Topographical Map of Peru
The population of Peru is 29,546,963 (July 2009 est.)
The Andes Mountains chain extends over seven countries, making it the longest mountain range in the world. As you can see in the map above, the Andes can reach to a soaring height, the highest peak in Peru, Huascaran, reaches to a towering 22,204 feet (6,768 m) making it Peru's highest point. Peru has most of the Andes highest peaks, making this country visited more often for its mountain peaks. The Andes Mountains range stretch 4,500 miles from north to south of South America, along the west coast of the continent.
As you can see, the Andes Mountains has many high, snow-covered peaks, most are located in Peru.
The major and longest rivers found in Peru are the Amazon River, the Ucayali River, the Urubamba River, the Jurua River, the Purus River, and the Huallaga River. Of course, these are not the only found in Peru. Peru has hundreds of smaller rivers located around the area, keeping Peru's land nourished and are home to Peru's unique fish and other river animals.
This is the Urubamba River, located in the southern part of Peru.
Lake Titicaca is the largest lake of Peru and one of the world's most fascinating lakes. Located between Peru and Bolivia, Lake Titicaca is situated at a very high altitude, at over 3800m above sea level. Not only is Lake Titicaca beautiful, but it also is a sacred place of the Inca civilization. As said in Inca myths, Manco Capac, son of the Sun, the Inca creator, was born here. Other major lakes include Laguna Conococha, Laguna Palcaconha, Lake Junin, and Lake Yanahuani.
Beautiful Lake Titicaca. If you look at the topographical map of Peru at the top of the page, you can see that Lake Titicaca is quite large.
The Sechura Desert is a long stretch of desert located in most of Peru's western coast and in parts of Chile. This desert has an extremely arid climate that is warm during the summer and wet during the winter. This desert stretches 188, 735 square miles. The ecoregion also serves as an important corridor for migratory birds. Human population density is high in this area and although there are some protected parks, urban expansion poses a major threat to this area.
Peru shares the Amazon rain forest with other countries and this tropical region is known as "Amazonia". Because of this rain forest, Peru has many unique plants and animals that are located on the eastern part of Peru (see map below). The Amazon received its nickname "The Lungs of our Planet" because it provides the essential environmental world service of continuously recycling carbon dioxide into oxygen. The area of the Amazon is 5,500,000 km2 (2,123,562 sq mi) and is a big part of the Peruvian environment and is home to most of Peru's wildlife.
Lowest point: Pacific Ocean at 0m.
Highest point: Peak Huascaran at 6,768m.
Highest point: Peak Huascaran at 6,768m.
The major exports of Peru are copper, gold, zinc, crude petroleum and petroleum products, coffee, potatoes, asparagus, textiles, and guinea pigs.
The animals of Peru vary from jungle animals, like monkeys and parrots, to animals found on the Andes like lamas and condors, to animals found in the Pacific Ocean on Peru's coastline, like fish and sharks. When most people think about Peruvian animals, llamas usually pop into one's mind. Llamas are the most important animal to Peru. Even in ancient Inca times, they were considered wonderful and sacred. Condors are also apart of the Inca culture. These rarely seen, huge birds were considered holy by the Inca people and are included in the drawings of the Nazca lines. Guinea pigs were domesticated by the Incas and were part of an Inca's diet. Even today, they are eaten during festivals or just for the good taste of guinea pig. Because Peru has some portion of the Amazon rain forest, animals like leopards, snakes, parrots, and monkeys are include in the category of Peruvian animals. Of course, these are not the only animals found in Peru. There are about 400 species or animals and 500 species of insects found in Peru.
Foods and Drinks
Peruvian foods are flavorful and cooked with delicious ingredients and spices. Peruvian foods are different and vary from seafood dishes to hearty meat dishes to traditional foods from their Inca ancestors. The staples of Peruvian foods are potatoes, chilies, and corn because these foods were a big part of the Inca harvest, so these three are commonly found in a Peruvian dish. Along the coast of Peru, many people there enjoy eating seafood. A famous seafood dish is Ceviche. This traditional dish is fish marinated in lime juice, garlic, ginger, cilantro, celery, aji amarillo and aji rocoto, garnished with slivers of red onions, sweet potatoes and Peruvian corn. In the northern part of Peru is where more meat dishes are eaten. One famous dish is Lomo Saltado, now famous through out Peru. This dish is beef tenderloin flambéed with onions, tomatoes, and cilantro, garnished with white rice and fried potatoes. A traditional dish that is still made today is cuy. Cuy is roasted guinea pig served over potatoes. This national dish may sound disturbing because people usually would never dream of eating these cute, furry animals but this dish was famous way back in the Inca time and was proclaimed Peru's national food. The famous drink of Peru is chicha, the drink of the Inca. This drink is boiled corn and other ingredients and is traditionally made by women. Everyone drinks chicha, from the elderly to babies, everyone in Peru enjoys this drink and has become a favorite through out the country. Even though most Peruvian dish might seem disturbing to some people, their foods are rich in flavor and originality, including history of the Inca.
The major cities of Peru are Trujillo, Piura, Iquitos, Huancayo, Chimbote, Arequipa, Cuzco, and Lima. Lima is the capital of Peru and the largest city of Peru, besides the ancient city of Cuzco. Lima is located on the west coast of Peru and is heavily populated, with a population of 7,819,436 people. Lima is a city of business, but it is also very beautiful. Cuzco was the ancient capital of the Incas and has a population of about 400,000 people. Cuzco is considered a holy city and there are very different people seen walking in the streets, wither its tourists or the Indians who come to this city every once in awhile. Cuzco is also full of history and culture, and beautiful in its own unique way.