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Peru - why so unique?

Updated: Oct 29, 2020


 




 

Basic facts


Peru is located in South America, occupying the central western sector of the continent, south of the equatorial and in the middle of the tropical strip.


Peru is the nineteenth country of the world, within the context of nearly 200 nations the sixth in the Americas and the third in South America, after Brazil and Argentina.

Its boundaries are framed, to the west by the Pacific Ocean; to the north with Ecuador and Colombia; to the east with Brazil and Bolivia ; and to the south with Chile.


Traditionally, three major regions are established: Coast, Sierra and Selva.


The Costa Region, represents an arid and narrow strip, covering 10.6% of the territory and houses more than half of the Peruvian population.


The Sierra, or mountain region, extends from the 500 meters (1640 f) up to more than 6,000 meters (20000 f) above sea level, covers 31.8% of the Peruvian territory - and brings together 34% population. It is made up of the large massive of the Andes Mountains and has snow-capped peaks.


The Selva Region is part of the western periphery of the continental Amazon, exhibiting high plant cover and dense typical of the humid tropics. Comprises a total area of 57.8% of the national territory, where it is concentrated 14% of the Peruvian population.


Initiating a journey from west to east of the country, the morphology of the Peruvian territory presents remarkable contrasts and a diversity of ecosystems within the three geographic regions.





 

The Climate


Peru has a remarkable diversity of climates as a result of the interaction of major conditions exercise their particular and significant influence. The first is the latitudinal position of the country in the middle of the tropical strip, where the temperature is distributed uniformly throughout the year; that is, the difference between the summer and winter averages does not exceeds 5oC.


In addition, it is worth mentioning the influence of the vertical incidence of solar radiation, typical of the equatorial on the planet, it determines short days throughout the year.


Rainfall is the parameter that clearly and definitely determines two distinct seasons:

wet - rainfall occurring between November and April; and

dry season, between June and October




 

Nature


The most biologically diverse country in the world!


It has 90 different micro-climates therefore boasts an abundance of wildlife and plant species.

The best place to go to grasp the sheer range of its diversity is the Manu National Park.

It holds a biodiversity record after recognizing more than 1000 species of birds, 1200 species of butterfly and 287 species of reptiles in 2016.


The world's largest bird – Andean Condor lives in Peru. It weights 12 kg, stands 1,2 meters high and has a wingspan of up to 4 meters long. Andean Condor is able to fly for hours without flapping a single wing. The bird was considered sacred by the Incas but unfortunately now is on the Red List of Threatened Species by International Union for Conservational of Nature (IUCN).


The Deepest Canyon in The World – The Cotahuasi Canyon or Colca Canyon has a depth of 3,232 metres, that's twice the depth of the Grand Canyon in the US.


The World's Highest Lake - Located between Bolivia and Peru. Lake Titicaca has an elevation of 3,485 meters. A French conservationist, found ruins of an ancient city underneath its surface. Today, the descendants of the quechua people, who lived in this city, live on 120 self - made floating islands in the lake.



 

The food


Peru is considered one of the top foodie destinations in the world!


Michelin star chefs from all over the world fly to Lima and Cusco to learn how to master their trade. Since 2012, the country has been named the World Leading Culinary Destination by the World Travel Awards.


A mecca for super foods, Peru is home to a long list of good-for-you agricultural products, due in large part to the country’s diverse microclimates and landscapes.


Interesting facts:


Guinea pigs are food, not pets!

Cuy is a traditional dish that's made from roasted guinea pig. The animal is served crispy and complete with head, legs, and eyes. It's a healthier choice than llama meat, and contains much more protein.



Cocoa - some of the best chocolate in the world is produced in Peru!

At The International Chocolate Awards in 2019, Peruvian chocolate bars received a Gold medal in the Plain/origin dark chocolate bars category. Peru received 17 medals in total.


In Peru, over one-quarter of cacao production is certified as organic, fair trade, and/or sustainable.

Peru mostly produces what’s called fine or flavour cocoa beans. According to the International Cocoa Organisation, Peru produces 75% fine or flavour beans. For comparison, only 1% of Indonesia’s cocoa is considered “fine”.


60% of the world’s cocoa varieties are indigenous to Peru


Benefits of eating/drinking cocoa


Stimulates the nervous system: Cacao contains a series of components that act as stimulants and euphoriants.

Boosts your mood: Cacao helps increase the production of endorphins, the hormones that improve our mood.

Stimulates the digestive system: In addition to its qualities as a stimulant of our nervous system and our emotions, cacao is also a good source of fiber, which promotes healthy digestion.

Fights constipation: Several studies have confirmed the benefits of cacao as a natural relief against constipation, thanks precisely to the fact that it becomes an ideal food to tone and stimulate the digestive system.

Good for cardiovascular health: Cacao is very rich in antioxidants.

Good for your skin, fights cellulites: These same benefits have an important anti-cellulite, antioxidant and even softening activity, which is why dark chocolate is used in chocolate therapy: a skin care routine that consists of applying chocolate on the skin through massages.



Maca

The maca plant is sometimes referred to as Peruvian ginseng.

It mainly grows in the Andes of central Peru, in harsh conditions and at very high altitudes — above 13,000 feet (4,000 meters).


Maca root powder is high in carbs and rich in a number of nutrients, including vitamin C, copper and iron. It also contains many bioactive plant compounds.


Maca can improve symptoms of menopause, including hot flashes and disrupted sleep at night.


Maca may improve your mental well-being and mood by reducing depression and anxiety.


Supplementing with maca may improve exercise performance, particularly during endurance events


Some evidence indicates that maca, in particular the black variety, can improve learning and memory.


Maca can increase sperm production and improve sperm quality, thereby enhancing fertility in men.



Coca

is a plant with a complex array of mineral nutrients, essential oils, and varied compounds with greater or lesser pharmacological effects.


The coca leaf has been chewed and brewed for tea traditionally for centuries among its indigenous peoples in the Andean region – and does not cause any harm and is beneficial to human health.


When chewed, coca acts as a mild stimulant and suppresses hunger, thirst, pain, and fatigue. It helps overcome altitude sickness. Coca chewing and drinking of coca tea is carried out daily by millions of people in the Andes without problems, and is considered sacred within indigenous cultures.




 

The history and the cultures


The history of Peru spans 10 millennia, the country was home to the Norte Chico civilization, the oldest civilization in the Americas and one of the six oldest in the world, and to the Inca Empire, the largest and most advanced state in pre-Columbian America with the administrative, political and military center in Cusco.


Machu Picchu is one of the new seven wonders of the world.


It is a 15th-century Inca citadel, located in the Eastern Cordillera of southern Peru, on a 2,430-metre (7,970 ft) mountain ridge.


Most archaeologists believe that Machu Picchu was constructed as an estate for the Inca emperor Pachacuti (1438–1472).


Machu Picchu is often referred to as the “Lost City of the Incas” due to the belief that the Spanish never found the city when they conquered the Incan Empire in the 1500’s.


The granite rocks used to construct Machu Picchu were extremely heavy with some weighing over 55 tons, it was constructed with a technique called ashlar which involves stones being perfectly shaped so that a mortar is not needed. The stones are fit so well that not even the blade of a knife would fit between them.




 

Languages


Today, Spanish is the first language of more than 80% of Peruvians.


150 Indigenous languages from the Amazon were documented by Jesuits that settled Peru in the 16th century.


Yet, there are still 47 native languages that are spoken across the country: 43 of these in the Amazon, and 4 in the Andean region.


Quechua (in its different variants) is spoken by about 9 million people across the continent in the andean regions, including in Ecuador, Bolivia and in the northwest of Argentina.This makes it the most spoken native language in South America.


Aymara is the second most common, with almost half a million of speakers, mostly used by people who live in the area of lake Titicaca.







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