What Makes Peru So Beautiful?
Peru is one of those countries that people usually overlook when they think of studying or vacationing in Latin America. It’s a little far, the beaches aren’t exactly tropical, and it’s not like it’s the “Paris of the South” or anything (queue Buenos Aires).
But that’s what makes it so beautiful. It’s completely different from everything you’re used to in the Western World, especially if you live in a big metropolis. When I came back from Peru and landed at the JFK airport, I actually experienced a huge culture shock as my taxi raced passed designer clothes stores and restaurant after restaurant amidst sky scrapers and tailor-made suits.
It was a jolt readjusting to the American way of life after learning the simplistic ways of Peru. And I think everyone should experience that at some point in their lives. Where they expose themselves to something so foreign to their reality, and step outside their comfort zone to grow individually. So, why Peru?
1. Machu Picchu
Image Source: Flickr
Ever heard of the Incas? You know, that enormous and powerful civilization that dominated South America before Columbus set sail to the ocean blue? Well, their footprint is everywhere throughout Peru’s countryside, despite the Spaniard’s attempt at destroying all evidence of their society. The most famous Incan preservation is of course Machu Picchu, which Incans kept as their secret city and abandoned on purpose when Columbus and his men stormed through.
Since the Spaniards never got the chance to annihilate it, Machu Picchu’s only deterioration is that of the natural passing of time. And it’s truly incredible. No matter how many pictures you’ve seen of the place, you still can’t help but stand awe-struck when you see it in person. And that’s just the most famous site; there are Incan ruins scattered throughout the entire Andean mountain range.
2. The Cute Llamas
Image Source: Deviant Art
The only thing comparable to Incan ruins is llamas.
Hands-down, the cutest animals on this planet. Partly because they’re a novelty that you only think exist in contexts like The Emperor’s New Groove, but they’re actually real! And you feel like you’re in a magical, exotic fairytale when you see them in person since they’re so foreign to us. And they taste good. Whoops! I only tried it once don’t hate me.
3. The Clear Skies
Image Source: Maximum Adventure
The most breathtaking skies you’ve ever seen in your life.
Go outside and try to count the stars from where you are now. If you’re in New York City, that sum will equal a whopping zero. If you’re anywhere else in a moderately or densely populated region of the world, you can maybe find a handful or two on a clear night. In the Peruvian countryside, the stars are endless. You literally can’t even begin to count them because there are even different layers of stars, overlapping each other and extending out into other galaxies. The Peruvian stars are something I will never forget.
4. The Beautiful Peruvian Community
Image Source: Michael Amici
Humble people that will make you reevaluate your priorities in life.
Peruvians are some of the most humble people I’ve ever come across in my life. That’s pretty characteristic of Latin Americans in general, contingent on them not belonging to the top tiers of economic prosperity, but there was something about the Peruvians that just really resonated with me. I never detected an inch of snobbishness, judgment, competition, or fakeness in Peruvian culture. Though they are stereotypically shy, as long as you are warm, accepting, and speak to them in Spanish, Peruvians will embrace you with humility and kindness.
5. The Best Cuisine Of South America
Image Source: Pisco Trail
When I was in Peru, my host mom made chicken for me regularly. The first few times I tried it, I seriously could not believe what kind of sorcery she had performed on this bird to make it so delicious. When I asked her what she put on it, she said salt and pepper. When I asked her how she cooked it, she said on the skillet with a drop of vegetable oil. Hmm…I had done that a million times and it never turned out even remotely close to whatever this godly specimen of poultry was that she had put in front of me.
You think I’m exaggerating. Same case with the beef or the lamb or anything else she gave me. I finally put two and two together a few weeks into my stay; while walking to class or work throughout the village, chickens, cows, and sheep would just roam freely along with me. It was more than once that I had to change my path because a chicken had cut me off. With all the animals living in nature instead of cooped up in overcrowded farms, all the food tasted so innately flavorful and fresh that you didn’t even have to add anything to it.
Image Source: Lolpics
Don’t Forget to Like us on Facebook
XpatNation is a Social News and Lifestyle magazine, focusing on the insights and experiences on ex-patriots living in The United States. XpatNation brings together the voices, thoughts, perceptions and experiences of the people of the world who have made the USA their home. Using their insight and unique understanding of the global world we live in to discuss culture, lifestyle, Geo politics and the day to day on-goings of this proud and powerful nation.