Peru takes only a fraction of our time south of the border, mainly dedicated to Machu Picchu, but from the moment we cross out of northern Chile into your desertscapes, I fall for you. Seemingly more in transition than some of your neighbors, you feel dangerous and exciting and turbulent, a veritable swirl of activity and people and things to see and learn about. With that, you come in at @ 83.
More turbulent than elsewhere, you provide us with more culture shock than Chile and Argentina, your indigenous culture and local history much more present and vibrant.
Personal Safety: 2
This is a place where we pay attention to our surroundings and our things, because here, the discrepancy between the haves and have-nots seems wider than other places, and with destitution comes desperation and difficult choices.
Stories of theft are rampant, especially in Lima, and during our time at Machu Picchu, the US government issues kidnap threat warnings to all US citizens for Aguas Caliente and the Sacred Valley.
So, we listen, look, and pay close attention.
Overall, it seems easy enough to get around–bus, car, plane, train, foot …
Cost of Traveling: 4
It is bit more economical to travel in Peru than elsewhere, but the quality is definitely in line with what you are willing to fork over.
It was pleasantly cool and crisp while in Cusco and Arequipa with some warmer afternoons. All in all, the heat is less oppressive than in other equatorial countries thanks to altitude.
How often do you see a lady in Quechuan garb, complete with bowlers hat, sell you cordon a street corner? Definitely rich in diversity.
Spanish, getting fairly proficient, if only conversationally. Immersion, love it. English, check.
Living Conditions: 3
We saw shacks and we saw million dollar digs. It’s a crapshoot, and again, the gap between the low-income and high-income is flagrant here.
Career Potential: 4
As a whole, it seems the country carries loads of potential in a variety of domains.
Loads to discover, from what we could see.
For the budget traveler, there actually seems to be more diversity of meals and dishes to choose from, tasty and varied alternatives to the hamburger and pizza founds south of here.
People seem to enjoy being outside, whether to surf or walk …
Animals/Dog Friendly: 3
We saw fewer strays here, so frankly, I’m not certain how animals are cared for …
Family Focus: 4
Friends and family seem to be of primal importance here.
Defined gender roles seem more prominent here, especially with the old-schoolers, and we say many, many young families, teen mom pushing newborn.
Machu Picchu, hello!
Communication Technology: 5
People we met were outgoing, friendly, helpful, and overall, pleasant to be around.
I really enjoyed the vibe here, as there really seems to be such a richness of and interest in their cultural and environmental legacy and history. I look forward to returning to see the Nazca lines, Lake Titicaca, the north …