Lima, Day 3: Peru meets the Bellagio.

This would be the moment in which El Condor Pasa began playing on the loudspeakers. (Photo by C-M.)

I’m a sucker for any tourist attraction that pairs the ability to admire the latest in tourist-wear (god, do I love those zip-off pant-shorts) with any visual spectacle that makes you say, “Duuuude.” Which is why I’m a sucker for Lima’s Circuito Mágico del Agua, a water spectacle situated in a park near downtown that draws locals, tourists and everyone in between to ogle a dozen brightly-lit fountains. It has water, it has lasers, it has theme music, it even has narchitecture

The best fountain was the 120-meter long “Fuente de la Fantasía,” above, which puts on a regular 20-minute water show, complete with lasers, projected images, video and one of the most spectacularly bizarre musical medleys I’ve ever heard in my life: it included jazzed up Peruvian waltzes, a snippet of Back Street Boys, some Abba, a good bit of Manuel de Falla’s El amor brujo and an electro-muzak rendition of Queen’s We Will Rock You. The whole mess ended, naturally, with Beethoven’s Ode to Joy. It’s a terrifically excessive display for a desert city that is encircled by a ring of crushingly poor shanty towns bereft of services like…running water. But if you want to see something that makes Vegas look almost tasteful, then the Circuito Mágico shouldn’t be missed.

The fountains are located in the Parque de la Reserva, just off of Avenida Arequipa and are open daily from 4-11 p.m. Admission S/.4 (about $1.30).

Click on images to supersize.

The show begins.

The Iglesia de San Francisco comes into view against a wall of spray to the tune of a very jazzy Flor de la Canela.

Cue the narchitecture.

Some fountains were interactive. As in, they provided a fine opportunity to get soaked.

Whoa. The pretty lights…

This one was like the Twilight Zone.


  1. Matt

    The laser-light fountain show is a real highlight. If I’m not mistaken, there’s a mash up of the Carmina Burana with El Condor Pasa, no?

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