These are the words of a recent participant in our exclusive Alto Perú social community-based tourism project:
After our guide picked us up at our hotel in Miraflores, we drove along the Costa Verde until arriving at the Promenade of Chorrillos, which is surrounded by some nicely restored colonial buildings with great views of the Pacific Ocean. It’s here that we met our local companion for the day, who grew up in the Alto Perú district and knew everyone we passed in the streets. He is one of the founders of the project and was able to share some interesting insights. It was especially incredible to notice the connection the kids feel to this person. It was wonderful to witness how much the kids of the community appreciate the support of this leader, and how their eyes lit up with energy and motivation as they greeted him.
Once we started walking, we entered some tiny streets where the houses got smaller and shabbier in construction, and the streets were in worse condition with lots of potholes. This was only two blocks away from the nicer houses we first saw. Our first stop was the central plaza of the barrio, which is decorated with colorful paintings created by the kids of the community and the Alto Perú Project in order to create a safe and welcoming space for them to play. We continued wandering around some tiny streets, passing by another project where the residents helped to build stairs. They told us that before they had to climb a dirt hill to get to their houses. They had also planted trees to create a green area where kids could spend time playing.
The most impressive space that’s been created by the Alto Perú Project is the gym, where the kids have their Muay Thai training and a space to play games. It´s a lively place, with all the necessary sports equipment, a ring for training and competitions, and some inspiring phrases written on the walls. Some of these kids have been very successful at their sports: the teams supported by Alto Perú have already attained a fifth-place win in the ISA California International Surf Competition, and a third place in the IFMA World Championship in Muay Thai fighting for the Nike Women´s team.
After this visit, we walked up the hill to the Morro Solar, from where we had a great view of the city and the ocean. Thanks to the project that helps to protect the Morro from robbery, this place has become a favorite bike park for Limeños in the last couple of years. We crossed the hill and walked down to La Chira, an isolated but beautiful beach. My family and I enjoyed this amazing experience to the fullest: it had a bit of everything: adventure, culture, social commitment, and lots of fun!
Explorandes notes and recommendations:
Depending on your time and preference for physical activity, you can choose to add the Morro Solar hike or just get to know Alto Peru without the climb up Morro Solar. In case you don´t have that much time, you can join us on a 2-hour walk through the barrio, which has a positive impact on the community and helps to support the project. Depending on the activities offered on the day of your visit, we will be able to see some kids in sports training, check out the gym and the library, or visit some other parts of the community project. This place also has an interesting history, since the War of the Pacific was fought in this area. This is also a great option for families, so the kids can become acquainted with ways of life very different from their own.
During the summer months (December to March) you´ll catch a better view of the city but keep in mind it can get pretty hot by 8:00 am. During other seasons, the view may be a bit less clear, but the temperatures are not so hot, so this is really a great activity to do in Lima throughout the year.
We recommend starting both activities in the morning; lunch at a local restaurant can also be included. Activities in the Bohemian district of Barranco or the “Ceviche on Board” tour are great add-on experiences for the afternoon.