a drink in Ayuahuasca or Victoria Bar, both bars are colonial mansions that have be transformed into very impressive lounges, you won’t want to miss out on their Pisco Sours.
Lima is the only capital city in the World that lies along the Pacific coast. Take advantage of Barranco’s beautiful boardwalk to watch the colorful sunsets Lima offers. Pack a small backpack of snacks and a blanket and you’re all ready for a sunset picnic.
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