|Population :||27 millions|
|People||54% Indian, 32% Mestizo (mixed European and Indian descent), 12% Spanish descent, 2% Black, Asian minority.|
|Language||Spanish, Quechua, Aymara.|
|Religion||Over 90% roman catholic, small protestant population.|
It is the multiple layers of great civilizations which makes Peru so fascinating. You can wander around colonial cities which have preserved the legacy of the Spanish conquistadors, visit the ancient Incan capital of Cuzco, explore the lost city of Machu Picchu and ponder the enigma of the Nazca Lines (answers on a postcard please). You don't have to be in Peru too long to realize that the "New World" had a rich and complex cultural life thousands of years before Pizarro turned up wearing funny clothing.
All of this exists in a country with some of the most spectacular and varied scenery in South America. The Peruvian Andes are arguably the continent's most beautiful ones and the mountains are home to millions of highland Indians who still speak the ancient Quechua tongue and keep up a traditional way of life. The verdant Amazon Basin, occupying half of Peru, is one of the world's top 10 biodiversity 'hot spots' - a species-rich area of tropical rain forest that will make your head spin when you start to learn about its ecology. And the coastal deserts, with their huge rolling dunes, farmland oases and fishing villages, are underappreciated by travelers but offer the chance to get off the Gringo Trail in a big way. But you don't have to be a zoologist, an anthropologist or a mountain climber to enjoy Peru, all you need is a keen eye, a love for landscape, an interest in history.
Peru is in western South America and shares borders with Chile (to the south), Bolivia (southeast), Brazil (northeast), Colombia (north) and Ecuador (northwest). It has three major regions: a narrow coastal belt, the wide Andean mountains and the Amazon Basin. The coastal strip is predominantly desert, but contains Peru's major cities and its best highway, the Carretera Panamericana. The Andes comprise two principal ranges: Cordillera Occidental and Oriental including Huascarán (6,770m), Peru's highest mountain. To the east is the Amazon Basin, a region of tropical lowland, which is drained by the Maranon and Ucayali rivers.
Peru's peak tourist season is from June to August, being is the dry season in the highlands, and this is the best time to go if you're interested in hiking. Travelers do visit the highlands year-round, though the wettest months, January to April, make trekking a muddy proposition. Many of the major fiestas take place in the wettest months and continue undiminished in spite of heavy rain.
On the coast, Peruvians visit the beaches during the sunny months from late December through March, although few beaches are particularly enticing. The rest of the year, the coast is clothed in mist. In the eastern rainforests, it rains a lot or course. The wettest months are December through April, though travelers visit it year-round since it rarely rains for more than a few hours and there's still plenty of sunshine to enjoy.
There are no compulsory health requirements for entry into Peru. You are advised to take Malaria and Rabies vaccine if you will doing activity in remote area that has at risk of animal bites. Please note that Peru Government requires proof of yellow fever vaccination if you are travelling from a country with risk of yellow fever. Avoid eating and drinking local products from street vendors and restaurants with suspect hygiene or refrigeration practices.
The Nuevo Sol is the official currency in Peru; 1 US Dollar = 3.38 Nuevo Sol and has denominations of 200, 100, 50, 20 and 10 Nuevo Soles in notes, and coins in denominations of 1 Nuevo Sol, 50, 20, 10 and 1 cents. All banks and exchange offices accept travelers checks and foreign currency. It is advisable to take US Dollar travelers checks or currency as this is more readily exchanged than other currency. t is important to know that ripped or defaced US dollar notes are not accepted in Peru, therefore when exchanging money or receiving dollars, it is important to be sure that the notes are in good condition. There are many ATMs throughout Peru, and cash can easily be obtained with the use of a debit or credit card. MasterCard and Visa are the most common cards used in ATMs with American Express less frequently found. Never use a cash point on the street, always opt for a machine inside a bank. Credit cards are accepted in most hotels and up market shops, but are generally used less than in western countries. For purchases of snacks, drinks, meals and small items it is always best to use cash. Should you use a credit card in Peru, it is usual to pay a local commission of unto 5 percent.
Peru time is 5 hours slower than GMT.
The electric current in Peru is 220 volts
The official language in Peru is Spanish and Quechua.
Climate in Peru is subtropical with very little rainfall. The weather in Peru varies according to area because of the difference in altitude are extreme.
Peru Food & Drink
Peru cuisine is a combination between Inca, Spanish, Italian, German, Chinese, Japanese and West African cuisine that was brought in by immigrants. Peru cuisines mostly use corn, potatoes, rice, meat, chilli peppers, wheat and legumes (beans and lupins) as the ingredients.
Peru national drink is Aguardiente de Pisco (alcoholic). It was made from grapes grown in the Ica region. Other than the national drink, Peru is also famous for the cocktail, especially Pisco Sour (alcoholic). It was made by combining Pisco, lime juice, egg white and sugar syrup.
Mountains, jungles, big cities and rivers - Peru has it all, and you'll need to be dressed appropriately for whatever you want to experience while on vacation there. It is recommended to bring short and long sleeve T-shirts, sweater and light jacket, preferably water resistant.
In Lima, you can find fancy boutiques, department stores, street markets that sell Peru souvenirs. Unique Peruvian craftsmanship also can be found on Lima’s Crafts Markets.
Peru security has improves in these past decades. Beware of pickpockets, always check your belongings before leaving a place.
Valuables : Be aware that most crime is opportunistic and the best way to avoid theft is to blend in and stay in safe area. Avoid bringing flashy items such as jewelry when wandering around. Where possible leave any valuables, documents and passports in your hotel safety deposit box. If you have to take a bag while you are out, hold it in front of you where you can see it.