The escalante is a sprawling expanse of dirt roads dotted with palm trees, bamboo, palm-tree-lined paths and palm-trees that is the epicentre of Peru’s vast wilderness.
It has become a refuge for thousands of backpackers and backpackers alone, often camping on the slopes for months on end without the safety nets of an official campground.
A popular site for travellers and backpacker alike, the escalancean, also known as the “green zone”, is now closed to visitors, although some locals have returned to use it.
A year after a landslide buried the escalaunas entire village, construction has begun on a new, smaller one, called the Cima-Cima, which opened last year.
Its owner, Alberto Lopes, says the new site is cleaner and better for the environment.
It’s the first green zone in Peru and the first to be built by a local company.
“People are coming back to the escalants, but it’s not a place where you can sleep,” Lopes said in a telephone interview from the Cama-Cama campground, which is located in the middle of the escalanta.
Lopes owns the land where the Cimas were built and said the village has suffered because of the lack of clear-cut areas for campers to enjoy.
“When we built the new Cima, we put in a clear cut, and it’s a big waste of land.
So it’s very important to have clear-cuts to be able to build the new ones. “
We are not a country where we can build our own campsites.
The locals are very happy with the new place. “
Now, we have two campsites, one for visitors and one for locals.
The locals are very happy with the new place.
We will build more and they will build it more.”
The area has also been hit hard by deforestation and pollution, but Lopes says he is determined to improve the site.
“I’m not going to change the nature, but I am going to improve it.
And this is my first time to create a green zone, to create the green zone.”
A view of the Ciamas original camp site, before the new one opened.
Photo: Rodrigo Cieza via Wikimedia Commons