Location of Barranco in the Lima province
|Founded||26 October 1874|
|• Mayor||Jessica Vargas|
|• Total||3.33 km2 (1.29 sq mi)|
|Population (2002 est.)|
|• Density||14,000/km2 (36,000/sq mi)|
|Time zone||PET (UTC-5)|
The district is considered to be the city's most romantic and bohemian, being the home and working place of many of Peru's leading artists, musicians, designers and photographers. In the 19th-century, it was a very fashionable beach resort for the Limeño aristocracy, and many people used to spend the summer here and in neighboring Chorrillos. Today, Barranco's beaches are among the most popular within the worldwide surfing community, and a marina completed in 2008 provides state-of-the-art services for its yacht club.
The name Barranco (Spanish for ravine) is descriptive of its topography, featuring homes and restaurants in and around a ravine near a cliff overlooking a sand strip which runs from the Miraflores District to Chorrillos (now flanked by a highway, Costa Verde Ave.).
There is a walkway to the sea that runs through Barranco, called the Bajada de los Baños. Crossing over this walkway is the Puente de los Suspiros, or Bridge of Sighs, a bridge which crosses the ravine itself and was inaugurated on 14 February 1876. On the far side of the bridge is a park with a statue of Barranco native singer and composer, Chabuca Granda.
Barranco has many houses in the colonial and Republican style (called "casonas"), flower-filled parks and streets, and appealing beachfront areas. Lima's contemporary art museum, the MAC, is located in Barranco, as well as the Museo Pedro de Osma, which hosts one of the best collections of colonial art and is itself one of Barranco's best kept examples of late-19th-century architectural style. The district includes numerous restaurants, nightclubs, discos, bars and peñas, where one can appreciate Peruvian music shows. On Pedro de Osma Ave., some tracks from the former streetcar (originally a railroad between Chorrillos/La Herradura and Downtown Lima) can be seen.
The cliffs of Chorrillos shield Barranco from colder and more humid winds coming from the South. As a result, Barranco has a micro-climate that is warmer and drier than many of the other districts of Lima, which are generally more humid, especially between May and October.