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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. And if you don’t already have a trip planned, 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. The cordilleras themselves, of which Perú has twenty, lie North to South between the coastal sand-dune deserts and the seemingly endless Amazon rainforest. Lima has more people than London, and together with dozens of colonial and pre-colonial cities, Perú boasts numerous lively urban centers, most of which trace their history to the ancient civilizations of the Andes.

Peru coupleHistory

The Inca, who inhabited Machu Picchu and countless other majestic sites, were South America’s largest and most advanced pre-Columbian civilization, with their capital based in the spectacular Cuzco. Perú is also home to a number of the world’s oldest civilizations, including the Norte Chico, the Chavin and the Nazca. Famed for its countless riches and resources, Perú has continued to enchant all those who visit this vast and strikingly diverse country. 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 to this day the central backbone of Perú – both geographically and figuratively. They are the principle source of water and provide extensive resource 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 as its natural beauty. Many rural and mountain communities are still largely composed of small, earth-made adobe structures where indigenous, Quechua-speaking people are living lives not too dissimilar to the way their ancestors did hundreds of years ago. One of Perú’s principle attractions is its famous cuisine. From ceviche to anticucho, be sure to enjoy some of the best food to be found anywhere in the world. Lima is home to a number of the best rated restaurants on the continent and with great wine coming up from Chile and Argentina, fine dining is not in short supply. The same is true for authentic dining rituals such as the pachamanca, a common community gathering like no other. For those who like the off-evening adventure, 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.

There is so much more to Peru than just a little geography, history and culture, and we find the best way to learn more about a place is to immerse yourself in the experience. Contact us for more information about planning your trip to Peru and how you can begin immersing yourself in one of our team’s favorite countries in the world.

geography of peruculture of peru

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