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Peru: Geography, History and Culture

18th April 2018

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Before you embark on your trip to Peru, be sure to brush up on your geography, history, and culture. Don’t have a trip planned? Then, you won’t want to miss our latest expeditions to this incredible, captivating country.


The Peruvian Andes offer a wide variety of environments. From massive glaciated peaks to sparkling turquoise lakes, ruby-colored quinoa forests to high alpine plains, ancient Inca ruins to bustling urban markets, Perú has something for everyone.

Peru has twenty cordilleras. They are scattered from North to South between coastal sand-dune deserts and the vast Amazonian rainforest. Furthermore, Peru’s cities are a delightful mixture of pre and postcolonial. Most of these cities origins can be traced back to the ancient civilizations of the Andes.

Peru coupleHistory

The Inca, who inhabited Machu Picchu and other sites, were South America’s largest and most advanced pre-Colombian civilization. The Incan capital was based in the spectacular Cuzco. Furthermore, Perú is also home to some of the world’s oldest civilizations. These include the Norte Chico, the Chavin, and the Nazca.

Many hundreds of years prior to the advent of alpinism in the European Alps, indigenous Andeans were scaling the highest peaks for ritual and ceremonial purposes. The colossal mountains remain the central backbone to Perú – both geographically and figuratively. They are the principal sources of water. Moreover,  they provide extensive resources and wealth to one of the most biologically diverse nations on the planet.

Peruvian woman

©2014 Project Cordillera


The cultures of the Peruvian Andes are as vibrant and diverse as its famous biodiversity. Rural and mountain communities are still largely composed of small, earth-made adobe structures. Furthermore, those in the communities still speak Quechua and are living lives not too dissimilar to the way their ancestors.

Perú’s cuisine is revered throughout the world. From ceviche to anticucho, Peruvian food is some of the best food in the world. Lima is home to a number of the best-rated restaurants on the continent and fine dining is not in short supply. In addition, the same is true for authentic dining rituals such as the pachamanca. This common community gathering is like no other and the food is incredible.

For those who enjoy a tipple, there are also a number of craft beers to quench any post (or pre!) expedition thirst. Be sure to ask us for our personal recommendations – it’s an area in which our team is well versed…

Contact us for more information about planning your trip to Peru and learn how you can begin immersing yourself in one of our team’s favorite countries.

geography of peruculture of peru

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