Peru is full of an innumerable amount of stories, myths, and legends, coming from all the ancient civilizations that have occupied the Peruvian lands. All these civilizations and cultures had amazing stories; the name of Peru also has its own story.
It is said that many centuries ago, when the Spaniards arrived, they asked the inhabitants about the name of the territory they just came to. The inhabitants answered them and said that it was called Virú. The Spaniards, without being able to pronounce the name Virú, decided to call it Peru.
Peru is located in the western part of South America, and is comprised of 24 regions, and one constitutional province, which is that of Callao.
The Peruvian territory is bordered by Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, Bolivia and Chile. The borders take the following form:
To the north: bordered by Ecuador and Colombia
To the south: bordered by Chile
To the east: bordered by Brazil and Bolivia
To the west: bordered by the Pacific Ocean
Peru is the third largest country in South America in size and one of the 20 largest countries in size in the world, comprised of 1,285,215.6 square kilometers.
The currency of Peru is the nuevo sol.
The official languages are Spanish, Quechua and Aymara.
Peru has 47 indigenous languages, the majority of them spoken in the Amazonian jungle of Peru. The most well known of these languages are: Shipibo, Asháninca, Aguaruna, and Jaqaru.
The capital of Peru is Lima.
The historic capital is Cusco.
Peru is one of the countries with the greatest diversity in the whole world. It is a mega diverse country, containing 11 eco regions and 84 areas of life out of a total of 117 in the entire world.
Peru has a large variety of landscapes, owing to the geographic conditions that are within its entire territory. There is also a large amount of diversity in natural resources.
The territory of Peru is divided into three different regions according to the altitudes that are in the country:
The Coast: this region takes up 11% of the country, comprised of a long stretch of land bathing along the Pacific Ocean filled with valleys, beaches, and deserts.
Climate: The coastal region has a warm temperate climate, with high humidity and dense mist. The temperature can reach up to 30 degrees Celsius.
The coastal region is comprised of two different climates:
In the northern part, there are warm temperatures with the presence of rain during the months of November and December.
On the other side, in the central and southern parts, there are two noticeable seasons: winter (April to October) and summer (November to March).
The Mountains: The Mountain region occupies 30% of the country’s land. This is the mountainous area of Peru, owing to the presence of the Andes mountain range. This region has different eco regions within its different levels of altitude, revealing beautiful landscapes like that of the Huascarán, the highest peak in Peru.
Climate: The climate in the Mountains is dry and temperate with varying temperatures throughout the day.
The Jungle: The Jungle region takes up 59% of the country of Peru and contains an abundance of tropical vegetation. In this region, the huge nature reserves of Peru are located here.
Climate: The climate of the jungle region is humid and tropical with a large amount of precipitation.
- Peru has 11 renowned places that are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites and they are:
- The City of Cusco
- The Archaeological Sanctuary of Machu Picchu
- The Chavin Archaeological Site
- The Huascarán National Park
- The Chan Chan Archaeological Site
- The Manu National Park
- The Historic Center of Lima
- The Rio Abiseo National Park
- The Nazca Lines and the Pampas of Jumana
- The Historic Center of Arequipa
Peru has a large variety of destinations for tourists in its entire territory.
Trip Advisor published its ranking of the 25 most popular destinations in South America in 2013, and within it, there are 10 Peruvian destinations that appear on the list. These destinations are:
- Machu Picchu (Cusco): occupying the first spot
- The Sacred Valley of the Incas (Cusco): occupying the third spot
- Sacsayhuaman (Cusco): occupying the fifth spot
- The Monastery of Santa Catalina (Arequipa): occupying the ninth spot
- Pisac (Cusco): occupying the tenth spot
- The Plaza de Armas in Cusco (Cusco): occupying the eleventh spot
- Cusco’s Cathedral (Cusco): occupying the sixteenth spot
- The Temple of the Sun-Qoricancha (Cusco): occupying the eighteenth spot
- The Temple in Ollantaytambo (Cusco): occupying the twenty-first spot
- Moray (Cusco): occupying the twenty-third spot