With an area of 1’285,215 square km (496,225 sq mi), Peru is bigger than France, Germany, Italy, Netherland and Switzerland combined. It is the third largest country in South America and bordered to the north by Ecuador and Colombia, to the east by Brazil and Bolivia, to the south by Chile and to the west by the waters of the Pacific Ocean.

We are taught as early as kindergarden that the country is divided in 3 geographic regions: the coast, highlands and the jungle.

Coast (12% of the territory): a warm climate along the coastline that includes superb natural beaches, mysterious deserts, fertile river valleys and exotic dry woods.

Highlands (28% of the territory): a region of varied terrain and temperate climate, dominated by the snow-capped peaks of the Andes rising above 6,000 meters, the highest of which is Mount Huascaran, at 6,768 meters (22,206 feet). It includes deep canyons such as the Colca and Cotahuasi, the two deepest on the planet; and high plains like the plateau of Collao, on the shores of the world's highest navigable lake, Titicaca, at 3,810 masl (12,500 feet).

Jungle or Amazonia (60% of the territory): a region of tropical climate, lush vegetation and abundant fauna that is part of one of the planet's largest natural reserves. Peruvian Amazonia is the source of the Amazon River, the largest in the world.

Temperatures and atmospheric cycles vary from one region to another.

Coast: There are two clearly-defined seasons on the coast: summer (December-March), when temperatures can reach 27ºC (80ºF); and winter (May-October), which is damp and chilly, with temperatures falling to 12ºC (53ºF). Although it rarely rains on the coast, mist and drizzle are common during the winter. The far north coast enjoys sunshine all year round, with temperatures reaching 35ºC (95ºF) in the summer.

Highlands: The climate is dry and temperate, with two clearly-defined seasons: the dry season (May-October), with sunny days, very cold nights and scant rainfall -the ideal time to visit the Andes; and the rain season (December-March). There is a sharp contrast in temperature between sun and shade, and temperatures can often vary widely during the same day, from 20ºC (68ºF) to 2ºC (35ºF).

Jungle: The area has a tropical and humid climate. There are two well-defined seasons: the summer or dry season (April to October) with sunny days and temperatures above 30ºC (86ºF), and the rain season (November to March), with frequent showers and high river levels.

Information on weather conditions in Peru is available on the Internet:


The Peruvian often use superlatives to describe the features of our country, for example Lake Titicaca, the world’s highest navigable lake at 3856 meters (12,725 ft) above sea level or the awesome Cordillera Blanca, which is about 180 km (112 miles) long and 20 km (12 miles) wide. In this fairly small area, there are more than 50 peaks of 5700 meters (18,696 ft) or higher.

In contrast, North America has only three mountains in excess of 5700 meters: Pico de Orizaba in Mexico, Logan in Canada, Denali in Alaska and Europe has none. Only in Asia can you find mountain ranges higher that the Andes.Huascaran, at 6,768 meters (22,199 ft), not only is Peru’s highest mountain, but also the highest peak in the tropics anywhere in the world.

The Amazon river, the world’s mightiest, originates in Peru and its namesake rainforest makes up much of the country.

Another wonder of Peru is the Colca’s canyon, the globe’s deepest and twice as deep as the Grand canyon of the United States.

As if these were not enough, Caral, located north of Lima, has the privilege of being the oldest city of the Western hemisphere. It has been proven with carbon 14 dating that this settment was inhabited 2900 years B.C.


Peru has a population of approximately 27 million. The coast is home to 52% of the total population, while 36% live in the highlands and 12% in the jungle.

The population is predominantly mestizo or racially mixed, and most speak Spanish, although there are two important minorities: the Quechua and Aymara, and the native population of Amazonia, which is subdivided into 14 linguistic families and 42 ethnic groups.