Come to Lima in summer, and spend the afternoon strolling along the Malecón, a 10km long walkway that meanders its way along the clifftops of Miraflores, and a gorgeous sunset will be your reward.
Miraflores, and much of Lima, Peru’s capital, is separated from the shoreline by a 70 metre high cliff. The beach below is made up of stones and pebbles, deposited there by the decomposing cliffs.
Recessed into the cliff, in the midst of the Malecón’s route through Miraflores, is the Larcomar shopping centre.
Several restaurants with cliff-top dining can be found here.
Just north of Larcomar is Villena Bridge. The modern apartment towers that can be seen in abundance in this shot are gradually replacing the Mansions of Miraflores.
Just south of the Larcomar shopping centre is the Virgen de Fátima Church.
In Parque Salazar, adjacent to Larcomar, you can find a statue of Paddington Bear. Paddington was a Spectacled Bear; his home was: deepest, darkest Peru.
The unstable cliffs of El Malecón
The cliffs that dominate the Miraflores coastline are comprised of pebbles and gravel, and they are constantly eroding. Efforts are being made to stabilise the cliffs, but sections of the Malecón, and the vehicular road alongside it, show the telltale cracks of ground deformation – suggesting they will collapse one day if more isn’t done to stabilise them. The cliffs are an engineer’s nightmare.
Isla San Lorenzo
Isla San Lorenzo, 6km offshore, is military land and inaccessible to the public. It has never been settled by humans, but has a long and interesting history dating back to pre-Incan times.
The island was used as a home base by Francis Drake (famous for his circumnavigation of the globe, 1577-1580) when he raided Spanish galleons off the coast of Peru.
Charles Darwin explored the island in 1835 during the voyage of the Beagle.
The Spanish Armada retreated here after their defeat in the Battle of Callao in 1866.
El Malecón is a popular walking spot, picnic spot, exercise spot, and romantic date spot. Other highlights include Parque Del Amor, parasailing from the clifftops, and several miniature versions of the Nazca Lines that light up at night in Parque Maria Reiche.
El Malecón has much going for it, and it is a great asset for Lima and Miraflores, but its best feature is undoubtedly its sunsets.
Transport info here.