I thought Arequipa is a touristy town, but then I arrived in Cusco today. It’s even worse. Dozens of tourists, especially old couples and travel groups from the US. The difference to Bolivia is immense, what made me being surprised. I didn’t expect such an obvious difference.
After I talked to several people I start guessing Peru is one if the most touristy countries in whole Southamerica. It might make sense. It’s less poor than its neighbours Bolivia and Ecuador and the diversity in between the country is massive. Beach, jungle, mountains, deserts, lakes and a world wonder. Peru has it all. There’s indeed much to see.
There were two tourist things, which I recognized immediately once we crossed the border. One thing is a special touristy sign of Peru. You see it everywhere. Agencies, restaurants, hotels, shop. All of them use it to advertise their stuff. The other thing is the language. Many people speak English. I almost never spoke English in hostels, restaurants or agencies in Bolivia, Chile or Argentina. I always had to try it in Spanish. It actually makes me a bit sad. I won’t improve my Spanish the next weeks here in Peru.
Cusco itself is for sure a beautiful city. Like Arequipa with lots of colonial buildings, nice lookouts and many cute cafes and restaurants. You just have to ignore all those ladies on the street, who want to sell you either a massage or a picture with an alpaca.