Impressions of Perú
Squeezed between the Pacific Ocean and the majestic Andean mountain range, Perú has multiple faces, from Amazonian jungle to endless sand deserts and violently wave-bashed coastal cliffs, from eternally drab and grey skies in Lima to misty mountain valleys and the crisp air and clear skies of the altiplano, all against a plethoric background of material testimonies of an intense growth and spread of civilisations throughout history. More than any other country, Perú is indeed the cradle of pre-Hispanic culture in South America. And it is certainly not because Peruvians somewhat chauvinistically drink 'Inca Cola' instead of the globally known brands of coke, that the country's pre-Hispanic culture would be limited to just the Inkas. As a matter of fact, Perú is all too often exclusively associated with the world of Inkas. But learning about Perú and travelling through the country emphatically teaches that literally all corners have been the scene of blossoming, remarkable and distinctly creative civilisations, whether in the very North or in the deep South, whether near the Pacific coast or on the edges where the tight Amazonian jungle becomes inaccessible, from Neolithic times all the way to the 1530s, when a certain Francisco Pizarro disembarked with his bunch of plundering savages and changed the cultural, political and societal equation of this part of the world forever. Whatever happened, happened, centuries have passed, things have developed and changed and today vibrant Perú offers a palette of colours, landscapes and impressions which we cannot encompass in one single report. Which is why, I'm afraid, you'll have to choose, not which Perú to visit, but which part to visit first … . So, the choice is not all that dramatic... Enjoy the voyage.