It once the home of many ancient civilizations, Peru is very rich in history. In Peru, you will find the well-known ancient city of Machu Pichu, and you will find the ruins of the Inca people. Lima hosts several museums that tell you the story of their ancestors’ skills and riches. There is a lot to discover in Peru, and not just about history. There is also a majestic wilderness out there for discovery for hikers, mountain bikers and those that enjoy rafting. Just like other South American countries, Peru has lush rain forests and beautiful, roaring rivers. You will truly feel the South American spirit.
Important and Interesting Facts about Peru
- Peru, in western South America, extends for nearly 1,500 mi (2,414 km) along the Pacific Ocean
- Peru grows more than 55 varieties of corn, and you can just about find it in any color including yellow, purple, white and black.
- The potato is originally from Peru, and there are over 3,000 different varieties. Proud Peruvians use the phrase “Soy mas Peruano que la papa” (I am more Peruvian than the potato).
- Peru is the 6th largest producer of gold.
- Peru is a surfer’s paradise. Chicama has the world’s longest left-handed wave at 4km’s long, and Mancora (close by) has the world’s largest left-handed point-break.
- Two-thirds of Peru is covered in prime Amazon Rain Forest.
- Peru’s Huascarán National Park has more has 27 snow-capped peaks 6,000 meters (19,685 feet) above sea level, of which El Huascarán (6,768 meters / 22,204 feet) is the highest.
- Peru has 1625 types of orchids of-which 425 can be found growing naturally close to Machu Picchu. The Inkaterra Hotel in Machu Picchu has South America’s largest privately owned collection at 500 varietiies.
- Cusco in Peru was the most important city in the whole of the Inca Empire, and governed as far north as Quito in Ecuador and as far south as Santiago in Chile.
- Lake Titicaca in Southern Peru is the world’s highest navigable lake, and South America largest lake.
- Peru is home to the highest sand dune in the world. Cerro Blanco located in the Sechura Desert near the Nazca Lines measures 3,860 feet (1,176 meters) from the base to the summit.
Cool, Funny, and Fun Facts about Peru
- In Chincha on Peru’s southern coast it is quite acceptable to eat cat!
- Peru is the only country whose name in English can be typed on a single row of a normal keyboard.
- Chili sauce and hot spices were banned from prison food in Peru in 1973 on the grounds that they might arouse sexual desires.
- Peru is not the only four-letter country with a four-letter capital (Lima). Fiji (capital, Suva) and Togo (Lomé) also share that distinction
- Peru is the only country with place names that begin with a double-Q (Qquea, Qquecquerisca and Qquero are all places in Peru)
- There are 1,881 bird species to be seen in Peru.
- There are 3 official languages in Peru: Spanish, Quechua and Aymara, but east of the Andes in Amazon Jungle regions it is thought that natives speak a further 13 different languages.
- The Pisco Sour is Peru’s national drink and is made using Pisco brandy, lemons, sugar water, egg whites, ice and finished with bitters.
- In Peru, it is tradition to give friends and family yellow underpants on New Year’s Eve.
- There are some 90 different micro-climates in Peru, making it one of the most bio-diverse countries on the planet.
Historical and Cultural Facts about Peru
- The earliest evidences of human presence in Peruvian territory have been dated to approximately 9,000 BC
- Peru was once part of the great Incan Empire and later the major vice-royalty of Spanish South America. It was conquered in 1531–1533 by Francisco Pizarro.
- On July 28, 1821, Peru proclaimed its independence, but the Spanish were not finally defeated until 1824.
- Peru is the world’s second-greatest fishing nation: only China has a higher annual catch.
- The Cupisnique culture which flourished from around 1000 to 200 BC along what is now Peru’s Pacific Coast was an example of early pre-Incan culture.
- The oldest known complex society in Peru, the Norte Chico civilization, flourished along the coast of the Pacific Ocean between 3,000 and 1,800 BC.
- Peru’s capital Lima was once the most powerful city in South America, but fell into decline when the Spanish created a viceroyalty in Rio de la Plata
- Cuy or Guinea Pig is a traditional dish eaten in Peru.
- Fishing is an important pillar of Peru’s economy.
- The Peruvian textile industry is an important sector of Peru’s economy.
- In the country the cotton is grown and other fibers produced, spun, weaved, dyed, the fabric and textile manufactured and finally mostly exported.
- Peru is the world’s largest exporter of asparagus, with 117,000 metric tonnes in 2012.