Chanchamayo, Peru - Polarsteps

La Merced, Peru: population: about 25,000 (in the 2017 census). The Chanchamayo district (I believe a 'district' is similar to a county within a state) has a population of about 30,000 projected for 2020. The town was founded in 1635 by missionaries with the name "San Buenaventura de Quimiri". But, it was in 1869 that the town was officially founded and the name was changed to La Merced. The valley where La Merced is located has been inhabited by various indigenous groups for centuries. Later, missionaries arrived and attempts at colonizing them started and continued until the middle of the 17th century. The missionaries found their work to be very challenging because the native people didn't want to be colonized. Several missionaries and colonists were killed which only resulted in even worse treatment from the colonizers. In 1742, the leader of the indigenous people, Atahualpa, got many tribes to work together and revolted against the colonizers. This caused them to give up on their attempts at colonizing for at least a century. In 1847, a new road was built into the area which brought with it more attempts at colonizing the native people. A fort was built in the valley and many people of different nationalities came in to settle the land. In 1869, the town of La Merced was officially founded. The economy of La Merced is supported first by tourism, and that is mostly people from Peru. The valley is incredibly beautiful. The rivers, waterfalls, mountains, there are eco-parks, a butterfly park, an extreme sports park, and much more outside of the city. There are many tour businesses that will take you to anything you want to see. The next biggest part of the town's income comes from coffee. This part of Peru is its main coffee-growing region. There are also many fruits grown in the area. So, my impressions: First, this town is now at the top of my top 10 list, I like it that much. There is a large supermarket similar to the Costco stores in North America or the Price Smart stores in Colombia. There are a couple of other supermarkets as well. There are at least four banks and at least 6 different brands of ATMs. There are some very nice hotels, which means expensive, and many, many economical hotels and hostels (don't rely on Google maps, it's terrible with this kind of information). In the central business district, there is at least one coffee shop on every block and restaurants and ice cream shops everywhere. There are countless tour operators, as well. The valley is beautiful, the river runs fast, and the climate is perfect. Oh, and the streets are clean, too. The city is now in the construction phase of a new malecon (riverside boardwalk) and a park for children and a new tourist area, all alongside the river.
  1. ChipW
  2. My South America Journey
  3. Chanchamayo