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Water and lights at Lima’s Parque de la Reserva

Published November 21, 2014 by Nick Dall

Originally established to commemorate the fallen heroes of The War of the Pacific, the expansive Parque de la Reserva in downtown Lima is now far better known for its interactive fountains which give nightly light and water shows. The Magic Water Circuit, as it is known, was the brainchild of Luis Castañeda Lossio, who was the mayor of Lima in 2007. The park had become abandoned and derelict and Lossio’s $13 million project was designed to resurrect it. Local opinion was divided, but the Magic Water Circuit has stood the test of time and revenues from its gate fee (a modest 7 Soles) have funded the reopening of Lima’s municipal theatre.

Parque la Reserva Martin Garcia
Picture: Martin Garcia

The circuit comprises 13 “ornamental, cybernetic and interactive fountains where water, music, light, images and laser effects are combined in perfect union and harmony to present incredible and unique shows full of magic, excitement and fantasy.” It has made it into the Guinness Book of World Records as the world´s largest fountain complex in a public park.

Parque la Reserva David Almeida
Picture: David Almeida

There’s a 100 foot water tunnel, the walk-in Fuente de los Niños for the kids (bring a change of clothes!), and the show-stopping Fantasia Fountain. Every night there are three shows in which colored laser lights are synchronized with Peruvian and classical music. A visit to the park is a great pre-dinner activity, not least because it’s a fascinating place to people watch – especially over weekends.

Parque la Reserve Kenneth Moore
Picture: Kenneth Moore

Although the lights only come on in the evening the park is also very pleasant during the day. The fountains are still pretty impressive, and the absence of lights will give you more time to appreciate the Art Deco architecture.
Credit to Kennneth Moore for the cover photo of this post.