Peru Flag Icon

Peru Country Guide

Explore Peru in South America

Peru with the capital city Lima is located in South America (Western South America, bordering the South Pacific Ocean). It covers some 1,285,221 square kilometres (slightly smaller than Alaska) with 29,041,000 citizens.

Map of the area of  in

The topography includes western coastal plain (costa), high and rugged Andes in center (sierra), eastern lowland jungle of Amazon Basin (selva). The average density of population is approximately 23 per km². The notable climate conditions in Peru can be described as varying from tropical in east to dry desert in west with temperate to frigid in Andes. Possible natural disasters include earthquakes, tsunamis, flooding, landslides, mild volcanic activity.

To reach someone in Peru dial +51 prior to a number. There are 2,965,000 installed telephones. And there are 24,700,000 registered mobile phones. The cellular networks commonly support frequencies of 1900 Mhz. Websites registered in this country end with the top level domain ".pe". If you want to bring electric equipment on your trip (e.g. laptop power supply), note the local power outlet of 220V - 60Hz.

About the flag and history of Peru

Three equal, vertical bands of red (hoist side), white, and red with the coat of arms centered in the white band; the coat of arms features a shield bearing a vicuna (representing fauna), a cinchona tree (the source of quinine, signifying flora), and a yellow cornucopia spilling out coins (denoting mineral wealth); red recalls blood shed for independence, white symbolizes peace.

Ancient Peru was the seat of several prominent Andean civilizations, most notably that of the Incas whose empire was captured by Spanish conquistadors in 1533. Peruvian independence was declared in 1821, and remaining Spanish forces were defeated in 1824. After a dozen years of military rule, Peru returned to democratic leadership in 1980, but experienced economic problems and the growth of a violent insurgency. President Alberto FUJIMORI's election in 1990 ushered in a decade that saw a dramatic turnaround in the economy and significant progress in curtailing guerrilla activity. Nevertheless, the president''s increasing reliance on authoritarian measures and an economic slump in the late 1990s generated mounting dissatisfaction with his regime, which led to his ouster in 2000. A caretaker government oversaw new elections in the spring of 2001, which installed Alejandro TOLEDO Manrique as the new head of government - Peru''s first democratically elected president of indigenous Quechuan ethnicity. The presidential election of 2006 saw the return of Alan GARCIA Perez who, after a disappointing presidential term from 1985 to 1990, oversaw a robust economic rebound. In June 2011, former army officer Ollanta HUMALA Tasso was elected president, defeating Keiko FUJIMORI Higuchi, the daughter of Alberto FUJIMORI. Since his election, HUMALA has carried on the sound, market-oriented economic policies of the three preceding administrations.

Geography Quick-Facts

Summary Continent: South America
Neighbours: Ecuador, Chile, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia
Capital: Lima
Size 1,285,220 square kilometers (km² or sqkm) or 496,226 square miles (mi² or sqmi)
slightly smaller than Alaska
Population 29,041,000
Currency Name: Sol, Currency Code: PEN
Country Top Level Domain (cTLD) .pe
Telephone Country Prefix +51
Mobile Phone Connections 24,700,000
Landline Phone Connections 2,965,000

Country Position in World Rankings

Information about single country attributes and how these compare against the rest of the world. The information below is compiled with data from 2013. As such, it may differ a bit to the Information above in the text (which is from 2010).


Value name Value World Rank
Area 1,285,216 (sq km) 20

People and Society

Value name Value World Rank
Population 29,849,303 42
Population growth rate 1.00 (%) 114
Birth rate 18.85 (births/1,000 population) 97
Death rate 5.97 (deaths/1,000 population) 163
Net migration rate -2.86 (migrant(s)/1,000 population) 173
Maternal mortality rate 67.00 (deaths/100,000 live births) 91
Infant mortality rate 20.85 (deaths/1,000 live births) 89
Life expectancy at birth 72.98 (years) 128
Total fertility rate 2.25 (children born/woman) 98
Health expenditures 5.10 (% of GDP) 137
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate 0.40 (%) 76
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS 75,000 48
HIV/AIDS - deaths 5,000 38
Obesity - adult prevalence rate 15.70 (%) 117
Children under the age of 5 years underweight 4.50 (%) 93
Education expenditures 2.60 (% of GDP) 155
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 16.2 (%) 81


Value name Value World Rank
GDP (purchasing power parity) 332,000,000,000 40
GDP - real growth rate 6.30 (%) 42
GDP - per capita (PPP) 10,900 111
Labor force 16,200,000 39
Unemployment rate 7.70 (%) 87
Distribution of family income - Gini index 46 34
Investment (gross fixed) 25.40 (% of GDP) 47
Taxes and other revenues 29.2 (% of GDP) 97
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) 0.90 (% of GDP) 30
Public debt 18.30 (% of GDP) 132
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 3.60 (%) 100
Central bank discount rate 3.80 (%) 96
Commercial bank prime lending rate 5.40 (%) 152
Stock of narrow money 27,640,000,000 60
Stock of broad money 73,970,000,000 60
Stock of domestic credit 37,630,000,000 67
Market value of publicly traded shares 160,900,000,000 36
Industrial production growth rate 5.00 (%) 58
Current account balance -4,856,000,000 166
Exports 47,380,000,000 61
Imports 41,150,000,000 60
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold 61,300,000,000 33
Debt - external 52,590,000,000 60
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home 59,490,000,000 50
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad 3,597,000,000 67


Value name Value World Rank
Electricity - production 38,700,000,000 (kWh) 60
Electricity - consumption 34,250,000,000 (kWh) 59
Electricity - imports 6,000,000 (kWh) 106
Electricity - installed generating capacity 7982000 (kW) 64
Electricity - from fossil fuels 59.0 (% of total installed capacity) 139
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants 41.0 (% of total installed capacity) 55
Crude oil - production 152,600 (bbl/day) 45
Crude oil - exports 18,880 (bbl/day) 54
Crude oil - imports 99,590 (bbl/day) 49
Crude oil - proved reserves 586100000 (bbl) 49
Refined petroleum products - production 173,700 (bbl/day) 59
Refined petroleum products - consumption 172,600 (bbl/day) 62
Refined petroleum products - exports 60,720 (bbl/day) 55
Refined petroleum products - imports 38,390 (bbl/day) 78
Natural gas - production 31,120,000,000 (cu m) 29
Natural gas - consumption 5,410,000,000 (cu m) 57
Natural gas - exports 3,590,000,000 (cu m) 33
Natural gas - proved reserves 352,800,000,000 (cu m) 38
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy 41,880,000 (Mt) 67


Value name Value World Rank
Telephones - main lines in use 3,688,000 43
Telephones - mobile cellular 32,461,000 33
Internet hosts 234,102 70
Internet users 9,158,000 31


Value name Value World Rank
Airports 191 32
Railways 1,907 (km) 74
Roadways 140,672 (km) 34
Waterways 8,808 (km) 14
Merchant marine 22 92


Value name Value World Rank
Military expenditures 1.00 (% of GDP) 129

Data based on CIA facts book 2010 & 2013, wikipedia, national statistical offices and their census releases

List of current world heritage sites

Name Since
Chan Chan Archaeological Zone
The Chimu Kingdom, with Chan Chan as its capital, reached its apogee in the 15th century, not long before falling to the Incas. The planning of this huge city, the largest in pre-Columbian America, reflects a strict political and social strategy, mar ...
Chavin (Archaeological Site)
The archaeological site of Chavin gave its name to the culture that developed between 1500 and 300 B.C. in this high valley of the Peruvian Andes. This former place of worship is one of the earliest and best-known pre-Columbian sites. Its appearance ...
City of Cuzco
Situated in the Peruvian Andes, Cuzco developed, under the Inca ruler Pachacutec, into a complex urban centre with distinct religious and administrative functions. It was surrounded by clearly delineated areas for agricultural, artisan and industrial ...
Historic Centre of Lima
Although severely damaged by earthquakes, this 'City of the Kings' was, until the middle of the 18th century, the capital and most important city of the Spanish dominions in South America. Many of its buildings, such as the Convent of San Francisco ( ...
Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu stands 2,430 m above sea-level, in the middle of a tropical mountain forest, in an extraordinarily beautiful setting. It was probably the most amazing urban creation of the Inca Empire at its height; its giant walls, terraces and ramps s ...
Historical Centre of the City of Arequipa
The historic centre of Arequipa, built in volcanic sillar rock, represents an integration of European and native building techniques and characteristics, expressed in the admirable work of colonial masters and Criollo and Indian masons. This combinat ...
Huascarán National Park
Situated in the Cordillera Blanca, the world's highest tropical mountain range, Mount Huascarán rises to 6,768 m above sea-level. The deep ravines watered by numerous torrents, the glacial lakes and the variety of the vegetation make it a site of sp ...
Lines and Geoglyphs of Nasca and Pampas de Jumana
Located in the arid Peruvian coastal plain, some 400 km south of Lima, the geoglyphs of Nasca and the pampas of Jumana cover about 450 km2 . These lines, which were scratched on the surface of the ground between 500 B.C. and A.D. 500, are among archa ...
Manú National Park
This huge 1.5 million-ha park has successive tiers of vegetation rising from 150 to 4,200 m above sea-level. The tropical forest in the lower tiers is home to an unrivalled variety of animal and plant species. Some 850 species of birds have been iden ...
Río Abiseo National Park
The park was created in 1983 to protect the fauna and flora of the rainforests that are characteristic of this region of the Andes. There is a high level of endemism among the fauna and flora found in the park. The yellow-tailed woolly monkey, previo ...
Sacred City of Caral-Supe
The 5000-year-old 626-hectare archaeological site of The Sacred City of Caral-Supe is situated on a dry desert terrace overlooking the green valley of the Supe river. It dates back to the Late Archaic Period of the Central Andes and is the oldest cen ...