Cieneguilla: A sunny spot just outside Lima
If you’re looking for a good place to visit for the day, I recommend taking a trip to Cieneguilla. It is one of Lima’s 43 districts and is found in the west within the valley of the Lurín River.
It takes about an hour to drive from Miraflores and there are nice views on the way. Along the roads as you approach Cieneguilla, there are children trying to encourage you to come into their family restaurants. My host Dad here told them all we would be coming back later; if we had done so, we’d have eaten 20 lunches!
We parked up and took a little walk around. Even though it’s only a short journey away, the climate completely changes due to it being higher than the rest of Lima. I made the mistake of not wearing sun screen and, being fair skinned, I got burnt a bit despite wearing a hoodie for protection!
Many of the restaurants there have huge gardens with seating on the grass, some with pools and little park areas for children. We went on a short horse ride, it was really lovely but I would have liked to have gone further, we were on the horses for barely even 10 minutes! Surrounding you are beautiful views of the mountains, the river Lurín, trees and colourful plants; it really is a pretty place.
We had lunch in the restaurant “Mesas de Piedra” where, like the name suggests, all the tables are made of stone. A great idea and it made the place look so picturesque, a shame though that they ruin the tables by having plastic chairs!
It is a beautiful setting with all seating outside (they clearly aren’t expecting any rain!) A stream runs through the restaurant with a little bridge to cross over to more tables on the other side, there are open kitchens where the majority of the food is cooked and also an area where chefs prepare pachamanca; a dish made from various meats and vegetables and buried to cook underground beneath hot stones.
There was a group playing music all afternoon and every now and then a group of dancers would come in different costumes dancing between the tables.
The food was nice too; I had trout and also tried some guineau pig! But I’m going to go back and try the pachamanca!
It is an idyllic spot and I am certain that anyone who visits leaves with a smile on their face.