Posted on April 29, 2013
Peru is a dream of many travelers. This mid-sized South American country with around 31 million inhabitants is so famous, that I couldn’t leave it out of my travel plans. I heard mostly about Machu Picchu and I was also interested in seeing the mountains and beaches. Furthermore, I wanted to taste the famous Peruvian food. I read in a local Limenian magazine, that Peruvians focus their entire ego in food. They are very proud of their cuisine, which is a fusion of different cuisines (Japanese, Italian or Native American) and has created many super tasty meals. I don’t eat anything that walks, I eat everything that swims ☺ My favorite plate is definitely “ceviche mixto” – raw fish and seafood in lime sauce with ají (spicy sauce), sweet potato and corn. When it comes to raw fish, I recommend to find a well-trusted restaurant or eat ceviche in fishing villages, because there are cases of complications that can destroy few days of your trip…
Peru is so popular among tourists and backpackers, that it was a bit too much for my taste. Especially Cuzco, from where you go to Machu Picchu and some other parts of Peru, like Huacachina or Ica. I didn’t even go there to be honest. I was also told that Peru is still a cheap country to travel in. But from the moment when you start trekking or doing extra activities (jungle, rafting, sandboarding, Nazca lines), your wallet will feel it. I was kind of disappointed that a guide was needed for almost everything. I understand that some treks might be dangerous and you need an experience person, but why paying at all times? The freedom that I felt when I was trekking in Patagonia was suddenly gone. Also, Peru is seriously divided into parts where tourists go and the prices are completely different from the local prices. There is always someone wanting to sell you something and it can get pretty annoying. So to sum up, I don’t think that Peru is a cheap country to travel in, unless you stay away from the touristy places.
One of the things that surprised me in Peru is the country’s marketing/branding. The branding “Marca Perú” that was initiated few years ago is, in my opinion, very functional and consistent. The brand Peru has been internationally recognized and is present from the first moment when you enter or leave the country by bus. I assume that it’s the same at the airport. There are several communication tools included in the tool kit and I would like to focus on the video that was made few years ago. The idea behind the video is a story about a small town called “Peru”, located in Nebraska, the United States. The story begins with a saying that all Peruvians are entitled to enjoy how beautiful is to be Peruvian. And because of one and simple problem of “not knowing what Peruvian means to be”, Peru in Nebraska receives a bus full of Peruvian celebrities, proudly representing their country. There is a Peruvian chef, actrice, musician, surfer or dancer. Everyone has a right to be Peruvian and the ambassadors of Peru do a good job in promoting their country. Even with alpacas! Shocked locals from Peru/Nebraska keep silent and witness surprisingly the big Peruvian party that just started in their little town. When the moment of surprise disappears, everyone enjoys ceviche, drinks pisco, listens to the traditional music, dances and some of them even surf tubes! Amazing idea, it is funny and presenting the country through their ambassadors and local traditions. Much more effective than just showing a beautiful Peruvian landscape, that we’ve all heard about. It makes me whish that there would be a city called Slovakia somewhere in China and we would all travel there by bus and eat bryndzové halušky hehe.
Check out the video:
Peru has lots to offer, from the mountains, colonial cities, indogenus villages, through modern/or poor Lima (depends where you go) to the Pacific coast. I was immpresed by the desert in the south, famous Inca ruins – Machu Picchu, bohemian quarter of Barranco in Lima, colonial streets of Cuzco, Colca Canyon close to Arequipa, and the famous beach in Máncora. I will share some more detailed stories and tips for Peru in the following weeks. I hope that you stay tuned ☺
For all of you interested in Marca Perú and the local products/food, visit their Facebook page. These guys are doing a good job!