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Peru information


PERU
Country Destination
Peru is a unique destination. Its living culture, impressive history and diversity of natural resources make a visit there a truly unforgettable experience. From Cuzco to Lake Titicaca, walking at Machu Picchu of the Incas, or traveling through the jungle or over the Nazca Lines, discover a new adventure in each of its attractions to experience a really different vacation.

Taking a tour in Peru is like taking a hundred trips in one. Rich in pre-Inca and Inca archaeological treasures, biodiversity and ecosystems, as well as cultural expressions, traditional customs, artistic performances and the best cuisine in the region, Peru lets the traveler experience not only cultural tourism, but a huge range of possibilities in community, adventure, or ecological tourism as well as other special interest travel.

Its attractions are revealed through the country’s variety of natural regions: a vast desert coastal strip running from north to south, the Andes with their impressive peaks and glaciers, and the stunning Amazon jungle, rich in animal and plant species, many of them endangered and many others, unique in the world. In a single vacation, you can see the many different sides of the same country.

Peru invites you, with a pisco sour or a glass of sweet chicha morada, to enjoy the best beaches, the landscape of valleys and Andean mountain peaks, the majesty of the flight of the condor, the imposing view of Machu Picchu and the magic of Incan Cusco, while discovering the sounds of the Amazon or simply relaxing before the stunning Lake Titicaca. Whether on the coast, the mountains or the jungle, discover a culture and history that continue to live through the joy and warmth of its people. Discover a country with a thousand attractions and experience a vacation that will be forever etched in your memory.

Geography

Peru is located in the central-western portion of South America, occupying a total area of 1,285,215 sq. km. and 200 miles of territorial sea. It is divided into 3 distinct regions: The coast, a narrow desert strip that, at its widest point, is 180 km. wide. Here we find destinations such as the Nazca Lines and Paracas. The Sierra, with the Andes Mountains crisscrossing the territory and making geography as diverse as the plains surrounding Lake Titicaca and the heights of Machu Picchu .The jungle, dominated by the exuberance of the Amazon.

Population

Peru's population is estimated at some 29.22 million inhabitants, making it the 4th most populous country of South- America. 75% of the population lives in urban areas and 25%, in rural areas. Peru has a mixture of races as a result of the different immigrant groups that have arrived to the country throughout its history.
The most important religion is Catholicism, which coexists in harmony with other religions that are accepted within the freedom of religion that is established in the Constitution.

Economy

Thanks to the wealth of its natural resources and high levels of exports make mining, agriculture and fishing the main sources of the country’s foreign exchange. In recent years, however, products with value-added have gained greater importance among our exports, as has the service sector, thus permitting our economy to develop and enabling us to become the fastest growing country in the entire region. Tourism is also an important generator of employment and income for the country. Among the major destinations are Machu Picchu and other archaeological sites in the city of Cuzco, Lake Titicaca, the Nazca Lines and the Amazon jungle

History

In Peru, history is alive because its customs and traditions persist over time. Peru’s rich past goes back to the first civilization in the entire American continent, millennia before the development of the Inca culture and the height of cities such as Cuzco. Bandurria, north of Lima, which is more than 5,000 years old (contemporary to Egyptian and Mesopotamian societies), is thus the earliest society recorded in the Americas.

Later, different cultures developed throughout Peru, such as the Paracas, Nazca, Mochica, Tiahuanaco and the most recognized and representative of all - the Inca culture – that, during its period of greatest expansion, came to occupy the territory of present-day Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, Chile, Bolivia and Argentina. Its huge buildings are just a sampling of the grandeur of this society. Citadels such as Machu Picchu and Choquequirao, as well as many other archaeological sites, many located in the city of Cuzco and its surroundings, are just examples of the level of development and knowledge in architecture and engineering of the Incas.

With the arrival of the Spanish to Peru in the sixteenth century, the Viceroyalty of Peru was established in the name of the Spanish Crown, making it the most important colony of the Spanish Empire in America, due mainly to the riches that were to be extracted from its mines.

In 1821, General José de San Martín proclaimed the independence of Peru, but the Viceroyalty continued to operate until 1824, when the Viceroy José de la Serna surrendered to the forces of Antonio José de Sucre following the Battle of Ayacucho.

Destination


ALTITUDE: 150 meters
CLIMATE: Humid throughout the year. Warm from October to April.
AV. TEMP.: 14 º / 28 º C.

In the city of Lima, the capital of Peru, the present is blended with history and tradition to show us its many attractions and cultural heritage. Founded in 1535 by the Spanish conquistadors as the City of Kings, it became the most important city in South America during the colonial era. The capital of Peru today houses a plethora of both architectural and archaeological monuments, which for their beauty and preservation have won the title of Cultural Heritage of Humanity from UNESCO. Whether by day or night, it is worth the trouble to see it all for the contrast of its landscapes and its various attractions.

Located on the shore of the Pacific Ocean, between the Rímac and Lurín river valleys, with a population of approximately 9 million people, Lima displays pre-Inca, Inca, colonial and republican architecture, each existing in complete harmony in a city that continues to grow at the pace of modernity.

The capital is a dynamic city where pre-Columbian colonial and modern Lima blend, offering a variety of accommodations, restaurants, entertainment, shopping, sports, tours as well as cultural and ecological attractions.
ALTITUDE: 3,400 meters
CLIMATE: Dry, sunny and warm during the day, cold at night
RAINY SEASON: November / March
AV. TEMP.: 5 / 24 º C.

History, magic and fun mix in the city of Cuzco, sometimes written Cusco or Qosqo, the capital of the Inca Empire of Tahuantinsuyo, known at the time as the "Navel of the World." Its founding by the Spanish dates back to 1534, and today, it is considered the archeological capital of America and a Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Without a doubt, it is the most important tourist destination in Peru and, possibly, in South America, as is the majestic citadel of Machu Picchu.

The history of our country can be summed up on the streets of this city. One only has to see it to appreciate the mixture of cultures, people, customs and architecture that are merely examples of the passage of the different periods, from pre-Inca to the present day, thus bringing together the history of Peru in a single place.

Cuzco is home to one of the 7 Wonders of the World: Machu Picchu, the most important expression of the Incas’ technology and work efforts in stone. You may get to Machu Picchu while enjoying the classic route by train, reveling in views from a helicopter or - why not? – following one of the Inca trails.

In addition to a great variety of archeological sites, history and culture, Cuzco is one of the best places to practice adventure sports, offering a variety of alternatives that can be combined with a cultural visit to the city and its environs.
ALTITUDE: 3,800 meters
CLIMATE: Dry, sunny and warm during the day, cold at night
RAINY SEASON: November / March
AV. TEMP.: 5 / 20 º C.

The city of Puno is another of the jewels of Peru, surrounded by the beauty of Lake Titicaca and its islands. It was founded in 1668 by the Viceroy Fernández de Castro, also known as the Count of Lemos because of his interest in its rich silver mines. Puno is located on the shores of Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world, at an altitude of 3,810 meters, and is host to different ethnic groups and islands such as Taquile, Amantaní and the floating islands of Uros.

Rich in pre-Inca, Inca and colonial archaeological remains, Puno is also regarded as the folklore capital of Peru because of the variety and beauty of its dances representing the mixture of the Quechua, Aymara and Hispanic peoples that can be seen in all their splendor during the celebrations of the Virgin of Candelaria.

Today, the population of Puno lives amidst traditions and customs that have been maintained over the centuries, allowing us to share the legacy of their ancestors that still lives among them. Whether visiting Lake Titicaca or celebrating at one of its festivities with typical dances, Puno is an unforgettable destination during your trip to Peru.
ALTITUDE: 588 meters
CLIMATE: Desert, sunny and hot during the day, cool at night
AV. TEMP.: 15 ° / 30 ° C.

Famous for its Nazca (or Nasca) Lines, this city is located in a beautiful valley surrounded by the inhospitable Peruvian coastal desert. In addition to the interest generated by these mysterious lines and figures, Nazca is also known as the cradle of the culture bearing the same name.

The Nazca people were the first to use a variety of colors in their pottery, which is highly appreciated and recognized by experts worldwide. Today the population is engaged primarily in agriculture, thanks to irrigation techniques developed by these early inhabitants. Some of the underground aqueducts that they created are still in use, with those of Cantayoc being the best known.

The Spanish founding of the city dates back to 1591, when it was ruled by the Viceroy Garcia Hurtado de Mendoza. During colonial times, these lands soon acquired a significant role due to its production of wine and a grape brandy known as nazca, similar to pisco, intended for consumption by residents and slaves

The main attraction of the region is, without a doubt, the enigmatic lines drawn on its plains, with zoomorphic, anthropomorphic and geometric figures up to 300 meters in length. A variety of theories have been woven on the origin of the Nazca Lines, causing fascination and interest among archaeologists, historians and researchers such as the German citizen, Maria Reiche, who devoted her life to studying them. The first drawings and measurements of the figures are the result of her work. Today, they are known the world over.
ALTITUDE: 5 meters
CLIMATE: Desert, sunny and hot during the day, cool at night
AV. TEMP.: 15 º / 30 º C.

Cradle of the Paracas culture, famous for its colorful and high quality textiles, this area is rich in natural resources. Declared a Nature Reserve by the Peruvian government, the only one in the coastal region, it is a protected area for the preservation of the species that inhabit it.

In this area, one can find remnants of pre-Columbian cultures that lived here, such as the Paracas people, who are known worldwide for the high quality of their colorful cotton and woolen blankets.

Paracas is also famous because General San Martin, together with his troops, docked on its bay in 1820 during his liberation expedition.

Within the Reserve are the Ballestas Islands, inhabited by thousands of sea lions, Humboldt penguins and hundreds of other species of birds that use the refuge during their migratory process. This natural paradise is an ideal destination to relax, practice sports and take advantage of its good weather throughout the year.

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