Lima is graced with innumerable parks and plazas, not only in the central areas but also in suburban districts. During time spent in the city you will no doubt come across many; nevertheless, there are one or two that are worth special mention.
The Plaza de Armas, also known as the Plaza Mayor, is situated in the heart of the Historic Center of Lima and is therefore the capital’s principal public space. From this vantage point, one can admire the numerous governmental and religious buildings which surround the plaza. It is also a wonderful space to watch the comings and goings of Peruvians from all walks of life. The history of the plaza starts in 1535 with its founding by Francisco Pizarro; further details can be found in the Lima Attractions section of this guide.
Not far from the Plaza de Armas (actually connected to it by the Jirón de la Unión) is the Plaza San Martin, also one of the most representative public spaces in Lima. Located within the Historic Center of Lima, the Plaza San Martin was declared a World Heritage Site in 1988 by UNESCO. The imposing monument in the center of the plaza gives homage to Peru’s liberator, José de San Martín, illustrating his voyage across the Andes. After serving as the site of a hospital and later a railway station, the Plaza as it now stands was re-inaugurated in 1921, in celebration of the 100th anniversary of Peru’s Independence. As an example of the city’s wealth at the time, the benches and handrails were constructed out of marble and the floor was built from granite. There were also four water fountains, bronze streetlamps, and flower-filled gardens. The overall appearance of the plaza and the surrounding buildings reflects the baroque style of architecture.
The Gran Parque Cultural de Lima was inaugurated in January 2000 by both the mayor of Lima, Alberto Andrade, and the then-president Alberto Fujimori, in a successful attempt to bring new life and vigor to this space formerly known as the Parque de la Exposición. Located on the Paseo Colon in Lima Centro, it now boasts a medium-sized outdoor amphitheatre, Japanese garden, food and drink facilities, and various children’s activities. The park is open daily from 8am to 10:30pm, and relaxing strolls through this green, peaceful and safe oasis in the center of Lima are recommended if you are in the area.
The park most noticed by visitors to Lima is undeniably Parque Kennedy, and this large, flower filled park is hard to miss as it is right in the center of the most popular tourist quarter, Miraflores. Filled with immaculately kept flower gardens and providing ample shade and seating areas, this grassy space is popular among visitors to the city and locals alike. A welcome oasis in the middle of bustling Miraflores, it is also a great spot to savor a typical Limeñan sweet or snack, be it mazamora morada, picarones, arroz con leche, or a heartier butifarra (see food and drink section.)
Download our travel guides for free and take them with you on your dream vacation!