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República del Perú
Republic of Peru
Flag of Peru Republic of Peru: Coat of Arms
(National Flag) (National Coat of Arms)
National motto: None
Location of Peru
Official languages Spanish (main)1
Capital and largest city Lima
President Alejandro Toledo Manrique
Prime Minister Pedro Pablo Kuczynski
- Total
- % water
World ranking: 19th
1,285,220 km²
- Total (2002)
- Density
World ranking: 39th
 - Declared
From Spain
28 July 1821
Currency Nuevo Sol (S/.)
Time zone UTC -5
National anthem "Somos libres, seámoslo siempre" "We are free, may we always be so"
Internet TLD .pe
Calling Code 51

1 Quechua, Aymara and other regional languages are also recognized in the areas where they are predominant.

The Republic of Peru, (Spanish: República del Perú), or Peru, is a country in western South America, bordering Ecuador and Colombia to the north, Brazil to the east, Bolivia to the east, south-east and south, Chile to the south, and the Pacific Ocean to the west. Peru is rich in cultural anthropology, and is well-known as the cradle of the Inca empire.



Main article: History of Peru

Before the Spanish arrived, Peru was home to various Pre-Inca cultures and later, to the Inca Empire. Francisco Pizarro landed on the Peruvian coast in 1532, and by the end of the 1530s Peru became a Viceroyalty and a major source of gold and silver for the Spanish Empire. Peru declared its independence from Spain on July 28, 1821 thanks to an alliance between the Argentine army of José de San Martín, and the Neogranadine Army of Simón Bolívar. Its first elected president, however, was not in power until 1827. From 1836 to 1839 Peru and Bolivia were united in the Peru-Bolivian Confederacy, dissolved only after an internal conflict. Between these years, political unrest didn't fade away, with the Army as an important political force. Once again, between 1879 and 1883, Chile declared war to Bolivia and Peru made an alliance previous to the conflict with this country so fought against Chile in the War of the Pacific. After the war (and with the loss of the department of Tarapacá and the province of Arica), political stability was achieved, during the early years of the 1900s; until Augusto Leguía and his dictatorship arrived. It is said that the country received its name from a Spanish pronunciation of the Belu river. [1]


Main article: Political division of Peru

Peru's territory is divided successively into regions (25) (Spanish: regiones; singular: región), provinces (180) and districts (1747).

The Lima Province, located in the central coast of the country, is unique in that it doesn't belong to any of the twenty-five regions. The city of Lima is located in this province, which is also known as Lima Metropolitana (Metropolitan Lima).

Until 2002, Peru was divided into 24 departments (departamentos) plus one constitutional province (Callao), and many people still use this term when referring to today's regions, although it is now obsolete.

Current Peruvian regions are:


Main article: Geography of Peru

Map of Peru
Huayna Picchu
Huayna Picchu
Rainbow at Cuzco's Plaza
Rainbow at Cuzco's Plaza
Cumbe Mayo Aqueduct (1500 B.C.) near Cajamarca, Peru
Cumbe Mayo Aqueduct (1500 B.C.) near Cajamarca, Peru
The Church of La Compania, Plaza de Armas, Cusco, Peru
The Church of La Compania, Plaza de Armas, Cusco, Peru

Peru is located in Western South America, bordering the Pacific Ocean, between Chile and Ecuador. It also shares borders with Colombia, Brazil and Bolivia.

The western coastal plains (costa) are separated from the eastern lowland jungle of the Amazon Basin (selva) by the high and rugged Andes in the center (sierra). On the border with Bolivia lies Lake Titicaca, the world's highest navigable lake at 3821 m.

A land rich in cultural heritage and a variety of natural environments, harbors 84 of the 118 known life zones of the earth. Peru is a land rich in minerals, and its three types of land (Costa, Sierra y Selva) proportionate wonderful sights.

Peru's various Geography permits the development of various activities, such as: (In the Costa)Surfing, Sandboard, 4*4 and sandbuggy, (In the Sierra) alpinism, rafting, rappelling, downhill and rally, and in the Selva you can enjoy hard excursions.


Main article: Politics of Peru

The current president is Alejandro Toledo, leader of Perú Posible. This governing party is, with 45 seats, the largest in the 120-seat parliament.

The second and third largest parties are in opposition; respectively Partido Aprista Peruano (short: PAP, 28 seats), which is led by Alan García Pérez, and Unidad Nacional (short: UN, 17 seats), which is led by Lourdes Flores Nano.


Main article: Economy of Peru

The Peruvian economy has become increasingly market oriented, with major privatizations completed since 1990; in the mining, electricity, and telecommunications industries. Thanks to strong foreign investment and the cooperation between the former Fujimori administration, the IMF, and the World Bank, growth was strong in 199497 and inflation was brought under control. In 1998, El Niño's impact on agriculture, the financial crisis in Asia, and instability in Brazilian markets undercut growth. And 1999 was another lean year for Peru, with the aftermath of El Niño and the Asian financial crisis working its way through the economy. Lima did manage to complete negotiations for an Extended Fund Facility with the IMF in June 1999, although it subsequently had to renegotiate the targets. Pressure on spending grew in the run-up to the 2000 elections. Growth up to 2004 has been driven by construction, investment, domestic demand, and exports to different world regions. Peru's economy is one of the better-managed in Latin America. Over the next few years, the country is likely to attract both domestic and foreign investment in the tourism, agriculture, mining, petroleum and natural gas, and power industries.


Main article: Demographics of Peru

Peru is one of only three countries in Latin America whose largest population segment is comprised of unmixed Amerindians - the other two being Bolivia and Guatemala, where almost half of all Peruvians are Amerindian, or 45 percent of the total population. The two major indigenous ethnic groups are the various Quechua-speaking populations, followed closely by the Aymará, as well as several dozen small Amerindian ethnic tribes scattered throughout the country beyond the Andes Mountains and in the Amazon basin. Mestizos, a term that denotes people of mixed European and Amerindian ancestry, constitute around 37% of the people.

Peru has two official languages - Spanish and the foremost indigenous language, Quechua. Spanish is used by the government and the media and in education and commerce, although there is an increasing and organized effort to teach Quechua in public schools. Amerindians who live in the Andean highlands speak Quechua and Aymara and are ethnically distinct from the diverse indigenous groups who live on the eastern side of the Andes and in the tropical lowlands adjacent to the Amazon basin.


Peru has two official languages - Spanish and the foremost indigenous language, Quechua. Spanish is used by the all coastal Peruvians, the government, the media, in education and commerce; although there is an increasing and organized effort to teach Quechua in public schools.


Main article: Culture of Peru

The most popular Peruvian sport is soccer (World Cup appeareances: 30,70,78,82 and 2 Copa America tournaments). Although soccer has proven unsuccessful for the national team, when the internationally acclaimed World Cup occurs, almost the entire population of Peru watches it on television. Soccer legends from Peru include Teofilo Cubillas and Cesar Cueto. Other popular sports include Women’s Volleyball (Silver medal in Seoul 1988 Olympic Games and 14 times South American champion) and Surfing (Sofia Mulanovich, current Women’s Surf Champion, is Peruvian).

Folklore and Music

Peru is home to thousands of dances of pre Inca, Andean and mestizo origin. The southern Andean region is famous for the Huayno and Cusco for its Muliza.

Arequipa is the proud creator of the famous Yaravi Arequipeño (sang by many brothers of the Andes) and the Pampeñas. The Huaylas is a happy the dance of the central Andes.

The coast has a different feel to the Andean, more rhythm yet it just as melancholic and interesting. Coastal have big Romany gypsy music and African influences, along other more romantic tunes like the well know Peruvian Valse; probably representing the ethnical coastal mix of Perú and especially Lima.

Lima is famous for the Señor de los Milagros Procession and Bullfighting, which takes place inPlaza de Acho (the oldest bullfighting venue of the Americas)

Commonly known Peruvian Valse tunes are: Alma Corazon y Vida, Odiame, Mi Propiedad Privada, El Plebeyo, La Flor de La Canela and Devuelveme El Rosario de Mi Madre, some of which are sang by Caribbean artists in the Bolero or Salsa version.

Out of the resulting mix most coastal rhythms is sang and played by duos of Creole guitars, the Peruvian Cajun and spoon rhythms. African derived rhythms like the Festejo or Landó are common in the black communities of the southern coast.

The central and north coast Trujillo, Lambayeque and Piura; are most famous for guitar hymns like the piuran Tondero, the Limeñan Zamacueca, the Resbalosa and the bands of Marinera.

The Amazon has its own music. Chicha Music from the Amazon is unique since it mixes and intermingles Cumbia, Huayno and the tragic Peruvian Valse.


Peruvians are so proud of their cuisine they would not hesitate on calling theirs as the best in the world.

The coast is most famous for the national fish-based dish Cebiche and its variation Tiradito. Lima is most famous for the Aji de Gallina, Carapulcra, Tacu Tacu and Suspiro de Limeña dessert. Many of the sweet treats are made from Chirimoya or Lucuma and other Peruvian original fruit.

Chifa: Peruvian Chinese Creole food is unique to all Latin American nations.

The northern coast is famous for its exquisite marine food, fruits, Chicha Drinks and goat stews like the Seco de Cabrito or the piuran Seco de Chavelo.

The Andes are famous for its soups, corns and Rocotto Rellenos (Arequipa especially) or Cuy (guinea pig) and of course for its potatoes; the potato originated in the Andes! Pre-Columbian inhabitants of the Andean cultures cultivated around 200 different kinds of potatoes.

The Amazon has exuberant fruits, varieties of plates from Amazon fish like the Paiche and popular chicken & rice Juanes.

Perú Cultural

International rankings

Miscellaneous topics

External links

Travel guide to Peru from Wikitravel

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Countries in South America
Argentina · Bolivia · Brazil · Chile · Colombia · Ecuador · Guyana · Panama · Paraguay · Peru · Suriname · Trinidad and Tobago · Uruguay · Venezuela

Dependencies: Falkland Islands (UK) · French Guiana · South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands (UK)

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