Início About Peru
Peru is situated in the western central part of South America, with an area of 1'285,215 square kilometers. On the north it is bordered by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil and Bolivia, and on the south by Chile. The entire west side of Peru is bordered by the Pacific Ocean. Its territory covers the Andean Mountain Range from South to North, forming three natural regions: the Coast, a narrow desert stripe; the Highlands, with large mountains and narrow valleys; and the Jungle, which forms part of the great Amazon territory. Peru is home to 84 out of the 115 life zones in the world.
Despite its rugged and inhospitable territory, this country is the cradle of highly developed cultures; the most famous is the Inca civilization. These cultures thrived thousands of years before the arrival of Europeans. Over the years, the archaeological remains of these cultures have become the main tourist attraction of the country and they are the main reason for millions of people to visit the country. Because Cusco was the capital of the Incan Empire, the most important archaeological remains are located in and around this city, especially in Machu Picchu. Peru is also home to the Nazca lines that are etched on its coastal desert such as the funerary towers called chullpas near Lake Titicaca. Not far from Trujillo is Chan Chan, the largest pre-Columbian mud city in the world; and to the north of Chiclayo is the burial site of the Lord of Sipán, which finding (1987) represented the archaeological discovery of the XX century in Peru.
The Peruvian culinary art offers a great variety of dishes. From potato-based foods to delicious fish and shellfish dishes, for example Cebiche (raw fish cook in lemon), Palta Rellena (fill with more ingredients), Lomo Saltado (fried beef stewed in onions, potatoes and vegetables accompanied with rice), or the typical Cuy Picante (roasted cuy). Many tropical fruits and beverages of exotic fruits are very good to try too. Especially the Mate (herbs), that helps the body to acclimatize. In addition, you will verify why the Pisco Sour, cocktail elaborated with Pisco that is the national beverage of Peru, is famous all over the World.
Almost 80% of the population in Peru is Catholic. Catholism was imposed by the Spanish. However, the religion is not pure itself, but is also influenced by rites and thousand-year-old Andean customs.
The Peruvians often use superlatives to describe the features of our country, for example Lake Titicaca, the world’s highest navigable lake at 3856 meters (12,725 ft) above sea level or the awesome Cordillera Blanca, which is about 180 km (112 miles) long and 20 km (12 miles) wide. In this small area, there are more than 50 peaks of 5700 meters (18,696 ft) or even higher. The Huascarán, at 6768 meters (22,199 ft), is not only Peru’s highest mountain, but also the highest peak in the tropics anywhere in the world. The Amazon River, the world’s mightiest river, springs in Peru and gives name to the huge Jungle that covers the largest area in the country. Another wonder of Peru is the Colca canyon, the deepest in the world. As if that were not enough, Caral, located north from Lima, has the privilege of being the oldest city of the Western hemisphere. It has been proven, using the carbon 14 method, that this settlement was inhabited 2900 years B.C.
Due to the astounding variety of climates and ecosystems, Peru is among the top eight nations in the world in terms of biodiversity, having 84 out of 104 life zones existing all over the planet. Peru is also home to about 10% of all mammals and reptiles living on the planet and shelters more than 20% of the birds on the Earth. The insects also deserve special mention. On one single tree in the Tambopata Amazon, located in the southeast of Peru, scientists identified over 5000 different species, including more ant species that can be found in all of the British Isles. Amazing, isn’t it?
The great creativity of the Peruvian man, an Inca heritage, is found in Peruvian music. The music varies from melancholic and sentimental to lively and festive. Perhaps the best-known example of Andean music is El Condor Pasa. The craftwork is among the most varied in the world. It contains pre-Hispanic symbols that melt and mix together with other ones that were brought by the Spanish. You, as millions of people, will find tempted to carry these beautiful souvenirs to your country.
Peru has the highest railroad in the world. The Andean condor is the largest flying bird in the world. The Paiche, inhabiting the Amazon Jungle, is the largest fresh water fish in the world and the capibara (ronsoco) is the biggest rodent in the world. The Puya Raymondi is the tallest flower spike in the world. The world’s largest black marlin, weighing 1560 pounds, according to the Guinessbook, was caught off Cabo Blanco, in the northern coast of Peru. The world's longest waves are in Chicama, north of Trujillo, obviously very popular beaches visited by surfers from around the world.
The historic-cultural heritage and ecological richness of Peru has been recognized by the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), an agency of the U.N. with head-quarters in Paris that has submitted ten world heritages sites:
· The City of Cusco (designated in 1983)
· Machu Picchu Historic Sanctuary (1983)
· Chavin Archaelogical Site (1985)
· Huascaran National Park (1985)
· Manu National Park (1985)
· Chan Chan Archaeological Site (1988)
· Rio Abiseo National Park (1990)
· Historic Center of Lima (1991) · Nazca Lines (1994)
· Historical Center of the City of Arequipa (2000).
Peru is well-known for the warmth of its people, who are modest and happy. Children of immigrants, who come from diverse places of the world; or simply people that fell in love with Peru and stayed here. The happiness of our country reflects itself in each corner, places where life is simpler, so far away from the daily urban lifestyle.
80% of the population in Peru speaks Spanish. There are other official languages like Quechua and Aymara, and other different native dialects in the Amazon Jungle. More than half of Peruvians are of mixed racial origin, and many of them use Quechua or Aymara as their mother tongue.
One of the main tourist attractions in the country is the Peruvian Folklore. Puno is the Capital of Folklore and the celebration of the “Virgen de la Candelaria” Festival is the perfect proof. In Cusco we have the “Virgen Del Carmen” Festival (Paucartambo). The traditions in Peru are completely related to the life of the Andean man.
Peruvian art is one of the best tourist attractions such as the caballitos de totora (Puno), Painting (Cusqueña School), Literature (Mario Vargas Llosa), Music (Pachattusan Inkari), etc... Besides, includes Universities of prestige as the San Marcos Major National University (Lima), The National University of Engineering (Lima), San Antonio Abbat University (Cusco).