Peru is located in the western part of South America, spread along the Pacific Ocean. Surrounded by Colombia and Ecuador to the north, Brazil and Bolivia eastwards, the Pacific Ocean on the west, and Chile on the south. Peru is divided by Andes Mountains in three sharply differentiated zones and is the 19th biggest country in the world.
At one time Peru was the homeland of several prominent Andean civilizations, with the Incas certainly the most notable. Also it is the fifth most populous country in Latin America after Brazil, Mexico, Colombia and Argentina.
Spanish conquistadors arrived in their quest for gold and other riches; they executed the proud but over-matched indigenous Indians and their leaders like ants captured their cities and in a brief period of time this innovative and powerful culture was scattered to the wind and all but destroyed.
For almost three hundred years Peru functioned as a Spanish colony, but in the early 19th century native discontent and colonist revolts brought calls of independence, localized uprisings, and then, civil war in 1821, with the Spanish finally defeated in 1824.
Peru is a diverse country due to the climatic, natural and cultural variation of its regions, which include coast, sierra and jungle. Most Peruvians lives on the coastal areas of Peru, whereas the rest mainly live in the mountain areas.
Less than 5% of the natives live in the jungle areas of Peru, 45% of the people of Peru are indigenous and 37% is mestizo. The national language is Spanish, but also Quechua is spoken. In the highlands, most Indians are bilingual, but speak Quechua as their mother tongue.
There are about 70 other languages, and in remote parts of the Amazon, Spanish is rarely spoken. English is understood in major hotels and airline offices.
The cultural capital of Peru is seen by many as Cusco, where the foundation of traditional Incan heritage and culture is the most evident. In addition, many villages located in the highlands of the Andes Mountains also display the most preserved of heritage.
Peru has an abundant supply of natural resources, enormous agricultural potential and some of the most stunning tourism venues on the planet. Today Peru ranks among the world's top producers of silver, copper, lead, and zinc. Its petroleum industry is one of the world's oldest, and its fisheries are among the worlds richest.
The culture of Peru is also diverse in the way of festivities. Peru celebrates about 3,000 festivities per year, most of which are related to the Christian religion that was brought over by the Spanish conquistadors.
Music within Peru dates back literally thousands of years, preserved by the local community. Music plays a large part of the culture of Peru, where many locals build their own instruments. Typical Peruvian dishes are tasty and vary regionally. Seafood is, understandably, best on the coast, while the Inca delicacy roast guinea pig can be sampled in the highlands.
Peru is a magical country, owns a diversity and wealth little common in the alternative infinite world and offers to the visitor the possibility of living a unique experience: History, culture, nature, adventure and much more in a single destiny.