Cieneguilla: Lima, Peru’s Secret Eden
By Hannah Vickers
Cieneguilla is Lima’s secret bit of paradise. When you’re sick of the noise and traffic, and the big city has you surrounded, just hop on a bus, taxi or collectivo and make your escape to the green and quiet offered by this hidden Eden.
Cieneguilla is so close to Lima, that it feels like you’ve stepped through a wardrobe into a magical land, except that instead of being eternally white and snowy, in Cieneguilla the sun (very nearly) always shines, even in the depths of Lima’s 6-month grey skied winter.
To get there, you have to go through desert and through rocky mountains on a road that’s right out of a wild western. You can get a bus or collective from Av. Javier Prado in the north of Lima. As soon as you get past the actual town of Cieneguilla, the road is flanked by restaurants and hotels.
The restaurants are more like country clubs than restaurants: all the seating is outside and surrounded by children’s playground equipment and sometimes a small petting zoo. There’s often a pool and in some of the swankier establishments they have dance troupes dancing different traditional dances from all over Peru.
The food is delicious and the surroundings are incredible. I recommend the pachamanca: a large clay pot of meat and vegetables baked in the ground. It’s very different and very cool!
There’s also plenty of food on sale by the road: fresh anticuchos (beef heart on a skewer cooked on an open grill) and picarrones (sweet fried dough, very similar to donuts and always a favorite with kids, though messy!).
You have a wide choice of accommodation: there are plenty of hotels, hostals and campsites. A lot of the restaurants will also allow you to camp in their grounds for a small cost. We normally stay on a campsite.
Everything is green. There are gently swaying trees, brightly colored plants and, if you go far enough in, fields full of eggplants and tomatoes. And it is all backed by tall, majestic mountains.
With a year round summer vibe, Cieneguilla is a popular destination for Limeños wanting to escape the chaos of the city. Lima is famous for its long, grey winters when you can go weeks without seeing the sun. A short bus ride away in the green surroundings of Cieneguilla, the sun is out most days and can make you forget that it’s winter.
While it’s a very relaxed and chilled out place to stay, there’s also plenty to do in the surrounding countryside. When the river’s high, you can bathe and go boating. From several restaurants, you can hire ponies to ride around the area or, if you’re feeling adventurous, go on on treks to the nearby ruins of Huaycan, the Huaca Grande and Puente Panquilma. Cieneguilla has been inhabited since pre-Inca times and is full of ancient secrets. If you want to go further afield, you can also visit the ruins of Pachacamac.
If you’re interested in a relaxing break from the city and from visiting historical sites, Cieneguilla is the place. It’s beautiful, quiet and surrounded by nature. What more could you want?
About the Author
Hannah Vickers is a writer and English teacher living and working in Peru. She has lived in England (where she’s from), Spain and Greece and is very excited to now be on this side of the world. She wrote this article on behalf of Peru for Less who organise all types of to family tours to Peru.https://greatfamilyvacationdestinations.com/cieneguilla-lima-peru-secret-garden/https://greatfamilyvacationdestinations.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/lima peru.jpghttps://greatfamilyvacationdestinations.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/lima peru-150x150.jpgSouth America Travelcieneguilla,lima,Peru,secret edenBy Hannah Vickers Cieneguilla is Lima’s secret bit of paradise. When you’re sick of the noise and traffic, and the big city has you surrounded, just hop on a bus, taxi or collectivo and make your escape to the green and quiet offered by this...greatfamily email@example.comAdministratorGreat Family Vacation Destinations