About Peru

Useful Facts

CURRENCY
PEN - Peruvian Nuevos Soles
USD 1.00 ≡ PEN 2.60 (Approx)
TIME ZONE
-5 GMT
ELECTRICITY VOLTAGE
220 V

OVERVIEW

Peru a country with many surprises! The land of the Incas, whose heritage impresses the people up until today. Develop the eternal city, which is one of the seven world wonders. Experience the feeling of reaching the gates of Machu Picchu. The heritage of the antique cultures and the affluent colonial tradition create the magic, a place which has one of the greatest diversities of species in the world. It is a mixture of different and common cultures.

Peru is a country with more than 10 thousand years of history. Once it was the center of the impressive Inca Empire. Much earlier than those, thousands of civilizations in the world left their footprints of a glory past, such as the Caral, the tombs of Sipán, the most magnificent tombs of America, the mysterious Nazca Lines and the fortress of Kuélap. It is the treasury of South America. A nation with the greatest diversity in the world, with 84 out of 117 natural habitats. Here you can cross a desert, hike the breathtaking Andes Mountains and explore the gigantic forests in one breath. It is an exquisite territory with a culinary diversity, which made a great progress in the gastronomy.

Peru is a rainbow of sounds, tastes and colors, which is shown in the more than 50 indigenous languages, millions of dances and traditional instruments. You can watch them and listen to them during the great fiestas and processions. This is a destination with countless destinations within it. A country with millions of people, who are waiting with open arms to welcome you.

ARCHAEOLOGY

People who think of Peru immediately create a picture of Machu Picchu and the gigantic empire of the Incas in their heads. Nevertheless there were many civilizations long times before the Incas, which left Peru an impressive archaeological heritage. You can find many evidences through the art, the customs, rituals and the development.

Compared with these cultures, the Inca civilization developed very late in the process of the development of the pre-Hispanic cultures of the Andes. A very interesting fact is that its history rarely lasted a century within the 20 thousand years of the appearance of humans in the Peruvian territory.

A long time before the reign of the Incas, during the development of the focus civilizations such as Mesopotamien, Egypt, India and China (3,000 and 2,000 B.C.), Carla was created in the North of Lima. It was the first expression of an American, urban settlement of the pre-ceramic times, with its monumental architecture, in a better area. Later the Chavín (800 – 200 B.C) had developed in the northern mountains, with a significant developed architecture, engineering and agriculture.

The Moche civilization (200 B.C. – 600 A.D.) had developed along the northern coastline, known for its realistic ceramic (huacos portrait) and its pyramidal temples. The same territory was the place of the Chimü (1.100 – 1.500 A.D.) later on, whose famous heritage is the citadel Chan. – Chan is a huge labyrinth with 12 meters in height walls made out of mud, an impressive, architectonic work.

The Nazca Lines (300 B.C – 900 A.D.) in the South, impressive figures in the desert and the cemeteries of Paracas (800 B.C. – 600 A.D), are evidence of the magical, religious vision, the life of these civilizations had reigned. All these are parts of the archaeological treasures of Peru.

Only in the later centuries the Incas (1.400 – 1.500) had transformed Cusco into their center of civilization. They had created important places during this time, such as Sacsayhuamán, Písac or Qoricancha. It was here, where mythos and history had merged, where the Inca Trails, the villages, the people, the traditions are offering a consistent evidence of the Andean, holy and monumental spirit.

NATURE RESERVES

The fact that you can find 84 out of 104 biotopes existing on the planet here, make Peru to be a preferential destination for nature lovers. You will find about 20% of the birds and 10% of the mammals and reptiles of the world here in Peru. It has transformed 13% of its territories into nature reserves.

FIESTAS AND TRADITIONS

Peru is dancing and singing for its happiness and sorrow with unique colors. The calendar is filled up with approximately 3.000 fiestas in all the regions of the country.

Apart from religious fiestas, there are other important fiestas, such as the pagans, in connections with the old myths, in the indigenous communities of the forests and countless fiestas, which had been created during the past centuries and decades. Furthermore, the immigrants in the region of the 4 thousand urban centers create duplicates of the various fiestas, which are celebrated in the small villages.

GASTRONOMY

The existence of more than 40 million restaurants in the entire country, reflect the diversity of a nation, whose indigenous tradition has mixed with the European, Arabic, Chinese, African, Japanese cuisine. The result: unique tastes, which had made the Peruvian Cuisine to one of the most diverse in the entire world. The most spread custom among the Peruvians is probably good cooking, understanding and good eating. We eat from all and at all occasions. For the birth, the death, once the children grow up, when we say the truth or someone lies, to debauch, to convince or for love. Without any doubt it is a full table.

LANGUAGES

A part of the rich, cultural tradition of Peru is created by the various languages. Even though Spanish being quite common in the entire country, Quechua is an important heritage of the Incas and is also spoken in regional dialects in many parts of Peru.

  • Spanish: 80,3%
  • Quechua: 16,2%
  • Aymara: 3,3%
  • International languages: 0,2%

CURRENCY

The official currency in Peru is the Nuevo sol (s/.), which is divided into 100 céntimos, there are 1,2,5 nuevo soles coins, the bill are divided into 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 soles.

The best currency to take with you is the American Dollar, the exchange of every other currency outside of Lima is rather difficult. Although the Dollar in general is welcome, it is necessary to exchange these, especially in small villages.

The exchange rate to the dollar can vary from day to day, but in general it si fluctuating between S/. 2.70 and 2.50 nuevos soles per American Dollar. The Exchange rate to the Euro is about S/.3.50.

Cash: bring small bills, because usually the salesmen, the stores and the taxi drivers do not have change. If you bring money, take care, that these are not ripped or old, because salesmen, banks or exchange offices etc. do not except bills in this condition.

CLIMATE

The climate can differ significantly, due to the different climate zones with the coast line, the jungle and the high Andes, depending in which part of the country you are.

ARRIVAL BY AIR OR LAND

  • 14 airports for the national air traffic and 10 for the international: Lima, Apa, Chiclayo, Pisco, Pucallpa, Iquitos, Cusco, Trujillo, Tacna and Juliaca. (++ CORPAC - Corporación Peruana de Aviación Comercial).
  • 17 Airlines which operate on an international basis.
  • 7 Airlines which operate on a national basis
  • More than 78 thousand kilometer of roads, 8084.6 of these are asphaltic. (++ Ministerio de Transportes y Comunicaciones).

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