Top tip: Huayna Picchu if you have a good head for heights
Peru is a large, mountainous country straddling the equator on the Pacific coast of South America. It borders with Ecuador and Colombia to the north, Brazil and Bolivia to the east and Chile to the south. There are four natural zones running roughly north to south: Costa, Sierra, Montana and Selva.
The Costa Region, where the capital, Lima, is situated, is a narrow coastal plain consisting of wide expanses of desert cut by fertile valleys. The Sierra region contains the Andes mountains with peaks reaching over 20,000ft, most of the country’s mineral resources and the greater part of its livestock. The Montana, an area of fertile, subtropical highlands, lies between the Andes and the rainforests of eastern Peru and remains predominantly undeveloped. The Selva, or Amazonian jungle of eastern Peru, has innumerable natural resources.
Facts and Figures
|Area||1,285,216 sq km (496,225 sq miles).|
|Capital||Lima. – population 7,605,742 (2007)|
|Language||Spanish and Quechua are the official languages. Aymará is spoken in some areas of the region of Puno. Many other dialects exist in the jungle regions. English is spoken in major tourist areas.|
|Religion||89 per cent Roman Catholic, 7 per cent Evangelical and 4 per cent other denominations.|
|Time||GMT – 5|
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