Oxapampa – a little bit of Tyrol in the middle of Peru

Surrounded by lush mountains and rainforests, nestled in flourishing and fertile plains, lies a small town that is said to be incredibly familiar to German and Austrian visitors: Oxapampa, a 19th century city founded by settlers who came here from Prussia and Tirol. .

Today, Oxapampa is best known for its coffee, sugar cane liquor and one of the best music festivals in Peru. Due to the favorable prices of real estate, many new settlers have come to Oxapampa in recent years, this time often inhabitants of the city of Lima, who wanted to start a new life here. In the last ten years, many shops, hostels and new hotels have sprung up, as well as some organic farms and businesses, which appreciate the fertile and, above all, beautiful landscape.

From Pozuzo to found Oxapampa

The Oxapampa area of ​​today was established long before the first colonization of native tribal groups such as the Yanesha, the Campa and Ashaninka, who lived here as nomads or semi-nomads. It was not until the mid-seventeenth century that the first missionaries went to the lowlands of central Peru and established their first missions in the area.

In the mid-nineteenth century, the Peruvian government decided to obtain “reinforcements” and signed a contract with Baron Damian Schütz of Holzhausen, who undertook to take 10,000 settlers to the central lowlands. But some did not, since only 200 Tyrolese and 100 Germans followed their call, and most of them came from bad conditions and saw this as an opportunity for a new life in the Andean state. Probably nobody had told them about the arduous trip, because first they had to spend months on the ship and then also cross the Andes. And when they finally reached the area given Pozuzo, they quickly noticed that this was not very suitable for an agreement. Too narrow was the selected valley, too hot and humid the weather.

The settlers, now well trained in traveling, set off again to find a better environment for their new beginning – and finally found it in about 80 km away Oxapampa that they founded in 1891 as a new colony.

Even today, in Oxapampa, you will meet descendants of these first settlers, who stand out with their blond hair and bright eyes.