Peru, a country in South America, is one of the greatest centers of ancient civilization and one of South America’s most popular destinations.

Here is a list of 20 really interesting facts about Peru:

#1 Nevado Huascarán is the highest point in Peru at 22,205 feet (6,768 m). It was first scaled in 1932 by the German-Austrian expedition of Borchers, Bernard, Hörlin, Hein, and Schneider. In 1962, a hanging glacier broke, resulting in an avalanche that killed about 3,500 persons and destroyed numerous villages.

#2 Lima, located at an elevation of 156 meters (512 feet), is an oasis containing more than a quarter of Peru’s population of approximately 8,475,000. The majority of the population are Roman Catholics, that gives the capital a conservative and traditional atmosphere.

#3 Life expectancy for women and men in the country has increased considerably over the past 20 years, at 75.9 years for a female and 71.7 years for a male.

#4 Mario Vargas Llosa, a key figure from the ”Latin American Boom” – a literary movement, was born into a middle-class family in Arequipa. He won the 2010 Nobel Prize in Literature. His writing style includes his own personal experiences as well as historical material.

#5 Quechua (the most spoken indigenous language in Peru, particularly in the highlands) and Spanish are the 2 official languages in the country, although Spanish is by far the most usually spoken. In addition, Aymara was recently given an official status.

#6 Officially adopted on February 25, 1825, the flag of Peru represents the Incas and their longstanding impact on the country. The Peruvian coat of arms includes the quinoa tree, the vicuna, and a cornucopia of gold.

#7 The National University of San Marcos, founded in 1551, is the oldest university in South America. This university is acknowledged for its very competitive admission process, the high quality of its curricular contents, as well as for being an outstanding center of scientific research.

#8 Three interesting facts about the Incas:

  • they created a road system with over 18,000 miles of roads;
  • they believed in reincarnation;
  • they performed skull surgeries.

#9 Vicunas are Peruvian national animals that are highly valued for their wool. In addition, during the Incas, only royalty was allowed to wear vicunas garments. Cantuta is the national flower of Peru, also known as the “Inca Magic Flower,” found between 1200 and 3800 meters in the Andes Mountain region.

#10 Machu Picchu (which translates as “old mountain”) is one of the most impressive, mysterious, beautiful and ancient sites in the world. The peak tourist season is in July and August, while January and February are the less crowded months. In the high season, 2500 people arrive daily.machu picchu interesting facts

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#11 A few Christmas traditions in this country are identical to those practiced in Europe and U.S., while others are unique to this country. However, as an interesting fact, in Peru, Christmas is actually celebrated during the summer break.

#12 Lake Titicaca, located on the border of Bolivia and Peru, is one of the best holiday location in Peru. It is the largest freshwater lake in South America and sits 12,500 ft (3,811 m) above sea level. A large temple was discovered submerged in the lake, adding fascination and mystery to Lake Titicaca.

#13 This country is full of unique pre-Hispanic customs that maintain the ancestral legacy of its culture. Some of the customs include – Inti Raymi, also known as “Fiesta del Sol” (Sun Festival) or an important festival that takes place on Monday before Easter Sunday, called Senor de Los Temblores.

#14 According to the United Nations, Peru is the second country to grow coca (90 percent is used for cocaine production) in the world, after Columbia.

amazonian forest interesting facts

Image credit – http://www.amazon-rainforest-tours.org/

#15 The Amazon Rainforest in Peru (more than 80 % is classified as primary forest) has the highest levels of biodiversity in the world. Here you can find 200-foot trees, listen to the amazing sounds of the jungle by night, and observe exotic insects and animals.

#16 In 2016,  Peru’s population was estimated to be around 31.1 million people and is very multiethnic. More than half of the population (around 55 percent) lives on the coast. It is also the home of 15 uncontacted native tribes.

#17 Ceviche is Peru’s national dish. Raw seafood is cooked with lime juice. Guinea pigs are eaten as a local delicacy, known as “cuy.” In addition, Lomo Saltado is another traditional, very easy to make dish which combines marinated strips of sirloin with onions, garlic, fried potatoes, tomatoes, salt, and other ingredients.

#18 The currency in Peru is the Nuevo sol and is divided into 100 centimos.

#19 The earliest inhabitants arrived in this country 15,000 years ago with cultures such as Moche, Chavín, Tiwanaku, Nazca, and Chimu grown in different parts.

#20 Dancing and music are extremely popular throughout this area. Typical instruments used are the antara, zampona, mandolin, and the flute.