Miraflores is an upscale suburban district of Lima located about 10 kilometers from the central city. One of the first areas to be settled by the Spanish after Lima was founded, Miraflores has a long and varied history. It was the site of an important battle between Chile and Peru during the War of the Pacific, for which it gets its nickname of “Heroic City.” Otherwise, Miraflores was known only as a sleepy beachfront resort town for most of the 19th century. However, as the city of Lima continued to grow, Miraflores was eventually absorbed into the larger urban area and became one of the city’s most important districts.
Today, Miraflores is probably the most popular district in Lima from a tourist’s perspective, featuring gorgeous coastal views, quality shopping, and world-class food. If you’re planning to visit Lima, chances are you’ll be spending plenty of time in Miraflores. There are endless ways to enjoy this wonderful district, but here are some of our favorite things to do:
Miraflores has its own boardwalk, or Malecón, which hugs the coast for almost 10 kilometers. One of the most popular sights in the district, Miraflores’ boardwalk offers stunning cliffside vistas overlooking the ocean–the perfect scenic stroll.
The coastal cliffs of Miraflores offer excellent conditions for paragliding. There are a number of local companies offering affordable packages that are friendly to beginners. This is the way to get the best view of Miraflores, by far.
Miraflores boasts two surfer-friendly beaches: Makaha beach and Waikiki beach (the latter named for the famous beach in Hawaii). Both beaches are said to be good for beginners. There are also a number of surfing schools located in the area with reasonable rates.
Parque Kennedy is the main park for the district and its most central meeting point. The majority of the bars, restaurants, and hotels of Miraflores are located within close proximity. Known for its population of stray cats and street performers, Parque Kennedy is always a lively place to pass the afternoon. We recommend taking a stroll through the park to people watch, enjoy the sights and sounds, and maybe grab a snack from one of the many food vendors inside the park.
Huaca Pucllana is the site of the only remaining pre-Inca ruins in Miraflores. The contrast between the ancient structures and the modern urban infrastructure surrounding them make Huaca Pucllana a particularly interesting place to behold. There is also an upscale restaurant serving traditional Peruvian food located at the foot of the pyramid. We recommend taking in this extraordinary view while having dinner at the restaurant followed by a tour of the grounds.
Built into the side of a cliff on the coast of the Pacific Ocean is Larcomar, an impressive multi-story shopping mall featuring food, entertainment, and retail. Its stores include both large international chains and smaller local boutique stores. Larcomar is the best place to shop in Miraflores.
Located across several blocks of Av. Petit Thouars are a number of fabulous artisanal markets. These stores sell crafts and traditional art from all over Peru. If you want an authentic souvenir to bring home, this is a great place to pick one up.
Though many of the region’s main museums are located in the central city of Lima, there are a couple museums worth checking out in Miraflores itself. The Amano Pre-Columbian Textile Museum features the private collection of Mr. Yoshitaro Amano. Though a bit small, it contains many unique archaeological treasures that rival anything in the larger museums. For literature lovers, Miraflores has the Ricardo Palma Museum, located in the writer’s former house. And lastly, also located in Miraflores is The Place of Memory, Tolerance, and Social Inclusion. This is an important museum documenting the violence committed by both the Mao-inspired Shining Path and the Peruvian national security forces during the 1980s and 1990s.
Lima is becoming well-known worldwide for its fine dining options, and Miraflores is the epicenter of this scene: two of its restaurants, Maido and Central, were recently ranked among the top 10 restaurants in the entire world. If those places put a bit too much pressure on your budget, there are numerous mid-priced options throughout Lima, and decent street-food around Parque Kennedy. There are also a number of Lima food tours which make stops in Miraflores.
Miraflores also has a number of great options for appreciating the arts within its borders. The Centro Cultural PUCP functions as both a theater and art-house cinema, making it a great place to enjoy live drama or a film. It is also home to the Centro Cultural Brasil-Perú and the Alianza Francesa, both of which host occasional cultural events and expositions. Art galleries include Revolver Galería and Moll Galería, among others.
As you can see, Miraflores is full of riches both natural and cultural. If you follow our advice above, you’ll soon see why this is the best district in Lima. If you’ve finished exploring Miraflores and want to check out some other districts, we’d recommend checking out findlocaltrips.com where you can search a verified database of local providers to find a variety of tours not just in Lima but in all of South America. We hope you enjoy your time in Miraflores!