Lima’s most bohemian district, the lively coastal neighborhood of Barranco first became popular towards the end of the 19th Century, drawing an influx of poets, writers and artists to the seaside resorts of Las Sombrillas and Barranquito. Although it was integrated into the capital territory in 1860, Barranco retains its village-like feel, with its striking colonial architecture and brightly painted buildings standing in stark contrast to the modern high-rises of neighboring Miraflores.
Best explored on foot, the elegant Plaza San Francisco is the starting point for a walking tour, home to the 19th century Iglesia San Francisco, and encircled by boutiques, cafes and restaurants. Nearby, the Bajada de los Baños ravine is the most popular hangout during the daytime, where the flower-lined Puente de los Suspiros (Bridge of Sighs) makes a romantic spot for watching the sunset. The area is also a fashionable destination after dark, with numerous dance clubs, bars and music venues running all the way down to the waterfront.
Barranco’s arts scene is also still thriving, with over a dozen art galleries dotted around the area, including the Museo Pedro de Osna and the Mario Testino museum, an abundance of colorful street art, and regular street fairs and folk music festivals.