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14 August 2018

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The “El Olivar” Forest

Without a doubt, San Isidro’s most remarkable attraction is the El Olivar Forest, a natural jewel that stands out among other parks in the hemisphere, which constitutes not only a living memory of Lima’s history, but also a great lung for the city. El Olivar, which used to be a part of the lands belonging to the Count of San Isidro, is located 6 km away from Lima’s Main Square, on an expanse of 87 square kilometers of green spaces, it being the center and characteristic element of the district.

 

In 1560, Don Antonio de Rivera brought to Peru, from Seville, several olive trees, but only three made it here alive. These three surviving trees were planted in the Huatica region. The spread of olive trees was admirable and in 1730 it was confirmed that there were 2000 trees. A hundred years later, in 1828, their numbers exceeded 2828 trees. The El Olivar forest was declared a National Monument by Supreme Resolution 5773 on December 16th 1959.

The charm of the El Olivar isn’t limited to the landscape its trees create. In those lush tree-tops nests the most diverse micro-system of birds in all of Lima. Among these, a few that stand out are Vermilion Flycatcher with its bright red chest, the intense yellow of the Saffron Finch and the light-blue of the Blue-gray Tanager. Together with other lovely birds, they make up a total of 30 species that can be seen on specialized bird-watching tours.

 

This beautiful place constitutes the most representative sector of San Isidro and symbolizes the viceregal and republican tradition of our district. In it, and its environment, are located the head office of the Municipal Government, the El Olivar Cultural Center, which is home to the Municipal Library, the Children’s Library, the Auditorium, the Multi-Purpose Room and the Art Gallery. The lagoon at the El Olivar, with its water devices and lights and the rejuvenated pergola also make up part of this wonderful attraction.

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