I know that Lima is not the first place you would think of when booking your Christmas holidays, but if you do happen to find yourself here over the festive period there are some locations that keep the Christmas spirit going throughout December!! It really helps being away from my family over Christmas if I can find places that fill me with seasonal cheer or remind me of home, so here are my picks for doing just that.
Jockey Plaza is a shopping centre in the district of Surco and it does Christmas well. I know you must think that it’s very commercial of me to include a mall, but actually it’s the ambience I love here. I could come and buy nothing and still fully enjoy the Christmas experience. There are 2 massive trees, Father Christmas, a children’s winter play area, fake snow in the evening, and even some festive classes like party make-up and children’s baking. It is filled with decorations and some of the stores are packed with Christmas displays too (Zara Home, Crate & Barrell, and H&M home section would be my top picks).
Jockey Plaza – Av. Javier Prado Este 4200, Santiago de Surco, Lima
CHACARILLA & MONTE UMBROSO, SURCO
You know those streets you find that have the houses covered in Christmas lights? Well, in the neighbourhood of Chacarilla & Alameda Monte Umbroso in Surco you’ll find quite a few of the streets that do this. It’s looking amazing already, although I prefer to wait until nearer Christmas to take a proper walkthrough. There are nativity scenes, snowflakes, angels, reindeer, Father Christmas, icicle lights and so much more. They even decorate the palm trees! This area makes my eyes sparkle and the smile never falls from my face. It’s genuinely the most Christmassy thing I’ve found here!
THE FANCY HOTELS
You can always rely on the big hotels like the Country Club Hotel in San Isidro and the Miraflores Park Hotel in Miraflores to deck their halls grandly. When I attended an event at the Country Club last year they had such a grand Christmas tree in the lobby and there were garlands all over. The restaurant was a little bare but everywhere else was looking mighty festive! The Miraflores Park used to have an English bar that looked like a library or an old fashioned drawing room which was amazing for me just before Christmas. Now their bar is more modern, but last time I went of an afternoon, they were doing a wine and cheese special where you can have a glass of wine and unlimited cheeseboard. This is just ultimate Christmas goals.
Country Club Hotel – Calle Los Eucaliptos 590, San Isidro, Lima
Miraflores Park – Av. Malecón de la Reserva 1035, Miraflores, Lima
I was just here at the branch on Av. Benavides yesterday and it is just jam packed full of Christmas bits and bobs, from Santa hats and Christmas lights, to cupcake cases and ribbons. They also have Christmas aprons and dog outfits too! You can buy your meat and veg here plus all the dried fruits and spices you could ever need. I got myself a selection of dried fruits for mincemeat here and some festive cases for my baking too. All in all, a super festive location!! (Just be pick pocket aware or that could spoil your festive mood)
OK so this is a bit of a cheat as I have a couple of examples that both relate to food so I put them together!
At Christmas we partake in some pretty awesome feasting, especially in the UK where we eat ourselves into a stupor. My excuse is that it’s cold and we need it, but really I’m just greedy. If you feel the need for a good feast during December then I would highly recommend the Sunday Lunch in the La Vista restaurant at the JW Marriott hotel. You get some bubbly on arrival and then they offer unlimited pisco sours throughout your stay. There are roast meats, cheesy potatoes plus some seafood as a starter. There’s also a cheese selection and a massive dessert section at the end, so it’s like Christmas has come early. The absolute best place to be!!
Secondly, on a smaller scale, Miss Cupcakes bakery in Miraflores is super festive this year. Not only does she have festive cupcake flavours (hot chocolate, panetón, mint choc, and decorated with holly or gingerbread men), but the bakery itself is fully decorated with a tree, a snowy village scene, stockings, garlands, candy canes and so much more. Plus, they make a mean hot chocolate with actual milk, none of this evaporated milk nonsense. Yes!
JW Marriott – Av. Malecón de la Reserva 615, Miraflores, Lima
Miss Cupcakes – Av. 28 de julio 810, Miraflores (also a smaller store in Jockey Plaza)
BONUS: PARQUE DE LA RESERVA (CIRCUITO MAGICO DEL AGUA)
OK so this one is not overtly festive, and I’ve actually never visited the Circuito Magico at Christmas, so I don’t know if they do anything different apart from some Christmas decorations (in the past they have but I’ve not seen anything for this year). However, this park is full of fountains that are lit up in a variety of different colours. It’s pretty magic all year round, but at Christmas I imagine it feels like Lima’s largest festive light display! So colourful and so much fun!
Circuito Magico del Agua – Boleteria (ticket office) No3 – Jr. Madre de Dios S/N crossed with Av. Petit Thouars (Cuadra 5) (Next to the National Stadium) Closed on Mondays. Check website for parking directions.
So, if you find yourself in Lima in December there are places you can visit to get yourself in the festive mood!