very place on the planet has something of interest,
but Peru is undoubtedly a privileged country for its great
natural, historical and human legacy.
Here, nature lovers will feel gratified by the diversity of
environments and scenery. They will be amazed by the sharp
contrast between forests and deserts on the coast; deep ravines and
towering snow-capped mountains in the Andean highlands; densely
forested slopes and huge plains of thick vegetation in the Amazon
jungle; and they will be surprised at the wide variety of animal
and plant life, unique in the world, that is characteristic to
each of these regions.
Those who admire the remains of the past will find magnificent
testimonies to an ancient civilization that dates back six
thousand years, with an unmistakable cultural identity that
created wonders such as the Royal Tombs of Sipan, the Nazca Lines,
Chan Chan and Machu Picchu. And they will be able to see the best
examples in painting, sculpture and architecture- of the fusion of
Hispanic and American cultures.
Adventure travelers will be able to ride tall waves and go
looking for underwater life along the long stretches of natural
beaches; climb high mountain ranges, explore deep caves, run the
longestand biggest rivers on the continent, trek along ancient
paths that wind through different eco-systems; and observe
endangered species up close in natura lreserves of indescribable
Because it is a racial meltingpot, Peru is home to a wide
variety of expressions of its people sthrough their ancient,
creative and colorful folk art. Visitors can join in age-old
celebrations, each music and dance retelling its own history.
They are welcome to share in the customsand tasks of villagers and
witness how farmers have been able to master the difficult terrain
of the coast, highlands and jungle. There also will be no lack of
oppoortunities for the most demanding of palates to savor the
variety and quality of Peruvian cuisine, which offers the
visitor the best seasoning in the Americas.
This site presents the most important tourist offers now
available, and together with the activities manual will allow you
to easily design and promote programs that will give travelers the
opportunity to explore, discover and sense this mysterious and
dynamic country called Peru.
Peru: country with tourist resources of all kinds
Peru is among the few countries whose inventory includes all tourism resources types recognized by specialists in tourism worldwide:
1) natural sites, various ecological and a high degree of biodiversity status worldwide and is one of the few countries in the world that can offer the traveler all year round sunshine and beach, snow sports and adventure in the rainforest,
2) cultural manifestations, testimony original cultural creation that can be traced back to the paleolithic era, travel various stages of the formation of the Andean civilization and reach its peak in big monumental creations of the Incas;
3) folklore, with expressions of dance, music, cuisine and handicrafts original and unique in each of their regions;
4) achievements significant human and worthy of admiration, as the temples and fortresses built large
Height (Chavin, Kuelap, Machu Picchu), the mysterious Nazca lines and churches colonial;
5) scheduled events where visitors are involved, as is the case with their various traditional festivals-Corpus Christi in Cusco or the Virgin of Candelaria in
Puno, which occur throughout the year
Peru occupiesthe west centralarea of South America, on the
shores of the Pacific Ocean. It is the third largest countryon
the continent, covering 1'285,215.6 km2
(496,221.51m2), a surface greaterthan the combined territories
of Spain, France and Germany.
Peru is divided into three geographic regions:
- Coast (12% of the territory): a warm climatealong the
coastline that includes superbnatural beaches, mysterious
deserts,fertile river valleysand exotic dry woodlands.
- Highlands (28% of the territory): a region of varied
terrain and temperate climate, dominatedby the snow- capped peaks
of the Andes rising above 6,000 masl, the highest of which is
Mount Huascaran, at 6,768 masl
(22,206 ft). It includesdeep canyons such as the Colca and
Cotahuasi, the two deepeston the planet; and high plains like the
plateauof Collao, on the shoresof the world's highest navigable
lake, Titicaca, at 3,810 masl
- Jungle or Amazonia (60% of the territory): a
region of tropical climate,lush vegetation and abundant fauna
that is part of one of the planet'slargest natural reser- ves. It
is here that the confluence of the Marañonand Ucayali
rivers forms the Amazon River, the largest in the world.
Temperatures and atmospheric cycles vary from one region to
- Coast: There are two clearly-defined seasons on the
coast: summer (December-March), when temperatures can reach
27°C (80°F); and winter (April-November), which is very
damp and chilly, with temperatures falling to 12°C
(53°F). Although it rarely rainson the coast, mist and
drizzle are common during the winter. The far north coast enjoys
sunshine all year round,with temperatures reaching 35°C
(95°F) in the summer.
- Highlands: The climate is dry and temperate, with two
clearly-defined seasons: the dry season (April-October), with
sunny days, very cold nights and scant rainfall -the ideal time
to visit the Andes- and the rainy season
(December-March). There is a sharp contrastin temperature
between sun and shade,and temperatures can often vary widely
during the same day, from 20°C
(68°F) to 2°C (35°F).
- Jungle: The climate is tropical and humid. There are
two well-defined seasons:the summer or dry season
(April to October) with sunny days and temperatures above
30ºC (86ºF), and the rainy season (November to March),
with frequent heavy showers and high river levels.
Information on weather conditions in Peru is available on Internet:
Peru has a population of approximately 27 million people. The
coast is home to 52% of the total population, while 36% live in
the highlands and 12% in thejungle.
The population is
predominantly mestizoor racially mixed, and most speak Spanish,
althoughthere are two important minorities: the Quechua and Aymara,
and the native population of Amazonia, which is subdivided into
14 linguistic families and 42 ethnic groups.
Peru is politically divided into 25 regions (Amazonas, Ancash,
Apurimac, Arequipa, Ayacucho, Cajamarca, Callao, Cusco,
Huancavelica, Huanuco,Ica, Junin, Lambayeque, La Libertad,
Lima-Provinces, Loreto, Madre de Dios, Moquegua, Pasco, Piura,
Puno, San Martin, Tacna, Tumbes and Ucayali) as well as the
capital, Metropolitan Lima, which has no regional status.
is a democracy whose public powers are the Executive, headed by
the President of the Republic; the Legislature, which is a
one-chamber congress;and the Judiciary.
General elections, to
electa President of the Republic and the representatives to
Congress, are held every five years. Regional and municipal
elections are held every four years, the most recent held in 2005.
Currently, the Constitutional President of the Republic is Dr.
Alan Garia Perez, whose mandate concludes on July
Peru is one of the great original centers of ancient culture,
along with Mexico,Mesopotamia, India and China. Paleolithic man
left his first traces here and began to develop villages of
6000 B.C. (as seen in Lauricocha, Huanuco). Farming
settlements began to form around 2500 B.C., planting manioc,
broad beans, quinoa, potatoes,cotton and maize.
Prior to the arrival of the Conquistadors from Europe, Peruvian
history is divided into five stages or horizons:
- Early Horizon (1200 B.C. - 200 B.C.): Small states
were formed, with the elite holdingeconomic and religious power.
Chavin de Huantar (Ancash) belongs to this stage, with its temple
of underground passages that include monochromatic pottery and
megalithic art. Other key remains are those of Caral (Lima) and
- Intermediate Early Horizon (200 B.C. - A.D.
600): This is the era of the great centers of regional
development. The important cultures are those of Tiahuanaco
(Puno), Mochica and Lambayeque (Lambayeque and La Libertad),
Nasca and Paracas (Ica). Tiahuanaco is known for its Chullpas or
funeral towers at Sillustani (Puno); the Mochica are famous for
the Royal Tombs of the Lord of Sipan; the Lambayeque built the
pyramids of Tucume; the Nazcas made remarkable pottery and drew the
mysterious Lines in the desert; and the Paracas wove wonderful
- Middle Horizon (A.D. 600 - A.D. 900): The epoch when
theWari culture spread throughout the Andean region. Evidence
lies in the citadels of Wari (Ayacucho), Pikillacta (Cuzco) and
Marca Huamachuco (La Libertad).
- Late Intermediate Horizon (A.D.900 - A.D. 1400): This
period is marked by a group of regional states with well defined
cultural features. The important cultures are those of Chimu and
Chincha on the coast; Cajamarca and Huanta in the highlands; and
Chachapoyas in the north jungle. The structures representative of
this period are the Chimu citadel of Chan Chan (La Liber-
tad),the funeral center of the Windows of Otuzco in Cajamarca, and
the Chachapoyan citadel of Kuelap (in Amazonas).
- Late Horizon (A.D.1400 - A.D. 1532): This is the
period predominated by the Incas, native to Cuzco, who built
animperial form of government throughout the entire Andean world.
Their main legacy is their architecture in Cuzco. This
period concludes in 1532 with the Spanish Conquest.
The Colonial period developed between1532 and 1821, from which
there is a magnificent artistic heritage. Examples include
paintings such as those of the so-called Cuzco School;
architecture as in the Santo Domingo convent in Cuzco(built on
the ancient Inca temple of Koricancha) and the convent of Santa
Catalina in Arequipa. Independence was declared on July 28, 1821
and later consolidated with the victory of the Battle of Ayacucho
on December 9, 1824.
The official language is Spanish, although the State also
recognizes all other native languages and dialects. The Roman
Catholic Church enjoys a favored status but the State guarantees
full religious freedom. Basic English is taughtat most schools.
English is generally spoken by people who work in the travel
industry, such as tour guides and personnel at travel agencies and
The Peruvian currency is the Nuevo Sol (S/.); circulation is in
coins of 5, 10, 20 and 50 céntimos, and 1, 2 and 5
Nuevos Soles; and bank notes for 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200
Most shops, restaurants and gasoline stations
accept US dollars and euros at the daily exchange rate.
Most hotels and commercial establishments in cities
throughout the country accept major credit cards: Visa, Master
Card, Diners and American Express. Travelers checks are not
widely used. Check with the establish- ment whether they are
To find out the latest exchangerate, check out: http://www.editoraperu.com http://www.expedia.msn.com
- By air: Peru is linked by direct flights and
connections to the main cities of Europe, Asia and the Americas.
The main port of entry is International Jorge Chavez Airport
(Callao, Lima). The airports of Arequipa, Cuzco, Chiclayo,
Iquitos, Pisco, Pucallpa, Tacna and Trujillo are also equipped to
receive nternational flights.
- Overland: One can enter Peru via the Pan-American
Highway through the city of Tacna in the south, or through the
city of Tumbes in the north. Access is also possible from the
city of Loja (Ecuador) which is connected by road to the city of
Piura. There are two entry routes from Bolivia:Copacabana -
Yunguyo - Puno; and La Paz - Desaguadero - Puno.
- By river: The only point of entry by river is
along the Amazon, with private rivercraft services coming from
the cities of Leticia (Colombia) and Tabatinga (Brazil) to the
port of Iquitos (Peru).
- By lake: Lake Titicaca links Peru to
neighbouring Bolivia, with which Peru enjoys bustling trade and
- By sea: Cruise liners call at Callao, Peru's main
port. Some cruises also call at the ports of Salaverry(Trujillo)
and Chimbote(Ancash), in northern Peru; and at San Martin (Ica)
and Matarani (Arequipa) in the south.
Peruvian time is 5 hours behind or less than Greenwich Mean
Time (GMT) and coincides with Eastern Standard Time (EST) in the
Peru is on the same time as New York; Santiago de
Chile and Caracas are an hour ahead; Rio de Janeiro and Buenos
Aires are 2 hours ahead; and Tokyo is 15 hours ahead.
Electric currentis 220 volts.
The telephone system operates
with direct dialing for local and international calls; telephone
directories provide the code numbers for each city.
public Internet booths almost everywhere in the country
Peru: a country with every kind of tourist resource
Peru is one of very few countries whose inventory of
tourism resources includes every type recognized by the world
1) natural locations, with a variety of
eco-systems and a high degree of biodiversity in world terms; it
is one of the few countries in the world that can offer the
traveler sun and beaches, snow sports, and adventure in the
tropical jungle at any time of year;
2) historical structures
that show the signs of civilization from paleolithic times
through various stages of Andean cultures until they reached
their prime in the grand buildings of the Incas;
3) folklore, with
expressions of dance, music, gastronomy and crafts that
are unique to each one of the regions;
4) remarkable human
achievements such as the temples and fortresses built at high
altitudes (Chavin, Kuelap, Machu Picchu), the mysterious Nazca
Lines, and colonial churches;
5) programmed events in which
visitors can participate, such as the case of many popular
festivals- Corpus Christi in Cuzco or the Virgen de la Candelaria
in Puno- which are held at different times throughout the year.
Peru has a wide variety of climates, eco-systems and
production zones. Of the 117 life zones known in the world, 84
are found in Peru. Of the 32 types of climate on earth, 28 are
found in Peru.
Thirteen per cent of the Amazon tropical forests are in Peru,
and Peru ranks eighth in the world for total forest area. The
Colca and Cotahuasi canyons, in Arequipa, vie for first place as
the deepest on earth. The largest river in the world, the Amazon,
begins in Peru and much of the world's highest navigable lake,
Titicaca, is within Peruvian territory.
Peru is one of only 12 countries in the world that rank as
areas of biological megadiversity. There are almost 25,000
species of plants (10% of the world total),of which 30% are found
only in Peru.
In wildlife, it ranks top in diversity of fish (2,000 species,
equal to 10% of the world's species),first in birds
(1,816species, including the condor), thirdin amphibians (379
species,including the black cayman), third in mammals (462
species,including the ocelot and the black spectacled bear), and
first in butterflies.
It ranks second in the world for its variety of primates, with
35 species, including the unique woolly yellow- tailed monkey.
There are 460 speciesof mammals that are catalogued as
original to Peru, 1,745 species of birds, 297 species of
reptiles, 332 amphibians, 1,800ocean and freshwater fish, and
thousandsof species of mollusks, spidersand insects.
The following crops are some of the species original to Peru:
achira, achiote, a variety of hot peppers including ají
and rocoto, cotton, caigua, caimito, sweet potato, camu camu,
cañihua, cantuta, custard apple, coca, cocona, eucaris
lily, passionflower fruit, guanabana, guarana, guava, heliotrope,
huacatay, kiwicha, lucuma, maca, passion fruit, mashua, oca,
olluco, pacae, turmeric, lima beans, potato, papaya, sweet
cucumber, quinine bark, quinoa, tarwi, tumbo, prickly pear,
Besides being home to such a great number of unique species,
biologists consider Peru to be "the Noah's Ark of modern times"
because it also has a great variety of species that are
regional, continental and universal, and in exceptionally
large numbers. Some 800 species of bird scan be observed within one
square kilometer of forest (less than a square mile) in the Madre
de Dios jungle, double that of all Europe and North America.
The offshore islands, known as the guano islands, are home to
the greatest density of marine fowl on the planet, and can be
counted in the millions. Additionally, the ocean off Peru is one
of the world'sseven major fish habitats, with the largest biomass
and diversity of fish resources available.
ACENTER OF CULTURAL DISSEMINATION The ancient
inhabitants of this territory began domesticating animals
around 6,000 B.C., and to
develop farming even earlier around8,500 B.C. This process was
simultaneous on the coast, in the Andes and in Amazonia. In fact,
the Andean area which we call ancient Peru - where the cultures of
Chavin, Tiahuanaco, Cajamarca, Recuay, Moche, Chimu, Lambayeque,
Paracas, Chincha, Nazca and Wari developed and were later joined
under the Inca Empire- is one of the world's first and greatest
agricultural centers and one of the major areas from which
universal culture spread, together with Mesopotamia, China, India
Peru has contributed the potato and corn to world nutrition,
which together with wheat and rice are mankind's four basic
As a result of its rich heritage, Peru is today is one of the
world's most culturally diverse countries.. There are 14 linguistic
groups and at least 44 different ethnic groups, each with
clearly defined traditions and cultural traits, 42 of which are in
Amazonia.These ethnic groups possess important knowledge on the
uses and properties of plants and animals and know how to use a
great variety of agricultural genetic resources.
Recent archaeological discoveries of musicalinstruments show
that music in Peru dates back at least 6,000 years. This
long-running tradition has given rise to native instruments such
as flutes,pan pipes, pututos(a conch- like trumpet) and a wide
variety of other wind instruments made from cane, clay, bone,
animal horns andprecious metals, plus a host of percussion
Contact with the Western world added an even wider variety of
instruments, many of which have been creatively adapted to the
rhythmic and tonal needs of each region around the country. The
clearest exampleof this can be seen in the countless
transformations to be foundof the harp, violin and guitar in the
The fusion of Andean and Western traditions in Peru has given
birth to over 1,300musical rhythms. Two of these rhythms,
however, have spread beyond their regional confines and have
become veritablesymbols of Peru's identity: the huayno and the
marinera. A blend of joy andnostalgia, the huayno has become the
basis of contemporary musical rhythmsbecause of its simple yet
flexible musical structure. The marinera, on the other hand, is
not the basis of any other genres like the huayno is, but it has
clearly marked variations on the coast and in the highlands, and
its pretty melodies and stirring choreography have made it
enormously popular all over the country.
The festive strength ofAfrican immigrants has also contributed
to enriching the local musicalscene, as creators of the
cajón (a box-shaped drum) and the use of the donkey
jawbone as a percussion instrument. The jungle is also home to a
wide varietyof rhythms, dances and instruments linked to local
festivals and rituals. One example is the use of the semiotic
trunk- shaped drum called manguaré,which seves to send
messages over vast distances in the jungle.
Today, Peru continues to assimilate new instruments -
synthesizers, electric guitars, drums and harmonicas- and this
creates new musical genres such as the Andean cumbia and the
chicha. It also allows Peruvian music to absorb new influences
and spread beyond the limits reserved traditionally for folk
music to the wider boundaries of national and international
This capacity for musical fusion and innovation is the living
expression of the integrating force and dynamic character of
In Peru one can try a different dish every day of the year. The
encounter of European and Andean foods, and African and Asian as
well, has created a unique blend that is the essence of Peruvian
cooking and a part of its folklore.
Each of the 25 regions has dishes with its own characteristics
and ingredients : fish cebiche from Lima, potato in Huancayo
sauce, Chiclayo duck with rice, shrimp chowder of Arequipa,
Chincha's dry soup; the Amazon's chicken juane and the
incomparable Andean three-meat pachamanca, are just a sampling of
the variety of dishes that make Peruvian cuisine one of the
There are also many international dishes that have been
adapted to Peruvian seasoning to make new variations, such as
minestrone, Italian-style tripe, and Chinese fried rice.
There are also a number of regional liquors,of which the most
important is pisco, a white grape brandy distilled from fresh
local grapes. Pisco is part of Peru's history and has helped to
forge the nation's identity. It was declared a National Heritage
and Appellation Controllee in 1995. It is the basis for pisco
sour, Peru's signature cocktail.
Peru celebrates over 1,000 festivals in the year. Most are
organized to render homage to a patron saint and are part of the
Christian calendarimposed during the Spanish vice-regency,
althoughthey have been carefully adapted to the mystical
beliefsprevalent in every region.
Apart from the religiousfestivals, there are other pagan
festivities such as those linked to ancient myths in native
jungle communities and the dozens of festivals created over the
centuries and even more recently.
A traditional fiesta in Peru is an opportunity for sacred and
profaneelements to come together in a single show of pride,
vitality and happiness.
Peru features some of the most varied handicrafts in the world,
as can be seen from the growing network of exporters who
exhibitthe best of Peru's arts and crafts in markets in Europe,
Asia and North America.
diversity, colorful and creative aspectsand multiple uses
of Peru's handicrafts have made it fundamental not just to build
Peru's cultural identity but also as a vital source of income for
thousands of families and even entire towns on the coast and in
the highlands and jungle.
The high standards of Peruvian craftsmen
can be found in
the harmonious geometric designs in textiles, the detailed
portraits of farming life in the carved gourds
(mates burilados) and the colorful cultural mix of the retablo
boxed scenes. But thereis also the unusual cosmic vision of
Shipibo designs, the fine alabaster stone carvings of Huamanga,
the beauty found in gold and silverjewelry and the multiple
creationsformed in pottery. These art forms are just some of the
manifestations of a people who communicate mainly through their
art, using a language whose fundamental expressions