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Geographic Situation

Peru is in the central and western part of South America, on the coast of the Pacific Ocean which is its natural border to the west. It also limits with Ecuador and Colombia to the north, with Chile to the south and with Brazil and Bolivia to the east.

Peru is divided into 24 departments (regions since 2003), with the well known Lima as its capital city.

It is the third largest country in South America and one of the largest 20 in the world, with a total surface of 1,285.215,6 square kilometers, including its Pacific islands and the Lake Titicaca western islands. This area is larger than the added territories of Spain, France and Germany.

Peru also holds sway over the sea up to 200 miles from the Peruvian coast and has territorial rights to an area of 60 million hectares in the Antarctic.

The country has three geographic large regions: Coast, Highlands and Jungle.

The Coast:

Located to the west, close to 1800 miles of deserts, open beaches and fertile valleys.

The Highlands:

Region dominated by the Andes. It is located between the Coast and the Jungle. The highest point in Peru is the peak of Mount Huascaran (22 204 feet above sea level).

The Jungle:

Also called Amazonia, located to the east, formed by the oriental hillsides of the Mountain range of the Andes and extensive plains with exuberant vegetation and tropical forests. It is furrowed by numerous rivers, all tributaries of the Amazon River.

Peruvian Population

Peru has 28,674,757 inhabitants. The coast shelters 52% of the total population, the highlands 36% and the jungle 12%. Lima, its capital, concentrates the most population (approximately 9 million people).

Peru is a nation of mixed ethnic origins, a mixture of the sizeable indigenous population and people from Europe, Africa and Asia.

Its blend of cultural traditions is the result of wide diversity in fields such as the arts, literature, music and gastronomy.

Peruvian Language

The population is mostly mixed and urban and speaks Spanish, but there are two important minorities: Andean populations, divided in the Quechua and Aymara language families and Amazon populations divided in 15 language families and 43 ethnic groups.

Religion in Peru

In Peru exists the freedom of credo or religion. The State recognizes the Catholic Church as an important element in the historical, cultural and moral formation of Peru. The population in Peru is:

Roman Catholic: 89,03%
Evangelical: 6,73%
Other religions: 2,56%
Any Religion: 1.65%

The Climate

The Coast:

From December to April the Peruvian coast, except some valleys that cross over it, is desert, so the climate at this time is dry, very warm and occasionally might show mild showers in some places.

From May to November the temperature decreases a bit and there is frequent fog in nearby places of Lima (around 300 km.), so it is recommendable to wear warm soft clothes. In some places, like Lima, the weather feels cold due to the high humidity.

The Highlands:

Generally, May through October is the dry season. Daytime temperatures reach a warm 68 °F to 77 °F (20 °C - 25 °C), and nights are often quite cold (near freezing), especially in June and July.

Rainfall season is very abundant November to April, when temperatures are slightly milder 64 °F to 68 °F (18 °C - 20 °C) dropping only to 59 °F (15 °C) at night. The wettest months are January and February. Most mornings are dry, but clouds move in during the afternoon and produce heavy downpours, making roads and trek paths impassable.

The Jungle:

Although it is consistently humid and tropical, with significant rainfall year-round, it also experiences two clearly different seasons. During the dry season (May-Oct), temperatures reach 86 °F to 100 °F (30 °C - 38 °C) during the day.

From November to April, there are frequent rain showers (which last only a few hours at a time), causing the rivers to swell; temperatures are similarly steamy.

Peruvian Currency

The official currency in Peru is the Nuevo Sol (S/.), which is divided into 100 centimos. The currency includes coins for 5, 10, 20 and 50 centimos and 1, 2 and 5 soles coins. There are bills in the denomination of 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 Nuevos Soles.

Peruvian Government

Peru is a democratic republic. The president and members of Congress are elected every five years by universal suffrage. The current constitutional president of Peru is Pedro Pablo Kuczynski (20016-2021) and the Prime Minister (head of government) is Fernando Zavala Lombard.

Major Industries

Mining, oil and gas, steel, fishing, textiles, clothing, agro industry, metal fabrication, food processing and Tourism.

Public Holidays

National public holidays in Peru include:

New Year Day (January 01)
Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter day (March or April)
Labor Day (May 01)
Independence Day (July 28-29)
Battle of Angamos (October 08)
All Saints Day (November 01)
Feast of the Immaculate Conception (December 08)
Christmas (December 24-25)