Full disclosure: Lia is a cat person, Jeremy is a dog person. But we’re both animal lovers, regardless of preference. So, when we discovered that Lima is home to a cat park, we immediately added it to our Peru bucket list! If you’re as obsessed with animals as we are, you have to visit Parque Kennedy in Miraflores, Lima.
Visiting Lima and discovering Parque Kennedy in Miraflores
Parque Kennedy, also known as Parque Central, is situated slap bang in the middle of the Miraflores district in Lima, Peru. We spent over 2 weeks in the city and after doing a self-guided walking tour and overindulging in some of the best coffee we’ve ever had, we have to admit that visiting Parque Kennedy in Miraflores was one of the highlights of our time in Lima.
Why we loved Parque Kennedy in Lima
Since we can’t have our own pets thanks to the evil San Francisco housing market (oh, and plus the whole taking a year off to travel thing, I guess) we like to vicariously adopt every animal that we meet as our own.
We’re like crazy cat people with everyone ELSE’S cats. So, when we heard that Parque Kennedy is filled with cats – and not stray cats, but well taken care of, groomed, fed, and happy cats – we were stoked to check it out and befriend ALL of the kitties.
It did not disappoint. The Parque Kennedy cats are a must-see for any cat lover visiting Lima in Peru!
First impressions of Parque Kennedy
We were extremely impressed. Parque Kennedy is incredibly well taken care of – and I don’t just mean the cats.
There are beautiful plots of flowers, the grass is neatly trimmed, the walkways are swept and clean, and there are bowls of cat food and water at the base of every tree. You know, what all parks REALLY need. Street vendors sell delicious local food and there’s a festive atmosphere with people dancing and singing throughout the park.
Oh, and there are cats. So many cats! It felt like an Easter egg hunt trying to spot them all.
Parque Kennedy Cats
There are fluffy Siamese cats. Old ginger cats. Feisty cats. Shy cats. Cats that love attention. Cats that just want to stretch out in the sun and nap. There is every variety of cat.
The cats are spaced out throughout the park and have plenty of fenced-off areas to roam in, so they can get alone time when they need it (which I totally get, as a person who is also kind of a cat).
The cats at Parque Kennedy are taken care of by anonymous guardian angels, who keep them spayed and neutered, take them to the vet as needed, and keep the park clean of any undesirable odors. It’s an arrangement that’s been going on for at least 20 years, but nobody’s really sure how it started. It reminds us of the mysterious flock of parrots in Telegraph Hill, San Francisco, but somehow nobody’s made a documentary about it yet.
Can you play with the cats at Parque Kennedy in Miraflores, Lima?
We felt like Willa Wonka when he first walks into the chocolate factory: all around us were THE BEST THINGS and we wanted to touch them all, but we weren’t sure we were allowed to (this park is, after all, the property of the Parque Kennedy cats).
So, although I desperately wanted to hold these kitties, I was reluctant to. I mean, this one time I went to a cat cafe in Oakland and the poor over-stimulated kitties lashed out at me. Literally – I got a claw through the hand just from walking too close to them. It’s the cat equivalent of turning into a giant blueberry and rolling away: the reward isn’t worth the risk.
Luckily, some of the cats at Parque Kennedy were as eager to make new friends as we were and introduced themselves right away. We saw kitties happily snuggling onto the laps of excited visitors, enjoying belly scratches, and purring adorably while rubbing against the legs of whomever they pleased.
We were overjoyed. At last, a public place in which we could consensually indulge our wildest cat lady fantasies without judgment or fear! … I didn’t realize how that sounded until after I wrote it. Please don’t judge me.
After about an hour of running around the park, chasing after cats while screaming “LOVE ME! LOVE MEEEEE!” we reluctantly tore ourselves away. We can’t wait to go back again! And bring toys. and catnip. And a cage…. We kid (sort of)
In summary, Parque Kennedy in Lima is like heaven for cat lovers. And I bet it’s a lot like hell if you hate cats or are allergic to them, so, obviously, don’t go.
But if you love cats like us, Parque Kennedy is a must visit spot right in the heart of Miraflores, in Lima, Peru!
Practical Information about Parque Kennedy in Miraflores
- Cost: Free.
- What to expect: 1 hour of exploring the park, playing with cats and enjoying the beauty that lies within Miraflores.
- Hours: Parque Kennedy is open 24 hours.
- How to get to Parque Kennedy: Parque Kennedy is approximately 11 miles from Jorge Chavez International Airport in Lima. To get to the park, you’ll need to make way to the Miraflores district. Take a walk around the area as it’s a beautiful and vibrant part of Lima.
Psst: We’ve got a ton of other resources for Peru that you’ll want to look at before your trip!
- The Ultimate Self-Guided Free Walking Tour: Lima, Peru
- The 5 Most Instragrammable Places in Peru
- The Best Specialty & Third Wave Coffee Shops in Lima, Peru
- Lima Cooking Class: Making Ceviche & Pisco Sours in Lima, Peru
- 13 Things to Know Before You Go to Cusco and Machu Picchu, Peru
- 40 Things Nobody Tells You About Backpacking in Peru
- Hiking Laguna 69 in Huaraz, Peru: Everything You Need to Know
- La Balsa Border Crossing: from Ecuador to Peru
Have you ever visited a cat park? Is it something you want to do? Leave us a comment below!