Peru millionaire country where el condor pasa (still).
- 7.5 million voters to the left, and almost as much but not quite to the right
- millions of battery chicken, in endless more or less erect (still, maybe till the next earthquake hits) opensided buildings along the endless coastal panamericana (which by the way is in great shape)
- millions of square km of waste land, desert sand and stones, with the occasional cactus, (pre) INCA site, sometimes millions of ha of cultivated land for cotton, or rice and maizand … very nice asparagus (and they do not yet have made the giant leap to too much deadly bacteries in their fesh produce)
- a few million bottles from small scale vineyards for the firewater pisco for in your preferred pisco sour (don’t forget the eggwhite!)
However, with a few real condors left and even fewer millionaires (if any) and a lot of almost India-like poverty (but cleaner and not so hot) outside city centers (Lima, Arequipa, Trujillo and Cusco count for +50% of its +30 million inhabitants), with only natural gas and a few (yet) operating mines, and a lot of promises by the presidencial candidates (free food and education, low priced gasbottles, more security) it can certainly hope to gain from the growing tourism industry.
With that number of cruel predecessors, don’t count on dynamic, or even smiling or laughing people all around, after all they are descendants of Manco Capac’s and other cruel kings. Also avoid quite a few areas in Lima or other cities cause also in terms of robberies they apply today what their ancestors used to be doing allover Inca territory, by grabbing the money where it is (hence now the many tourists). And do count on 4 weeks driving 6.000km, or flyfrom one to the other sites including some (still impressive beit not in the same way as the Egypt pyramids) adobe sandcastles/pyramids and gold/jewels
if you want to find almost as intriguing death masks (cfr. Ancient Egypt) or fabulous gold-cum-jewels ceremonial dresses of their kings and Lords (and want to find out in colourful cartoons or frescoes if they were that cruel as history claims for all Inca and Maya dynasties) >> Museum of The Lord of Sipan,
to see for yourself the high quality vases and pottery move to the really exceptional and exquisite Rafael Larco Herera Museum in Lima (also for its erotic art explicit a la Khajuaro but then in full 3D),
even combining a few sites less visited such as Pisaq will give you more insight (and if you really insist onthat one-time shot of mystic Machu Pichu, then do NOT come at 6am or even earlier cause there is just fog and a lot of disappointed early-risers blocking that view that might be! And be prepared to pay a lot of hard dollars),
or maybe you have enough with some nice view of snowcapped volcano (Misti at Arequipa), folkoric dances and nice costumes at a local event (such as the Yaku Mama seablessing at Paracas with 1 foreigner attending and a private panflute cum drums concert in the speedboat),
Do not bother to come for colonial stuff and plazas, then prefer by and large Mexico.
You could go to the (not so much Amazonas) jungles (NE), but much easier is a detour to be eye in eye with some (not so gigantic) condors in Colca valley (costing us 1 tire due to the very rough road), in some placessuch as Arequipa you might find a real ‘’perro caliente’’, a typical Peru dog (comes in 3 different sizes) with hardly anyhair at all but instead with a few degrees higher body temperature (keeping this hot dog close to you it is said to be good for astma, rheuma and other illnesses), or you go and look at the colourful tiny terrace built Salinas, and the closeby exquisite little church of Chincheron with native inspired colourful frescoes.
You’ll always find helpful people (to compensate for the lack of road signs in town), almost daily the cheapest and tastiest (and much cleaner than e.g. in India for even moderately advanced travellers) menu del dia (including great vegetable soup, meat with rice else manioc + the chicha beverage of black maize) for 3 or 4 SOL (1,1 a 1,5 US$), and almost everywhere where there are tourists the famous pisco sour (3 or 4 US$).
Is Peru worth your time and dime? probably more so when you combine it crosscountry with Bolivia… we’ll find that outin September, after Lou Castel, and before enjoying the famous Pantanal.
Ciao, enjoy the longest day of the year and a hot summer (or for thos in the southern hemisphere, the winter)