Peru offers a huge variety of cultural and geographical possibilities for the traveller. The first thing that comes to mind when thinking of Peru is Inca. The Inca civilization definitely is South-America’s best-known and studied pre-Columbian culture. The landscape is scattered with Inca ruins and splendid examples are to be found in the surroundings of Cuzco.
Peru covers an area of 1.285.215 square kilometres; it is roughly five and a half times the area of Great Britain, the third largest country in South America. Peru borders Ecuador and Columbia to the North, Bolivia and Brazil to the East, Chile to the South and the Pacific Ocean to the West. Peru lies in the tropics, the equator is only a few kilometres distance north of Peru. Geographically, Peru can be divided into three regions: a dry coastal strip running along the country’s entire length (the world’s driest desert, the Atacama Desert, starts here), to the East the Andes and to the South East the Amazon rainforest. After the Himalayas the Andes is the largest mountain chain in the world, it cuts through Peru from north to south. Peru’s highest peak is the Huascaràn (6768 m). Half of the Peruvian population lives in the Andes at an altitude between 3000 and 4000 metres above sea level.