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About Peru

Called Peru in Quechua and Piruw in Aymara, the republic of Peru is located in the Western inter-tropical region of South America. It is limited by Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, and by the Pacific Ocean to the West. Its territory showcases one of the richest bio diversity in the world, distributed into 3 regions: the coastal desert, the Andean highlands and the Amazon rainforest.

Population: With an estimated population of 30 million, Peru is the 5th largest country in South America. It is also one of the most indigenous countries in the Americas with over 50% of the population that self identifies as indigenous.

Economy: Over the past few years, Peru has become an example of economic growth in the region, thanks mostly to its extractive economy based on vast reserves of natural resources (copper, silver, gold and natural gas and oil). Tourism has also become an important part of Peru's economy.

Language, religion, and culture: Peru has two official languages: Spanish and Quechua. The vast majority of the population is Spanish speaking, but there are dozens of other native languages, spoken mostly in the rainforest. Over 80% of the population is Catholic, but Protestantism, especially Evangelism is rapidly gaining ground throughout the country. Lately, Peru has become known internationally for its diverse gastronomy, of which ceviche is emblematic. Pisco sour, made from grape brandy, is the ubiquitous cocktail of Peru.

Cusco: The city of Cusco, where Experiment Peru is based, is located at the Southern Peruvian Andes at an altitude of 3,450 m ( 11,300 ft) above sea level. Cusco was once the capital of the Inca Empire, and later lived under Spanish colonial rule for 300 years. Its streets and buildings reveal this dual heritage.

Being close to the equator, Cusco only has two seasons: a dry season ( May to October) and a rainy season            (November to April). Besides this, altitude is the main factor controlling the climate. In the mountains you will encounter warm sunny days with daytime temperatures ranging from 65-67 degrees. Yet, if the sun slips behind a cloud, or if you cross to the shaded side of the street, it can feel very cold indeed. This obviously also goes for nighttime, when temperatures can drop to freezing in the dry season.

Altitude may be a problem for individuals with a heart condition and they should consult their family doctor before traveling.

Cusco is perfectly situated within driving distance of both the Amazon basin, where some of our ecology projects are based, and also of the tundra-like puna of the Titicaca region, where we offer rural home stays on islands on the lake.

To learn more about Peru, visit:

CIA Factbook about Peru

Lonely Planet Guide

Peru Tourism Bureau

Peru Export and Tourism Promotion Board

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