Peru is geographically divided in 3 natural regions: Coast, Highlands and Jungle. By its surface (1 285 215 km²), Peru is the third country of South America after Brazil and Argentina. Located between Ecuador and 18th degree latitude south, belongs to the intertropical zone. The country is divided in three great geographic regions: to the west, on the coast of the Pacific Ocean, a narrow desert strip seeded of populated oases; a central mountainous region, the Peruvian mountain range or the Andes (around 30 % of its territory), conformed by mountain ranges whose summits are to more of 6.000m of altitude and an extensive plateau, the Andean Plateau; finally, to the east the forest plains and the hills of the amazonian river basin that occupy 60 % of the territory.
Location: Western South America, bordering the South Pacific Ocean, between Chile and Ecuador.
Comparative Area: Slightly smaller than Alaska
Weather: Several from tropical in the east to dry and desert in the west
Land: Coastal plain to the west, high and rocky Andes to the center, high lands in the east of the forest of the Amazon River basin.
Natural Resources: Cobre · Silver · Golden · Petroleun · Wood · Fish · Iron mineral · Caroal · Phosphates · Potash.
Natural Dangers: Earthquakes, tidal waves, floods, landslides, smooth volcanic activity.
Singularity: Shared control with Bolivia of the Titicaca Lake, the higher navigable lake of the world, with Bolivia.
Which features deserts, beautiful beaches and fertile valleys.
The Peruvian coastline is formed by a long snaking desert hemmed in between the sea and the mountains. The Andes to the east and the cold Humboldt sea current that runs along the coast are what make this area so arid. From the Sechura desert to the Nazca plains and the Atacama desert, the dry coastal terrain is occasionally split by valleys covered by a thick layer of cloud and drizzle in the winter.
Humidity in these areas produces a sensation of cold, although temperatures rarely dip below 12°C. During the summer, meanwhile, the sun beats down and temperatures often top 30°C. The central and southern sections of the coast feature two well-defined seasons: winter from April to October, and summer from November to March.
The north coast, meanwhile, is not touched by the effects of the cold current, which means it enjoys 300 days of sunshine a year and warm temperatures all year-long (as much as 35°C in the summer). The rain season runs from November to March.
A mountainous area dominated by the Andes, where Mount Huascaran soars to 6,768 meters.
In the Peruvian highlands, there are two well-defined seasons: the dry season (from April to October), marked by sunny days, cold nights and the lack of rain (the ideal time for visiting); and the rainy season (November to March), when there are frequent rain showers (generally more than 1000 mm). A characteristic of the mountain region is the drop in temperature during the day: temperatures commonly range around 24°C at midday before plunging to -3°C at night.
The steep slopes of the Andes means temperatures gradually drop in the highest region, known as the puna, the highland plain.
The dry and pleasant climate in the highlands makes it possible to grow a wide variety of crops there.
River Basin, home to Peru’s largest natural reserves.
The vast Peruvian jungle, which surrounds the wide and winding Amazon river, is divided into two differentiated areas: the cloud forest (above 700 masl), which features a subtropical, balmy climate, with heavy rain showers (around 3000 mm a year) between November and March, and sunny days from April to October; and the lowland jungle (below 700 masl), where the dry season runs from April to October and is ideal for tourism, with sunshine and high temperatures often topping 35°C.
During this season, the river levels dip and roads are easy to drive. The rainy season, meanwhile, which runs from November to March, features frequent rain showers (at least once a day) which can damage roads in the area.
The jungle features high humidity all year long. In the southern jungle, there are sometimes cold spells known locally as friajes or surazos, cold fronts which drift up from the far south of the continent between May and August, where temperatures can drop to 8-12°C.
With an area of 1,285,215 square km, Peru is the third-largest country in South America after Brazil and Argentina, ranking it amongst the world’s 20 largest nations. Peru also holds sway over the sea up to 200 miles from the Peruvian coast and has territorial rights to an area of 60 million hectares in the Antarctic. Peru is divided into 24 departments, plus the Constitutional Province of
Callao. Lima is the capital of Peru.
– Urban: 72,3 %
– Rural: 27,7 %
Peru is a nation of mixed ethnic origins. Throughout its history, Peru has been the meeting ground for different nations and cultures. The indigenous population was joined 500 years ago by the Spaniards.
As a result of this encounter, and later enriched by the migration of African blacks, Asians and Europeans, Peruvian man emerged as the representative of a nation whose rich ethnic mix is one of its leading characteristics.
Language – Peru
– Spanish: 80,3%
– Quechua: 16,2%
– Other languages: 3,0%
– Foreign languages: 0,2%
As part of its rich cultural tradition, Peru features many different languages. Although Spanish is commonly spoken across the country, Quechua is a major legacy of the Inca empire, and is still spoken with regional dialects in many parts of Peru.
In addition, other languages are spoken such as Aymara (in Puno) and a startling variety of dialects in the Amazon jungle, which are divided up into 15 linguistic families and 38 different languages.
The official currency in Peru is the Nuevo Sol (S/.), which is divided into 100 centimos. The currency includes coins for 5, 10, 20 and 50 centimos and 1, 2 and 5 sol coins. There are bills in the denomination of 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 soles.
Peru is a democratic republic. The president and members of Congress are elected every five years by universal suffrage. The current constitutional president of Peru is Alan Garcia Perez (2006-2011).
Religion – Peru
Roman Catholic: 89%
Other religions: 4%
Peru is a naturally religious country: a diversity of beliefs and freedom of worship can be seen from the wide range of festivals and rituals that feature both Catholic fervor and the mysticism of age-old pre-Hispanic cultures.
* If you need any further information about Peru, do not hesitate to contact us.
Banking hours in Peru are normally from Monday to Friday, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. In addition, most banks open for the public half day on Saturdays. In the streets of the main cities there are teller machines installed by the different banks.
It is recommended that money should be exchanged in hotels, banks and authorized money exchange offices (Service hours: 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., approximately). The exchange rate against the US Dollar is variable. Inquire before changing your money. For exchanging other currencies inquiry at money exchange offices
Most of the cities of Peru have a wide variety of night life entertainment. Information about places of interest can be obtained where you are staying. If you wish to enjoy typical Peruvian music, you can visit the so-called “peñas”.
In Lima, the most popular discotheques, pubs and night clubs are in the Districts of Miraflores, San Isidro and Barranco. In other cities they are normally found in city centers (main square and vicinity).
Peruvian cuisine offers a great variety of dishes typical of the Coast, the Highlands and the Jungle. Always first ask about their ingredients, since some dishes can contain hot pepper or be highly spiced. You will also find establishments where international food is prepared. As far as drinks are concerned, try the very Peruvian Pisco (grape brandy) in any of its various recipes, as well as “chicha morada” (purple corn juice) “chicha de jora” (fermented red or yellow corn juice)and agüaje juice, made from a tropical Jungle fruit.
* If you need any further information about Peru, do not hesitate to contact us.
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