Peru

Exploring Latin American Countries

Traveling to Peru

Peru is a beautiful country located on the far west side of South America with a population of 27,947,000 residents. It's capital is the city of Lima. Peru has 3 official languages: Spanish, Quechua, and Aymara. The currency is Nuevo Sol and is exclusive to Peru.

What Are the People Like?

For the most part, people who live in Peru are very friendly. Peruvians are very family oriented people. They do have a few different courtesies than we do here in the US. For example, it is considered poor manners to arrive on time when invited to a dinner or party. Tardiness of an hour or more is expected. The proper way to greet a lady is a kiss on the cheek. For men, a handshake is preferred. It is common to share a glass with friends when gathered in an imformal setting. The "okay" sign that we use in the US (touching your finger to your thumb) is considered a very rude and impolite gesture in Peru.
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What To Do and Weather

The most famous tourist attraction in Peru is Machu Pittchu located in the city of Cuzco. The site stretches over an impressive 5-mile distance, featuring more than 3,000 stone steps that link its many different levels. In 2007, it was designated one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.

Peru's capital city, Lima, is an impressive cultrual center with lots of art and cuisine. There is awesome nightlife, lots of shopping, and perfect for paragliding.

The Amazon rainforest is another popular attraction there. It is easily accessed and amazingly beautiful.


Peru doesn't really have a winter. December through February is known as the rainy season. March through May and September through November are prime weather conditions and perfect for visiting Peru. Those months tend to be less humid and and not too hot. June through August are very hot and dry months.

Festivals and Holidays

One of the most colorful festivals is the month-long celebration of the Lord of the Earthquakes in October. Peru is prone to servere earthquakes and during the month of October they have a weekly procession through the streets of Lima that features a painting of Christ that has survived quakes.

Peru's Independence Day is July 28. Every household is required by law to fly the Peruvian flag.

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Culture

Peru's rich and diverse folklore can be sampled in Lima. Peruvians have many different traditional dances. Some popular dances are the Marinera, Tondero, and Festejo.

Rites of Passage

Baptism of infants, first communion, and confirmation of children in church are common. Probably half of all couples live together without regularizing their unions with a license or a church ceremony. A birthday may not necessarily be celebrated. A novena (nine consecutive days of special prayers) for the dead is usually held in the home of the deceased, with friends invited on the final night.

Family Life

Families bond together in Peru not only as a social unit, but as an economic one as well. The basic household unit includes parents, children, and, in many cases, grandparents or aunts and uncles. In middle-class households, it may also include a nanny to look after young children. Often, financial difficulties mean that children live at home until they get married as young adults.
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Peru Government

Peru is a democratic republic. The President of the Republic and the 130 members of Peru’s Congress are elected every five years by a universal, secret and direct vote. The current constitutional President of the Republic is Ollanta Humala Tasso, elected for the 2011-2016 period.
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Health Concerns

You should be up to date on routine vaccinations, as you should for most places you travel. The most common diseases in Peru are Hepatitis A and Typhoid. There are vaccines available for those if you wish to get one.

Trasportation

Most places are local and are easy to walk to. However, if you plan on going outside of a city, you may want to take a bus, taxi, or for farther excursions, a train. Local buses are slow and crowded but very inexpensive. Safer, regulated taxis usually have a lit company number on the roof and are reached by phone. These are more expensive than taxis flagged down on the street, but are more reliable. The railroad is a great way to explore the country.
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Fun Facts About Peru

Potatoes originated in Peru.

Peru produces 55 different varieties of corn.

Guinea Pigs are an important source of food.

Peru has the second largest segment of Amazonian rainforest.

Pisco Sour is the national drink of Peru.

Peru is the sixth largest producer of gold.

It is tradition to give friends and family yellow underpants on New Year's Eve.