Ready to learn a few fun facts about Peru?
Whether you’re thinking of traveling to Peru sometime soon or just want to know more about this amazing South American country, you’ve come to the right place!
Here’s our roundup of the most interesting Peru facts:
1. Peru is a large country located in northern South America. With the Pacific Ocean as its long western border, Peru also shares land boundaries with Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, and Colombia. With an area of 496,225 mi2 (1,285,216 km2), Peru is the 19th largest country in the world.
2. Peru is linguistically and culturally diverse. Spanish is one of the official languages and the most commonly spoken, but there are about 50 other languages spoken in the country, including Aymara, Quechua, Ocaina, Amarakaeri, Amahuaca, and Arabela. Before the Spanish Conquest in the 16th century, many Amerindian groups were spread out through the land in large numbers. Unfortunately, their population was cut by around 90% from a high of 5-9 million in the following century, mostly due to infectious diseases brought by Europeans.
3. Peru’s capital and largest city is Lima. With a population of around 9 million people, Lima’s metropolitan area is larger than Chicago’s and makes up more than 25% of Peru’s total population of 32.8 million (2020 estimate).
4. Lake Titicaca, the world’s highest navigable lake, is located on the border of Peru and Bolivia. It is the largest lake in South America, and it is situated way up in the Andes Mountains at 12,507 ft (3,812 m)!
5. Peru is one of the 17 megadiverse countries in the world. As identified by Conservation International, a megadiverse country is one which holds a majority of the world’s plant and animal species. Peru is biologically diverse, estimated to be the home to over 21,000 plant and animal species, with almost 6,000 of them endemic to Peru.
6. The world’s highest permanent settlement is located in the Peruvian Andes. La Rinconada is a small town near the border with Bolivia situated between 16,732 ft (5,100 meters) and 17,388 ft (5,300 meters) above sea level. Unfortunately, the town is also known as a gold mining town where workers are paid on the cachorreo system, meaning miners work 30 straight days with no payment, and on the 31st day, they’re allowed to keep what little gold ore they can find for themselves.
7. The largest flying bird in the world can be found in Peru. The Andean condor (Vultur gryphus) is the largest bird that flies when combining both its wingspan and its weight. From one wingtip to the other, there can be a distance of up to 10 ft 10 in (3.3 m)!
8. Peru’s most visited tourist attraction is Machu Picchu. Located about 50 miles (80 km) from Cusco, Machu Picchu is an Incan citadel built around 1450-1460 overlooking a mountain ridge above the Sacred Valley in Peru. Machu Picchu has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it remains one of the best surviving representations of the Inca Empire.
Well, that’s all our Peru facts for now, and we hope you’ve found this post interesting and informative! Do you have any questions, feedback, or other facts about Peru we should include on our list? Let us know below in the comments, and thanks for reading!