Neighbourhoods of Lima
Lima's foremost tourist and hotel district is without a doubt located in the neighbourhood of Miraflores. This district features spacious modern shopping areas, well-manicured parks and copious gardens. Miraflores is known for its many flower-filled parks, but is also famous for its beaches that are part of the "Costa Verde" area which draw thousands of beach-goers and surfers during the summertime.
The district also puts on many cultural events at local theatres, cinemas and art galleries, and boasts a pre-Inca mud-brick temple called the Huaca Pucllana: one of the many archaeological sites still found in Lima. The district overflows with cosy cafés, pubs, restaurants and shops, while its freshly remodelled parks and gardens attract thousands of Lima inhabitants every Sunday. Many flock to visit art exhibitions, take in open-air concerts and browse through flea markets for local treasures.
This is Lima's ‘garden’ district, as it stands out for its green zones and exclusive residential areas. San Isidro also features many of the city's finest restaurants, hotels and concert halls. Despite the building boom, San Isidro has kept hold of the aristocratic atmosphere for which this suburb was known for at the beginning of the century. This can be still clearly seen in the area of El Olivar, where the olive grove that date backs centuries still keeps its charm and many of its original trees. In recent years, the district has become a major financial quarter as many banks and businesses have left downtown Lima to set up their headquarters in modern office blocks. The district features a pre-Hispanic temple, Huallamarca, where concerts and exhibitions are held occasionally.
Barranco and Chorrillos
Together with the neighbouring district of Chorrillos, Barranco, a few decades ago, was the fashionable seaside district for Lima's aristocracy. Today it is Lima's premier Bohemian quarter. Over the past 15 years, Barranco has made a huge comeback. Its parks and Republican mansions have been refurbished, with frequent concerts and cultural shows along its tree-lined streets. A must-see is the Bridge of Sighs, a favourite hang-out for courting couples and its seaside drive overlooking the Costa Verde.
Further south is Chorrillos, famous for beach resorts like La Herradura and features restaurants and eateries known as picanterías. The area has had a rich Republican history that can still be seen today in the sweeping mansions found there. Chorrillos is also home to the astronomical observatory on top of the hill called the Morro Solar, scene of major battles in the war against Chile (1879-1883). This spot provides visitors with a beautiful view of Lima's coastline stretching from Chorrillos to Isla San Lorenzo off Callao.