If you’re looking for street art in Lima, you should make your way to Barranco, the city’s coolest neighbourhood. Here’s my go-to guide to finding the best street art spots in the Peruvian capital.
I think you can tell a lot about a city from the quality of its street art. Lisbon had me enthralled, Berlin too – now I can add a new city to my list of street art hotspots from my travels: Lima.
I didn’t really expect to love Lima quite as much as I did. It’s the perfect blend of old-school glamour and urban cool. Sure, every guidebook will tell you to stay in Miraflores (which we dutifully did), but what they won’t tell you is that there’s a far cooler neighbourhood from which you can base yourself during your stay in the city – Barranco.
Street Art in Barranco
Barranco has a long tradition of producing engaging art – it was the birthplace of and is home to the museum dedicated to the famous portrait photographer Mario Testino. These days it’s known for its bars, clubs, colonial buildings and its street art.
The street art here is colourful, vibrant and completely charming. Sprayed on the outer walls of houses, bars, restaurants – you name it, it’s been decorated. I don’t do lots of video features, but couldn’t resist giving you a glimpse in this Facebook Live vid…
See what I mean?
There are a few tours that you can take to help you find Barranco’s street art hotspots but it’s literally everywhere. I’m generally happy to wander around and take things in at my own pace but if you did want to take a tour, Tailored Tours Peru are the people to go to.
So who are the folk behind Lima’s street art scene? Names like Decertor, JADE, Entes & Pesimo and Elliot Tupac might only mean something to you if you’re a urban art buff, but they’re just a few of the people who are responsible for bringing Lima’s walls to life. Many of the pieces they create have a clear message. Each one is different but catching a glimpse of artists’ thoughts and beliefs as you go about your day to day life is one of the reasons that I think urban art should be celebrated.
Here are a few more pictures for you to ogle at.
I might have done Miraflores a bit of a disservice earlier by dismissing it in favour of Barranco. There’s a lot of street art strewn around Miraflores too. But, it’s spread out over a much larger area (Miraflores is vast), so it’s harder to go on a stroll to take it all in. San Isidro is another neighbourhood you should also check out if you are into the street art scene…Though again it’s not quite as compact and concentrated as Barranco.
Lima’s colonial centre or Centro district also has a few pieces worth seeing. It used to have quite a few more, but a clean-up initiative by Lima’s mayor from 2015 onwards has resulted in a lot of Centro’s street art removed (and some in other districts too). Just goes to show right, one man’s meat is another man’s poison… Luckily there are still plenty of murals and street art left for you to explore in Lima.
Have you checked out the street art in Lima? Which was your favourite neighbourhood? What was your favourite piece?
If you’re looking for things to do in Lima, make sure you check out my Lima Travel Guide with my top picks from the city. Planning a trip to South America? You might find my South America Travel Guide helpful too.