The Republic of Peru is located in South America and is home of one of the most attractive ancient cultures in the world: the Inca. Peru has a cultural heritage of almost 20,000 years, from the ancient cave paintings to the stone and mud-brick monuments left by the Chavin, Tiahuanaco, Mochica and Chimu cultures, and of course by the Incas. Part of this heritage is represented by the enigma and mysteries of the past, like in the Nasca lines.
The symbiosis of the ancient cultures with the successive migrations which took place during the Republican period has made Peru an extraordinary country with music and folklore which, added to its natural attractions, its modern life and its gastronomy, make Peru a very attractive travel destination. You will find the most valuable treasures in Cusco, Ayacucho, Lima, Arequipa, Puno, Nazca, Cajamarca and Apurimac.
The mountain range of the Andes runs through the middle of the country from north to south dividing it into three regions, the coast, the highlands and the Amazon jungle. The area of the Peruvian territory is of 1,285,216 sq. Km and its population reaches 22'128,466 people according to the latest census (1993). Because of the successive immigrations which have taken place for more than a hundred years, there are several ethnic groups coexisting in the country with the natives or Indians. The culture of the Tahuantinsuyo was the main core of the actual Peruvian Republic, the powerful Empire of the Incas and after the conquest of the Spaniards whose wealth contributed to feed not very few legends.
Peru was home of several ancient cultures, whose first social organizations appear around the year 6000 B.C. in the coast (Paracas) and soon afterwards in the Andean highlands. The first important civilization was the Chavin culture in Peru. The main Inka government was located in Cusco covering an area from north to south from Ecuador, part of Colombia to the center of Chile and north east of Argentine and from Bolivia to the Amazon jungle.
The Spaniards colonized Peru in 1531 and founded the City of Lima in 1535. The Viceroy Francisco de Toledo organized the Virreynato in 1572 and after that all the political and administrative institutions were established.
The People of Peru
The people are friendly, hospitable and curious to other cultures. The Spanish spoken here is probably the easiest to understand. They speak slowly and clear without a strong dialect.
Peruvian friends are easily made and they try to adapt to the Spanish knowledge you have. Besides Spanish there are a couple of languages that are spoken mostly in the highlands. These two languages are Quechua and Aymara. Quechua is spoken in and around Cusco while Aymara will be heard on the shores of Lake Titicaca as well as in the Bolivian highlands.
Peru is a very religious country and exuberant in its samples of faith. Each town has a patron saint to which the citizens renew their faith every year. Frequently the local beliefs are linked to magic-religious beliefs whose origin gets lost in the pre-Hispanic theology, full of complex meanings that are shown with symbols. This reaffirms the conflicting and fascinating character of the Peruvian identity.
All the cities and towns of the country, have at least one church and usually many more in the surroundings where they worship the saints. These churches have a classical architecture in which valuable pieces of art are kept, many of them are considered like jewels of the colonial and republican age. You will find the most valuable treasures in Cusco, Ayacucho, Lima, Arequipa, Puno, Nazca, Cajamarca and Apurimac.
The most important cult in Peru is that of the Señor de los Milagros that has believers all over the country. The procession takes place every year in the month of October, followed by the bullfights in October and November.
Our Travel Destinations:
Lima, The Colonial Capital of the Americas; Cusco, The Capital of the Inca Empire; Machu Picchu, The Lost City of the Incas; Puno and Lake Titikaka, Home of the Uros Indians and their floating Islands; Arequipa and the Colca Canyon, to see Condors, amazing scenery and one of the deepest canyons in the world; Ica, Nazca and Paracas, from where the mysterious Nazca Lines can be seen; Trujillo, to see the pre-Inca city of Chan Chan; Chiclayo, to visit one of the latest discoveries, the remains of the Lord of Sipan; Huaraz, also known as the Peruvian Switzerland, El Callejón de Huaylas located among the Black and White Cordillera and the Llanganuco Lagoon are part of this land of impressive beauty; The Amazon Rain Forest and Manu National Park for good observation of wildlife and with a density and diversity of animal and plant species that reach global records.
Our Special Interest Travel
We have products for the following Special Interests: Amazon Cruises, Amazon Lodges, Archaeology, Arts and Crafts, Beaches, Bird Watching, Botany, Ecological Cruises, Eco-tourism, Family Vacations, Family Cruises, Fishing, Gourmet Journeys, Group Travel, Heritage Tours, Hiking, Historical Sightseeing, Natural History, Honeymoon Packages, Horseback Riding, Incentive Travel, Kayaking, Llama trekking, Luxury Cruises, Inti Raymi, Mountain Biking, Museum Tours, Music/Dance, National Parks, Photography, Professional Tours, Rain Forest Adventures, White Water River Rafting, Safaris, Four Wheel Safaris, Horseback Riding Adventures, Jungle Safaris, Walking, Shopping, Wine and Pisco Testing.
Frank Alte and the Peru Travel Team
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