Suffice it to say that I’ve never fallen completely in love with Lima… until now. It has taken me four visits to arrive in the Barranco district in Lima, little known by visitors but greatly loved by locals as the artists’ part of town. This gorgeous, colourful and playful neighbourhood quickly won my heart on my recent visit to Lima and if I could give you just one tip for the entire city, it would be not to miss Barranco! Here’s why…
A Bohemian Revival: Barranco District in Lima
It is almost impossible to visit Peru and not pass through Lima, especially if travelling by air. The capital of Peru is also the gateway to the country and much of South America for a larger trip around the region. Whilst I have previously enjoyed my time here, there are few attractions to see and while the gastronomic culture in the city is strong, you will quickly eat away at your pocket (quite literally) if dining out once or twice a day.
But then I visited and stayed in Barranco and the city of Lima kind of… made sense, shall we say?
The spirit of the 1920s, when Peru celebrated 100 years of independence, is most prominently found in the district of Barranco. Once the neighbourhood for wealthy residents of Lima, Barranco is currently undergoing an impressive revival that will soon attract tourists by the bus loads.
At the beginning of the 20th Century this neighbourhood was home to many of Peru’s most notable artists and writers and is to this day considered the artsy area of town. Filled with galleries, museums and artisan boutiques, there really is so much to discover in Barranco.
Things to See in Barranco District
The neighbourhood of Barranco is much more relaxed and low key than others in Lima, so be sure to start off your time in Barranco by simply wandering without rhyme or reason. After you’ve exhausted that option, below are some major WOW approved recommendations for attractions, galleries, and of course, where to eat!
MAC – Museo de Arte Contemporaneo
MATE – Musee Mario Testino
Museo Pedro de Osma
Lucia de la Puente
Crem dela Crem
Stay: Hotel B
After hearing so many great things from fellow travellers, I booked my stay in the heart of Barranco at the highly celebrated Hotel B. This hotel sets the scene for luxury travel in Lima, housed in an old mansion, restored to its former glory by the owner who welcomes guests to the hotel as residents of their own house for the duration of their stay.
The hotel was an absolute delight and to give you some scope of just how much I enjoyed it, I would easily place it somewhere within my top 25 hotels around the world. The halls are filled with modern art, the public areas portray themselves as actual living spaces and the ratio of staff to guests is so high that I’m sure I saw more staff than I did guests during my stay, despite the hotel being heavily booked.
Be sure to make your way back to the hotel in the early evenings around 5:00pm as the hotel offers a complimentary afternoon tea service, complete with a luxurious display of cakes and pastries.
A warm thanks to Hotel B for welcoming me to the hotel to experience Barranco neighbourhood! I flew to Peru with LATAM Airlines, flying in to Lima and eventually Iquitos to begin my Amazon adventure.