What do you do when you find yourself in the arid foothills of the Limeñan Andes?
You enter into an oasis full of tropical plants and cool water that will make you forget all about the desert (and the grey skies of Lima)!
ARO (Alojamientos y Recreo Romero) is located in Chosica, about a 45 minute drive from Lima (well, the district of Santiago de Surco) along the Carretera Central.
What started as a small space where families came to lunch on a Sunday, has grown into a lush and beautiful family resort due to the hard work of the owner and his staff.
It’s now a resort with conference facilities, sports facilities, swimming pools and a general vibe for relaxation. You can enter just for the day to use the facilities or stay for longer! It’s great for couples, families and even businesses in need of team building.
Let me give you the tour.
There are two main buildings.
The first building (Edificio 1) has rooms, suites, a large reception area, and it houses the conference facilities and meeting rooms.
The second building (Edificio 2) has the main hotel reception, some of the rooms you can stay in and the dining area.
These two buildings are separated by the main recreational area.
Just check out that pool.
Imagine dipping into there on a hot sunny day. Heaven.
Or if you prefer something a little smaller and more secluded, try this beautiful pool with a stone waterfall.
If you don’t fancy a swim, you can just lie back and let the sound of the water relax you.
The whole surrounding area is full of beautiful plants, trees and luscious green grass.
There is also a little fish pond too!
The pool has a bar area where you can order food and drinks, and there is always someone there to tend to your needs.
Oh, and I absolutely love these flamingos!
Now speaking of food, ARO has some great options.
On a weekend (or for special occasions) they have wood burning stone ovens outdoors that they use to cook their food ‘a la leña (pronounced ‘lenya’).
For the rest of the week you can always pay an extra fee and have one of the staff set up a small ‘parilla’ (pronounced pareeyah) for you (that’s a BBQ for all you English people!).
We do absolutely love doing this. Cooking a feast of meat and veggies, alongside ordering some of the best chips (fries) Peru has to offer!!
ARO fry their chips ready to order. They have a chip-cutting machine (operated by hand!) in the kitchen that slices up whole potatoes into chips, and then they fry them there and then. No frozen potatoes to see here!
Whilst you are waiting for your food, have a game of Sapo.
What’s Sapo? you ask. Well, only the greatest game ever invented. And that is me…winning obviously.
This is Sapo.
There are a number of holes each worth a different number of points. You must throw your golden coins into these holes from a designated distance away and the person with the most points wins!
Sometimes the holes lead to little slides that drop the coins into their slots, but some Sapo games just have them drop into a hole directly below and you lift the top to retrieve them. The holes worth the most points have obstacles over them, so they are harder to get.
Especially the Sapo himself.
Sapo means toad in Spanish, and on every Sapo game there he sits in the middle, worth a whopping 4000 points if you can fire your coin through his open mouth. I’ve done it! But only once. It’s really difficult, and I’m pretty sure it only happens by sheer luck as opposed to needing any kind of skill!
These are the coins you will be throwing. They do vary slightly in weight but essentially they are all the same.
This is one of the most addictive games you will ever play, and one of the most competitive too!!
But the competitiveness stops and everyone is friends again by the time the food is ready.
Once you have gorged yourself on food and drinks, why not visit the animals!
There are sheep, a llama, an alpaca, chickens, peacocks, horses, tortoises…….the list goes on!!
The kids love the animals, and if they want, they can have a ride on one of the smaller ponies, led around by a member of staff.
The alpaca has chased me on a number of occasions so I like to avoid him (I genuinely do not know why…I think he hates me…..sad face).
My favourites are the big tortoises (there are two), but you are not guaranteed to meet them as they are difficult to find.
They roam the grounds, so hopefully you’ll come across them. I like to call one of them George, after the giant one, Lonesome George, that used to be on the Galapagos Islands.
These guys are also great! They are noisy, but they are so fun and always run around in a group. Sometimes you’ll find them high up on the waterfall over the small pool, but you have to look carefully as they are hard to spot!
I like to visit the chickens, the birds and the peacocks too.
They are currently constructing a huge aviary for the birds to have more space, which should be amazing once it is finished.
After all that excitement, you can chill by the pool for a little longer and then head to your room
The rooms in Edificio 1 are newer than the rooms in Edificio 2, and therefore they are slightly more expensive, but they are really lovely rooms.
The ones on the ground floor have direct access to the gardens and pool, and the second and third floors have balconies that look out over the same area. (This could be your view!)
Some rooms even have a jacuzzi! Try and book one of those, as they are great for relaxing in the evening. (Bubble bath is provided!)
You can hire DVDs from the front desk and chill out in bed with a new movie, or perhaps you want to sit on the balcony and play cards with a drink or two. Whatever takes your fancy!
In the morning, take yourself back down to the main area for breakfast. The restaurant is in the building behind the pool bar. Sometimes they have a breakfast buffet, but otherwise they have a menu to choose from.
I normally go for juice, coffee, scrambled eggs with ham, and lots and lots of toast!
This is a great place to bring children for some fun, as ARO has so many toys and play equipment on site.
Remember the awesome Fisher Price toys you always wanted when you were younger? Yep, they have them.
They have a big play adventure area with a ball pool and slides too.
My favourite is the trampoline. I love it, but its only for children. Although, seeing as I am the height of a child, I don’t see why I can’t go on it!!
Another bonus for families are the bungalows, as they are situated in the middle of everything, and sleep up to 4 adults (2 people sleeping in the communal area). Each one has a terrace, fridge and dining area on top of your regular amenities.
Unfortunately our day has come to an end…
Before you leave, lie on the loungers by the pool with a juice in your hand and take advantage of the warmth before heading back to a wintery Lima!
This is literally one of my favourite escapes from the city, especially in winter when the grey sky becomes insupportable and I just need a little bit of blue sky to cheer me back up. And those amazing chips…..I cannot get enough of those.
ARO – San Alberto Mz. B Lt. 28, Chosica (Km. 27.5 Carretera Central) // Map
Day entry fees (correct at time of writing, but subject to change)
Monday – Friday // Adults S/.25, Children S/.12
Saturday & Sundays // Adults S/.30, Children S/.15
Holidays // Adults S/.40, Children S/.20