This attractive area, with its ocean views and cliffs, was one of the first areas to be settled by the Spanish after Lima was founded. It was named San Miguel de Miraflores in 1535. From 1879 to 1884, Peru and Bolivia united to fight Chile in the bloody War of the Pacific. One of the most famous battles, the Battle of Miraflores, occurred in January 1881; 2,000 dedicated Peruvians fought the invading Chileans in Miraflores. They were Limaâ€™s last line of defense. The Peruvians, short on munitions and outnumbered, were defeated and Lima was sacked. Nevertheless, the bravery of the Miraflores defenders is remembered today: Mirafloresâ€™ official nickname is â€śthe heroic city.â€ť
In the 19th century, the area was a popular beach resort. By the 1950s, it was one of Limaâ€™s most important districts. Several of Peruâ€™s most famous writers lived in Miraflores, including Ricardo Palma (1833-1919) and Mario Vargas Llosa. In 1992, the infamous Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path) detonated a car bomb in Miraflores; weeks later, terrorist leader Abimael GuzmĂˇn was captured in nearby Surcillo, only blocks away from Miraflores.
Today, Miraflores is one of the most affluent and attractive sectors of Lima. The streets are lined with trees, the buildings are well-kept and street crime is closely controlled (although not nonexistent). Many green spaces give respite to tourist, including Parque Kennedy, which hosts occasional art shows and flea markets. This district is full of full of fancy hotels, backpacker hostels, good shopping, elegant restaurants, bookstores, banks and more. The archaeological site Huaca Pucllana has a small but interesting museum. Miraflores is also popular for surfing and hang gliding.