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25 Interesting Facts about Peru

25 Interesting Facts about Peru

Photo: Shutterstock

Want to know more about Peru? Here are 25 Interesting Facts about Peru that you probably didn’t know before reading this!

To make this even more fun, I want to challenge you as well. How many of these Peru facts did you know before reading this? Share your result in the comment section!

Roasted guinea pig is the national dish

Yes, the fuzzy and ridiculously cute little guinea pig is a Peruvian delicacy. You will find this dish all over the country, and most of the times they are served on skewers or on a plate. 

Roasted cuy

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It’s one of the richest countries in terms of natural resources

Peru is often considered a poor country, and many locals are struggling. The country, however, is very rich in terms of natural resources, and in fact, it’s the 6th largest exporter of gold in the world. 

Just imagine how much gold the Spanish conquistadors brought out from the country! There is also oil and various other minerals. 

Peruvian gold

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Cerro Blanco is the highest sand dune in the world

When it comes to sand dunes and deserts, most people probably think about the Sahara desert, which is the largest desert in the world. But did you know that Cerro Blanco is the highest sand dune in the world?

In the picture below, you can see the view from the top of the sand dune. 

Cerro Blanco

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Shamanism is widely practiced

In fact, only India has more shamans than Peru. It has been a popular practice for at least 3000 years, and one of the most internationally known shamanic ritual is the infamous Ayahuasca ritual. 

Ayahuasca is classified as a drug in most countries in the world, but here it’s used as traditional spiritual medicine. 

Ayahuasca ritual

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The potato originated here

You probably didn’t know that the potato you’re enjoying so much has Peruvian origins. There are more than 3000 varieties grown around the country.

One of the most interesting facts about Peru, considering that potato is now being grown almost all over the world. 

Peruvian potato

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Almost 60% of the country is covered by rainforest

While most of the Amazon Rainforest is located in Brazil, the Peruvian part makes up about 60% of the country’s total land area. 

Amazon rainforest

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Peru is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world

There are more than 90 microclimates around the country, which makes this a haven for a vast amount of living beings. Peru is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, and there are several endemic species living here.

One of the most fascinating facts about Peru for an animal lover like me!

Biodiversity in Peru

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Before a Peruvian couple can marry, they must enter a period of Servancy

Wedding ceremonies and marriage culture are different all over the world, but here in Peru, they have a unique tradition. Before getting married the woman often stays with the mother-in-law, and the man stays with the father-in-law. 

They work and sleep together under the same roof, and this is all made to make sure that they are ready. 

Peruvian couple

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Most of the weaving techniques used today were invented by Peruvians

Peruvians have been famous for its weaving and colorful ponchos for a long time, and most of the weaving techniques that are used around the world today was used here already 3000 years ago. 

Peru facts

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There’s a Peruvian fruit with 60 times more vitamin C than oranges

Have you heard about the fruit Camu Camu? It grows in the Amazon rainforest and it contains 60 times more Vitamin C than regular oranges. 

Camu Camu

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There’s a rainbow mountain

Ever seen a natural place in rainbow colors? And no, this is not photoshop. The mountain gets the colors from sedimentary mineral layers that have been exposed to erosion. 

The Rainbow mountain is also known as Vinicunca, and you can easily go here on a day trip from Cusco. 

Rainbow mountain

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The Coca leaf is widely used

Coca Leaves have been used for centuries in South America. They are still being sold openly in the street, and it wasn’t until the 80s where people realized that you could make cocaine from the leaves. 

However, Peruvians and South Americans use the coca leaves for teas or chew on them in order to get energy and get more focused, much like westerners get energy and better focus from drinking coffee.

The leaves suppress hunger, thirst, pain, and fatigue as well as help overcome high-altitude sickness. 

Coca leaves

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Home to the Mysterious Nazca Lines

Can you believe that there are more than 100 symbols picturing living beings in the desert?

These figures were created in 500 BC to 500 AD, and they are created with perfection in terms of lines. The most impressive about these is the fact that experts say that the local people of that time didn’t have any access to modern technology, and they could certainly not fly.

There are so many questions around Nazca Lines, like why? for who they made them? and most importantly how?

Without a doubt, the Nazca Lines and their existence is one of the most fascinating facts about Peru and their ancient civilizations!

Nazca Lines

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The Cotahuasi Canyon is the world’s deepest canyon

While Grand Canyon in the US might be the world’s most famous canyon, Peru is home to the world’s deepest canyon. 

The Cotahuasi Canyon is more than twice as deep as the Grand Canyon!

Cotahuasi Canyon

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Machu Picchu is of the New Seven Wonders of the World

One of the most stunning man-made structures in the world, Macchu Picchu. 

Did you know that it wasn’t discovered by the world until 1911 by Hiram Bingham? Of course, local cultures always knew about it. Machu Picchu was inscribed as a World Heritage Site in 1983 and was voted one of the new seven wonders of the world in 2007.

Machu Picchu

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5 x Fun Facts about Peru

  • Peruvians celebrate New Year’s by gifting one another yellow underpants on New Year’s Eve to bring good luck in the coming year
  • You can tell the relationship status of a Native Quechua woman by their hat
  • The government of Peru banned prisoners from using chili sauce in 1973 claiming that it increased their sexual arousal
  • Surfing has been a tradition for at least 2000 years along the Peruvian coast
  • The Peruvian Beer Circle is an “odd” way of drinking beer. It includes several people that make a circle, and then they pass around a beer bottle and a single glass, which is shared by the group. Normally each person bring at least one bottle of beer each
Quechua woman hat

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5 x Peru Facts for Kids

  • Home to the largest flying bird in the world – The Andean Condor
  • There are pink dolphins living in the Amazon river
  • A traditional poncho takes around 500 to 600 hours to finish and is expected to last for a lifetime
  • There are 55 varieties of corn, in various colors
  • The Incan Empire was one of the world’s most powerful and advanced civilizations
Peruvian corn

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General Facts about Peru

Below are some general info such as total population, land area, biggest lake, highest mountain and other general facts about Peru that might be interesting to know.

  • Total Population: 32,8 million people
  • Capital: Lima
  • Life expectancy: 74,98 years
  • Highest Mountain: Huascaran (6768 meters)
  • Land area: 1,285,216 km2 (496,225 sq mi)
  • Largest Lake: Lake Titicaca
  • National Day: July 28 (Independence day)
  • Government: Unitary presidential republic
  • President: Martín Vizcarra
  • Currency: Sol (PEN)
  • Official language: Spanish, Quechua, Aymara
  • Religion: Christianity and folk religions
  • Member of Nato: No
  • National song: “Himno Nacional de Perú”
  • Time zone: UTC−5 (PET)
  • Country Number/Prefix: +51
  • Country Code: PE
Cusco

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The Biggest Cities in Peru

If you’re looking for facts about Peru, it might also be interesting to know which are the biggest cities. Here’s a list of the top 10 biggest Peruvian cities ranked after population.

Lima Arequipa
Callao Trujillo
Chiclayo Iguitos
Huancayo Piura
Chimbote Cusco

Flag of Peru

peru flag

Map of Peru

Below you can see the country’s territory marked in yellow. It has borders with Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, Bolivia and Chile. 

Peru Map

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How many of these Peru Facts did you know beforehand? Share your result in the comment section below!

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