Other than the Plaza de Armas and historic downtown Lima, Miraflores is probably the best known district of Lima, and the district most visited by tourists. I’m staying in Miraflores at the moment, have stayed here several times before, but I have to admit I don’t really like Miraflores.
To be fair, Miraflores has it’s charm. It’s a beautiful seaside location, home of Parque del Amor, the Malecon verde, Larcomar, etc. In the center of Miraflores is Parque Kennedy, where you always find a mixture of arts, entertainment, restaurants and shopping.
Miraflores is also a center of business and location of the main offices for many companies – which is why I’m staying here at the moment. Miraflores is decidedly more western or cosmopolitan than most other areas of Lima and Peru.
So what’s not to like? It just seems like Miraflores, being the center of business and a big tourist destination, has lost some of the things I like the most about Peru. The warmth and friendliness of the people, the laidback way of life that I’ve come to expect in Peru has been lost somewhat in Miraflores to the hustle and bustle of life in the big city.
The main tourist areas around Parque Kennedy and Larcomar are also quite sleazy at night. As a middle-age white guy (the worst demographic, but that’s another story), walking around Parque Kennedy by myself I constantly get hustled for sex and drugs. Just of Parque Kennedy is so-called Pizza Alley, a little street full of pizza restaurants, bars and discos, all more sleazy than Parque Kennedy itself. Before I ever moved to Peru, a Peruvian friend of mine told me if you really want to enjoy the nightlife in Lima, go to places like Barranco or Lince instead of Miraflores and Larcomar.
There are also many beggars and homeless people in downtown Miraflores, but not really in a way that you would empathize with. That’s not to be inconsiderate, I’ve seen many poor people in different settings from Honduras to Peru to the train stations in Europe, and the truth is that places like Parque Kennedy (or the Plaza de Armas in Cusco) just seem to attract people who hustle more than someone who just happens to be down on their luck.
I’m not saying you can’t go to Miraflores and have a good time, just that you’ll be paying extra not to see what the rest of Peru really is like.
Rant over. I’m walking down the street now to have chicken wings at Hooters in Larcomar 🙂