Peru


Basic Facts

More information about Peru

Svensk version

Click on one of the thumbnails for larger picture. 
 
Perus cultural heritage is very old, interesting and exciting. Among the most interesting cultures,according to me, are chavin, moche, paracas, nasca and, of course, the Inca culture. All these cultures have left deep traces in the history of Peru. Peru is the country strongest linked to the inca culture and here you once found "The Navel of the World" as their capital Qosqo was called. 

The spaniards destroyed most of the incas buildings, but you can still today find many interesting incaremainings all over Peru.

Peru is large country, 1 285 222 sq km. Within its borders you find many different types of nature, all of them with different conditions. From the most complex ecosystem in the world, the Amazonas, the Pacific Ocean to Cordilliera Blanca, the Andes, with its snowcovered mountains. 

The country is populated mainly by ethnic groups belonging to ameriindians and their ancestors. The most important are quechuas and aymaras.

The Amazon

My trip started with a four day long visit to the Amazon. The easiest way to reach Rio Amazonas is to fly to Iquitos, located deep in the rainforest, isolated from the world. The expansion of the city started in the early 1900:s during the "Rubberboom". 
From Iquitos I continued with a speedboat  upstreams Rio Amazonas to the place where the river merges Rio Napo, from Ecuador. This became the base for trips into the jungle.  
Regretfully, we saw very few animals depending on all the settlers living along the shores, but we were lucky to see many different birds. 

"The Navel of the World" - Cusco

Cusco was the center of the inca empire and the "Navel of the World". Their most beautiful and important tempels and castles were located in the city. The Coricancha-temple was totally covered with gold, and in the surrounding garden you found statues of animals and birds made of gold and precious stones. 
The empire, once more than 4 000 kilometers long, was ruled from Cusco by the powerful inca. 
Regretfully all the inca buildings were distroyed by the spaniards. Today you can see many ruins or other remainings from the incas, in and all around Cusco. There are also many beautiful buildings in the city left from the colonial period. 
The inca heritage is almost wiped out, but since many years you can see "The Festival of the Sun; "Inti Raymi", remembering of one of the incas celebrations.

"The holy valley" and "The forgotten city"

"Valle de Sagrado", incas holy valley, is easy to reach from Cusco. Here you find old inca villages as Pisac, Ollantaytambo and Sincero. At the end of the valley, coming from Cusco, is the legendary forgotten city of Machu Pichhu, discovered by the american Bingham in 1911, located. 
A visit at Machhu Pichhu is a memory for life!
Do not miss to climb the peak Huayna Pichhu, a hard but rewarding trekk. The views over Machhu Pichhu are fantastic from here.

"The highest, navigable, lake in the World"

The legendary lake Titicaca was my next target. Here I visited the Islas de los Uros, The floating islands, where urosindians are living on their small islands of reeds. Once the lived on what the lake gave. Today they live of selling souvenirs to tourists.

I stayed with families on the Amantani and  Taquile islands. Once the people living on the islands were very isolated which preserved their cultural heritage. To day many tourists are visiting the islands. 
When you are on Amantani you should climb Pacha Tata, the peak is 4 130 m above sealevel. From here you can enjoy the a beautiful sunset over Titicaca.

"Holy condors in the worlds deepest gorge"

Colca Canyon is the deepest gorge in the world, almost 3 200 meters deep, and is named after the incas way of storing crops in "colcas". The small towns or villages located here offers good trekking possibilities and interesting lifestyle. The most exciting place, according to me, is Cruz del Condor, Condor Crossing,  from where you can see, if you are lucky, the big birds flying in the early morning. Do not miss this "show"!

"The mysterious lines" 

The mysterious lines can be found in the desert about 22 km north of Nazca. The lines, some of them up to 300 meters, have fascinated people during more than 2 000 years and no one has solved their purpose. The lines can best be seen during adventuros flights with small, wind sensitive, planes.

"Poor-mans Galapagos"

From the small town Pisco, at the Pacific Ocean, it is easy to reach the unique and interesting peninsula of Paracas. Here once a high culture flourished, and you can visit one museum with findings  from that period. Most of the tourists go directly to the Islas Ballestas, where you cand find big colonies of seabirds and sealions. If you are lucky you also can see Humbolt penguins jumping on the cliffs.

Cordillera Blanca - The Andes

"Callejon de Huaylas" is the valley seperating the mountain ranges Cordillera Blanca and Cordillera Negra. Incas mainroad to Cusco once went through the valley. 
The center of the region is Huaraz, meetingpoint for the whole world. From here you can organize great trekking or climbing expeditions. In the region you can find more than 20 peaks higher than 5 000 meters. Among them Huascaran, Perus highest mountain, 6 768 m a s.
With Huaraz as a base I visited many interesting and scenic places, as Yungay, Laguna Llanganuco, Vicos and the mountain Pastoruri, where I made a nice, but short, glaciertrekk. Here I reached my highest point during the trip, 5 000 meters. On the way to Pastoruri you can visit some of the few places where you can find the puya raimondi, one of the oldest plants in the world. It takes the plant about 100 years to get flowers. There can bee as many as 20 000 blooms on one single plant. After the flowering the plant dies.

My trip to Peru was full of interesting experiences. You are able to trace very old cultures, meet friendly people and enjoy beuatiful, and very different, landscapes.

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Kapybara.
Amazon

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Ara-parrots.
Amazon

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Festival.
Cusco

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Inti Raymi.
Cusco

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Incawall.
Cuszo

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Taquile.
Lake Titicaca

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Monastery at La Compagnia.
Arequipa

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The holy condor

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Mummy at Chauchila.
Nasca

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Festival.
Cusco

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Machhu Picchu

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The very rare Puya Raimondi

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Potatocrop

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Huascaran. Perus highest mountain

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Reedboat.
Lake Titicaca

Basicfacts:

Conventional longform: Republica del Peru
Area, total:
1 285 216 sq km
Population:
29 550 000
Population / sq km:
28
Coastline:
2 414 km
Capital/Population:
Lima / 8 470 000

Lowest point:  Pacific Ocean 0 m a s
Highest point: Huascaran, 6 768 m a s
Largets rivers:
Ucayali, Maranon
Largest lakes:
Titicaca

Pop. growth rate: 1.02 %
Infant mortility rate: 
22
(deaths / 1 000 live births)
Life expectancy at birth (years):
Male / Female  
64 / 67
Ethnic groups:  Amerindian 45 %, Mestizos 37 %, White 15 %, other ethnic groups 3 %
Religions: Roman Catholic 81.3 %, Protestants 12.5 %, other religions 3.3 %, unspecified and atheists 2.9 %
Languages:
Spanish, Quechua and Aymara are official languages 
Literacy; % pop. over 15 years:
Male / Female
 
96.4 / 89.4 

Independence:  July 28, 1821 from Spain
National holiday:
July 28

GNP/capita: USD 5 196
Population below poverty line: 34.8 % 
Currency:
Nuevo Sol (PEN)
Tourists (annually): 2 058 000

Mobiletelphones: 29 115 000
Internetusers:
9 158 000

Railways: 2 020 km
Mainroads:
102 887 km


Source: CIA World Factbook 2012/02

Map over Peru


 

flag_peru.jpg (8411 byte)

The flag has its origin from the war against Spain. When the liberator Jose San Martin once saw a flock of red-white flamingos lift, which he considered to be a good sign, he than expressed: "This will be the colours of the flag of freedom." 
According to the legend.


   

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The crest was introduced in 1825, when also the final design of the flag was decided. The three symbols are said to represent The Kingdoms that the incas ruled.


 

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This page is updated 2012-08-20
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