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San Isidro

San Isidro is Lima’s money district, in more than one sense. Not only is it an enclave for Peru's vestigial aristocracy, but the area around Canaval y Moreyra contains the city’s financial heart, with headquarters for several large banks and international corporations. This is where you’ll find some of Lima’s swankiest real estate: the houses can be positively palatial, with Lexuses and BMWs in the driveways and 24-hour armed guards patrolling outside.

San Isidro's residential nature means it's short on tourist attractions (though the 400-year-old olive groves of El Olivar are a lovely spot for strolling). Instead, the main reason most travelers come here is to shop or dine out. If you're into designer threads or jewelry, the parallel boulevards of Camino Real and Conquistadores are filled with chi-chi boutiques, and some of the city's best eats can be had near the óvalo (traffic circle) at Avenida Paz Soldán. The area also boasts a few glitzy resto-bars for late-night drinks, but more folks come here to sleep in the neighborhood's hotels than to party outside them.

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Fodor's Essential Peru: with Machu Picchu & the Inca Trail

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