For a city that gets virtually no rainfall each year, Lima sure has a lot of beautiful parks and public gardens. One of these has become a major attraction in recent years. The twenty-acre (.08 square kilometer) Park of the Reserve (El Parque de la Reserva) is situated in the heart of downtown Lima, adjacent to the national football stadium. Five years ago the city invested over $13 million to revamp the park with the addition of thirteen majestic water fountains. This Circuito Mágico del Agua (which roughly translates to “The Magic Water Tour”) draws thousands of people daily—from wide-eyed children and tourists to elderly Limeños on their evening constitutional.
Visitors make their way along winding footpaths on a circuit through the leafy park in order to view the various fountains. Although El Parque de la Reserva is quite lovely during the day, the real show begins at sundown when it is transformed into a spectacle of water, light, sound, and music. All of the fountains are all illuminated with colorful light, many are interactive, and some are even choreographed to music piped in over loudspeakers. The Magic Water Tour is the current Guinness World Record holder for the largest fountain complex in the world. It’s definitely worth a look when you’re visiting Peru’s capital city.
Below are some of the park’s highlights:
A crowd favorite, the Tunnel of Surprises Fountain (Fuente Túnel de las Sorpresas) is a 115 foot (35 meter) walk-through tunnel of water. Visitors queue up and promenade through the arcing jets of water. The trick is to stay to the right side to avoid getting wet.
The largest and most grandiose fountain in the park, the Magic Fountain (Fuente Mágica) has choreographed cascades of water that dance to light and music. Its central jet can force water to a height of over 260 feet (80 meters). I snuck this photo of some lovebirds silhouetted against the illuminated fountain.
Another interactive fountain, the Fuente Cupula Visitable also allows visitors to step inside. Water shoots outward from a central annulus and falls into discreet grates, barely making a splash. The core of the fountain is a misty cloud of water that glows with brilliant color.
The Fountain of Harmony (Fuente de la Armonia) is an unusual pyramid-shaped fountain in which the water flows downward in a crisscross pattern to a pool below.
The Labyrinth of Dreams Fountain (Fuente Laberinto de Ensueño) and similar though on a smaller scale Children’s Fountain (Fuente de los Niños), are walk-in automated fountains that are fun for kids of all ages. The water emerges in playful streams from beneath the surface and no matter how hard you try to guess when it will squirt up next, you never know when a jet of water will soak you.
The Fountain of Life (Fuente de la Vida) has a graceful metal sculpture at its center which emits choreographed jets of water. The guide calls it “an allegory to life as an inexhaustible source of creative and evolutionary power.” I couldn’t have said it better myself!
When: Open year round, Wednesday through Sunday (plus holidays) from 3:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. The light and music Espectáculo at the Fuente de la Fantasía occurs at 7:15 p.m., 8:15 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
Where: Tickets can be purchased at the park’s entrances at Av. Arequipa Cdra. 6 (at Psje. Benjamin Roca Muelle) or at the Jr. Madre de Dios gate, in front of the National Stadium (Estadio Nacional).
How much: General Admission: S/4.00 (4 Peruvian Nuevo Soles); approximately $1.50 USD. Children under 5, free.
For more information: Check out their website at www.parquedelareserva.com.pe
Do you like fountains as much as I do? What are some of your favorites you’ve seen around the world? Feel free to comment in the section below!
Michael Figueiredo is a freelance travel writer based in Los Angeles, California. When he’s not gallivanting around the world, he’s enjoying the laid-back lifestyle and perfect weather of Southern California. So far he’s visited forty countries and territories on five continents. His goal is to see at least one new country every year! . Read more from this author