Lima boasts the biggest fountain park in the world, Circuito Mágico del Agua (The Magic Water Circuit ). I had pretty much no idea of what I was going to see. My great-aunt had told me that I really should visit the park whilst I was in Lima, that it was great, and that it was best to go in the evening. Listen to one´s elders.
Set within Parque de la Reserva, it´s only since going that I´ve found out how much of a Lima highlight it is: it is one of the most visited attractions in the city and has won the Guinness Record for the largest water fountain complex. The city is clearly proud of the parks 2007 regeneration, hostels advertise it on their walls, Time Magazine say it is one of the main things to do in Lima and my great-aunt thinks it rocks. What´s stopping you?
My visit started with the 7:15pm Fuente de la Fantasia (Power of Imagination) show, a feast of colour and 3D projections in sync to a range of musical tracks (something to suit each family member, a little flamenco, some pop, some classical). A ballerina danced around to Swan Lake. She was eerily ´there´, far larger than life, the water droplets allowing definite detail to be seen. A man and woman were projected dancing the tango.
Couples watching the show cuddled in closer; a dusky, mystical setting prime for romance. But the whole thing was, despite the visual spectacle, a little on the kitsch side and reminiscent of the shows at Disneyland and Disneyworld. Not that that´s a problem; those shows and places bring in the punters. I enjoyed it but at the same time found it a little too much. Personal taste, and all that.
Following on from the show came observation and play time: a wander around the various fountain displays, walking through tunnels of curved water shoots, running into the centre of the Fuente Laberinto del Ensueño (Labyrinth of Dreams) and getting wet and dancing about. The latter was the most fun.
Children jumped across the momentarily dormant water jets, often too late as the spurts regenerated and drenched them through. Some adults also took up the challenge of getting to the centre of the maze. Smiles and laughter and magic were in the air. And soggy clothes characterised the park exit.
It was definitely a place to take in some man-made beauty, to enjoy the manipulation and amalgamation of light and colour and water and sound. People watched in awe, they clapped, they wandered around and chatted and ate churros and candy floss and went home smiling.
The park is open from 6:00am-1:00pm Mon-Wed and 3:00pm-10:30pm Wed-Sun. Shows are Wed-Sun at 7:15pm, 8:15pm and 9:30pm. Admission to the park is S/.4, under 5s go free.