Standing out as a cool, colorful corner of Peru’s capital, Barranco is one of the districts of Lima you really shouldn’t miss. This is where you can soak up the city’s trendy bohemian atmosphere and arty scene.

On your bespoke trip to Peru, be sure to take your time to explore Barranco, Lima, with its vibrant street art, beautiful townhouses, inviting bars and restaurants. Not sure where to start? Read on to discover the top things to do in Barranco, recommended by local experts who have all the best tips for you.

1. Admire iconic sights

One of the first things you’ll want to do is see Barranco’s architectural highlights. Head to the main square, the “Plaza de Armas”, which is a great spot for people-watching. Then, walk to the Puente de los Suspiros—the “Bridge of Sighs”. This lovely old wooden bridge is a very romantic spot. And, according to legend, if you make a wish while holding your breath as you cross, then your wish will be granted.

Although not exactly a piece of architecture, the Bajada de Baños is a charming place to visit. Wander down this leafy, cobblestone path that leads you to Barranco’s beaches, the same route that fishermen used to take to the sea.

2. Discover colorful street art

One of the most distinctive things you’ll notice about Barranco is the street art. But this isn’t any old graffiti. Walls across the district are emblazoned with brightly colored murals, expertly painted by local artists.

You can’t help but be captivated by the works of graffiti art here, which range from the dreamlike to the lifelike. Barranco’s public artworks reflect the creative soul of Peru’s capital city, with paintings adorning the walls of houses, bars, restaurants, and more.

● Explore Atelier’s Signature Journeys in South America.

3. Go shopping

You simply can’t resist a spot of retail therapy when you’re in Lima, and Barranco is no exception. Expect to find unique boutiques and to come home with overflowing luggage from your hauls!

Pop into the Dédalo Arte y Artesanía , which is a heavenly fusion of a store and art gallery. Take your time to explore the different rooms and browse traditional local handicrafts, fashion items, homeware, and jewelry. There are also second-hand options where you can look for vintage treasures.

Other boutiques you shouldn’t miss when shopping in Barranco are:

Neo Concept Store (art, fashion, design and handicraft)

Puna (store-studio with curated pieces of art)

Artesanía Las Pallas (one-of-a-kind Peruvian artwork and design by Mary Solari).

Lado B at Hotel B (fashion boutique with unique pieces by local designers, curated by award-winning stylist Sumy Kujon)

Artesanos Don Bosco (furniture and design)

4. Peruse art galleries

A neighborhood as artistic as Barranco is bound to have art galleries galore, and indeed you won’t be disappointed. As well as strolling the streets to admire Barranco’s vibrant graffiti, you’ll want to dip into these establishments.

Ponder contemporary pieces of recognized local artists and masters at Galería Wu and 80m2 by Livia Benavides, specializing in minimalist art. Visit the Jade Rivera Museum, dedicated to the eponymous artist. In his work he aims to reflect everyday life and culture.

5. Visit fascinating museums

For another dose of culture in Barranco, Lima, head to its museums. At the Museo Pedro de Osma, a refined colonial mansion, you can admire a beautiful exhibition of art and antiques from the colonial era. colonial furniture and art. Note in particular the impressive works from the Cusco School of Art.

What’s more, you can discover a fine collection of Latin American art from the second half of the 20th century at the MAC – Museum of Contemporary Art. You’ll see pieces from the likes of Fernando de Szyszlo and Emilio Rodríguez Larraín, Peruvian modern artists. Afterwards, enjoy a stroll around the pretty gardens.

● Related blog: How to enhance your visit to Machu Picchu, Peru.

6. Dine on Peruvian cuisine

Undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Barranco is savor the delectable dishes of Peru. The country has become well-known for its mouth-watering specialties, and Lima is now in fact one of the foodie capitals of the world. Among its many gastronomic accolades, Lima has been named the “Leading Culinary Destination” at the World Travel Awards eight times in a row. And 15 of the top 50 restaurants in South America are in Lima!

If you’re keen to try local delicacies, Barranco’s array of restaurants and street food joints will not disappoint. One of the most acclaimed eateries in all of Latin America is Central, a Michelin-starred restaurant helmed by Chef Virgilio Martínez, and you’ll find it in Barranco, Lima.

Central is so well-known, it’s usually fully booked, so be sure to make a reservation far in advance. But it’s just the start of the culinary story. You don’t want to miss Barranco’s other top haunts, including:

Isolina (traditional Peruvian cuisine)

Siete (Mediterranean author cuisine by Ricardo Martins)

Kjolle (from Pía León, the wife of Virgilio Martínez, named the “Best Female Chef of the World”)

Merito (intimate and creative space by the Venezuelan chef Juan Luis Martínez)

Cantarana (“cevichería” – seafood)

La 73 (typical Peruvian food and drinks)

Don Mario (Anticuchos, a kind of Peruvian street food made with many meat types)

Pollo de Lima (“pollería” – poultry)

 La Cuadra de Salvador (Steakhouse and bar)

7. Hit trendy bars

Quench your thirst as you explore the delights of Barranco by hitting some of its tempting bars. Here you can toast your trip in a beautiful colonial townhouse one day, then clink glasses while admiring the sunset over the Pacific Ocean the next. Surround yourself with architectural splendor at Bar Ayahuasca, where you can complement your drink with a lip-smacking small plate like crispy prawns.

Or soak up decades of history at Juanito Barranco, a long-reigning bar that has hosted many artists, writers and musicians for over 70 years. Other drinking dens to check out include Barra 55, La Gintonería, Victoria Bar, Barranco Beer Company, Mercado 28, República del Pisco, Rue, Bodega-Bar Piselli, Dada Bar and La Noche, with live music sessions on a regular basis. You’ll be spoilt for choice!

8. Taste delicious ice cream

Whether you need an indulgent pick-me-up or after-dinner treat, you can’t go wrong with ice cream. And Lima is brimming with parlors that cater to your sweet tooth. When you’re in Barranco, we recommend you treat yourself by visiting the gelaterias Crem de la Crem, Speciale or Helado de Lima.

Take your pick from an irresistible host of tantalizing flavors. Try fruit ones like mango, grape, lucuma, and maracuya (passion fruit, a Peruvian favorite). Or savor creamy ice creams such as chocolate, cheesecake, or dulce de leche (caramel).

9. Enjoy a cup of coffee

The aroma of freshly ground coffee is impregnated in the neighborhood’s DNA and the experience of tasting its greatest exponents from diverse communities throughout the country is precious. Enjoy cozy environments built over once-traditional residences or contemporary and artsy spaces oriented to digital nomads, Barranco has a wide array of cafés and specialty spots to be proud of:

Ciclos Café (unmissable pairing sessions with Peruvian fine chocolate by Cacaotal)

Bodega Verde (charming place just a few steps from Puente de los Suspiros)

Cipresso Café (lovely location at Casona San Martín, also grab & go)

Coleccionista Coffee Bar (a trendy blend of art and fantastic local beans)

Pan, Sal, Aire (nothing like a cup of coffee with its Shakshuka or Eggs Benedict version)

10. Stay in charming boltholes

When it comes to places to stay in Barranco, there are two options that stand head and shoulders above the rest.

Hotel B

A chic property that is over a hundred years old, Hotel B is one of Lima’s most esteemed accommodations. Its pearl-white, Belle Epoque facade gives way to a beautiful art collection, interior patio, and sophisticated guest rooms inside.

Villa Barranco by Ananay

This characterful hideaway has just nine rooms and suites, making it feel more like a lovely little guest house. With a powder-blue exterior, rooftop terrace, and views of the Pacific Ocean, you’ll fall for the charm of Ananay Villa.

●Related: Best boutique lodges in Patagonia, Chile.

Bonus, Tips from our Atelier

Barranco’s location—between the elegant Miraflores quarter and the Pacific Coast—means that you’re well-placed for a beachfront stroll. Take the path over the Puente de Los Suspiros and across the golden sands for a romantic wander through this charming corner of Lima.

The best way to explore Barranco is on foot. And with so many bars, restaurants, and coffee shops around, you won’t need to look far to find somewhere to stop along the way.

Prepare to discover the wonders of Barranco and Lima yourself on a customized trip to Peru.

Get in touch with the South America travel specialists at Atelier and they will craft your dream tailor-made tour.

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