Peru Facts...

Portrait of a young child wih the Peruvian flag painted over his face
Boy wih the Peruvian flag painted over his face - Duncan Walker / Istockphoto

Let's review some Peru facts to get you acquainted with what provably is the oldest culture in the fourth largest continent in the world.

The history of Peru, as much as the culture of Peru is simply astonishing.

It seems to be the cradle of the most ancient cultures that ever inhabited the Americas, and the world as whole.

Consider Markawasi for instance, regarded by some as the oldest civilization on earth.

Even Caral - the oldest in the Americas - being built contemporary to the Giza pyramids in Egypt, and considered to be as old as Jericho - according to archaeologists, early settlements in Jericho are about 11,000 years old.

Closer in time, we find several other civilizations that flourished in the Peruvian Andes (wari, moche, paracas, chachapoyas, etc), until the uprise of the Inca civilization, the biggest empire in pre-Columbian America, that lasted for about one century, until the arrival of the Spanish conquistadores in 1533.

They remained until the early 1800s, when Simon Bolivar finally expelled them in the historic battle of Ayacucho, that marked the independence of Peru from the Spanish Crown.

For a better understanding of this chapter in the history of Peru review The Conquest of Peru, The Colony of Peru and The Republic of Peru.

Through that interaction and influence, the art of Peru took a different twist, when the native art of the Andes got interwind with religious iconography and believes brought along by the Spaniards and the Catholic church, giving birth to some exquisite naif art.

Much could be said about the ancient culture of Peru, its music, and in the way of its festivities as well, with more than 3,000 celebrations held in the country every year.

To witness how Pachamama has blended with Virgin Mary is definitely a very unique South America experience unlikely to be found anywhere else but the Andes mountains.

Paucartambo Native Praying. Peru
Paucartambo Native Praying - Mylene D'Auriol / PromPeru

Peru Geography:

It provably is the geography of Peru who has helped the most to preserve the country's traditions and cultural identity for thousands of years now.

Peru Map

Download this PDF file here.
Courtesy of UN Cartographic Department

Roughly 60% of its territory is occupied by the selva baja and selva alta (700 meters above sea level ) in the Amazon basin - the Peruvian jungle - while another major part by the Andes mountains, divided in Cordillera Oriental and Cordillera Occidental, known as the highlands.

Peru is definitely not a country easily explored by foot. Some areas are absolutely inaccessible, with no population whatsoever, just pure South American wilderness.
Some parts can only be reached by air, like Iquitos for example- unless you approach it from the Amazon river.
So hard to reach it could become that the Spaniards never managed to discover Machu Picchu for instance. The lost city of the Incas became known to the world in 1911.

It is in the coastal region where the majority of the population dwells today, more than 50% of the total. Some demographic changes and internal migration has taken place in the last century or so, when the vast majority (about 70 %) used to live in the sierra or highlands

Peru's ethnic composition is around 45% Quechua and Aymara Indian speaking population, followed by mestizo population and Europeans (about 15%). There is also a minority of Black and Asians that account for around 3%.

Regarding weather, Peru is one of the most diverse countries in the continent. Its three geographical region - the coast, the jungle and the highlands - embrace a huge array of climatic conditions. Read more about climate of Peru here.

Peru Facts:

If you have more Peru facts you'd like to be included in the above list, please let us know and we will update it in not time.


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