Peru, officially the Republic of Peru, is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the south-east by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean. Peruvian territory was home to ancient cultures spanning from the Norte Chico civilization, one of the oldest in the world, to the Inca Empire, the largest state in Pre-Columbian America. The Spanish Empire conquered the region in the 16th century and established a Viceroyalty, which included most of its South American colonies. After achieving independence in 1821, Peru has undergone periods of political unrest and fiscal crisis as well as periods of stability and economic upswing.
Its geography varies from the arid plains of the Pacific Coast to the peaks of the Andes Mountains and the tropical forests of the Amazon Basin. Its main economic activities include agriculture, fishing, mining, and manufacturing of products such as textiles. Peru is a representative democratic republic divided into 25 regions:
- La Libertad
- Madre de Dios
- San Martín
The Peruvian population, estimated at 29.5 million, is multi-ethnic, including Amerindians, Europeans, Africans, and Asians. The main spoken language is Spanish, although a significant number of Peruvians speak Quechua or other native languages. This mixture of cultural traditions has resulted in a wide diversity of expressions in fields such as art, cuisine, literature, and music.
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The Altiplano is dominated by massive active volcanoes of the Central Volcanic Zone. Its height averages about 3,300 m and its climate is cool and semi-arid to arid.
Puerto Moldonado is the capital of the Madre de Dios Region in the south-eastern Peru’s Amazon Rain Forest, 55 km of the Bolivian border on the confluence of the Tambopata and Madre de Dios River.
Located in the Andes Mountains at an altitude of 2,380 m above sea level and close to the volcano El Misti, Arequipa is the capital of the Arequipa Region in southern Peru and is the second most populous city of the country. The colonial Spanish…
The Colca Canyon is a canyon of the Colca River in southern Peru located about 160 km north-west of Arequipa. With up to 3,500 m, it is twice as deep as the Grand Canyon. The colourful valley is the home of the Andean Condor (Vultur gryphus). The…
Cuzco is the historic capital of the Inca Empire located in the south-eastern Peru, near the Urubamba Valley (Sacred Valley) of the Andes mountain range. According to an Inca legend, the city was founded by Manco Capac in the 12th century and…
The Lake Titicaca is located 3,810 m above sea level on the border of Bolivia and Peru and is the highest commercially navigable lake in the world.
Machu Picchu is a pre-Columbian Inca site located 2,430 m above sea level and situated on a mountain ridge above the Urubamba Valley in Peru, 80 km north-west of Cuzco. Built around the year 1460 in the classical Inca style, with polished…
Located 40 km from Cuzco, the town of Maras in the Urubamba Valley (Sacred Valley of the Incas) is known for its local salt mines. Since pre-Inca times, salt has been obtained in Maras by evaporating salty water.
The Nazca lines are a series of geoglyphs located in the Nazca Desert that stretches over more than 80 km and have been created by the Nazca culture between 200 BC and AD 700. There are hundreds of stylised figures (hummingbirds, spiders, monkeys,…
The Incas built a main access route along the Urubamba Valley, connecting the site of Machu Picchu in the west and to Pisac in the east.
The Paracas National Reservation is located in the Ica region south of Lima with the purpose to preserve the ecosystem and to protect the historical and cultural heritage. As much as 216 species of birds are living in the reserve. The desert area…