Oxapampa Travel Guide: A piece of Europe in Peru
Deep within the jungle valleys rises a land where the Yanesha, Ashaninka, and German colonist cultures come together: Oxapampa. PerubyBus brings you a guide to this amazing town.
The city of Oxapampa belongs to Peru´s central jungle region and is one of the most important provinces of Pasco. This quaint little town with pleasant climate is situated on the right bank of the Chorobamba river at an altitude of approx.1800 meters, 500 kilometers northeast of Lima.
The city has a peaceful atmosphere and a small village feel. The central Plaza de Armas is beautifully green, with chirping birds and mountain views. Tourism is not particularly booming in Oxapampa. However, there are many accommodation options all over the city: cozy inns, ranches and countryside bed and breakfasts.
Quite distinct from other Peruvian towns, in Oxapampa the european vibe is mixed with local Peruvian and Quechua culture which gives the town an amazing feel.
How Oxapampa came to be
Oxapampa province was created not so long ago in 1944, but this city history goes back to 19th century when German-Austrian colonists came to settle down in the Yánesha territory.
Everything looks all but Peruvian in this high jungle area… The architecture found in Oxapampa has a strong influence from its predecessors, making the buildings probably the most welcome and picturesque in Peru. Typical Alpine European style wooden houses surrounded by well-kept gardens and suspension bridges adorn the streets.
This province is undoubtedly attractive for its cultural diversity, and both European and Yánesha cultures preserve their customs, creating a unique atmosphere. Even though some the inhabitants speak german, they are 100% Peruvian. You’ll even see blonde and blue-eyed people with names like Schmidt and Muller. Oxampampa is like a little Germany in Peru.
The Austro-German colonists started the wood industry. Even today it is one of the most important economic sources of the Oxapampa inhabitants.
Oxampampa cultural scene
Every July 25th the town holds the Founder’s Day Celebration. During this 5 day´s festivities, the locals dress in typical costumes, playing Austrian and German music, eating Peruvian-german dishes, local sausages and cheeses. Oxapampa also has other annual events such as Tourism Week in June, Semana Santa in April, and the Selvámonos Music and Art Festival in October. These events are great opportunities to visit the town and enjoy the cultural scene.
There is also a museum: the Francis Schafferer Museum. It displays of ceramics dating from 6000 to 1800 BC, when indigenous tribes inhabited the area.
And why not to try experiential tourism where visitors can work with the community creating handicrafts with seeds, wood carvings, and clay pottery?
Oxampampa – So green of Nature
Oxapampa is synonymous with ecotourism. Here you can find a climate that will make you fall in love with the environment in perfect weather.
Having the senses open is a requirement to enjoy Oxapampa. There is a great variety of orchids and over 120 species of birds and other animals around. Thet blend in perfectly with the beauty of the local landscape.
The history of their fight against deforestation and wildlife conservation earned them the title of Oxapampa-Ashaninka-Yanesha Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO.
During the day you can practice different adventure sports such as rappelling, hiking and swimming. There are also several beautiful waterfalls close to the town, as well as camping spots for outdoor meals.
If you’re looking to disconnect from the chaos of the city, you should travel to Oxampampa. It is a place of hidden treasures where the traditions are still living.