With an area of 1,285,215 square km, Peru is the third-largest country in South America after Brazil and Argentina, ranking it amongst the world's 20 largest nations.
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. Peru is divided into 24 departments. Lima is the capital of Peru.
- Urban: 72,3 %
- Rural: 27,7 %
Peru is a nation of mixed ethnic origins. Throughout its history, Peru has been the meeting ground for different nations and cultures. The indigenous population was joined 500 years ago by the Spaniards.
As a result of this encounter, and later enriched by the migration of African blacks, Asians and Europeans, Peruvian man emerged as the representative of a nation whose rich ethnic mix is one of its leading characteristics.
- Spanish: 80,3%
- Quechua: 16,2%
- Other languages: 3,0%
- Foreign languages: 0,2%
As part of its rich cultural tradition, Peru features many different languages. Although Spanish is commonly spoken across the country, Quechua is a major legacy of the Inca empire, and is still spoken with regional dialects in many parts of Peru.
In addition, other languages are spoken such as Aymara (in Puno) and a startling variety of dialects in the Amazon jungle, which are divided up into 15 linguistic families and 43 different languages.
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 sol coins. There are bills in the denomination of 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 Nuevos Soles.
Time (-5h GMT)
||02:00 h (*)
||03h00 h (*)
(*) Next day.
220 volts. Most 4 and 5-star hotels do have outlets equipped for 110 volts.
International calls to Peru : 00 - 51- city code + phone number
Public telephones accept coins and phone cards that are sold in kiosks and supermarkets. Make certain that you are buying the phone card from the company you wish to use. It is possible to make collect calls from some public phone booths.
To get more information about telephone numbers, call 103 (service in Spanish).
Public internet booths are found in the country’s main cities.
Wireless internet service is provided in most 4 and 5-star hotels and in shopping centers.
Post offices are located throughout all regions of the country. For more information, go to www.serpost.com.pe
Peru is situated in the Southern Hemisphere and hence the Summer months are November to April, and winter is May to October. However, due to Peru’s proximity to the Equator, "winter" in Cusco means blue skies with little rain, warm days up to 80ºF (depending on the altitude), and cold nights (possibly down to freezing).
Cusco, at 3,400 meters above sea level (11,154 ft) experiences a unique climate with only two seasons, a wet season (summer) and a dry season (winter). During the dry season (cooler winter months) the evening and early morning temperature will drop to below 0° Celsius (57.6°F). During the rainy season (warmer summer months) there will be sunny days that reach 20° Celsius (93.6°F).
The wet season (Summer)
Months: November to April
Cusco will experience frequent showers with sunny spells in between.
Temperature range: 10.3° Celsius (50.54°F) to 20° Celsius (93.6°F)
The dry season (Winter)
Months: May to October
Cusco will experience a dry winter, where no rain will fall, but the coolness of the early mornings and evenings intensifies, particularly during the months of June, July and August.
Temperature range: 0° Celsius (57.6°F) to 10.3° Celsius (50.54°F)
To maximize your comfort while in Peru, it is best to pack accordingly. This entails packing many layers, a warm jacket, and perhaps a scarf, hat and gloves (unless you prefer to buy them here!). It is recommended to bring lightweight, quick-drying clothes with thin layers to put underneath.
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 Alan Garcia Pérez (2006-2011).
Roman Catholic: 89,03%
Other religions: 2,56%
Any Religion: 1.65%
Peru is a naturally religious country: a diversity of beliefs and freedom of worship can be seen from the wide range of festivals and rituals that feature both Catholic fervour and the mysticism of age-old pre-Hispanic cultures.