Peru Guide

Peru Guide

Peru – country information

Country name Peru
Official name Republic of Peru
Capital Lima
continent South America
Area 1,285,220 km
Population 30 475 144 (2013)
Foundation of a state 28. 7. 1821
The highest mountains Nevado de Huascarán 6768 m
Longest rivers Ucayali-Apurímac 1980 km
State system a pluralistic presidential republic with a bicameral parliament
The biggest cities Lima (capital) 6,850,000, Arequipa 705,000, Callao 630,000
Official language Spanish, Quechua
Ethnicity/National Composition Quechua Indians 48%, Aymara 5%, mestizos 33%, whites 11%, other Indians 1.5%, others 1.5%
Religious affiliation Roman Catholics 92.5%, others 7.5%
Currency 1 new sol = 100 centimes
gross domestic product (GDP) US$10,596 (2012)
Average life expectancy of the population 69.84 let (2006)
Structure of GDP agriculture, forestry and fishing 13%, mining 10.5%, industry 21.5%, construction 6.5%, services 48.5%

Peru – neighboring states

State Capital Area Populace
Bolivia Peace 1,098,580 km 10 027 254
Brazil Brasilia 8,514,880 km 201 032 714
Ecuador Quito 283,561 km2 15 699 200
Chile Santiago de Chile 756,096 km 16 341 929
Colombia Bogota 1,138,910 km 47 506 000

Country overview

According to Abbreviationfinder, Peru is located on the west coast of South America on both sides of the Andes. Its name means abundance in the Quechua language and comes from the period of existence of the rich Inca Empire. Its development has always been tied to (and also hindered by) the hard-to-access, wild but beautiful mountain terrain.

Country data

Location: Western South America

Time zone: CET – 6 (during European summer time, CET – 7)

Total area: 1,285,216 km²

Land area: 1,279,996 km²

Water area: 5,220 km²

Length of the state border: 7,461 km

Bordering countries:
Bolivia: 1,075 km
Brazil: 2,995 km
Chile: 171 km
Ecuador: 1,420 km
Colombia: 1,800 km

Coastline: 2,414 km

Capital: Lima

Governorates: 25
Amazonas, Ancash, Apurimac, Arequipa, Ayacucho, Cajamarca, Callao, Cusco, Huancavelica, Huanuco, Ica, Junin, La Libertad, Lambayeque, Lima, Loreto, Madre de Dios, Moquegua, Pasco, Piura, Puno, San Martin, Tacna, Tumbes, Ucayali

Electricity: 220 V / 50 Hz (in some regions 60 Hz)

Telephone code: 00 51 (Source: Allcitycodes)

Highest point: Nevado Huascaran 6,768 m


Population: approx. 30 million residents (Countryaah, 2021)

Population growth: 1% per year

Population density (residents per km²): 23

Life expectancy: 71 (male), 75 (female)

Official language: Quechua, Aimara, Spanish


  • 81% Roman Catholic
  • 12% Evangelical
  • 7% other


Coastal region:
In the very rain-poor region, the seasons are the opposite of those in Europe. The average annual temperature is 18 ° C.

The warmest months are January and February. Here the daytime temperatures can rise up to 30 ° C.

There is very little rainfall throughout the year, although clouds and fog are constantly forming in the months from late April to early November.


In the higher inland, the climate is more moderate. The temperature is on average around 5 ° C lower than in the coastal region, but fluctuates very strongly between day and night.

It is warmest from December to mid-April. It rains more often than in the coastal region.

From an altitude of 5,000 m there is snow.

As the Andes are very high above sea level, altitude sickness (soroche) can occur. This is caused by the decreased oxygen level in the blood.

If severe discomfort occurs, you must immediately descend into deeper areas. When starting a new ascent, you should slowly get your circulation used to the altitude.

Currency / finance

Currency unit: Nuevo Sol (PEN)

Classification: 1 Nuevo Sol = 100 Céntimos

ATMs: in the capital.

International credit cards: These are partially accepted by larger hotels and shops in the capital.

Regulations: Foreign and national currencies can be imported and exported in unlimited amounts.

It is recommended to use US dollars as the foreign currency in undamaged banknotes, as these can usually be exchanged without any problems.

However, you should only exchange the amount actually required.

Customs regulations

The following may be carried duty-free:

  • 400 cigarettes or 50 cigars
  • 2 liters of alcoholic beverages (max. 3 bottles)
  • Gifts worth up to $ 300

(Information applies to people aged 18 and over)

Tourists and people in transit can bring items of personal use with them duty-free.

The duty-free applies to one entry per year.

A deposit is often required for computers and other valuable items upon entry in order to guarantee their re-export. The deposit will be refunded upon departure.

Objects that are cultural goods of the country (e.g. old pictures, metal objects and relics from the colonial era) may not be exported from Peru.

Travel advice

As the crime rate is very high in some regions (pickpocketing, drug-related crime, robbery), you should definitely avoid slums and unfamiliar urban areas.

Nocturnal overland journeys by car or public transport should be avoided.

The acquisition, possession, distribution, import and export of all kinds of drugs is severely punished in Peru.

Small hotels without their own security staff are often attacked by armed gangs. You should therefore pay special attention to security when choosing your accommodation.

The coastal region is one of the earthquake-prone areas.

Behavioral advice

If you are checked by the police or the military, you should always show the person’s official ID and note their details (name, service number, department).

You must always have your own passport with you. You should leave a photocopy in the hotel safe.

Never accept food or drinks from strangers, as these could contain narcotics.

If you plan to stay in Peru for a long time, you should register with your embassy. Enter your personal data and the planned whereabouts there.

Under no circumstances should you transport or store objects belonging to strangers (drug crime).


Around half of the population works in agriculture and forestry.

Important export products are fish, coffee, cocoa and tea.

Tourism is becoming increasingly important and is subsidized by the state. However, it is hardly worth mentioning in relation to the other economic sectors.

Industries: fishing, agriculture, food production, metal processing, shipbuilding, textiles

Natural resources: iron ore, fish, gold, wood, coal, copper, phosphate, silver, hydropower

Land use:

  • Usable land: 3%
  • Grain cultivation: 0%
  • Pasture area: 21%
  • Forests: 66%
  • other: 10%


Peru is divided into three natural areas: Costa (coastal plain, 11% of the land area), Sierra (mountains, 26%) and the Oriente (foothills, 63%).

Many rivers meander into the Pacific along the coastline that runs from northeast to southwest and is between 60 and 150 km wide. The eastern sierra, which forms part of the Andes, runs parallel to this.

The largest mountain in Peru is the Huascarán with a height of 6768 meters.

The Altiplano highlands in the south belong largely to Bolivia. It also contains the drainless basin of Lake Titicaca, which flows into Lake Poopó in Bolivia via the Desaguadero.

To the east, the Andes merge into a tropical area that sometimes even harbors untapped landscapes. The Putumayo River in the north forms a natural border with Colombia.

In Peru there is a subtropical to tropical climate with an annual mean of 16-26 ° Celsius. This climate brought a unique vegetation to light. Three quarters of the world’s habitats can be found here.

In 1997, 2.7% of the state’s area was under strict nature protection thanks to a UNESCO resolution.

In Peru you can find mahogany, cedar, rubber trees, cinchona trees (from which the anti-malarial agent quinine is obtained), sarsapilla and vanilla plants, as well as a large variety of tropical flowering plants.

In the dry sierra there are plants that can live well with just this condition: mesquite trees, cacti and eucalyptus plants.


In addition to the animal species that are native to us, such as gulls, swallows and boobies, pelicans, cormorants, lizards and scorpions also live in the coastal regions.

The fish-rich waters create habitats for anchovies, sardines, haddock, sole, mackerel, flounder, lobster and shrimp.

In the Sierra there are alpacas and guanacos, which are both strong relatives of the lama. The very cute and well-known chinchillas are also at home here.

Noteworthy bird species are the Phoebe (so-called screeching bird, also pejoratively known as the tyrant) and the Andean condor.

The tropical Montaña is home to jaguars, pumas, ocelots, armadillos, sloths and peccaries (umbilical pigs), anteaters, several dozen species of monkeys, alligators, turtles and a variety of snakes and insects. Parrots and flamingos can also be found here.

Many species in Peru are considered critically endangered.

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