Peru lays in a land rich in traditions and old civilizations. Over 5,000 years of history tells the lives of peoples like the Chavin, Moche, Nasca, Paracas, Vicus, Wari, Tiawanaku, Quechua (Inka), Chimu, etc. When the Spaniards arrived they found a divided Inka civilization that was easy to conquer due to their religious beliefs that Pizarro was a representative of their Gods. The epidemics, slavery and the Catholic church contributed to the destruction of the Indigenous civilizations of what is Peru today.
During almost 400 years of colonial times as a Viceroyalty, Spain stole the Peruvian gold and goods that built its rich economy transforming from a weak kingdoms to a worldwide empire.
Peru as a country was created in 1821, after the war of "independence" lead by the Argentinian general Jose de San Martin, who declared the birth of a new nation in the main square of Lima. The Spaniards didn't leave Peru until 1824 when the Venezuelan general Simon Bolivar won the Ayacucho battle and expelled them.
Peru today is more than just a touristic destination. It is a society in evolution. Peruvians are a deeply divided society. The extreme gap between the poor and the rich elite, and a vicious racism, have caused decades of social violence influenced by fanatic groups who fought a guerrilla-styled war since the 70's until the 90's.
Peru today is becoming a world-class economy of free trade but that has bot benefit the majority of its population. Its democracy has very weak institutions as most of Latin American countries. The opulation is 26.7 million; 46% of them are Indigenous (Quechua, Aymara, Moche, Amazon peoples, etc), 37% are Mestizo (mixed Indigenous and European) 10% are white, 5% black and 2% Asian and others.
Peru is an unique country, full of contrasts and surprising social and cultural events. Its cusine is one of the best in the world and its rich traditions make it a distinctive place to live and visit. Pisco is the national Peruvian drink made of white grape, and this land is believed to be the birth place of the potato (33 types of it are grown there). People speak mostly Spanish (78%) but Quechua, Aymara, 35 Amazonic dialects and Enlgish are spoken too. Peru's favorite dish is Ceviche, made of raw fish marinated with lime juice, salt, pepper and aji (hot pepper). Peru produces minerals, fish, cotton, fruits, oil, and is the 2nd. gold producer in the world.
Peru's national colors are red and white, its capital is Lima (9 million population) and it has a GPB of US$5,300 per capita.
"Vale un Peru" was a popular saying in the colonial times that is still used in some parts of Latin America.
(it's worth a Peru, its like gold)
Prices shown in USD.