How does a young man from the other side of the equator and across the Atlantic come to fall in love with Peru?
“I loved the pan flute music that Peruvians were playing at the local markets here in Belgium. I bought a CD and listened to it countless times,” writes Tim Tense, a vlogger from Belgium. In February 2020 he posted a tribute video to Peru, a country that made quite an impression on the globetrotter. In fact, he’s visited the country twice and stayed for a cumulative six weeks.
The three-minute long video made us fall in love with Peru all over again—and nearly weep at Tim’s sweet, heartfelt words. We spoke with the traveler and vlogger to learn a bit more about his love for Peru, travel recommendations and the process and thought behind the video creation. (And if you can’t wait to watch the video, just scroll down!)
TLIP: Do you have an all-time favorite spot in Peru, or perhaps a place/city that is unlike anywhere else you’ve seen in the world?
Tim: This is very tricky, I love the jungle a lot but if I really had to choose I would say Campo Santo of Yunguay [in the Ancash region in north central Peru] left the greatest impression on me. When visiting we were guided by one of the survivors and the stories that he told were so incredibly sad. I became emotional while hearing all the stories. You can see the guide in my video at 1:05.
TLIP: What are three places in Peru you’d recommend a first-time visitor to Peru sees?
Tim: I’d recommend Huascarán National Park [in Huaraz], the Amazon jungle and of course Machu Picchu. I wouldn’t stay in Miraflores—don’t get me wrong, it’s a beautiful neighborhood but it doesn’t feel like the authentic Peru to me. You can go to Spain or basically any beachside country in Europe or the US to have a similar experience.
TLIP: Your video is not a highlight reel of tourist sites in Peru. What was your aim with visuals chosen for the video? For example, you show neighborhoods that tourists are told not to visit, such as the pueblos jovenes on the outskirts of main urban areas in Lima.
Tim: The main goal of my video was to show how Peru really is, as opposed to the touristy areas that most travelers see. And to be honest, I stayed for a few days in the pueblos and it wasn’t so bad, I actually loved it. I wanted to show every aspect of Peru and I wish I had more footage to prove this even better! Maybe a part two of this video will be necessary to show more of the ‘real’ Peru.
TLIP: Why would you recommend travelers to visit Peru?
Tim: Peru has so much diversity! Beautiful beaches, mesmerizing mountains and tropic jungles. You can easily enjoy the three aspects during a one-month trip. The Spanish is very understandable in comparison with some other Spanish-speaking countries. Also, Peru offers travel experiences for every kind of traveler: if you’re a backpacker type you can choose cheaper alternatives and still enjoy the beauty; if you’re looking for luxury, that’s possible as well.
TLIP: Any tips for travelers before they arrive to Peru?
Tim: My number one tip would be to learn some basic conversational Spanish. Most local people don’t speak English (except at tourist sites) but if you want to interact with the locals (which is my favorite part about traveling), you need to know some basic Spanish. Another tip would be: never accept the first price offer you get for no matter what. If they see you’re a tourist they will always try to charge you more. Just do some bargaining and you’ll get a better price. From my experience, this seems to be the case for many Latin and Asian countries!
TLIP: Do you plan on returning to Peru in the near future?
Tim: I will definitely come back, I just don’t know when. I want to explore a bit more of the world first but Peru and its people will always have a special place in ‘mi corazon‘!
Take a look at the vlogger’s latest video, a tribute to Peru:
All images: Tim Tense
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