Sunday, February 22, 2009

Barranco at a Glance

In Lima there seems to be a plethora of unexplored, or rather undocumented, areas. Areas that seem to have escaped the mainstream ideas of what constitutes a city; escaped the Frommer's and Wikipedia. One such place is that of Barranco.

Barranco is known to the locals as the bohemian center of Lima, filled with discotheques dedicated to Salsa and Cumbia as well as watering holes with a more rock feel or artistic atmosphere. These pubs, bars, and dance halls seems to vein out from the central park, that are common in this South American city. On any particular Friday or Saturday night, you may find a show of some sort fixed in this park showing off dance or art or crafts; the people of the nearby neighborhood showing off their craftsmanship.

Sitting subtly on a cliff overlooking and leading down to the sea, Barranco is a quite entry to sunbathing on the Pacific Ocean. What was once a Peruvian beach get-away for the elites, has continued on as a romantic gateway to the the Pacific. The Bajada de Banos meanders down the cliff, lined with reastuarants, toward the sea. At the end of its straight path from the park center, the road opens up to a viewing point of Lima's majestic sight of the ocean.

Besides the beach, Barranco offers a widely diverse night life as well as typical Peruvian cuisine for a reasonable price. Establishments all around the area vie for the passersby interest in anticuchos and picarones, as well as their need to dance the traditional salsa.

Screaming Peru at the most silent of tones, Barranco offers much in terms of culture and architecture. The Bridge of Sighs that spans over the Bajada de Bano, as well as the majestic stairs that criss-cross this particular borough truly displays the antiquity of this place. It is obvious how great men like Mario Vargas Llasa has called this their home.

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