Discover Peru has assembled Basic Information about Peru. We have Travel Information divided into several sections for easier viewing. These sections are: Summary, Cuisine, History, Culture, Weather, Natural Aspects and Travel Tips.
Where does one start when trying to describe Peru? Would it be an historical overview? A description of the wondrous mountain ranges and fascinating ruins? Its turbulent and sometimes violent political history? Peru encompasses a past that goes back over 10 thousand years in one of the most harsh and inhospitable yet spectacular environments in the world - the high Andes.
The southern coast, from the region of Arequipa down through northern Chile is part of the Atacama Desert, the driest spot on Earth. The jungle, which makes up the majority of Peru's land mass is full of hidden wonders and mysteries. But most of all, it's the Peruvian people that make this country so interesting. The variety of ethnic backgrounds is nothing short of astounding: native Andean people, Afro-Peruvians, Spanish, Chinese (the largest community in South and Central America), Japanese, Italians, Germans, indigenous Amazon tribes and even a small Jewish community.
Peru is one of the larger countries in South America, with approximately 24 million inhabitants. Its capital, Lima, founded in January 18th, 1535, has a population of approximately 8½ million inhabitants. The local time coincides with Eastern Standard Time in the U.S.A. and is five hours behind Greenwich Mean Time. This country is divided into 23 departments (much like states) with each department broken down into many provinces.
Peru is an incredible country with numerous spectacular sceneries, from the Atacama Desert, the driest spot on Earth, to the spectacular high Andes Mountains and the Amazon basin, with its wide range of ecosystems and abundance wildlife. Furthermore, there are various breathtaking places to be explored:
Lima - The capital of Peru, which has a lot of interesting sights to be visit, like the catacombs of the San Francisco Church and the Plaza de Armas;
Cuzco - The "Home of Gods," the capital of one of the largest pre-Colombian empires: Tiwantinsuyo; There you will discover the Sacred Valley;
Machu Picchu - One of the most extraordinary examples of landscape architecture in the world;
Puno and its main attraction - The wonderful Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world;
Ica, Pisco and Nazca - Where you can find the Inca cemetery of Chauchilla, the famous Nazca Lines and the National Reserve of Paracas;
Arequipa - The "white city", surrounded by volcanoes;
Huaraz and Ancash - With the incredible snowcapped scenery and glaciated valleys, the best and most popular jumping off point for climbing and trekking;
Manu National Park - Peru's greatest natural treasure. Was included in UNESCO´s list of Mankind's Natural Heritages in 1987, home to source of the Amazon River and part of the Amazon Rainforest;