Peru is the most mysterious country in South America. It keeps the mysteries of ancient civilizations and numerous monuments of the era of the great Inca Empire. The Peruvian Andes are dotted with hiking trails that link the main historical sights of the region. In addition, Peru impresses with its biodiversity. About 20% of known bird species and 10% of reptiles known to the world live here, as well as many animals and birds that are carefully protected by the state. From west to east, within the country, the desert coastal region – the costa, the forested slopes of the Peruvian Andes – the sierra and the jungle of the Amazonian plain – the selva, are replaced. Each of them contains various attractions that will surely appeal to tourists.
Traveling around the country is best during the dry season – from May to October. The coastal part of the country is arid, so you can relax in beach resorts during the rainy season – from January to March, especially since these are the hottest months.
The official languages of Peru are Spanish and Quechua (the language of the country’s indigenous people). The Quechua language is spoken mainly in the mountainous regions of the Andes, the Aymara Indian language is also widespread here. There are about 55 Amazonian dialects in the selva.
In large tourist centers, the attendants can explain themselves in English.
Geography in Peru
According to top-engineering-schools, Peru is located in the western part of South America in the Southern Hemisphere. The country’s area is 1.29 million square meters. km. In the west, Peru is washed by the Pacific Ocean, in the south it borders on Chile, in the southeast – on Bolivia, in the northeast – on Brazil, in the north – on Colombia, in the northwest – on Ecuador.
In the west of the country, along the entire coast, the desert lowlands of the “costa” stretch. The width of this coastal strip varies from 65 to 160 km. Further to the east begins the chain of the Peruvian Andes “sierra”. They occupy almost the entire central part of the country and stretch from the northwest to the southeast. The average height of the Sierra is about 3660 m above sea level. The Peruvian Andes consist of two ranges: Western and Eastern. The highest peak – Mount Huascaran (6768 m) – belongs to the Eastern Range. There are 14 volcanoes in the southern part of the Sierra. The most famous of them is the active volcano Misti (5822 m). In the east of the country lies the tropical plain of the Amazon “Selva”, occupied by rain forests. This region occupies about 60% of the territory.
Major rivers of Peru – The Amazon and its tributaries Marañon, Ucayali and Putumayo. In the southeast of the country, on the border with Bolivia, Lake Titicaca is located in a tectonic basin. This is the largest alpine navigable lake in the world, it is located at an altitude of 3812 m, its area is 8446 sq. km. Most of the lake’s water area is located on the territory of Peru.
Climate in Peru
In the west of Peru, a tropical desert type of climate prevails, in the east – subequatorial, and in the mountains the climate depends on the height of the area.
The cold Peruvian current runs off the western coast of the country, because of this, the climate on the coast is arid. In fact, the coastal plain is the northern extension of the Chilean Atacama Desert. During the year, only 10 to 50 mm of precipitation falls here. The driest and hottest time is from December to April. During this time, precipitation may not be observed at all. February daytime temperatures range from 26 degrees in the south to 36 degrees in the north. At night, the air cools down to +20 degrees in the south and +24 degrees in the north. In winter (from June to August), daytime temperatures are +19 degrees and +28 degrees, respectively, at night – 13 degrees and 17 degrees.
Further east in mountainous areas, the temperature drops. At altitudes above 4000 m, even in summer, frosts can occur at night. In summer, the average daytime temperatures in the main cities located in the Sierra are 19..21 degrees Celsius, nighttime temperatures are 4..6 degrees Celsius. In the period from June to August, about 16..18 degrees of heat is observed during the day, from -6 to -2 degrees at night. In the Andes, from 700 mm of precipitation on the western slopes to 2000 mm of precipitation on the eastern slopes falls annually. The dry season lasts here from April to October.
The selva is hot and humid. In summer, daytime temperatures reach 34 degrees Celsius, nighttime temperatures drop to +24 degrees. In winter, during the day, the air warms up to +30 degrees, and at night it cools down to 20 degrees. The average annual rainfall in the tropical forests is 3800 mm, the rainy season lasts from November to March.
Best time to visit:
The best time to travel around the country is during the dry season from May to October. The coastal part of the country is arid, so you can relax in beach resorts during the rainy season – from January to March, especially since these are the hottest months.