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Peru
 
Introduction:
Peru is situated in South America. It shares it border with Brazil, Ecuador and Pacific Ocean. The
country’s capital and commercial center Lima is situated along the Pacific coast. Peru has a diverse landscape from barren deserts to green oases; from snow-capped mountains to high bleak plateaus, and deep valleys. The famous Andes Mountain Range crosses the country from northwest to southeast.
cuzco57[1].jpgMost of the Peru’s people are descended from the Inca or other Native American groups. Quechua, the Inca language, and Aymara, along with Spanish are the official languages of the country. However, there is pointed class and ethnic divisions to this day that developed during the colonial period. The population of Peru consists of Spanish descent, larger population of Native Americans and mestizos—people of mixed European and Native American.
Peru’s history is very old and interesting. The famous South American Inca Empire was over thrown by the conquerors from Spain who were attracted by the gold and silver mines of the Andes. The Spaniards remained in control of Peru till the 19th century. Large numbers of tourists come every year to visit the remains of the great Inca Empire and the famous Machu Picchu high in the Andes..
Geography: Top
Peru’s geography varies from high mountains to low coastal areas. Peru has three main drainage systems. One comprises about 50 torrential streams that rise in the sierra and descend steeply to the coastal plain. The second comprises the tributaries of the Amazon River in the montaña region. In the third the principal feature is Lake Titicaca, which drains into Lake Poopó in Bolivia through the Desaguadero River. The Napo, Tigre, and Pastaza rivers rise in Ecuador and flow into Peru. The border between Peru and Colombia is delineated by the Putumayo River. Peru has rich mineral resources of silver, gold, iron, lead and petroleum.
Beatiful_Lama.jpgPeru also has varied plant life. The flora of Peru includes mahogany, cedar, rubber, and cinchona trees, sarsaparilla and vanilla plants, and a variety of exotic tropical flowers. Peru also has a huge wildlife. The coastal waters and offshore islands support gulls, terns, albatrosses, petrels, skuas, and pelicans. Peruvian ocean waters abound in anchovy, pilchard, haddock, sole, mackerel, smelt, flounder, lobster, shrimp, and other marine species. The coastal plain has little wildlife except for lizards, insects, tarantulas, scorpions, and visiting seabirds.
Climate: Top
Peru has a diverse climate, ranging from tropical in the montaña to arctic in the highest mountains of the Andes. Permanent snow and ice fields cover peaks more than 5,000 m (16,500 ft) above sea level, and the highest elevation at which the land is suitable for agriculture is about 4,400 m (14,500 ft).The climate is moderate in the coastal plain. The temperature in coastal plain is about 20°C (about 68°F) throughout the year. The coastal climate is moderated by winds blowing from the cool offshore current known as the Peru, or Humboldt, Current. The coast receives less than 50 mm (2 in) of precipitation each year.
In the sierra the temperature ranges seasonally from about -7° to 21°C (about 20° to 70°F). Rainfall is usually scanty, but in some localities heavy rains fall from October to April. In Cuzco, in the south-eastern sierra, annual rainfall averages some 815 mm (32 in). The exposed eastern slopes of the Andes receive more than 2,500 mm (100 in) of rain annually, but sheltered locations receive much less. The montaña region is extremely hot and humid, although at higher elevations it is less so. Most of this rain, which principally falls from November through April, eventually drains back to the montaña.
Peru’s climate periodically experiences a weather pattern known as El Niño. During El Niño the wet weather conditions normally present in the western Pacific move to the east, bringing heavy rains that can cause extensive flooding.
People and Culture: Top
Peru has rich culture and people of different ethnic groups. The Native American heritage of Peru are one of the richest in South America. Although Spain gave Peru its language, religion, and rulers, the civilization of the Inca has left its traces throughout Peruvian culture. The Inca in particular were skilled in stonework, engineering, weaving, and gold and silver work. The Nazca and Moche people, who inhabited Peru before the Inca, created textiles, pottery, and jewelry. Examples of their art can be seen in the National Archaeological Museum in Lima. Architecture of the Spanish colonial period, a fusion of Spanish and Native American forms, is called Creole. The largest city in Peru by far is Lima (population, 2000 estimate, 7,443,000), the country’s capital and chief commercial center. More than a quarter of Peru’s inhabitants live in the capital. More than 90 percent of Peruvians are Roman Catholic. Small numbers of Protestants, Jews, and Muslims also live in Peru. The jungles of eastern Peru have isolated groups of Native Americans who have kept their lifestyles similar to those of their ancestors.
Tourist Visas: Top

Consulate General of Peru
10 Saint Mary Street,
Toronto, ON. M4Y 1P9
Telephone: 416-963-9696

Peru Embassy

130-Albert Street, Suite 1901
Ottawa, ON. K1P 5G4
Phone:
+1-613-238-1777
Fax:
+1-613-232-3062
Email: emperuca@bellnet.ca


Money: Top
The unit of currency in Peru is the nuevo sol, divided into 100 céntimos (3.41 nuevo sols equal U.S.$1; 2004 average).

Currency Exchange: US$’s can be exchanged at major banks, hotels and some large stores. There are many private money changers in nearly most cities. These money changers give the best rates. In comparison changing at the hotels can be expensive.

Travellers Cheques and Plastic: Credit cards are only accepted at banks and large hotels and stores. There will be fee charged to you nearly everywhere other than banks. Only a few ATM machines at the larger banks and some other international banks my accept Debit, Global Payment or Credit Cards. Similarly Travellers Cheques are accepted but not everywhere.
 
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