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About Peru: Maps, Facts and More

Study up on the map of Peru, flag and interesting Peru facts before you go.

Peru Inca heritage: past meets present

In the 15th century, the Inca state conquered and assimilated several other cultures to become the most powerful empire in the New World, stretching from what is now southern Colombia down through Peru to central Chile at its peak. Although they didn't have the wheel or iron tools, the Incas were expert stonemasons and their work including the Inca fortress of Sacsayhuaman still puzzle modern archaeologists. But the Inca emperors ruled for only about a century before the violent arrival of Pizarro and other Spanish conquistadors.

It's the multiple layers of great civilisations, literally built upon the ruins of the last, which makes Peru so fascinating. Today you can wander through colonial cities such as the ancient Incan capital of Cuzco, where you can see architecturally as well as culturally, how the Spanish conquistadors built on top of old Inca foundations. For example, a colonial church sits on the walls of the Inca temple Koricancha (Temple of the Sun). Luckily, the lost Inca city of Machu Picchu was spared any remodelling due its remote location high in the mountains and remains a dramatically powerful glimpse of this ancient civilisation.

A land rich not only in history but natural beauty

All of this exists in a country with some of the most spectacular and varied scenery in South America. The Peruvian Andes are arguably the most beautiful on the continent and the mountains are home to millions of highland Indians who still speak the ancient tongue of Quechua and maintain a traditional way of life. The verdant Amazon Basin, which occupies half of Peru, is one of the world's top ten biodiversity 'hot spots' - a species-rich area of tropical rain forest that will make your head spin when you start to learn about its ecology. And the coastal deserts, with their huge rolling dunes, farmland oases and fishing villages offer the opportunity to get off the beaten trail in a big way. But you don't have to be a zoologist, an anthropologist or a mountain climber to enjoy Peru, all you need is a keen eye, a love of landscape and an interest in history.

Peruvian food

The main staples of traditional Peruvian food are rice, potatoes, chicken, pork, lamb and aji (Peruvian hot pepper). Peruvian food also features all kinds of seafood, especially fish. The Spanish introduced chicken, pork and lamb to Peru 500 years ago and took potatoes, which have been grown in the Peruvian Andes for centuries, back to Europe. Today over 200 varieties of potatoes are grown in Peru, ranging in size and even color.

Interesting Peru facts and stats

Full country name: Republic of Peru
Area: 1,285,215 sq km (501,234 sq mi)
Population: 30,000,000
Capital city: Lima (pop. 7,600,000)
People: 54% Indian, 32% Mestizo (mixed European and Indian descent), 12% Spanish descent, 2% Black, Asian minority
Language: Spanish, Quechua (Inca language), Aymara
Religion: Over 90% Roman Catholic, small Protestant population

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Take a look at our adventure tours in Peru:

 

  • Ultimate Peru Adventure - Jaguar

    10 Days  | 

    Peru  | 

    US$3999

    ACTIVE 3 - 4
    • ACTIVE 1

      What's The Rush?

      I’m not a triathlete, but I’m in decent shape and I’m not looking to experience a place just through a bus window. I’m happy to slow down on the trail, soak it in and breathe in the fresh air.


    • ACTIVE 2

      Leg Stretcher

      Sure, I own some hiking boots, they’re even worn in, but they don’t go on long trips. I like my creature comforts and I like to give a range of activities a go.


    • ACTIVE 3

      Earn Your Lunch

      I stay active on vacation so that I can eat and drink what I like without feeling guilty. I season my trips with a little fresh exercise.


    • ACTIVE 4

      Challenge Accepted

      I’ll let my trusty guides sweat the small things, so I can focus on my goal. Getting to the top, reaching the end, achieving my dreams! Sure, it’ll be tough, but the views will be worth it.


    • ACTIVE 5

      The Ultimate

      I’ve put in the hard yards and now I get to reap the rewards. I’m a seasoned adventurer, not afraid to get my boots wet.


    • Read more about the Active Range

    4.50 out of 5 (from 1974 reviews)

    Experience the very best of Peru in ten days on a multi-activity adventure you'll never forget. Hike in the footsteps of the Incas, cycle through Andean villages and explore the Amazon jungle.

 

  • Peru Lodge to Lodge Trek - Alpaca

    10 Days  | 

    Peru  | 

    US$5399

    ACTIVE 5
    • ACTIVE 1

      What's The Rush?

      I’m not a triathlete, but I’m in decent shape and I’m not looking to experience a place just through a bus window. I’m happy to slow down on the trail, soak it in and breathe in the fresh air.


    • ACTIVE 2

      Leg Stretcher

      Sure, I own some hiking boots, they’re even worn in, but they don’t go on long trips. I like my creature comforts and I like to give a range of activities a go.


    • ACTIVE 3

      Earn Your Lunch

      I stay active on vacation so that I can eat and drink what I like without feeling guilty. I season my trips with a little fresh exercise.


    • ACTIVE 4

      Challenge Accepted

      I’ll let my trusty guides sweat the small things, so I can focus on my goal. Getting to the top, reaching the end, achieving my dreams! Sure, it’ll be tough, but the views will be worth it.


    • ACTIVE 5

      The Ultimate

      I’ve put in the hard yards and now I get to reap the rewards. I’m a seasoned adventurer, not afraid to get my boots wet.


    • Read more about the Active Range

    5.00 out of 5 (from 3 reviews)

    Immerse yourself in Peru's cultural richness, explore the Pisac Ruins, Rainbow Mountain and take a comfortable alternative route to Machu Picchu, via the Classic Inca Trail.

 

  • Titicaca and Bolivia Adventure - Chinchilla

    10 Days  | 

    Peru  | 

    US$3999

    ACTIVE 2 - 3
    • ACTIVE 1

      What's The Rush?

      I’m not a triathlete, but I’m in decent shape and I’m not looking to experience a place just through a bus window. I’m happy to slow down on the trail, soak it in and breathe in the fresh air.


    • ACTIVE 2

      Leg Stretcher

      Sure, I own some hiking boots, they’re even worn in, but they don’t go on long trips. I like my creature comforts and I like to give a range of activities a go.


    • ACTIVE 3

      Earn Your Lunch

      I stay active on vacation so that I can eat and drink what I like without feeling guilty. I season my trips with a little fresh exercise.


    • ACTIVE 4

      Challenge Accepted

      I’ll let my trusty guides sweat the small things, so I can focus on my goal. Getting to the top, reaching the end, achieving my dreams! Sure, it’ll be tough, but the views will be worth it.


    • ACTIVE 5

      The Ultimate

      I’ve put in the hard yards and now I get to reap the rewards. I’m a seasoned adventurer, not afraid to get my boots wet.


    • Read more about the Active Range

    4.45 out of 5 (from 22 reviews)

    There's so much more to Peru than Machu Picchu - the Chinchilla is our multi-activity, cultural immersion of Peru and its beautiful neighbour - Bolivia.

 

  • Peru Family Adventure - Capybara

    11 Days  | 

    Peru  | 

    Adult: US$4299 , Child (15 & under): US$3799

    ACTIVE 2 - 3
    • ACTIVE 1

      What's The Rush?

      I’m not a triathlete, but I’m in decent shape and I’m not looking to experience a place just through a bus window. I’m happy to slow down on the trail, soak it in and breathe in the fresh air.


    • ACTIVE 2

      Leg Stretcher

      Sure, I own some hiking boots, they’re even worn in, but they don’t go on long trips. I like my creature comforts and I like to give a range of activities a go.


    • ACTIVE 3

      Earn Your Lunch

      I stay active on vacation so that I can eat and drink what I like without feeling guilty. I season my trips with a little fresh exercise.


    • ACTIVE 4

      Challenge Accepted

      I’ll let my trusty guides sweat the small things, so I can focus on my goal. Getting to the top, reaching the end, achieving my dreams! Sure, it’ll be tough, but the views will be worth it.


    • ACTIVE 5

      The Ultimate

      I’ve put in the hard yards and now I get to reap the rewards. I’m a seasoned adventurer, not afraid to get my boots wet.


    • Read more about the Active Range

    4.68 out of 5 (from 151 reviews)

    Don’t let people tell you Peru isn’t suitable for families! Venture into the Amazon to view an array of wildlife and soak up the Inca history as you explore Peru with your family.

 

  • Peru and Galapagos Explorer - Iguana

    13 Days  | 

    Peru  | 

    From US$7599

    ACTIVE 3 - 4
    • ACTIVE 1

      What's The Rush?

      I’m not a triathlete, but I’m in decent shape and I’m not looking to experience a place just through a bus window. I’m happy to slow down on the trail, soak it in and breathe in the fresh air.


    • ACTIVE 2

      Leg Stretcher

      Sure, I own some hiking boots, they’re even worn in, but they don’t go on long trips. I like my creature comforts and I like to give a range of activities a go.


    • ACTIVE 3

      Earn Your Lunch

      I stay active on vacation so that I can eat and drink what I like without feeling guilty. I season my trips with a little fresh exercise.


    • ACTIVE 4

      Challenge Accepted

      I’ll let my trusty guides sweat the small things, so I can focus on my goal. Getting to the top, reaching the end, achieving my dreams! Sure, it’ll be tough, but the views will be worth it.


    • ACTIVE 5

      The Ultimate

      I’ve put in the hard yards and now I get to reap the rewards. I’m a seasoned adventurer, not afraid to get my boots wet.


    • Read more about the Active Range

    4.46 out of 5 (from 87 reviews)

    Why stop at ticking one line on your bucket list? Explore Machu Picchu and other parts of Peru before jumping on a flight to the Galapagos Islands to swim with turtles and hike volcanoes.

In this section

Trip Reviews

  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 16211 reviews)

    Fantastic trip

    This was my first hiking trip, and I must say it was fantastic!!! Patagonia is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been (and I travel a lot). I want to mention that you have to be in reasonably good physical condition to enjoy this trip. I am glad that I trained for it. Arturo, our tour guide and Catherine (the W Trail guide) were excellent. They also made sure that they accommodated my dietary requirements (gluten, diary, and soy free) on the W Trail, which is not an easy task. I enjoyed every moment of the trip. I will definitely book another trip with Active Adventures, now that I know how much I enjoy hiking and active trips.
    Simona Walsh Review Image
    – Pennsylvania, United States
    Condor, August 2017
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 16211 reviews)

    We did it! With style and fun!

    This was a bucket list trip of a lifetime! Active Adventures went above and beyond to make us comfortable, safe and we had a bunch of fun from the Andes to the Amazon!
    Jenna Forstrom Review Image
    – Oregon, United States
    Jaguar 2017, July 2016
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 16211 reviews)

    Squeege perfect

    Mountains, rock climbing, kayaking, penguins, glaciers, flamingos, and awesome food-- patagonia has it all! Arturo's laugh made me laugh all that much harder, and Cem is the best at everything adventurous. An incredible Christmas present for us all!
    Camille Johnson Review Image
    – Florida, United States
    Condor, January 2017
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 16211 reviews)

    Simply said: Excellent

    We’ve booked our trip with Active Adventures from NZ but ended up with Galakiwi Adventures as the implementing party. A bit confusing at the beginning but it turned out quite well.
    Our trip through the Galapagos Islands started in San Cristobal, followed by Floreana, Isabela and ended in Santa Cruz.
    We booked an all-inclusive trip and it turned out to be a very good decision. In fact we realized only after a few days how convenient is was to have everything organized for you and how much time you can actually safe. Starting with swimming gear that is provided as part of the package. Transportation to the ferry, getting on & off, having the transportation ready when you arrive, all those organizational aspects are taken care off which makes travelling from island to island very easy and smooth. Then hotels are ready, check in & out done super fast, luggage’s pick up etc. all organized. Lunch and/or dinners arranged in advance to maximize the vacation time and reduce wasted time to a bare minimum. What else to say besides that the organization was simply said excellent!!!
    Then we had Zambo our tour guide, a fantastic & very knowledgeable person.
    Not only questions from adults were not a problem for him, our kids and the other families kids who were also part of the group constantly came up with all sorts of questions and somehow, Zambo always had an answer.
    All of this made it a great vacation; we enjoyed it a lot
    Thomas Mueller Review Image
    – Sai Kung, Hong Kong
    Tortuga, April 2017
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 16211 reviews)

    Excellant trip! I would come back and do it gain!

    Pepo was a wonderful guide. He made the trip special and was so accommodating and knowledgeable. Honestly one of the best trips I have ever taken!
    Sandy Dockendorf Review Image
    – Minnesota, United States
    Tortuga, December 2016

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Why travel with Active Adventures?

Above all, we aim to be amazing hosts. We're proud of our kiwi roots, and our professional, warm and relaxed style of running trips around the world is unforgettable.

We're VERY picky about who we select to work in our team, and we have people from all over the world lining up to guide our trips. So we get to hire the absolute BEST in the business.

As soon as you get off the plane, we've got all the details of your vacation covered – top notch meals, comfortable transport & accommodation, amazing guides and INCREDIBLE service.

Whether you’re new to adventure travel, or you’ve never travelled in a group before, you’ll find yourself arriving home positively different from when you left.

With our small groups (no more than 14), you'll get to know our team, your fellow travellers, and have the flexibility and freedom to do as much (or as little!) as you like.

It's all about getting there under your own steam – on foot, in a sea kayak, or by bike. What better way is there to experience mind blowing scenery? If it's your first time, no worries – our expert guides have got you covered.

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