Peru is a special country in South America. It is the land of the Incas, Machu Picchu and the lamas. This fascinating country borders Ecuador, Colombia and Brazil to the north and Bolivia and Chile to the south. Peru contains many cultural treasures from ancient civilizations from the time long before the Incas. Peru has it all: beauty, a rich history, mystery, adventure, varied landscapes, architectural delights, wildlife and great food! What are some fun facts about Peru?
23 fun facts about Peru!
23 fun facts about Peru
1. About 30 million people live in Peru, of which ¼ lives in Lima.
2. Peru is more than 30 times larger than the Netherlands.
3. Lima is the food capital of South America and you can indulge yourself in the top restaurants in Lima! Peruvian cuisine is known as the best in South America. The food in Peru is tasty and varied with Indian, Spanish, Portuguese, African and Asian influences.
4. There are more than 3,000 different types of potatoes in Peru. The potato is originally from Peru. A well-known saying among proud Peruvians is therefore: “Soy mas Peruano que la papa”. In other words: “I am more Peruvian than the potato”.
5. Peru has observed the world record for the maximum number of birds in one place and the largest number of birds seen in one day! This world record took place in the Reserva Nacional de Tambopata in the Amazon. Peru is in second place in terms of most bird species (more than 1,800).
6. There are 90 different microclimates in Peru. The country is therefore also home to 25,000 plant species and 5,000 species of fish. It is the leader in the world in terms of different fish species.
7. The Amazon river is the longest river in the world and starts in Peru! The Amazon begins in the Peruvian Andes (near Machu Picchu) and ends in the Atlantic Ocean.
8. Peru has the second largest number of shamans in the world. In the first place is India. Shamanism has been very popular in Peru for more than 3,000 years. The majority of the Peruvian population can not afford access to doctors and as a result many people turn to a shaman.
9. Maize is the main diet of the Peruvians. Peru produces more than 55 varieties of maize in all colors: from golden yellow, purple, white and even black corn.
10. Guinea pigs are an important source of food in Peru and so do not be surprised if you see guinea pig meat (the so-called “cuy”) in the Peruvian restaurants! It is estimated that Peruvians consume about 65 million guinea pigs per year.
11. Peru has three official languages: Spanish, Quechua and Aymara. Both Quechua and Aymara are derived from the ancient Inca languages. About 84% of the population speaks Spanish, 13% speak Quechua and only 1.7% speak Aymara.
12. Peru is home to the highest sand dune in the world. This sand dune has a height of 1.176 meters, measured from the base to the top. This sand dune is Cerro Blanco and is located in the Sechura desert.
13. The National University of San Marcos in Peru is the oldest and longest surviving University in America and was founded in 1551.
14. In Peru the worst football relay in the world took place. In 1964, a decision by the referee made sure that 300 fans died and 500 fans were injured during a match between Peru and Argentina.
15. Cotahusi Canyon, near the city of Arequipa, is the deepest canyon in the world. It has a depth of 3535 meters and is therefore twice deeper than the Grand Canyon.
16. Coca tea is a very popular drink in Peru. Coca leaves are popular in South America because of the medicinal properties. These leaves have a greenish color and have a bitter taste. It is used as a stimulant for the treatment of fatigue, hunger and thirst and is effective for altitude sickness.
17. In 1885 Coca Cola started making wine with coca leaves, which later on was converted into the famous soft drink. But in 1903 the coca leaves were removed as an ingredient of this popular drink.
18. Peru consists for 60% of the Amazon rainforest. This makes the country the second largest Amazon rainforest in the world.
19. The national drink is the Pisco Sour. This cocktail consists of a grape brandy, pisco, along with lime juice, syrup, egg white, Angostura bitters and ice cream. This cocktail was invented by an American bartender in 1920 in Lima and is very tasty.
20. Lake Titicaca, located along the Peruvian border with Bolivia, is the largest lake in South America. It is also the highest navigable lake in the world at an altitude of 3,812 meters. Lake Titicaca has a volume of 898 km3.
21. Lamas and alpacas you encounter everywhere in Peru and are a legacy of the Incas. Lamas were used by the Incas to transport stuff. Their manure was an important substance that was used for growing corn at high altitudes. The manure was also used as fuel for cooking and for making ceramics. Today, the best still carry things, mainly for the families in the Andes, but they also serve as a tourist purpose. Alpacas are smaller, more fluffy and are mainly grown for the production of wool and meat and are a popular dish in the highlands of Peru.
22. The cantua is the national flower of Peru and can be found in the Andes at an altitude of more than 1200 meters. They are white, yellow, pink or red and are elongated and bell-shaped. It was a popular ceremonial flower during the Inca empire, because they are dedicated to the sun god. This is the reason that this flower is known as the Sacred Flower of the Incas.
23. The peanut plant comes from the Andes in Peru. There is evidence that the peanut cultivation dates back to more than 7,600 years ago. The Spanish invasion around 1,500 has ensured that the peanut has become popular throughout the world. Funnily enough, since the peanut originated in Peru, Peruvians hardly eat peanuts.
These are my fun facts about Peru! What do you htink about htese fun facts about Peru? Do you know more fun facts about Peru?Check here my travel route for the north of Peru
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