The Beaches South of Lima – Las Playas del Sur de Lima
Posted September 2, 2010on:
This past weekend was a long weekend here in Peru. The holiday is called Santa Rosa de Lima and it celebrates Saint Rose. We wanted to do something fun for the long weekend so we decided to rent a car and drive to the beaches to the south of Lima.
Lima is on the Pacific Coast and just outside the city to the north and south there are a number of nice beaches and resort areas. We started out early Monday morning in our Toyota Yaris rental car. The first stop was at Starbucks for Vanilla Lattes and then we parked at the beach in Barranco (inside the city) to enjoy our chocolate croissants. The beach at Barranco is rocky and isn’t that great, but it was nice to watch the waves and listed to the surf as we ate our breakfast.
To get to the beaches you have to take the Pan America Highway. The highway is a toll highway (3 soles each way) and is fairly new and in good condition. There is a parallel road which is called the Old Panamerica Highway. It passes through all the little towns along the way and is where you find the access roads to the beaches.
The first beach we stopped at is called El Silencio. It is located at km 38 of the Panamerica Sur, about 45 minutes from our house. As it is still winter here, when we arrived at about 10:30am we were the only car in the parking lot. The beach at El Silencio has a number of bars and seafood restaurants, the majority of which were closed the day we went. There are tables & chairs on the beach that the patrons of the bars and restaurants can enjoy. The beach here is sandy and quite clean. The water is tranquil although at times the waves can be dangerous. Even though it was cool and overcast, this was our favorite of the 4 beaches we visited and we hope to go back in the summer when the weather is better and we can enjoy the sun and heat.
Our next destination was the Balneario de Santa Maria located at km 52 of the Panamerica Sur. Santa Maria is a lovely beach resort with high-end residential areas, nautical clubs, sailing ships and yachts. We went to the small beach at Santa Maria. There is also a larger one that we passed by but we didn’t stop. The town was almost deserted when we were there but I imagine in the summer it is packed with tourists and summer residents. It would be great to rent an apartment here in the summer!
Santa Maria is very well maintained and caters to the upper class. The landscaping along the road that brings you to the entrance of the town is interesting. This entire area, even though along the Pacific Coast, is a desert and it is very evident by the vegetation along this road.
The next beach we stopped at is called Santa Rosa. It is located at km 44 in a district called Punta Negra. Santa Rosa is just one of many beaches within the district of Punta Negra. There are large waves here and it is supposed to be good for surfing. The beach is long and sandy. The day we were there, the little town was having a parade to celebrate the Santa Rosa holiday.
Our final destination was another beach in the district of Punta Negra at km 35 of the Panamerica Sur. We ate Pollo a la Brasa for lunch in the little town and then went to a beach called Las Pocitas. There is a prominent black rock here, behind which they have built a wading pool with calm waters for the kids. The rest of the beach has very large waves. To the left of the big rock are some smaller rocks. The wave crash against these rocks and it is amazing to watch to power of the ocean.
The main part of the beach, to the right of the big rock, is long and sandy but has a lot of little shells in some parts. The waves are very large and it looks like it would be a good surfing beach. There is a boardwalk that runs the length of the beach with what looks like bars and restaurants that are open during the summer season. Another interesting thing at this beach is a little shrine that overlooks the rocky area. From here there is a nice view of the entire area.
It was a fun day and I can’t wait to go back to some of these places in the summer!