Most people may recognize Peru for being the epicentre of Inca Empire or its archaeological heritage of pre-Columbian traditions and artefacts but it has a lot more to offer. The country sits facing the Pacific Ocean and sharing a 1,500mi (2,414km) coast line with it. Its neighbours include Ecuador and Colombia to the north, Chile towards the south and Brazil and Bolivia along the eastern edge.
The country can be partitioned into three distinct regions by the Andes Mountain range. The most commonly recognized is the central high sierra, home to the amazing pre-Columbian city of Machu Picchu (city of the clouds) and other archaeological sites. The terrain is composed of high peaks of more than 20,000ft (6,096m), deep canyons, and lofty plateaus. The Andes mountain range is very unstable even today and so earthquakes, flash floods and landslides are a common occurrence.
The narrow coastal region gives a totally different view from that of the central region. It is known for being the most barren place on the globe due to the extension of Atacama Desert. It does get less dry, and cooler as you approach the shoreline. Three of the country’s biggest population hubs, Lima Trujillo and Chiclayo are found along this coastal desert.
Below the eastern shores of the Andes lies the third distinct region of Peru. The area is populated by dense forest and highly inaccessible. It is the ecological tourist’s paradise, but only the most adventurous spirited even attempt to penetrate its depths.
Official name: Republic of Peru
Capital City: Lima
Government: Constitutional republic.
Major Cities: Arequipa, Trujillo, Chiclayo, Piura, Iquitos, Cusco
Total Area: 496,224 square miles (1,285,216 sq km)
National Currency: Nuevo sol
National Flower: Cantuta