Parque Ecologico Loma Amarilla is a popular park for exercise, hiking or simply escaping the city bustle in Surco.

What would have been a big hill taking up two or three square blocks in Surco was converted into a 19-acre green space sometimes referred to as “the lungs of Surco,” home to 34 species of birds and 23 species of trees.

A dirt path is wide enough to jog up to the peak of the hill without having to squeeze around hikers. At the entrance to the park the track is straight and at enough of an incline to allow for hill sprints, a bonus in a city which is mostly flat.

By my informal count the track starting at the west side of the park (just north of Surco city hall) spanned 800 meters with a 180-meter loop at the top of the hill. So a full lap would be about one kilometer, mostly uphill.

There are exercise stations of pull-up bars, dip bars and sit-up benches throughout Lima, but Loma Amarilla has the highest concentration of stations in just one park. There must have been six or seven, so you wouldn’t get stuck waiting for a station on a crowded day.

In addition to the number of bars offering a degree of privacy for people who prefer to train alone, Loma Amarilla offers a novelty in high bars. These are invaluable for athletes like me who are over six feet tall and want to do hanging leg raises. Most pull-up bars in Lima are about seven feet high, so if I hang from the bar I have to bend my legs to be completely suspended.

That’s not too much of an inconvenience for doing hanging knee raises, but they make it impossible to do the more difficult variation of hanging leg raises which requires straight legs. As you can see in the bars above, an athlete seven feet tall could do hanging leg raises at Loma Amarilla.

There were also three or four of these stations featuring lightweight machines.

In addition to the wide track, the hill is crisscrossed by narrow paths with railings for those looking for hiking and getting up close and personal with nature.

Counting all these paths would add another two kilometers to the total track distance of Loma Amarilla.

Some of these paths are staircases going straight up the hill, offering another training option hard to find in Lima: stadium steps.

Pardon all the training talk, but the exercise possibilities are what made Loma Amarilla special for me. Of course the gardens and natural beauty of the park are worth a mention.

Several clearings toward the top of the hill offer a view of the mountains in San Juan de Miraflores.

Location and info

Loma Amarilla is located on Avenida Monte de los Olivos in Surco, just a few blocks southwest of the Parque de la Amistad. In fact, at the time of this writing the English version of Google Maps has Loma Amarilla’s location incorrectly assigned to Amistad. The map embedded above is the correct location. If taking a taxi, it may be easier to tell him “Municipalidad de Surco,” which is adjacent to the park.

Click the pics to enlarge. For high-res slideshow viewing, see the Loma Amarilla album on the Lima City of Kings Facebook page.

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