BAR­RANCO

LIMA, PERU

Canadian Geographic - - DEPARTURES / CITIES & SIGHTS - —Alexan­dra Pope

Leg­end has it that if a first-time vis­i­tor to Bar­ranco can cross its fa­mous Puente de los Sus­piros (Bridge of Sighs) with­out tak­ing a breath, they’ll be granted one wish. For­tu­nately, a lung­ful of air is more than enough to see you across the 30-me­tre-long foot­bridge at the heart of the Peru­vian cap­i­tal’s bo­hemian quar­ter. Shel­tered by the steep cliffs of neigh­bour­ing Chor­ril­los, Bar­ranco (“ravine” in Span­ish) was a pop­u­lar sum­mer re­treat for wealthy limeños in the 1800s, and later be­came a haven for artists and in­tel­lec­tu­als. Its colour­ful mix of colo­nial and 19th-cen­tury ar­chi­tec­ture in­ter­spersed with eye-catch­ing mu­rals is best ex­plored on foot, ide­ally by hir­ing a lo­cal. Try Haku Tours, which of­fers half- and full-day trips with friendly, knowl­edge­able guides. Cul­ture seek­ers should start the day at the Museo Pe­dro de Osma, which houses an im­pres­sive col­lec­tion of Span­ish colo­nial art­work. One block north is MATE — Museo Mario Testino, a mu­seum founded by the world-renowned pho­tog­ra­pher and Lima na­tive to show­case con­tem­po­rary Peru­vian art and a per­ma­nent dis­play of his own work. From there, it’s a short walk to any style of food you fancy, whether it’s pub fare and craft beer at Brew­pub Wick’s, ce­viche with a side of Pa­cific Ocean views at La Posada del Mi­rador or lomo saltado (beef stir-fry with aji pep­per sauce) at Chifa Chung Yion, which spe­cial­izes in chifa, a cui­sine that fuses tra­di­tional Chi­nese and Peru­vian dishes. If, at the end of the day, you find your­self at the Bridge of Sighs, no one will blame you if your wish is for more time to ex­plore.

Clock­wise from TOP LEFT: Strolling across the Puente de los Sus­piros; a pic­ture-per­fect latte at Tostaduria Bisetti, a Bar­ranco cof­fee roast­ery; Bar­ranco’s dra­matic sea cliffs; a dish of lomo saltado; ex­plor­ing Peru­vian art at MATE.

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