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Barranco is known as the artsy, bohemian district of Lima and has received a makeover in recent years becoming one of Lima’s most desired suburbs.

Here you will find hippies living next to Lima’s artists, designers and musicians in colourful old colonial and Republican-style ‘casonas’ or mansions overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

This is one of our favourite districts in Lima and it’s easy to spend a day here wandering around the colourful streets, browsing the many galleries, museums and shops and tasting some of Lima’s best food in the many restaurants and cafes. Here’s our list of the best things to do in Barranco.

Avenida Saenz Peña

Saenz Pena in Barranco Lima.This is one of the nicest streets in Barranco with a park running down the middle flanked on either side by colonial mansions in various stages of repair. Barranco was originally a seaside resort for Lima’s elite and this street gives a good idea of how the other half lived in the 1920s.

 

Lucia de la Puente Gallery

Lucia de la Puente Gallery in Barranco Lima.This commercial gallery is located in a meticulously restored Republican mansion and houses one of Peru’s finest collections of contemporary art. Exhibitions change regularly and artists featured in the past included Alicia Ehni, Alberto Borea, Aldo Chaparro and Sandra Gamarra.

Address: Avenue Saenz Peña 206, Barranco.

Opening Hours: Open from 10.00 – 20.00 Mondays to Fridays and 15.00 – 20.00 on Saturdays.

 

Dedalo Arts & Handicrafts Store

Dedalo Art & Handicrafts in Barranco, Lima Peru.One of our favourite places to shop when in Lima, Dedalo is an Aladdin’s cave of high–end souvenirs, decorative objects, Peruvian handcrafts and clothing and jewellery by contemporary Peruvian designers. It’s easy to spend hours browsing their collections and they also have a nice café in the terrace out the back if you want a decent cup of coffee after all that shopping!

Address: Avenue Saenz Peña 295, Barranco.

Opening Hours: 10.00 – 18.00 Seven days a week.

Read our full Dedalo review here.

 

Bridge of Sighs

This is one of Barranco’s big tourist attractions. Legend has it that the wealthy owner of one of the neighboring house forbade his daughter to see a lowly street-sweeper who she was in love with. She then spent the rest of her days sighing and lamenting the fate of her lost love thus the name ‘Bridge of Sighs’.

The bridge itself has been reconstructed many times and today doesn’t feel like anything special however it is one of Barranco’s big tourist must-sees and is worth a visit if you’re passing through the area.

The bridge is a favourite with lovers and local folklore says that if you cross the bridge while holding your breath your wish will come true…

La Ermita Chapel

La Ermita Chapel in Barranco, Lima Peru.This rundown yellow adobe chapel is located just above the ‘Bajada de Baños’ pedestrian walkway down to the ocean. It was built in 1750 on the spot where an illuminated cross supposedly appeared during bad weather guiding local fishermen safely back to shore.

The chapel was burned and looted by Chilean soldiers during the Peru – Chile war in 1882. Despite its decrepit nature it has a definite charm.

Head past la Ermita Chapel to the viewpoint for great views of the coastline.

 

Barranco Main Square

Barranco’s Main Square is a colourful hub of activity. Attractions include the Municipal Library which also houses the tourist office and the park itself which is a nice place for relaxing and people spotting.

 

Mario Testino Gallery (MATE)

Mario Testino Gallery in Barranco, Lima Peru.Peruvian Mario Testino is one of the world’s most iconic photographers having photographed the Royal family, actors, models and musicians during his career. The MATE Gallery is a homage to the work of Testino and is situated in a  beautifully restored 19th century Republican townhouse in the heart of Barranco.

The collection is divided into themed rooms that feature some of Testino’s most famous work including portraits of fashion icons Kate Moss and Giselle Bündchen as well as a room dedicated to portraits of Princess Diana.

Our favourite is the ‘Alta Moda’ room dedicated to high-fashion shots of traditional dress from the Andes region of Peru which is truly magnificent. This is a small gallery but is a must see for anyone interested in fashion photography. There is also a small store and café on site.

Address: Avenida Pedro de Osma 409, Barranco.

Opening Hours: Open from 10.00 – 19.00 Mondays to Sundays.

Entrance Fee: S/.20 (Approx. US$6.25) or you can get a joint ticket for both the MATE Gallery and the Pedro de Osma Museum next door for S/.28 (Approx. US$8.75)

 

Pedro de Osma Museum in Barranco, Lima Peru.Pedro de Osma Museum

Located right next door to the MATE Gallery, the Pedro de Osma Museum is housed in a beautiful beaux-arts mansion surrounded by well-cared for gardens.

The museum houses the private collection of Pedro de Osma who was a collector of pieces dating from the Viceregal era from  the 15th to the 18th century.  Paintings by masters including Bernardo Bitti and Luis de Riano are on display as well as paintings by anonymous painters from the 18th century Cusco School. Other pieces include altar decorations, furniture, sculptures and silverwork.

Address: Avenida Pedro de Osma 409, Barranco.

Opening Hours: Open from 10.00 – 18.00 Tuesdays to Sundays or you can get a joint ticket for both the museum and the MATE Gallery next door for S/.28 (Approx. US$8.75)

Entrance Fee: S/.20 (Approx. US$6.25)

 

MAC Museum of Contemporary Art

MAC Museum of Contemporary Art in Barranco, Lima Peru.MAC Lima exhibits the work of Latin American and European artists dating from the 1950s. This purpose built structure houses a permanent collection as well as two temporary collection spaces which feature different artists throughout the year.

The collection includes abstract expressionism, geometric art, constructivism, conceptual art, optical art, surrealism and pop art pieces and pieces by contemporary Peruvian artists like Juan Javier Salazar, Kukuli Velarde and José Tola.  Ask for a guided tour when you buy your entrance ticket if you want to learn more about contemporary Peruvian art.

Address: Avenida Grau 1511, Barranco, Lima.

Opening Hours: Open from 10.00 – 18.00 Tuesdays to Sundays. Closed on Mondays.

Entrance Fee: S/.10 (Approx. US$3.20)

 

Barranco Street Art

Barranco Street Art in Lima Peru.The walls of Barranco’s streets are alive with murals, so keep your eyes peeled when you are exploring  to spot colourful scenes from Lima’s vibrant street art scene. Some of the best places to spot street art are on Avenida Pedro de Osma, Jiron 2 de mayo and Cajamarca Street.

 

Las Pallas Native Folk Art

Las Pallas is an Aladdin’s Cave of native Peruvian folk art set up by Scottish born Mari Solari who has been living in Peru for almost fifty years. She hand-collects all items in her collection which features high quality weavings, carvings, paintings and antiques from all over Peru.

Address: Calle Cajamarca 212, Barranco.

Opening Hours: Open from 10.00 to 19.00 Mondays to Saturdays.

Read the full Las Pallas Folk Art review here.

 

Puna

Puna Lifestyle Concept StoreWe fell in love with this contemporary lifestyle concept store when they had just a tiny space in Cusco. They have recently refurbished a colonial building just across from Barranco’s main square and the space is stunning.

Filled with lifestyle design objects including furniture designed by owner and interior designer Mariana, decorative objects, prints and paintings by contemporary Peruvian artists as well as a good selection of Peruvian ‘chicha’ tropical music vinyls this is a must-visit stop on any Barranco itinerary.

Address: Calle Cajamarca 212, Barranco.

Opening Hours: Open from 11.00 to 20.00 Tuesdays to Sundays.

Read our full Puna review here.

 

See our guide to the best places to shop in Lima here

Check out our favourite hotels in Lima

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