Peña Party

A great way to experience Peruvian folk music and dance is to visit a peña, a kind of smash-up between a dance hall and a supper club that offers música criolla, rhythmic waltzes performed with guitars and cajones (wooden boxes used for percussion). Some peñas also feature huaynos (a musical genre typical of the sierra) or folk dances from the country's coastal and Andean regions.

La Candelaria. Drawing a mix of locals and foreigners, La Candelaria is located in an attractive art deco building a couple blocks east of Barranco's Parque Municipal. The restaurant, where food and drink are à la carte, opens at 9 pm, and shows (there's a cover charge) combining the folklores of the coast, mountains, and jungle start at 10:30 on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Av. Bolognesi 292, Barranco, Lima, Lima, 04. 01/247–1314;

La Dama Juana. The most tourist-friendly peña, La Dama Juana offers 90-minute shows in an atmospheric Spanish-colonial-style building in Barranco. Performances start at 8:30 pm, and a traditional Peruvian buffet is served from 7:30 to 10 pm. There's also a Sunday show that starts at 2:30 pm; the buffet opens at 12:20. Av. República de Panamá 240, Barranco, Lima, Lima, 04. 01/248–7547;

La Oficina. This lively peña is one of the most famous in the city. Weekend shows of Afro-Peruvian music from the country's south coast culminate with a brindis (toast) around 2 am, when hundreds of pisco-sour glasses are raised. Cl. Enrique Barrón 441, Barranco, Lima, Lima. 01/247–6544.

Sachún. With more than three decades in business, Sachún's mix of Andean folk dancing and música criolla draws a predominantly older crowd. The food here is a cut above that at other peñas. Av. del Ejército 657, Miraflores, Lima, Lima, 18. 01/441–4465;

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