Peru General

Peru, one of the main travel destinations in South America Tours, is maybe mostly known for its Inca civilization but has so much more to offer. Following some Peru facts to grasp your attention;

  • Peru is home to 6 of 8 climate zones on this planet
  • Peru has some of the driest desert, longest mountain ranges, deepest canyons and largest rainforest in the world
  • Peru is has 21,462 species of plants and animals reported, one of the highest numbers in the world
  • Machu Picchu was elected as one of the “New 7 World Wonders” by an international jury
  • The Peruvian Coast is over 2,000 Km long
  • The Amazon River's source can be found in the Peruvian Andes, and has its longest trajectory in this country
  • Peru is the fifth largest country in South America and together with Brazil and Colombia the most diverse

As you can read, Peru information and Peru facts are endlessly impressive and a source for many people with many different interests to come visit this country for themselves and experience the facts first handed.

The Peruvian territory is home to one of the oldest civilizations on the American continent, dating back to 11.000BC. These civilizations, especially the Moche and Nazca Culture, have left behind famous and intriguing monuments and sites such as Chan Chan, the largest adobe city in the world, and the mysterious Nazca Lines, source of many theories and discussions.

In the eyes of history all of these civilizations were surpassed by the famous Inca culture and their struggle against the Spanish Conquistadores setting foot on land in Peru in the 16th century. The Inca’s, known for their amazing architectural and agricultural skills did indeed posses once the biggest territory in the Americas, leaving behind great buildings and structures and impossible places, the best known of course Machu Picchu.

When Francisco Pizarro landed in Lima, he and his fellow conquistadores where immediately blinded by the sheer quantities of gold and silver for hand in these lands. For the Inca population the value of gold and silver was merely religious and symbolic, all transactions in their culture were done in exchange of services and daily needs. For the Spanish on the other hand these precious metals provoked somewhat of a “gold fever” and their lust only grew when reaching the highlands. Taking advantage of the internal division between the northern and southern part of this huge empire, the Spanish managed to use this in their advantage and quite easily march up to Cajamarca and later to Cusco, banishing the remaining Inca population into their last retreats the deep jungle of Southern Peru, and so ending this great empire.          

Peru is a Democratic Republic and divided into 25 regions. The geography varies from the desert of the Pacific coast to the high peaks of the Andes and the tropical forests of the Amazon Rainforest. Peru’s main economic activities include agriculture, fishing, mining, and manufacturing of products such as textiles.

The main language is Spanish, although a large number of Peruvians speak Quechua (especially in the highlands) or other native languages. 

Peruvian culture is primarily rooted in Amerindian and Spanish traditions, though it has also been influenced by various African, Asian, and European ethnic groups. Peruvian artistic traditions date back to the elaborate pottery, textiles, jewelry, and sculpture of Pre-Inca cultures. The Incas maintained these crafts and elaborated architectural achievements including the construction of Machu Picchu and other Inca Sites on impressive locations. Baroque dominated colonial art, though modified by native traditions. During this period, most art focused on religious subjects; the numerous churches of the era and the paintings of the Cuzco School are representative. Arts stagnated after independence until the emergence of Indigenismo in the early 20th century. 

Peruvian literature has its roots in the oral traditions of pre-Columbian civilizations. Spaniards introduced writing in the 16th century; colonial literary expression included chronicles and religious literature. After independence, Costumbrism and Romanticism became the most common literary genres, as exemplified in the works of Ricardo Palma. In the early 20th century, the Indigenismo movement produced famous Peruvian writers such as Ciro Alegría, José María Arguedas, and César Vallejo. During the second half of the century, Peruvian literature became more widely known because of authors such as recent Nobel Prize winner Mario Vargas Llosa, a leading member of the Latin American Literature Boom. 

Peruvian music has Andean, Spanish and African roots. In pre-Hispanic times, musical expressions varied widely from region to region; the quena and the tinya were two common instruments. Spanish conquest brought the introduction of new instruments such as the guitar and the harp, as well as the development of crossbred instruments like the charango. African contributions to Peruvian music include its rhythms and the cajónperuano, a percussion instrument, shaped as a wooden box with a hole in one side. The instrument is played by moving it back and forth to enhance or dim the sounds.

Peruvian folk dances include marinera, tondero and of course the impressive Baila de los Tijeras, the Scissors dance. Peru’s modern culture certainly reflects the impressive pre-Columbian civilizations that flourished here before the arrival of the Spanish. Perhaps it are the the Peru events and festivals that best display the vivid mixture of native and Spanish cultural aspect found throughout the modern Peru history. There is no escaping Peru history if you choose to come here, and this makes it a top destination for people looking for an adventures and historically interesting holiday.

If this Peru information does not already entice you to start looking into a Peru vacation, we would like to invite you to read the other pages with Peru facts and information about its regions to find out more. Or just let us know where you would like to go...

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 Also want to read about the weather in Machu Picchu? 

Also want to read about the weather in Machu Picchu?