Peru Country Facts

Capital city Lima
Surface 1.285.216 km²
Population 32.169.000
Road network length 85.900 km
Length of highway network 379 km
First highway 1968
Motorway name Freeway
Traffic drives To the right
License plate code PE

Peru (Spanish: República del Perú) is a large country in South America. The country has 32 million inhabitants and is more than 30 times the size of the Netherlands. The capital is Lima.


Peru is located on the west coast of South America, and borders Ecuador and Colombia to the north, Brazil to the east and Bolivia and Chile to the south. The capital Limais centrally located on the west coast and has an urban area of ​​8.5 million inhabitants. Given the enormous size of the country, the population is quite low, the country measures 2,000 kilometers from north to south and a maximum of 1,200 kilometers from east to west. Peru is characterized by the Andes Mountains, which run north-south through the western half of the country. In contrast to more northern countries, the coastal strip is not tropical, but dry and partly a desert. The east and north of the country consists of the impenetrable jungles of the Amazon Basin. The highest point is the 6,768 meter high Huascarán. Tropical rainforest covers 60% of the country. Major rivers are the Amazon and its numerous tributaries, which are often very large. The great rivers flow to the east, to the Pacific Ocean only small rivers flow.


Peru is a moderately developed country by South American standards. It is less developed than Chile and Argentina, but more than Bolivia and Paraguay. About a third of the population lives in poverty. The country’s economic performance is linked to the export of raw materials, especially copper, steel and oil. The country has been a stable growing economy since the late 1990s. In the second half of the 2000s, it was one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Unemployment and inflation are low. In Peru you pay with the Nuevo Sol (PEN).


Peru is generally sparsely populated. About a third of the inhabitants live in and around the capital Lima. Most other major cities are on or near the Pacific coast. There are only a few larger cities in the Andes. The tropical lowlands in the east are very sparsely populated. Ethnically, Peru is a diverse country. The largest group are the so-called Mestizos with 45%, a mixed population of Indo-American or European descent. The native population is made up of Indo-Americans and comprises approximately 37% of the population. The largest subgroup are the Quechuas. They mainly live in the countryside in the Andes. About 15% of the population is European. There are also many Asians, the Japanese-Peruvian Alberto Fujimori was the president of Peru between 1990 and 2000.


In the 15th century, present-day Peru came under the rule of the Incas, who had their capital in Cusco. The Incas controlled much of the Andes in South America, the empire had 9 to 16 million inhabitants from southern Colombia to Chile. In the 16th century, Spanish Conquistadors conquered the Inca Empire, after which the Viceroyalty of Peru was founded, which called Limaas his capital. The Spanish colonial period lasted more than 200 years, during which time the area was developed with infrastructure and institutions. In the early 1800s, one country after another in Latin America gained independence from Spain, but Peru remained loyal to Spain for a long time. Peru gained independence through attacks from outside, both from the north (Gran Colombia) and south (Chile). This is in contrast to many other South American countries that became independent through a struggle from their own people. Independence was declared in 1821 but it took until 1826 before the last Spanish units were defeated.

The first decades of independence were relatively stable, but the country ran into economic difficulties and was involved in the Pacific War from 1879 to 1884. Peru formed an alliance with Bolivia against Chile, but lost the war and had to cede territory to Chile. Bolivia lost its access to the sea and Peru the southernmost part of its territory. During the 20th century there were turbulent periods in Peru, with internal conflict, international conflict, democratic periods alternating with authoritarian periods, which prevented the country from developing as well as some other South American countries. The country had border disputes and conflicts with Ecuador and a brief war with Colombia in the 1930s over control of the Amazon jungle. The country was dealing with poor economic conditions and hyperinflation. Under the Fujimori government in the 1990s, the economy improved significantly, inflation fell sharply and the investment climate improved significantly. Fujimori also managed to largely eliminate the communist guerilla group Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path). Corruption remained a problem, however, and Fujimori went into exile outside Peru in 2000. Peru also has a turbulent politics in the 21st century. Corruption remained a problem, however, and Fujimori went into exile outside Peru in 2000. Peru also has a turbulent politics in the 21st century. Corruption remained a problem, however, and Fujimori went into exile outside Peru in 2000. Peru also has a turbulent politics in the 21st century.

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