Peru is a vibrant country with incredible culture, dramatic and diverse landscape, culture and wildlife, exceptional architectural features, lively people, and fantastic food. There are so many facts about Peru to learn because the country’s history dates back thousands of years.
The diversity and beauty of Peru, with its numerous archeological sites, vast Amazon basin, and culture, makes it one of the most exciting places to visit in the world. Check out these interesting and fun Peru facts to learn more about one of the best destinations in South America.
Facts About Peru- Demographic And The People
There are 43 Native Languages in Peru
Although Spanish is spoken by almost 83% of the population, there are 43 native languages in Peru, including Quechua, Aymara, Shipibo, Ashaninka, and Agurauna. The exciting part of this fact about Peru is that If all the different dialects are considered, there are at least 72 different languages spoken in Peru.
Peru has Three Official Languages
There are three official languages in Peru, which are Aymara, Quechua, and Spanish. Out of these three languages, Spanish is the most widely spoken.
Peru is One of the Most Bio-diverse Countries in the World
A fact about Peru you should know is that it has the most diverse landscapes making it one of the most bio-diverse countries. Peru boasts of abundant rainforests and 90 distinct microclimates. It is home to 25,000 plant species and almost 5,000 species of fish and animals.
It is worth noting that the country ranks first in the world in terms of distinct fish species, second for birds, and third for amphibians and mammals.
One way to experience the diverse nature is to check out the various hiking routes throughout the country. Here are a few amazing hikes from Huaraz – Peru’s hiking capital, that you can do to get acclimatized.
Natures Facts About Peru For Travelers
The Amazon River Starts in Peru
One fun fact about Peru you should know is that the Amazon river is considered the longest river in the world; the river starts its journey up in the Peruvian Andes near Machu Picchu and flows across the continent for over 6,000km before coming to an end in the Atlantic Ocean.
Peru is one of the countries in South America where you can access the Amazon rainforest.
The Highest Navigable Lake is in Peru
Lake Titicaca, located between Bolivia and Peru, is the highest navigable lake in South America. It has an elevation of almost 3,812 meters above sea level. In the 1970s, a French conservationist found ruins of a city beneath the surface of this spectacular lake.
Peru is Home to the Nazca Lines
One of the interesting facts about Peru you probably don’t know is that Nazca Lines, also known as geoglyphs, are massive drawings, are found in the Nazca Desert. These lines are believed to have been created between 500 BC and 500 AD. They represent animals, patterns, and humans with diverse complexity.
These lines are considered one of the most significant archaeological mysteries in the world. You can take a plane ride to see these markings from a bird’s eye view.
Peru is Home to the Highest Sand Dune in the World
The Cerro Blanco sand dune located in the south of Peru is the highest dune in the world. It measures 3,860 feet from the base to the summit and towers over the Sechura Desert at 1,176 meters.
Excursion to see this sand dune is usually organized in Nazca because the sand dune is 14 kilometers to the east of this city. The fun part of this Peru fact is that you can ride dune buggies or sandboards from the top of the dunes down to the town below.
Two of the World’s Deepest Canyons are in Peru
Another Peru fact you need to know is that the Cotahuasi and Colca Canyons in Southern Peru both compete for the deepest canyon in the world and are part of the top ten. With 12,000 meters in depth, they are both more than twice as deep as the Grand Canyon in the United States.
Tours to both sites leave from Arequipa, but Colca Canyon is the most famous because it is just four hours from the city center. Cotahuasi is 12 hours bus ride from the city center and requires more effort than Colca.
Peru Boasts of a Rainbow Mountain
This fun fact about Peru is a favorite for tourists and adventure lovers. Vinicunca is a famous mountain in Peru with different color stripes. It is one of the most popular tourist sites after Machu Picchu.
The colors aren’t really the colors in the rainbow but more relaxed and natural colors made of layers of different minerals. Do note that many travel photos of the mountains have their colors enhanced for marketing purposes. Don’t use those as a standard and you will still be amazed at how these natural colors come about.
The colors on the rainbow mountain are as follows: the pink layer from clay, the white from quartzose, sandstone, and Maris, the red is from claystone (iron), the green is from phyllites and clays rich in ferromagnesian, the brown from the fanglomerate rock with magnesium, and the yellow is from calcareous sandstone.
What’s better than one rainbow mountain? Two rainbow mountains! This is another interesting fact about Peruvian nature, there is another rainbow mountain called Palccoyo which is considered the new gem.
Food Facts About Peru
When you visit South America, many will tell you Peru has some of the best foods out of the South American countries. This is partly due to the diverse influence they have on their cuisine. Be sure to check out some of the most popular Peruvian food and drinks to try.
Peruvians Eat Guinea Pig
One of the most intriguing and exciting Peruvian facts for foodies – roasted guinea pig is a great snack or meal in Peru. This local Peruvian dish is called Cuy, and It is served whole with the head and feet intact.
This might sound weird depending on where you are from, but it is a common dish around the region, even in Ecuador. If you are an adventurous eater, be sure to give it a try. You can find it in restaurants or vendors roasting away on street stalls.
Over 3000 species of Potato are Grown in Peru
Potato lovers will love this fact about Peru because the country takes first place when it comes to potatoes. The potato was first grown around 8000 to 5000 BC, and over 3000 types are in Peru alone.
Potatoes in Peru come in all shapes, sizes, and colors, each with its distinctive texture and flavor. They are still cultivated in Peru using Ancient Peruvian farming techniques. You will find potato in many dishes, cooked in a variety of ways.
Peru has a Tasty National Drink
One of the most exciting food facts about Peru is the Pisco Sour. Pisco Sour is Peru’s national drink, and it is made from Peruvian grape brandy mixed with lemons, sugar, water, egg whites, ice, and bitters.
This drink was invented in the 1920s by an American bartender, and there is a lighter version called Chilcano made without egg white and with a bit of soda water.
Ceviche is the National Food
Another interesting food fact about Peru is that the country has a national food called Ceviche. Ceviche is believed to have originated about 2000 years ago in the pre-Inca coastal civilization of Moche.
This dish is made by curing fresh fish in lime or lemon juice spiced with chili pepper, onion, salt, and coriander. Different cook has their own variation, and it is usually served with side dishes, including red onions, cooked bananas, lettuce, sweet potato, and avocado.
It is a cold dish and works great as an appetizer, although some might even go for it as a full meal. If you like sashimi, this should be an appealing dish.
There are Many Varieties of Corn in Peru
There are different types of corn in Peru besides the regular yellow corn. Peru grows more than 55 varieties, and you can find many colors of corn, including pink, purple, black, and orange. This is one of the most interesting food facts about Peru because it is such a beauty to behold.
There is a delicious corn drink called Chicha Morada that you should absolutely try. The drink is made from purple corn and spices. It is non-alcoholic and usually served cold.
Historical Facts Of Peru
Peru Became a Spanish Colony in 1572
Peru is one of the more successful colonies, with gold, potatoes, and other goodies available to be taken. It was also allowed to trade with other Spain’s Colony, the Philippines. Peru became independent in 1821.
Surfing Originated in Peru
This is one of the facts about Peru that surprises most people, probably because people thought surfing started in Hawaii. The ancient inhabitants used to hit the waves way back as 1000 AD. It is widely believed that the small coastal town of Huanchaco is the origin of surfing.
The excellent news is Peru is still a great surf spot, so if you love surfing, there are places with substantial point breaks where you can enjoy surfing.
Interesting Facts About Peru
Machu Picchu is One of the New Seven Wonders of the World
Peru’s most well-known attraction, the lost city of Machu Picchu, was selected as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in 2007. Unsurprisingly, this is the most popular of the many key landmarks in Peru.
This site was rediscovered in 1911 by explorer, professor, and archaeologist Hiram Bingham. The historic Incan civilization site rests on a mountain ridge almost 8,000 feet above sea level in the Sacred Valley.
Only hiking or taking a train and then a bus are the only ways to this site, but the breathtaking view is worth the effort. One of the interesting facts on Peru is that Machu Picchu, despite being the most famous site, is not the largest archeological site.
Nevertheless, this may be the most magical place on earth. You will be left in awe about how it was built by hand over a mile up in the mountains.
Here is a complete guide to hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. Do note that you have to book this way in advance as it is extremely popular.
The Largest Flying Bird in the World is Found in Peru
Another interesting fact about Peru is that Colca Canyon is home to the largest bird in the world, the Giant Andean Condor. It is standing at almost 4 feet high with a wingspan of up to 27 pounds; this bird can fly for hours without using its wings. It is native to the Andes, and the Incas consider it a sacred bird.
Peru is Home to the World’s Tallest Flower Plant
Puya Raimondii is the world’s tallest plant, and it is found in Peru. It grows to a height of five meters and can take up to a century to bloom. Each plant boasts almost 8,000 white flowers resembling lilies in full bloom. This flower blooms only once in its lifetime and dies after.
Three-quarters of the World’s Alpaca Population Live in Peru
With a global population of over 10 million, there are more than 7.5 million alpacas in Peru. That is a whole ton of alpacas. Peru is certainly the place to be if you want to catch a glimpse of these cute creatures.
Discovering More Interesting And Fun Facts About Peru
As you can see, Peru is a country full of interesting nature and attractions that are sure to amaze and delight tourists and adventure seekers.
These are just some of the interesting and fun facts about Peru. We hope you learned something new though there are still so many Peru facts to know; the charming landscapes, rivers, and captivating architecture are all waiting to be explored by you.
You will agree that Peru has everything from history to art, nature, dance, sport, culture, and relaxation. If you’re looking for an amazing destination that offers something for everyone, look no further than Peru!