Lima's historic neighborhood of Miraflores is popular with visitors and locals alike—and with good reason. Located on a cliff high above the Pacific Ocean, about five miles south of the center of the city, Miraflores offers spectacular water views from a beachfront promenade, leafy parks laced with jogging trails, some of the city's best restaurants and hotels, and upscale shopping in outdoor malls like Larcomar.
The neighborhood's history is part of its proud reputation. During the Battle of Miraflores in 1881, locals made a brave stand against invading Chilean forces, earning the nickname ciudad heroica (heroic city). Today, Miraflores is a peaceful retreat from the frenetic atmosphere of downtown Lima. Its clifftop paths attract strolling families, while surfers ride the waves below and paragliders soar high above on ocean breezes.
Have just one day to spend in town? Check out this guide to the perfect day in Lima.
Planning Your Visit
Miraflores is a convenient place to stay in Lima, as many travel agencies and tourist-friendly facilities are located here. (The tourist information center located at 799 Avenida Jose Larco is a great place to start.) If you do plan to stay overnight in the neighborhood, it's best to book your accommodation well ahead of time: many travelers want to stay here, and hotels book up quickly.
Much of the neighborhood can be navigated on foot, and walking around Miraflores, especially near the cliff's edge, is a pleasure. City buses and taxis are an option, but if you're comfortable walking, you won't need a ride between most of the highlights listed below.
Though Miraflores is one of the safest neighborhoods in Lima, use caution with valuables, as you would anywhere else: pickpocketing isn't uncommon in an area so popular with international visitors.
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Highlights & Things to Do
Stroll the Malecón (Clifftop Walkway)
The best way to experience Miraflores is to take a walk along the cliffs overlooking the sea. The beach below, Playa Costa Verde, is popular with surfers, while paragliders swoop overhead. (It's possible to try it yourself: several outfitters in Lima offer paragliding lessons and excursions.) Heading north, the Malecón (clifftop walkway) leads through a swath of clifftop greenery to Parque del Amor (Love Park), famous for its colorful mosaic benches and El Beso (The Kiss), a huge statue of a romantically intertwined couple. Continue through the park to Miraflores' pretty lighthouse.
Browse traditional crafts at Mercado Indio
Mercado Indio is a traditional market specializing in Peruvian handicrafts from woven textiles and ceramics to musical instruments and alpaca scarves. The quality-to-price ratio varies dramatically, but it's a fun place to hunt for treasure.
Admire textiles at Museo Amano
The Museo Amano showcases one of Peru's most impressive collections of textiles. The strikingly patterned exhibits reflect the history and culture of nearly a dozen ancient Peruvian cultures, including the Inca.
Explore ancient ruins at Huaca Pucllana
Miraflores' most important historic site is Huaca Pucllana, once a ceremonial center for the Lima culture that inhabited this region around the fourth century CE. The main pyramid structure has been much restored, and the remains stand in striking contrast to otherwise modern Miraflores. Guided tours offer great insights into Peru's pre-Inca coastal civilizations. Stick around for dinner: there's a good restaurant onsite that offers views of the spectacularly illuminated ruins after dark.
Try Peruvian street food at Mercado 28
One of the most exciting new developments in Miraflores is Mercado 28, a modern marketplace with stalls selling high-end street food, Peruvian craft beer, and cocktails. It is a great intro to what Peruvian cuisine can offer. Read on for more information below on where to eat in Miraflores.
Window shop in Larcomar
At the high-end shopping mall of Larcomar, you'll find fancy boutiques and eateries, outdoor cafés, a bowling alley, and a movie theater. Shopping malls don't get much prettier than this: the all is located on a clifftop, with the sea crashing below, and it's worth coming just for the sweeping views of coastal Lima.
Relax at Parque Kennedy and Parque Central
These two parks aren't oceanfront, but they offer pleasant green space to relax, grab a snack, and check out local vendors' artwork.
Festivals & Events
Carnival (February): Miraflores comes alive with parades and street parties during weekends in February leading up to Lent.
Día de los Enamorados (Valentine's Day): Romantic couples head to Parque del Amor (Love Park) for a kissing competition. See more on the park below.
Señor de los Milagros (October/November): One of the largest processions in Latin America, featuring thousands of participants, passes through Miraflores. Colorful festivities follow.
Where to Eat & Drink
Lima is famous for food, and Miraflores is one of the best parts of the city for a gourmet adventure. A rite of passage for newcomers to the city is a lunch of ceviche (citrus-marinated fish). One of the best-known restaurants specializing in the dish is La Mar, where a rotating menu of fresh seafood is served in a modern, airy setting. Elsewhere in the neighborhood, Punto Azul is a local favorite.
Panchita is a restaurant run by Gastón Acurio—Peru's most famous chef—that focuses on traditional Peruvian food. It's a great spot to try all sorts of iconic Peruvian dishes, from the classic causa limeña (mashed potato with avocado and egg topped with cheese sauce) to rocoto relleno (stuffed peppers).
Le Cordon Bleu-trained Rafael Osterling is another of Peru's culinary maestros, and his restaurant Rafael, set in an Art Deco townhouse, has won numerous awards for its ambitious takes on Peruvian cooking. Check out more of Lima's best restaurants here.
In terms of cafés and casual eateries, try Beso Francés for sweet and savory crepes with sea views, or Puku Puku for some of Peru's finest small-batch coffee. For cocktails, Open Tapas does tasty tapas and pisco sours, among other creative cocktails. Craft beer lovers should check out BarBarian near Parque Kennedy. For more on Lima's best cocktail bars, take a look at this article, and see more of Lima's best cafés here.
Where to Stay
Miraflores has a comprehensive selection of accommodations for a wide range of budgets. An excellent option—especially if you have time to plan in advance—is a boutique hotel like The Lot Boutique, a lovely eight-room property wrapped around a quiet courtyard. Nearby, the graceful white walls and terracotta roofs of Hotel Autor 01, a colonial mansion-turned-hotel with a lush garden, is another good choice.
Larger hotels have more rooms, of course, and are easier to book with relatively short notice. One to try is Casa Andina, complete with a pool, spa, and gym. With an oceanfront setting near the Larcomar shopping mall, Belmond Miraflores Park offers some of Lima's best views and features a spa, cocktail bar, and rooftop pool. For more, check out our articles on Lima's best boutique hotels and top family-friendly hotels.