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DESTINATIONS IN PERU - HIGHLANDS AND SELVA

DESTINATIONS IN THE REGION CENTRAL RAINFOREST

Oxapampa - Villarica - Pozuzo

OXAPAMPA

Inhabitants: 5200

How to get there
Most travellers arrive from La Merced, but there is also a bus to Lima three times a week.

Best time to travel
Oxapampa combines both Sierra and Selva climate. The rainy season dominates from November until March whereas the restt of the year the town is usually blessed with sun and bright weather. The nights though are often very cold and temperatures often fall very low.

Town Oxapampa
Even the journey to this tiny town is worth the visit. It leads through a landscape that constantly changes, from the colourful and diverse vegetation of the rainforest to the harsh mountains of the Andes. The name Oxapampa is a combination of the Quechuan word "Ocsha" meaning straw and the word "pampa" meaning plain or prairie. About 30 percent of the inhabitants have German or Austrian descendents, as the town was founded by immigrants from the Tirol an Pussia areas of Europe. Therefore it is not surprising that the village with its wooden houses doesn't look Peruvian at first sight. The onion domes of Iglesia de Santa Rosa in the centre of town are also reminiscent of European construction. Still today people in Oxapampa keep up German and Austrian customs and traditions.
Oxapampa is an important coffee growing area and the region's fertile soil is used for agriculture. Wood is another important sector.
The small town hosts a little museum located close to the Plaza, which describes the region's history.

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VILLA RICA

A three hour drive from Oxapampa will lead you to another important area for growing coffee. Villa Rica was also settled by the Swiss/Austrian/German immigrants, who farmed this fertile destination set in the rich green backdrop of the surrounding mountain landscape . It is possible to visit visit the cigar factory, take a tour of the coffee plantations, visit waterfalls and can rent a boat on the nearby lake. Also one of the main reasons that a lot of travellers come to this region is to twitch the many bird species here, this is due to the various different habitats in the vicinity.

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POZUZO

The 'Ceja de la Selva' (the rainforest's eyebrow) combines elements of the two Peruvian landscapes sierra and selva. Pozuzo though is situated right at the edge of the rainforest. With only 700 metre altitude this 1500 inhabitant village is situated 90 km away from Oxapampa. Pozuzo was founded in 1875 by Austrians and Germans in the middle of the rainforest. The original German and Austrian inhabitants brought their culture, which left it mark, still visible today, for example some menus are written in German language!
Beside the Museo Schafferer and the Herbs garden Ruiz y Pavó you can also visit a very impressive rope bridge which was been built in memory of Kaiser Wilhelm.

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