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Tourist Attractions in the San Isidro District, more than modern buildings

Hello everyone! I hope that you are all well, I am going to take this opportunity to talk about one of the most modern districts in the Peruvian capital, the district that has residential areas, embassies and modern hotels as well as the tallest buildings in the city of Lima, you will surely already know to what district I am referring to, as it’s nothing more and nothing less than the district of San Isidro, which is considered the financial district of Lima.

Tourist Attractions in the San Isidro District, more than modern buildings

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In San Isidro I know where I am thanks to the fact that I have been able to work in three hotels there, one four-star and two five-star hotels; it’s a district where you can also find some of the really good restaurants of the capital, and there is a park known as the Olive Grove Forest which I have also dedicated a couple of lines in another publication, if you’d like to know more about the Olive Grove Park you can click here to know more information.

Tourist Attractions in the San Isidro District, more than modern buildings

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As we have seen, one could think that San Isidro is only cement and residential building however it is not so, San Isidro also has one of the most beautiful archaeological centres under Lima’s jurisdiction, simple, surrounded by grass and near to the la avenida Javier Prado Oeste you will find, for example, the Huaca Huallamarca.

I’m going to take this opportunity to run through the following point of San Isidro:

  • Huaca Huallamarca
  • Huaca Santa Cruz
  • Olive Grove Forest
  • Casa Moreyra
  • Church of the Virgin of Pilar
  • San Isidro Golf Club
  • Country Club Hotel
  • Begonias Street
  • Westin Hotel Lima
  • Huaca Huallamarca: the prehistoric past of San Isidro.

Huaca Huallamarca

In order to get to know this area a little better we will take a journey back in time, in the sense of starting to talk about the history of the district, which, for me, is one of the most interesting that you can find in Lima. The Huaca Huallamarca is a truncated pyramid that, happily, if well-conserved and is currently highly valued for improving a tourist’s visit in Lima, in the same way as the Huaca Pucllana (or Huaca Juliana) that you’ll find in the nearby district of Miraflores.

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Without doubt, Lima has a lot of Huacas both surrounding and within the city to the point where a lifetime is not enough to get to know all of them. In regards to the Huaca Huallamarca, let’s imagine for a moment what it would have looked like in its heyday, as Huallamarca is more than 3, 500 years old and is also known known as Huaca Pan de Azúcar (Sugarloaf Huaca).

The Huaca Huallamarca has borne witness to practically everything that has happened in San Isidro, from its construction in pre-Hispanic time, and so it was also a silent witness to the viceroyalty period and the republican period.

The Huaca Hallamarca is situated between the crosses on the streets El Rosario and Nicolás de Ribera, el Viejo, showing us an important pre-Historic construction, whose name in Quechua means ’The Town of the Huallas’, and is 20 metres in height, and you can see five construction stages built on top of each other.

Inside the Huaca they’ve found valuable objects such as ceramics and even mummies, such as, for example, a woman with the longest hair in the pre-Hispanic world and with tattoos on her skin that allows us to understand that she was a worshipped woman.

Over time, the urban development of the area became a kind of threat to the area, and so the municipality of San Isidro, with the support of archaeologists, began a process of valorisation and remodelling of the most important pre-Hispanic centre of San Isidro.

What they did in those times was to reconstruct some parts, meaning that we can all have a more interesting experience when we visit it, thanks to the work done you can now appreciate the impressive ramp with its extensive platforms that are on the sides of the incline.

On the other hand, we have to understand that what we see now is not what has always been, the huaca has the appearance of, more than anything, a Mexican pyramid, which is because of the process of reconstruction that it received. What’s more, due to new points of view that have arisen in archaeologic studies, nowadays this type of work on an archaeological site is prohibited.

One could think that the Huaca Huallamarca is the only thing in San Isidro, but this is not truly the case. If we go down the Santa Cruz avenue towards Miraflores, we would be able to see another huaca called Huaca Santa Cruz, which belonged to a lord of the Ichmas and has an antiquity of 1000 to 1500 A. D. According to investigations, the Huaca Santa Cruz had a road that connected it to the Huaca Pucllana through a vast system of roads and canals. The Huaca Pucllana, to clarify, is not in San Isidro but in the nearby district of Miraflores.

Huaca Santa Cruz

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It could be that this Huaca Santa Cruz shelters the burial of 100 tombs in this space. Furthermore, I would say that the Huaca Santa Cruz has been a kind of neighbour, as it has been a silent witness of the first airport that was built in Lima in the 1920s by Elmer Faucett and was open until 1948. This place was known by many as the Airfield of San Isidro and clearly, as the years passed, the place was rendered small and stopped being used to allow for the current Jorge Chávez International Airport.

Olive Grove Forest

San Isidro, this Lima district, has yet more things for us, as I was telling you at the start, here we can also travel in time to the colonial period by visiting the Olive Grove Forest. Here, for example, the tradition is told of San Martín de Porres himself, who came to plant an olive tree and nowadays this tree is known as the tree of happiness.

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The olive trees bore olives, and the oil was extracted to satisfy the people of Lima, nowadays you can only find 300 olive trees in the park of San Isidro, much less than the 1, 500 that were here before.

There is no doubt that the Olive Grove Park is one of the most representative parks of San Isidro, and it’s a place where you can breath fresh air without leaving the city, it has lived through many eras, through good and bad that today it is a place of repose for its neighbours and visitors. Much later, it would also form part of the San Isidro estate, that would later become the name of this Lima district.

The estate was passed on from generation to generation until the fifth generation, when even the tenants were people who also signed the Independence Act of San Isidro.

Casa Moreyra

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There are also other interesting things in San Isidro such as, for example, the Casa Paz Soldán where there is now the most exclusive restaurant in Lima of the chef Gastón Acurio. Do you know what I am referring to? None other than the restaurant Astrid y Gastón. Finally, I can tell you that this house is also known as Casa Moreyra.

Iglesia Virgen del Pilar

Very close by to Moreyra House, you will find the Virgen del Pilar church, where you will find an image of Saint Isadore the Labourer (San Isidro) in the high part and inside we can see a baroque-style altar, covered with gold leaves and made in the early 20th century. Today, this area belongs to the financial centre of Camino Real.

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Furthermore, we can see how in San Isidro we can find gorgeous urban planning with a European style that surrounds the Olive Grove Park, and we also have the San Isidro Golf Club, where you can find five-star hotels.

San Isidro Golf Club

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The San Isidro Golf Club is another icon in San Isidro, and its 24 hectares were built in the 20th century, which now belong to a club of wealthy and influential people in Lima. They also have the Country Club hotel nearby, one of the most emblematic hotels in San Isidro where you can find a bar to try the best Pisco Sours in Lima and San Isidro. Its construction style has the same artistic style as that of the English during the presidency of Augusto B. Leguia, making it a symbol of the aristocracy in Lima during those years.

Country Club Hotel

The Country Club Hotel is now considered a National Cultural Heritage Site due to its beauty and tradition as well as being a protagonist of very interesting facts in a Lima that grew in a time of exclusivity.

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We can also see the Avenida Javier Prado Este and Oeste that crosses the avenue and is now quite a busy street throughout the day.

The Camino Real Shopping Centre is another interesting centre built in the 80s and had a period of spender that lasted until the late 80s when there began terrorism which began its decline. But, for example, today we can see that years have passed and now we find the financial centre of San Isidro.

Begonias Street

This street is one of the most commercial areas of San Isidro, where you can find department stores such as Ripley and Saga Falabella as well as different food and clothes stores that run along this street to the seven-story block on Javier Prado Oeste. However, I also mention this area not just because of its commercial features, but also because of the tallest buildings in Peru such as the GNB and the Westin Hotel Lima, where I had the opportunity to work during its inauguration process.

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Westin Hotel Lima

With a height of more than 117 metres (more than 383 feet), the Westin Hotel is currently the tallest hotel in Peru and the first Westin Hotel in South America. Its target market is the business tourist, and inside we can find different restaurants and bards that now form part of the public area of the hotel that’s not just for guests but for whoever wants to come and see it. The Westin Hotel Lima has Limatambo conference rooms as part of its structure, which are the largest rooms in any hotel in Lima, and have helped to position Lima as a destination for conferences and events that are carried out throughout almost every month of the year.

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And so, dear friends, we end this homage to the Lima district of San Isidro that, as we have seen, is not just an area for residencies and buildings, but is also a place that has overseen many interesting eras and is nowadays full of places that are worth visiting.

I hope that you have enjoyed this article and continue to get to know the things you can find in Lima. Thank you very much for reading! And we shall see each other again another time. Until then!


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