map of Peru
A Brief Description

At one time Peru was the homeland of several prominent Andean civilizations, with the Incas certainly the most notable.

The incredible Incas built astonishing mountain temples, palaces and other buildings, all with no mortar; they constructed almost 10,000 miles of roads, engineered functional bridges and built aqueducts to transport their water.

At the zenith of the Inca's influence in 1532, the Spanish conquistadors arrived in their quest for gold and other riches; they executed the proud, but over-matched indigenous Indians and their leaders like ants, captured their cities - and in a brief period of time this innovative and powerful culture was scattered to the wind and all but destroyed.

For almost three hundred years Peru functioned as a Spanish colony, but in the early 19th century, native discontent and colonist revolts brought calls of independence, localized uprisings, and then, civil war in 1821, with the Spanish finally defeated in 1824.

Over the next century, or so, Peru suffered through many wars, some with neighbors; brutal dictatorial rule, military coups and the subsequent political upheaval that comes with the territory.

In 1980, Peru finally returned to democratic leadership, but even today, the new presidential administration is hampered by allegations of corruption and mismanagement.

Regardless, the future is surely bright in this one-time "Land of the Incas," as Peru has an abundant supply of natural resources, enormous agricultural potential and some of the most stunning tourism venues on the planet.

Facts and Figures

Name Peru

(long form) Republic of Peru

Population 28,500,000

Capital City Lima (6.9 mil)

Currency Nuevo Sol (PEN)

Languages Spanish, Quechua, Aymara, others

Flag here

National Day July 28

Religions Catholic (81%), others

Geographic Coordinates

Latitude/Longitude (Capital City)
10º 00' S, 76º 00' W

Relative Location Peru, just to the south of the Equator, is positioned in both the western and southern hemispheres. It's located on the western coast of South America and bordered by Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile and the Pacific Ocean.

Land Statistics

Coastline 1,500 miles (2,414 km)

Land Areas

(land) 494,211 sq miles (1,280,000 sq km)

(water) 2,015 sq miles (5,220 sq km)

(TOTAL) 496,226 sq miles (1,285,220 sq km)

Landforms The rugged Andes Mountains cover almost 40% of Peru. Hundreds of snowcapped peaks jut skyward here, with many exceeding 20,000 ft.

Fronting the Andes - from Ecuador to Chile - there's an arid and rocky narrow coastline; in essence, it's a sandy mountainous desert dissected by dozens of small rivers that flow into the Pacific.

In the east, the Andean Highlands slope gently down into the rivers and jungles of the Amazon; a heavily forested, relatively flat area, that stretches to its borders with Brazil and Chile.

The lowest part of Peru is in the far northeast; here the fertile land and jungles are irrigated by tributaries of the massive Amazon River.

And speaking of rivers, Peru is drained by many, including the Apurimac, Maranon, Napo and Ucayali - to name but a few.

Note that Peru shares control of Lake Titicaca with Bolivia, the world's highest navigable lake.

Highest Pt. Nevado Huascaran - 22,205 ft. (6,768 m)

Lowest Pt. Pacific Ocean - 0 ft. (0 m)

Land Divisions 25 regions and 1 province. Regions include: Amazonas, Ancash, Apurimac, Arequipa, Ayacucho, Cajamarca, Callao, Cusco, Huancavelica, Huanuco, Ica, Junin, La Libertad, Lambayeque, Lima, Loreto, Madre de Dios, Moquegua, Pasco, Piura, Puno, San Martin, Tacna, Tumbes and Ucayali; the Province is Lima.

Traveler Info

Attractions: Peru offers the most impressive mountain vistas in all of South America, as well as remnants of its Inca culture and Spanish colonial history.

Major points-of-interest include the sleek and modern, yet historically preserved capital city of Lima; the fascinating city of Cuzco, the former capital of the Inca Empire, and the nearby ruins at Machu Picchu; interesting national parks; Lake Titicaca, the Amazon Rainforest and Andean mountain tours.

Note that while the vast majority of all visitors to Peru have very positive experiences, a small, but seemingly growing number have been victims of crime. All travelers are advised to be aware of their surroundings, especially in Lima, as street crime levels there are high.

Country Dialing Code 51

Electricity Peru uses 220 volts AC (60 Hz)
Flag of Peru
Live the Legend!
Perú! You have to see it to believe it, to open your eyes and all of a sudden awaken in Machu Picchu, magical city, that has just been internationally voted as one the new Seven Wonders of the World. It is a dream come true that every living soul should experience, along with planting a tree, writing a book, and having a child... visit Machu Picchu (and discover Peru). 
Heir to ancient cultures and a rich colonial tradition, Perú is a magical spot which involves one of the richest biodiversities of Earth, and is a melting pot of different cultures who together are forging the promise of a better future

Peru is the fantastic land of gold, Peru was sixteenth-century Europe's major source of treasure, and once the home of the largest empire in the world – the sun-worshipping Incas. Since then, the riches of the Incas have fired the European imagination: the country was home to the world's first stone pyramids, whose genuine antiquity was only discovered in the last few years of the twentieth century. Meanwhile the desert coast is studded with monumental adobe temples and ruins from several pre-Inca civilizations. These archeological sites generate more than enough awe and wonder to attract visitors and pilgrims from all over the globe. Equally unique and appealing however, is the sheer beauty of the country's landscapes, the abundance of its wildlife, and the strong character of the people – which has withstood a recent, lengthy period of bloody political upheaval.

The most varied and exciting of all the South American nations, Peru is often visualized as a mountainous place, many visitors remaining unaware of the splendour of the country's immense desert coastline and its vast tracts of tropical rainforest. Dividing these contrasting environments is a range of breathtaking peaks, the Andes, over six thousand metres high and four hundred kilometres wide in places, rippling the entire length of the country. So distinct are these three regions that it is very difficult to generalize about the country, but one thing for sure is that Peru offers unrivalled opportunities to experience an unusually wide range of spectacular scenery, as well as a wealth of human culture.
train to machu picchu
There's a rich diversity of music, dance and fiesta activity from every one of its distinctive regions, and Peruvian cuisine is some of the best in the Americas, partly because of the oceanic and tropical resources from which it draws.