Read These Peru Facts Before You Travel
Thinking of touring Peru? Get your Peru facts here. We’ve put together this essential list of Peru facts to help you prepare for your visit.
Location & Geography
- Peru is located in the western region of South America and shares borders with Ecuador & Colombia to the North, Brazil & Bolivia to the East and Chile to the South.
- Peru is the third largest country in South America and one of the top 20 largest countries in the world with a surface area of 1,285,215 km2.
- It has a population of over 28.5 million people of mixed ethnic origins including indigenous, African, Asian, and European.
- Peru boasts 11 ecological regions and 84 of the world’s 117 different “life zones”.
- By traditional methods, Peru is divided into three main regions: coast, highlands and jungle (the Amazon Rainforest). Each with its distinct culture, topography, food & climate.
- As part of its rich cultural tradition, Peru features many languages (i.e. Quechua, Aymara, etc.), although Spanish is most commonly spoken throughout the country.
- The official currency is the Nuevo Sol (S/.), which is divided into 100 centimos. There are coins for 5, 10, 20 and 50 centimos and 1, 2 and 5 Nuevos Soles. Bills include denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 Nuevos Soles.
- As of April 2016, the exchange rate was around 3.35 Nuevos Soles for each US Dollar and 3.66 Nuevos Soles for one Euro.
World Heritage Attractions
- City of Cusco – Located in the south of the Peruvian Andes, it is the country’s leading tourist destination. It was proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983.
- Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu – It is Cusco’s main attraction. It was proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983 and it is currently one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
- Historic Downtown Lima – Known as the City of Kings for its baroque and renaissance style churches and palaces, it is a World Heritage Site since 1991.
- Nazca Lines – These incredible small and large figures found in the Ica desert cover more than 450 km2 or 174 sq. miles. UNESCO listed it as a World Heritage Site in 1994.
- Chan Chan Archeological Area – It is the largest mud city in the pre-Hispanic world. Located in the La Libertad region in the north of Peru, it is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985.
- Historic Downtown Arequipa – The second largest city in Peru is situated in the south of the Peruvian Andes. Known as the “White City” due to the volcanic rock (sillar) used to build its houses and public buildings. It was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000.
- Chavín Archeological Complex – One of the most ancient sacred sites in the Americas and proclaimed a UNESCO World heritage Site in 1985. Located in the Ancash Region of Peru (160 miles north of Lima).
- Huascarán National Park – The second highest park in the Andes with a glacial summit of 6,000 masl (19,685 fasl). It contains 27 mountains, 663 glaciers, 269 lakes and 41 rivers. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985.
- Manu National Park – It includes territories between the eastern slopes of the Andes and the Amazon Jungle. It is inhabited by several tribes, and boasts 20,000 varieties of plants, 1,200 bird species, 200 mammal species and more. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987.
- Peruvian cuisine is the most diverse in the world as a result of the blending of a number of cultures within the country.
- The Ceviche is the most famous dish prepared with fish and/or seafood.
- However, Ají de Gallina (Chicken in Pepper Sauce), Lomo Saltado (stir-fried meat), Anticuchos (heart brochettes), Chupe de Camarones (shrimp soup), Papa a la Huancaina (potato in creamy chili sauce), as well as “Chifa” (Peruvian Chinese food) are just a few of the traditional dishes enjoyed by locals and foreigners alike.
- In recent years, a gastronomic boom has taken place that has propelled modern Peruvian cuisine into the world stage.
- Currently, three restaurants in the city of Lima are in the prestigious list of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants: Central is the world’s #4 restaurant, Astrid y Gastón is #14, and Maido is #44.
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