Tales of Lima 5 – The Asia Beaches – the Story of Contrasts in Peru.

Asia – As I remember it!

One hundred kilometres south of Lima is a place called Asia. I remember passing Asia about thirty years ago. In those days, the road traced a straight line penetrating through the arid desert.   There was nothing  but sand and more sand. There would be no green until one reached the next river coming down from the Andes which would  create a stretch of green vegitation that would last for a few kilometres. After, distanced from the water source,  the desert would  take over again  and continue for miles until the next small valley of green.

Asia – Now

However Asia is now unrecognisable. Over the last thirty years it has  become an exclusive area of private  beach resorts where the more affluent of Lima society have their Lima getaways. Typically these houses  are mostly used during the summer months of January and February.

Good-Bye Desert

This area, between the main Panamerican highway and the coast  has undergone a complete facelift as exclusive private communities have been constructed. Gone are the  sand-hills, which have now been converted into lush green gardens  with walkways bordered by  trees and bougainvilleas, winding between the beautiful white summer houses.

The Houses

The houses are large, spacious and look out towards the sea. Many have little swimming pools. Everything is relaxed and open, with bicycles left outside and doors left open. Security is tight and there are always domestic staff working in the houses to keep an eye on things.

The Beaches

Looking out towards the sea, the wide, spotless, well-cared beaches stretch along the coast.

As access to these beaches is for residents and guests only, they appear to be wild and empty spaces except for the invasion of a multitude of wading seabirds in the early mornings and evenings.

Moving Around

Many of these enclaves are designed as safe pedestrian areas and people walk, use bicycles or get around with ever popular quad bikes (cuadro motos) which can be found parked by the beach or outside many of the houses.

Other Facilities

And if you don’t feel like going to the beach, there is always  the generously sized, swimming pool and other amenities such as children’s games, tennis courts etc.

The Boulevard, Asia

As the area of Asia grew, so there was a growing need for purchasing basic household goods, food and groceries.  First, a small grocery store opened with enormous success.

  Then, little by little the major stores opened branches in Asia, and inverted strongly towards the development of this new gold mine. Now there is a sumptuous, modern shopping mall with a large supermarket and all the best shops and restaurants you could wish for.

You can eat like a king and buy the latest in-fashion. Need new designer sunglasses? That is not going to be a problem in the Boulevard!

The busiest time however is in the evening. As the beach goes to sleep, everyone gathers on the Boulevard for evening fun, whether it be dining in a top restaurant or going to the cinema or theatre. And for the young at heart, there are the concerts with groups from Lima and the many trendy “discotecas” that thump on until the early hours of the morning.

And if you really want to go the extra mile, you can always be tempted to buy one of those latest all-electric Honda or Hyundai models which are there waiting for you to try out.

A Few of Many Alternatives

I am very grateful for having been invited on different occasions to houses in Asia and have always enjoyed my stay. However I confess this is not really my cup of tea.

There are many other beautiful public beaches between Lima and Asia which are great to visit, open to everyone and to my mind, more “authentic” in nature.

One such beach that I like is at Punta Hermosa, where the little town hugs the sea front and meets the sea with harmony, good vibes and plenty of tasty fish restaurants.

I am also always surprised to see the expanse of the beaches of Punta Negra. Although crowded at week-ends, a fifteen minute walk along the beach, and you are on your own, even on the busiest of days.

And a real, real favourite of mine, just 40 km. from Lima, nestled below the sea cliffs, the beach “El Silencio”. Beautiful, but careful, the waves are strong!

And even in Lima itself on the Costa Verde there are nice beaches. It takes about ten minutes for me to go from home to the sandy beach named Sombrillas. The Lima beaches are popular and accessable to all, but of course, without the privacy or exclusiveness of Asia. At week-ends they get very crowded, but there is a delicious mixture of people from every part of Lima and all walks of life, coming to enjoy some sunshine and relax on a day off from work.

And above all, the tunnels and sandcastles I make with my grandchildren at Sombrillas are every bit as solid and well-designed as the ones we make in Asia. And ……I don’t have to drive 100 km. to get there!


As readers may know, I love Peru, and here I am highlighting the extremes. These occur in one way or another in all countries. In England or USA there will be the man with a mansion and a Ferrari and another with a semi-detached house and an ordinary saloon car. That is indeed the way things are.

I indeed feel privileged to own my home in a very pleasant part of the city of Lima and am able to enjoy a meal in a nice restaurant or travel with all my basic needs met.

Although Peru has great riches in minerals, the benefits are not shared by all, and many people, especially in the provinces do not have the facilities which by right, they should have, and are deprived of essential needs such as good education, health-care, work opportunities and salary etc. There is a tendency to focus the wealth on the capital, rather than the provinces, especially those situated in the south where the recent civil unrest has been most active.


To end with, I introduce the family Quispe who kindly invited me into their small adobe house in a village in the south of Peru near the town of Puno. This charming lady was cheerfully talking about her work and daily routines which have continued in exactly the same way for generations and generations.

Their possessions are minimal, (perhaps we can learn something here), their accessabilty to all services including education and health services is poor, but this lady’s spirit was still riding high.

Here in Puno, it is often not the designer sun-glasses that are needed, but a stout pair of shoes instead.

One only hopes that future governments  will remember the forgotten people who make up a large percentage of the Peruvian population.

Two extremes indeed ….. so it goes……… enough said for now!

12 responses to “Tales of Lima 5 – The Asia Beaches – the Story of Contrasts in Peru.”

  1. It has been discovered and covered. What was will never be, at least for the time being.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Really interesting post. Never knew about any of this. Your pictures do a great job explaining everything.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The diversity of Peru seems to be a major theme of your blog, whether planned or not. And beaches. Both make for great photo subjects!


    1. It is a diverse country in so many ways that there is no end of stories to tell. However, I try to balance it out a bit with posts about other places, , my songs and personal.histories. Still, lots more to come about my adopted country. Thank you so much for reading and commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Those feet on the concrete are a testimony I did not expect. 🙏


    1. What you choose, always comes, with rough and smooth.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Ha, for a moment I thought you were talking about “Asia” the continent. I was thinking.. “err…” I was not familiar with Peru’s Asia Geoff, hence I enjoyed this piece very much. The history is really interesting, the changes to the region obviously vast, leaving me with mixed feelings. The beaches look great, especially the quieter spots you present.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. All the beaches to the south are popular in Summer. There is a three lane highway that passes all of these beaches. Such is the weekend traffic that 5 lanes are used for traffic going south at week ends in the morning, and five lanes for traffic retirning in the evenings.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. These imbalances are so hard to write about. I really admire your even-handedness here. There is a gracefulness to the way you describe the wealthy and the not-wealthy. And though it stands to reason that Peru would have its privileged enclaves like any other country I have never seen photos of such places. But what I come back to is your fairness, lack of sensationalism or sentimentality, and open-mindedness. Beautifully done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for writing. Yes, in the end, everything has its worth.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. What beautiful photos, Geoff. You are a talented photographer. Your fascinating description of all these places does them justice. Like a previous commenter, I have to confess I didn’t know there was an Asia in Peru. I even googled it, and there was no mention of Peru when searching for Asia. Perhaps, it’s a little known fact amongst the wider general population? What stark contrasts there are between the richer areas and the poor. I’m so glad you have made Lima your home because every time I read your posts, I feel as if I’ve been on a guided tour of this part of the world with you. I can see why you are so happy to be living out there. Thanks for taking me along on this journey with you, Geoff. I thoroughly enjoyed it.


    1. Like all countries, there are different levels of wealth. Thing is, Peru isn’t a poor country and is very rich in minerals, copper and even gold and silver. The problem is that the money stays in the hands of a few. Corruption is a problem, but also many people in local government are unprepared and inept in managing funds for improving conditions for all. One day …one day……so many countries suffer similar circumstances. However, I still love Peru. Viva el Peru!

      Liked by 1 person

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