In the heart of Barranco is the Bridge of Sighs, a traditional wooden bridge wrapped in an air of romanticism, for having been the place that began countless love relationships in Lima.
The story also tells that whoever crosses the bridge holding their breath will have their wish fulfilled.
The bridge was initially built in 1876 and after the War of the Pacific, which completely destroyed it, it has undergone a series of reconstructions until today, but it is still part of the tourist icons of Lima.
The Bridge of Sighs is located in the heart of Barranco, a traditional wooden bridge wrapped in an air of romanticism, for having been the place that began countless love relationships in Lima.
It was built in 1876, due to the need to join the ends of the ravine and allow passage between Ayacucho and La Ermita streets. Although now there is no water running under the bridge, it is still the favorite place for couples who visit the area and the inspiration for composers and writers who found the muses in the creaking of its timbers.
The Bridge of Sighs is part of the history of Lima. It was built in the last third of the 19th century under the need to unite the two ends of the ravine. This was inaugurated on February 14.
During the War with Chile, as a result of the passage of Chilean troops through the area, its structure was damaged, for which reason it had to be rebuilt later. This bridge, which initially had a functional purpose, adopted its current name due to the attraction it generated for couples in love.
Over time, it became so popular that not only lovers, but also artists have used it as a source of inspiration. So much so that he is even the protagonist of the song “Bridge of Sighs” performed by Chabuca Granda.
Finally, in 1921 it was totally repaired by the mayor Enrique de las Casas and took the name of Puente de los Suspiros, which managed to resist the 1940 earthquake, although it suffered a cut, leaving it 31 meters long.
A tradition exists around this bridge and tries that the person who crosses for the first time and without breathing will have her wish fulfilled. Do you remember what I said at the beginning? I must add that the belief applies to those who cross it for the first time in their life. Take it into account.
On the other hand, this place has served as an inspiration to the Barranquina composer Chabuca Granda, who composed the waltz “El Puente de los Suspiros” in 1960. Later you can see the video with this song.
The Bridge of Sighs is not only beautiful for its design, but for the legends that surround it. The most popular is the one that attracts couples in love to the Bridge. And it is said that if he crosses holding his breath, the wish of love that is requested will be fulfilled.
The Bridge of Sighs has a path next to it that leads to the viewpoint. From there you can appreciate the splendor of the Costa Verde. An undoubtedly romantic landscape for proposals of love: Like a request for a hand!
After visiting the bridge, you can continue along the path known as the Bajada de Baños to access the beaches of Barranco. The night lighting of the Costa Verde is perfect for romantic walks under the stars. The Bajada de Baños is an old path that allows to keep alive the old traditions of Barranco and it was the path that the fishermen of the area used to go down to fish.
Part of the charms of the surroundings is the old church that is located on the way to the viewpoint. The La Ermita church has a history similar to that of the Bridge and that is that it also suffered the mishaps of the war with Chile and was rebuilt together with the Bridge.
Another legend says that the daughter of a wealthy man was forbidden to see the man she loved, because he was “a simple sweeper.” Heartbroken, she would stand by her bedroom window and sigh so melancholy that the people crossing the bridge could hear her.
Barranco not only enchants as a tourist destination, but also as a district to live and put down roots. This district is chosen by many couples to start their married life because the romance of the district attracts whoever passes through it.
Beyond the fantasy behind it, the Bridge of Sighs is a picturesque place where you can have a good time.
On one side of the bridge is a small corridor that takes you to a viewpoint with a beautiful view of the sea and a large part of the Costa Verde of Lima.
On that same side is the famous La Ermita Church, an old adobe chapel that was burnt down and destroyed during the Pacific War and later rebuilt, just like the Bridge of Sighs.
Below the bridge is the famous descent of the baths through which the old fishermen of the area went down to the sea daily to carry out their work.
It is worth staying in each place and appreciating the details:
Before setting foot on the bridge I recommend you do the following:
The whole place is beautiful for group photos and selfies, from the entrance at both ends, or in a general shot at a low angle from the Bajada de los Baños.
Another activity is to explore its picturesque streets perfectly adorned with flowers and abstract art. Near the viewpoint you will find various artists who offer photographs, handmade jewelry, clothing and very nice souvenirs.
Visiting the Bridge of Sighs is an excellent idea to take a nice walk on foot but also to visit the good restaurants and bars that are around the area. Walk through busy areas.
And of course you cannot leave the famous Bridge of Sighs, without visiting one of its nearby restaurants. You have the El Tío Mario restaurant, Sóngoro Cosongo, Javier Restaurant, Muya and La Posada del Mirador.
Let’s not forget that we are in the gastronomic capital of the world, so you can visit Las Vecinas Eco Bar, Bodega Verde, Rústica Restaurant, Ayahuasca Bar and Barranco Beer Company.
The Bridge of Sighs is located on what is the descent of Baños, one of the most picturesque places in the district, in the middle of bars like Santos and Picas as well as monuments such as the Hermitage of Barranco and also the monument of Chabuca Granda with its Chalán on a horse that represents one of his songs called «José Antonio».
If you are the ones who like to walk, you can walk the entire Barranco boardwalk to the end where you will find the Ermita church and on one side you will find the Bridge of Sighs.
Another way to get there is by metropolitan bus to the Bulevar station. From there it is only necessary to walk about 5 minutes to Avenida San Martín.
The fastest and safest way is using a taxi service to the center of Barranco or you can also tell the driver to take you to the Bridge of Sighs.
You can visit the Bridge of Sighs at any time, although the evening would be the ideal occasion to explore its old timbers. At that time the lanterns are lit and a magical atmosphere surrounds the place.
If you walk from the Municipal Park of Barranco to this point, it will take you about 2 minutes, it is very close. There wide stairs in the middle of green gardens take you to the famous Bridge of Sighs. The same one that crosses the Bajada de los Baños, being a real charm for couples and tourists.
Many are the routes that take you to Machu Picchu, but none is like the Inca Trail Tours, the most famous pedestrian path in the Americas. After flying from the capital of Peru, Lima, you will arrive in Cusco to walk for four days along a path through forests and dense fog, millenary stone steps and discovering the ruins of ancient fortifications and Inca cities, and all the time enjoying majestic views.