We're staying just outside Lima, Peru in a district called Miraflores (population 100,000), a gorgeous city butting up against the Pacific Ocean and about 10 km from downtown Lima.
The district is full of hotels, cafés, pubs, restaurants and shops. For tennis lovers, there are red clay courts right next to the ocean. And it is said that Miraflores is a great training ground for surfers.
How did Mirflores become such a great place? The story goes that Lima had a good side (wealthy people, mainly ancestors from Spain) and a poorer side called Rimac where there are 'shantytowns' created just outside the city by immigrants and rural workers coming into Lima for work. They built 'shanty' homes on the side of mountains just outside of Lima. With the decree that staying on property for 5 years entitled you to the land, the upper classes started leaving the city center in the 1960s for the seaside suburbs of Miraflores (and elsewhere) to get away from the 'less than' folks. Hence, a lot of this district is quite new, vibrant and full of life.
We're going down to the ocean now!