Peru is the world's 20th largest country with a population of nearly 30 million people. Neighboring Peru are Chile (South), Bolivia (Southeast), Brazil (East), and Colombia and Ecuador (North).
Peru's history consists of thousands of years of evolution through pre-Columbian periods, culminating with the famous Inca Empire around 1200, which today is a principal magnet for tourists visiting Peru from all around the world.
Peru was a Spanish colony until 1821 when Peru finally achieved independence. After nearly 300 years the Spanish colonial influence is still very noticeable in the country, having left Peru with architectural marvels like churches, monasteries, squares and parks which today are some of Peru’s major tourist attractions. As an independent republic Peru was influenced by Asian, European and African cultures and examples of these cultures are still visible in Peru’s architecture, gastronomy and music among other areas.
Short facts about Peru:
- The capital of Peru is Lima, also called “The city of the Kings.”
- Cusco was the ancient Inca capital and sits at 3399 meters (11,152 feet) above sea level.
- Peru has a population of approximately 29.5 million people (2010), with around 8.5 million in
Lima (Metropolitan Area).
- Peru is South America's 3rd largest country (after Brazil and Argentina) and South America's 4th
most populated (after Brazil, Colombia, and Argentina).
- Spanish, Quechua and Ayamara are the official languages in the country.
- Peru consists of approximately 81% Catholics and 12% Protestants.
- Peru was an important part of the Inca Empire from about 1200 to 1532 with Cusco serving as its capital.
- The country became independent from Spain on July 28, 1821.