Below is a custom-designed walking tour to cover the best sights. Continue reading for detailed descriptions of where to turn.
Start at Barranco’s central plaza, the Parque Municipal. It’s a short walk from the Metropolitano bus station, Bulevar.
Parque Municipal de Barranco
The plaza features the Barranco library, Iglesia de la Santisima Cruz (Church of the Blessed Cross) and several fountains with park benches. Looking east from the plaza (looking toward your right if facing the church), you’ll see a pedestrian alley. This is Boulevard Sanchez Carrion.
Boulevard Sanchez Carrion
If you came on the Metropolitano, you already passed through this pedestrian alley of bars and nightclubs.
After seeing the Boulevard, go back toward Barranco’s central plaza and turn right on Miguel Grau Avenue before the park. You should be going in the same direction as traffic.
Avenida Miguel Grau
Miguel Grau showcases some of Lima’s oldest homes, both maintained and fallen into disrepair.
After walking north on Miguel Grau about seven blocks, turn left on Saenz Peña Avenue. You’ll recognize this historic promenade by the wide, tree-lined median between eastbound and westbound lanes.
Avenida Saenz Peña
Avenida Saenz Peña is home to large, republican mansions of European architecture. At Saenz Peña 206 (on your right) is the Lucia de la Puente art gallery, which is worth a visit if open (Monday to Friday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturdays 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.).
Follow Saenz Peña past the San Martin Obelisk Memorial to the end of the street, where a “mirador” overlooks Lima’s coastline.
From the lookout point, go back east on Saenz Peña and turn right at San Martin, the intersection with the Obelisk Memorial.
Avenida San Martin
Walking south on San Martin, you’ll see more distinct baroque and republican architecture. At San Martin 130 (on your left if heading south) is Ayahuasca, one of Barranco’s better known cocktail lounges. The large, colorful bar has an extensive, signature cocktail menu and an upscale crowd.
After walking four blocks south on San Martin, you’ll see a park on your right. Turn right at Sucre, the side street just before this park.
Iglesia La Ermita
You’ve entered Plazuela Villareal, a manicured garden overlooking Barranco’s La Ermita chapel, where Lima’s fishermen prayed for a good catch. Follow the narrow Sucre one block until you see the chapel on your left. Take a pathway through the garden to the front of the church.
Descending the steps in front of the church, you’ll see two statues to your left. The woman is Chabuca Granda, Peru’s famous 20th-century singer of hits like “La flor de la canela” (Cinnamon Flower). Past the statues, you’ll see Barranco’s signature landmark, the Bridge of Sighs.
Puente de los Suspiros
The Puente de los Suspiros, or Bridge of Sighs, was constructed in the 19th century and overlooks the Ermita Chapel and Bajada de Baños pathway down to the ocean. Legend says that your wish will come true if you hold your breath while crossing the bridge after seeing it for the first time.
Cross the bridge from the chapel but, instead of walking up the stairs, turn left to go down to the Bajada de Baños.
Bajada de Baños
The Bajada de Baños, or Pools Pathway, is a pedestrian path that leads to the beach. The highly recommended hostel, Kaminu, is located on the right.
Follow the pathway past patio restaurants to the lookout point. As you will see, you can continue descending to a bridge that crosses the highway if you want to visit one of Barranco’s beaches. If you turn right, the beaches are all rocky. Turn left to find a small sandy beach.
But before continuing down to the beach, keep in mind how much of a climb it is to return to the Municipal Park of Barranco.
To return, walk back up the Bajada de Baños. After passing under the Bridge of Sighs, turn right to ascend the stairs you came down. Turn left at the top, away from the bridge, and continue up the second flight of stairs. On your left is Tio Mario, one of Lima’s best anticuchos restaurants.
Past Tio Mario at the top of the stairs, cross the side street and continue walking straight to arrive back at Parque Municipal de Barranco, your starting point. If you’re not tired yet, turn right before the park to continue south on San Martin to see the Pedro de Osma and MATE museums. Barranco is also great for getting lost in the blocks closest to the cliffs overlooking the sea.