50 Fascinating Facts about Peru

Peru is located in the western part of South America. Ecuador and Columbia border the country to the north, Brazil borders it to the east and Chile and Bolivia border the country to the south. The west side of the country is completely bordered by the Pacific Ocean. Peru is the 20th largest country in the world, and encompasses 496,225 square miles (1,285,216 square kilometers). The entire country is home to over 30 million people, making it the 40th largest country in the world by population alone. Its capital city Lima is home to 7.6 million inhabitants. The Peruvian flag two colors, red and white. It is a horizontal flag with two red strips bordering a white stripe. The official language of the country is Spanish. Peru does not have an official religion, but the majority of the population follows the Christian faith. Peru is considered a developing country and its economy is still trying to stabilize. The Nuevo sol is their currency today, and has been used since 1991 after their government declared their previous currency too inflated. Since the 1990s, the Nuevo sol has been considered one the most stable currencies in Latin America.

Peru Facts

1
Peru's total nominal GDP is $220.8 billion, while its nominal per capita GDP is $7,135.
2
The World Bank has classified Peru as having an upper middle class income, and as being one of the fastest growing economies in the world.
3
Peru's economy is based widely on services and manufacturing. They have recently reformed many of their trade terms and expect foreign trade to boost their economy even more.
4
Peru's main exports include gold, flour, copper, and oil. Their main imports include vehicles, technology and refined oil. They have trading agreements with the United States, China, Canada and Japan.
5
Peru's government is a unitary presidential constitutional republic. Each term they elect a President, Vice President and a Prime Minister.
6
The Incan Empire settled in Peru in 1438 and ruled the country until 1533 when Spanish conquistadors conquered them. Machu Picchu, which was home to an Incan emperor, still stands today and is a prominent tourist spot in Peru.
7
The Amazon Rainforest covers half of Peru. The country has designated much of the rain forest as nature reservations in order to spare the ecosystem
8
One plant that is indigenous to Peru is the puya raimondi. It is a flower that only blooms every 100 years.
9
In terms of natural resources alone, Peru is considered one of the richest countries in the world. However, much of these resources haven't been fully tapped into yet.
10
Peru has numerous different climates. The western part of the country is full of coastal desserts and beaches, while the Andean mountains have a very cool and wintry climate. Peru also is home to numerous jungle regions which are tropical and humid.
11
Natural disasters occur frequently in Peru, including hurricanes and earthquakes. The country also has a few mild volcano eruptions every few years.
12
Peru celebrates their Independence Day on July 28th each year. This celebrates the day that Peruvians gained their independence from Spanish rule in 1824.
13
All Peruvian festivals and holidays bring together family and food. Peruvians love making large feasts for celebrations, and will cook tradition foods such as seafood, potatoes, corn and spicy peppers.
14
Carnival is celebrated each year exactly three days before Lent. It is a time in Peru where all of the citizens celebrate one final party before they begin the Easter season.
15
Christmas is celebrated each year with food and drinking. Peruvians also give many gifts on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day to their families and friends.
16
When Peruvians aren't celebrating events with food and alcohol, they like to play sports. Soccer and volleyball are played throughout the country, and are often a part of traditional celebrationsg.
17
There are over 3,000 varieties of potatoes in Peru. The food was originally from Peru, and most Peruvians eat potatoes at least once a day.
18
Over 1600 types of orchids can be found in Peru. 425 of these types can be found growing around Machu Picchu.
19
The Pisco Sour is known as Peru's official drink. It is made with brandy, sugar water, lemons, egg whites and ice.
20
Lake Titicaca is located in Southern Peru and is the highest navigable lake in the world, along with being the largest lake in South America.
21
It is completely acceptable and normal in many areas of Peru to eat cat.
22
The University of San Marcos was founded in 1551, and is the oldest university in the Americas.
23
The name Peru means land of abundance.
24
Peru is one of the top providers in the world of silver, copper, lead, and zinc.
25
Peru declared its independence from the Spanish in 1821.
26
Over the last decade, poverty and unemployment rates have fallen dramatically, and Peru is considered to have one of the best-performing economies in Latin America.
27
45% of the population is Amerindian, while 37% are mestizo, Americaindian mixed with white.
28
The primary religion in Peru is Catholicism. Over 81% of Peruvians are Roman Catholic.
29
The country's literacy rate is over 94%.
30
The country has three official languages: Spanish, Aymara, and Quechua.
31
Peru has the second highest number of Shamans in the world, trailing only behind India.
32
Three-quarters of the world's alpacas live in Peru.
33
Machu Picchu is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
34
The oldest newspaper in South America was founded in 1825 in Lima.
35
Guinea pig is a food that is commonly eaten in Peru.
36
Ancient Peruvians were known to bury food with the dead. They believed that the food would sustain the deceased in the afterlife.
37
Peru is one of the top coffee producing countries of the world.
38
This country is the 6th largest producer of gold in the entire world.
39
Cerro Blanco is the tallest sand dune in the world, and it is located in Peru. It measures 3,860 feet from base to summit.
40
There are about 90 different micro-climates in the country, making Peru one of the most bio-diverse countries in the world.
41
Over 55 different varieties of corn are grown in Peru.
42
The national dance of Peru is the marinera, which mimics the mating rituals of birds.
43
Though there are three official national languages, there may be 13 or more additional languages spoken by natives.
44
The firt bullfight in Peru was held in Lima in 1538.
45
The Cotahuasi Canyon in Peru is the deepest canyon in the world with a depth of over 5,000 meters.
46
Peru's currency is called "Nuevo Sol." It was first adopted by the government during the 1980s.
47
A soccer riot in 1964 that was the worst in history took place in Peru. It claimed about 300 lives and injured hundreds more.
48
Yellow underpants are a common gift given on New Year's Eve. These underpants are thought to bring good luck to the recipient.
49
Peru has an abundance of fish, coming second only to India in terms of its fisheries.
50
In Peru, it is common for a man to work with his father-in-law and a woman to work with her mother-in-law before the man and woman marry.

Peru is an interesting country with an intriguing history and economy. The country has had its pitfalls economically, but today is thriving and is continuing to grow. Peru is also a great place to visit. Thousands of tourists take the trip to Peru each year to visit Machu Picchu, the Amazon rain forest and Peru’s beautiful coastline.

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