In the U.S., Peru doesn’t seem to have too much of an image. The only thing well known of Peru is Machu Picchu and the Incas, which people disgracefully confuse with the Aztecs. On the other hand, one image that does seem to be circulating around is that of dark-skinned, poor people with their alpacas…
Even films get Peru confused and commit various cultural and historical errors. If you have ever seen Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull, you will understand what I am talking about and if you don’t, please Google the mistakes of that whole movie for more information.
As a Peruvian-American, I take great pride in my culture and history. I also like to point out that not all Peruvians are dark-skinned, poor or own Alpacas. This is very much obvious when people meet me or my family.
Another thing I would like to point out is that Peru is not all about Machu Picchu. Although Machu Picchu is a great touristic place full of history and wonder, Peru has more charm in other areas than just Machu Picchu. Of course, the Peruvian Amazon is another touristic place, but aside from the two favorites, there are cities in Peru that make for an absolute amazing trip; this includes Lima.
Lima is the capital of Peru, but even being the capital, it is not nearly as popular as the capitals in other countries. Perhaps, it is the lack of interest for the city or the fact that it isn’t the safest place to be, but even so the capital can be a nice experience, if you know where to go.
La Plaza de Armas A.K.A Plaza Mayor
Here you will see how different the other cities look compared to the Plaza Mayor. Full of souvenir shops, government buildings, cathedrals and museums, this place is full of beauty. Not only are the government buildings nice to look at, but the souvenir shops are full of handmade bargain items and if that doesn’t convince you, the Plaza Mayor also has restaurants with absolutely great tasting food.
Fact: Picarones are a Peruvian dessert made from squash and sweet potatoes. It has a similar texture of a doughnut and is sweetened with chancaca syrup.
Alright, so this is a country club and there are several ones around Peru. The one that I’ve been to is El Bosque in Lima and El Bosque Playa, which I definitely recommend going to. Now I know this isn’t really a touristic place since it is closed to members and if you are going there to visit, what is the point of the membership? But I do think that being exposed to the beauty that is Peru won’t hurt.
When in Lima, depending on the area, you will be able to see mountains, traffic cops, wooden bridges and plenty of other things you do not get to see on a daily basis. I know for sure that living in Florida I do not get to see the following…
Peru is a great place to go to, full of touristic sites, but Lima should not be overlooked. Lima can offer you plenty of things if you look in the right places and even though it is no Machu Picchu, it is still full of wonder and history.
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