These are some short, fast, and interesting facts about Peru, to help you plan your trip, and simply to enjoy.

-Peru is the 3rd largest country in South America, after Brazil and Argentina, it is about 2 times the size of the U.S. state of Texas.

– The capital of Peru is Lima, which is also the largest city.  Other cities are Arequipa, Cuzco, Puno, Trujillo, Tacna, Piura, and Iquitos.

Ciudades Peru

– Peru has a population of about 30 million, 1/3 of which lives in the Lima area.

Lima is one of the largest cities in the world with about 10 million people.

– Peru borders Colombia and Ecuador to the north, Brazil and Bolivia to the east, Chile to the south, and the Pacific Ocean to the west.

– The word Peru comes from Birú, the name of a tribal chief in what is now Panama.  His possessions were visited by the Spanish, and at the time that was the southernmost part of the New World known to Europeans. So when Pizarro started to explore further south, the area started to be called Birú or Peru.

– There are 3 principal regions, the coast, mountains, and jungle. Machu Picchu and Cuzco are located in the mountains, Lima is on the coast.

Peru

– Peru’s main language is Spanish, spoken by about 80% of the population. Quechua, Aymara and other indigenous languages are widely spoken in many areas.  People often speak both Spanish and an indigenous language.

– Peru is very diverse, according to widely used estimates, the population is about 45% Indigenous, 37% Mestizo, 15% European descendants, and the rest are descendants of African slaves or Asian immigrants.

– In Peru, voting is mandatory, so almost all eligible citizens vote.  The current president is Ollanta Humala, elected in 2011, he will be in office until 2016.