All About Peru

History of Peru | Festivals in Peru | Politics and economy |
Society and Peruvian culture | Travel Tips

All About Peru

The land of gold and the sun-worshipping Incas, Peru was sixteenth-century Europe's primary source of treasure and once the home of the largest empire in the Americas. Since then, the riches of the Incas have fuelled the world's imagination, although much of the country's appeal lies in the sheer beauty of its landscapes, the abundance of wildlife and the colourful character of the friendly people.

Ancient ruins only hint at the first chapter of the story. Although the bloody Spanish Conquest shattered the traditional Inca world in the 1500s, the legacy of ancient cultures is still very much alive. A significant percentage of Peruvians still speak the Quechua or Aymara tongue of their ancestors. Many of their beliefs and customs are a mixture of traditional Andean ways and the culture brought by the Spanish conquistadors. Peru remains one of the world's greatest travel destinations. Come experience this mystical country!

Peru Overview

Full country name: Republic of Peru
Area: 1,285,215 sq km (501,234 sq mi)
Population: Approximately 33 million
Capital city: Lima (population approximately 10,88 million)
People: 60,2 % Mestizo (mixed Amerindian and white); 25,8 Amerindian; 5,9 % White; 3,6 % African descent; 1,2% Other (includes Chinese and Japanese descent); 3,3 % unspecified
Language: Spanish, Quechua, Aymara
Religion: Most of the population identify with some form of Christianity with the majority identifying as Catholic followed by Evangelical
Government: Democracy
President: Pedro Castillo (since 28 July, 2021)
GDP: US$226,8 billion
GDP per head: US$6,997
Annual growth rate: 2.2%
Inflation: 2%
Major industries: Mining, mineral and jewel processing, steel, metal fabrication, petroleum, natural gas, fishing, fish processing, cement, glass textiles, clothing, food processing, beer, soft drinks, rubber, machinery, electrical machinery, chemicals, furniture
Major trading partner: China, United States, Brazil, Canada, South Korea, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Switzerland

History of Peru

The history of Peru goes back to some 20 000 years B.C. when the territory began to be populated with groups of hunters and gatherers. Theories differ in regard to the true origin of the American man. Is the American culture native, or did it result from an Asian migration? It would seem that the second hypothesis is contrary to many of the anthropological and archaeological tests, as well as an examination of legends and traditions.

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Festivals in Peru

Around 3,000 typical celebrations and festivals are held in Peru every year. The majority of those are organized to celebrate the day of a Santo Patron (a patron saint). Those saints originally formed part of the Christian calendar in the Colonial Period but the Andean people added elements of their own religions into these festivities, creating an intriguing blend of beliefs, known as cultural syncretism. Cusco’s main festivals is celebrated in June: Inti Raymi.

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Politics and Economy

Peru has had an unstable political history, starting with the traumatic Spanish conquest, and later alternating between periods of democratic as well as authoritarian rule. Since the country’s independence in 1821, Peru has had over a dozen constitutions and quite a few elected governments who did not complete their full terms. The current president is the former school teacher Pedro Castillo. He is part of the Marxist-Leninist Free Peru party and won the elections in 2021.

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Society and Peruvian Culture

Peru has a strong traditional culture that continues to pervade its many cities, towns and mountain villages. This is a product of the country’s extensive diversity of people, cultures and ethnicities, all of whom have contributed to Peru’s vibrant traditions. The religion of Peru is an inheritance of the Spanish conquest, for this reason, it is a mainly Catholic country. Peru has a great richness of flora and fauna.

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Peru Travel Tips

If you have already started dreaming of a trip to Peru, read along because we have listed a few essential Peru travel tips to help you plan your Spanish Immersion in Peru. Here you can find things that you want to know before going to Peru about travelling, money issues, health issues, COVID, the weather, what to bring and so on.

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