*Esta publicación también está disponible en: Español

When choosing a hotel in Lima before your trip, it can be difficult to pinpoint exactly what neighborhood to stay in. Do you want somewhere in the middle of the action or somewhere a bit quieter? Or is having a new modern hotel more important to you than a charming boutique hotel? Every type of option is available in Lima, and it just depends on what kind of accommodation you are looking for, as well as your budget.

The majority of tourists choose to stay in either modern Miraflores area or bohemian Barranco. A misconception of the two sectors is that they are far from each other when in reality it takes only 10 minutes and a $3 Uber ride to get from one to the other without traffic or you can even walk to it as well. So even if you have “hotel remorse” after booking you won’t be far from either neighborhood. Here is a breakdown of staying in Miraflores vs Barranco.

What it’s like to stay in Miraflores

The majority of tourists stay in Miraflores when they visit Lima and it’s where I stayed during my first trip. I was on the fence about where to stay and then I read an outdated TripAdvisor forum saying that Barranco was sketchy so I chose Miraflores like everyone else. I was really happy with the Airbnb I booked and Miraflores in general. It’s modern, clean, safe, and has a stunning view of the Pacific while miles of manicured park space.

Walking through central Miraflores feels like you could be in any world-class cosmopolitan city. There’s always lots of people walking around or some type of activity going on. You’ll also find some of Lima’s most famous restaurants here, which makes it an ideal spot for foodies.

If you stay in Miraflores, there are plenty of hotel options. If you’re looking for a hotel with a swanky rooftop and pool, Pullman Miraflores has all the modern amenities & style you could imagine. Or you could live like a local by staying at this apartment by Wynwood, which can be rented by the night and is equipped with everything you need for a great stay. Also, check out my post, The Best Places To Stay In Miraflores, for more recommendations.

Pullman Miraflores

What it’s like to stay in Barranco

Normally when I hear the word “bohemian area” I associate it with backpackers in tank tops walking around, but Barranco is not that. Think of Barranco as the Williamsburg of Lima, it’s where the hipsters go to hang out.

Strolling through this neighborhood you’ll stumble upon colorful murals splashed along buildings, old Volkswagon beetles parked along the road, art galleries, cozy cafes, and boutique hotels in restored historic mansions. There are also way less tourists walking around than neighboring Miraflores and it just feels more authentic.  I definitely had a bit of hotel remorse after checking it out for myself (why did I listen to that TripAdvisor forum).

What I love about Barranco is that it can be super cheap or super expensive based on how you want to experience it. Dining options in Barranco include small mom and pop shops where you can eat for 10 Soles ($3) to casual ceviche hideaways to fine dining with incredible gastronomic experiences. You can also choose to have a pricey craft cocktail at Ayahuasca or a cheap beer at Juanito’s.

There are also so many cool places to stay in Barranco! Casa Republica is a stylish boutique hotel set in a historical mansion. The hotel is situated on a gorgeous courtyard where you’ll be steps away from the best art galleries, cozy cafes, bars, and restaurants. Or this apartment by Wynwood is an affordable option with a rooftop swimming pool in a modern building. Also, check out my post, The Best Places To Stay In Barranco, for more recommendations.

Casa Republica

So what is the best option?

After extensively staying in both neighborhoods, I personally like Barranco better. It’s just a lot more down-to-earth and doesn’t have the city traffic and noise that comes with Miraflores. It’s also a lot less touristy but has plenty of hip places to explore. So whether you choose Miraflores or Barranco, both are super safe and central to exploring all that Lima has to offer and they are just a quick ride away from each other.

Experience Lima

*Esta publicación también está disponible en: Español


I'm Joey, a guy from Louisville, Kentucky that packed up and studied abroad in Panamá at the age of 20 and haven't moved back since. What started as a semester trip to Panamá has turned into 7+ years of living in Latin America and becoming a full-time travel blogger. Follow me on Instagram @joeybonura for more updates on my life abroad!

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