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17 Exciting and Interesting Facts About Peru

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There are so many interesting facts about Peru that will make you want to visit this fascinating country. In this article I share with you my favourite facts about Peru that will leave you wanting to learn more! Ready to get to know the country of Peru a bit better? Read on…

Exciting and Interesting Facts About Peru

Peru is a beautiful country nestled in the western part of South America. It’s home to rich culture, many languages, delicious food, biodiversity, beautiful nature, fascinating history, and more. 

In fact, Peru is a very old country. Studies show that the earliest inhabitants arrived there around 15 thousand years ago! Throughout all these years, Peru has witnessed great civilisations… and we can still see their impact today. 

To get to know this country a bit more, let’s talk about the most interesting facts about Peru. 

Here are the 17 interesting facts about Peru that will make you fall in love with the country:

1. The Amazon River Starts in Peru

17 Exciting and Interesting Facts About Peru

The Amazon River starts its long journey from the Andes Mountains of Peru. In fact, It is the widest river and the second-longest one after the Nile River. It runs through 6 countries for more than 6000 km and ends at the Atlantic Ocean

Its main source and starting point is the Mantaro River in Peru and it’s considered a vital part of the ecosystem of the entire continent. It is the life source of the Amazon rainforest, which is the most biodiverse place on Earth. It has a very rich collection of species, including rare ones that you cannot find anywhere else. 

Moreover, it even serves as a transportation route for people and goods, which gives it huge economic value. All of these factors make the Amazon River one of the most interesting facts about Peru! 

2. Peru Has Pink Dolphins!

These are my favourite and some interesting facts about Peru.

The Amazon River in Peru is home to magical pink dolphins. These dolphins are born with grey colour and start turning pink as they grow up. You will only find them in the Amazon River basin, and you will get the opportunity to swim and play with them. 

3. Peru Has One of the New Seven Wonders of the World

The interesting facts about Peru will never fail to surprise you! 

In fact, Peru has one of the new seven wonders of the world. Machu Picchu, arguably the most famous tourist attraction in Peru, is a symbol of the Incan Empire. It is such a stunning archaeological site that will impress you, even if you aren’t interested in archaeology. 

Machu Picchu is called “the Lost City” because it was never found when the Spanish conquered the Inca Empire in the 1500s. In fact, it remained hidden until it was discovered back in 1911. This makes it one of the most interesting facts about Peru! 

4. Potatoes Were First Born in Peru

17 Exciting and Interesting Facts About Peru

Yes, here is one of the food-related interesting facts about Peru! 

Potatoes originated in the Andes Mountains in Peru and Bolivia almost 10,000 years ago. It was a big part of the Inca Empire and they used to prepare it in a variety of ways that are similar to our modern cooking methods. For instance, they prepared it boiled, stewed, and even mashed

It was later on introduced to Europe and the rest of the world to become an essential part of our diet. So, thanks to Peru, now you have french fries that you cannot resist. 

5. Peru Is Home to the Highest Navigable Lake in the World

Lake Titicaca, located in Peru, is the highest navigable lake in the world. A navigable lake is one that is deep enough to allow boats and ships to navigate on its surface. So, it can be used for transportation and transferring goods. 

Due to the many ruins around it, it’s said to be the birthplace of the Incas. It’s thought that the lake was sacred for the Incas, as they believed that sun god Inti emerged from the lake to start his creations. 

In fact, it’s the largest freshwater lake in the entire continent of South America. Besides, the Titicaca National Reserve is built around it, protecting rare aquatic life like giant frogs. 

6. Peru Has One of the World’s Highest Sand Dunes

One of the most interesting facts about Peru is that it’s home to one of the world’s sand dunes. Cerro Blanco, located in the valley of Nasca, will captivate you with its size once you look at it. In fact, it’s arguably the tallest sand dune in the world. 

Cerro Blanco sand dune is even taller than the entire mountains. It’s totally worth the tough hike when you reach the top of the dune, especially when you end it by sliding downhill.  

7. They Found Aliens in Peru?

Here is one of the rather mysteriously interesting facts about Peru.

The Peruvian archaeologist Julio Tello discovered abnormal-looking skulls in the Paracas region of Peru back in the 1920s. The skulls were elongated and didn’t look like normal human skulls – and for long, it was believed to be the skulls of aliens.

But do these skulls actually belong to aliens? Historians believe that the skulls looked like this because of the practices South American tribes did for long. For aesthetic reasons, they used to press the head of newborns between wooden boards to give them a long skull. 

That’s why the skulls had cranial deformation and people believed that they belonged to aliens. 

8. There Are Floating Islands in Peru

As you explore Lake Titicaca, you will find interesting facts about Peru. One of the first things that will captivate you is the floating Islands on Lake Titicaca. The Uros Islands are made entirely out of totora reeds and sustained by their inhabitants. 

The floating islands were made centuries ago by the Uro-Aymara families who wanted to make their homes in the lake. In fact, even the boats of these people are made out of reeds.

The inhabitants of these islands are living there for centuries, while maintaining their original customs, tradition, and lifestyle, away from the entire world. They are very friendly and even offer visitors souvenirs as a thank-you gift for their visit. 

9. Peru Has a Mountain With Rainbow Colours 

If you want to experience one of the coolest and the most interesting facts about Peru, then you will need to visit Vinicunca, the Rainbow Mountain. It got its name because it has layers of vibrant and unique colours. 

These colours are completely natural and happened over time due to various mineral deposits. The trek to reach this mountain is challenging, but if you can do it, it’s totally worth it. You will get to witness one of the coolest sights of nature, and maybe get some Instagram-worthy pictures as well! 

10. Ceviche Is Peru’s National Dish

17 Exciting and Interesting Facts About Peru

These interesting facts about Peru and its cuisine will make your mouth start watering, but here is the national dish of the country. 

Original ceviche is made out of raw fish or shellfish marinated in lemon or citrus juice. The acidity in the lemon or citrus allows the meat to denature and become opaque and firm. 

The dish also consists of other ingredients such as tomatoes, peppers, cilantro, and tomatoes. It is a healthy dish that is often served as an appetizer. It has all sorts of vibrant colors and you can add more ingredients if you’d like! 

The fish is usually eaten raw. In fact, it’s believed that ancient civilisations in Peru used to eat this dish in a similar way over 2000 years ago. However, instead of lemon, they used banana passionfruit juice to marinate the fish. 

If you don’t want to eat raw fish, you can ask for it cooked – but don’t miss trying it out! 

11. One of the Largest Flying Birds Lives in Peru

As you explore the country, you’ll find out more interesting facts about Peru and its incredible biodiversity. 

The Andean Condor is one of the largest flying birds in the world, arguably the largest, and it lives in Peru. It is a giant bird and the only member of the genus Vultur. These magnificent creatures hold cultural significance in the region as a symbol of strength and freedom. 

For the longest time, scientists couldn’t understand how this giant bird flies, considering its massive size and weight. 

In fact, they use thermals to gain altitude and stay in the sky and rarely flap their wings. The highest record of an Andean Condor flying without flapping its wings even a single time was more than 5 hours! 

12. Peru Has Many Native Languages

17 Exciting and Interesting Facts About Peru

Among the fascinating and interesting facts about Peru is its linguistic diversity! It’s incredible how they kept many indigenous languages for centuries not only to communicate but to preserve their cultural heritage. 

The country is home to around 80 languages that are passed down from one generation to the next. However, the main official 3 languages are Spanish, Quechua, and Aymara. Regardless of this number of languages, Spanish is the most commonly spoken language across Peru. 

The Inca Empire used to speak Quechua, and it’s still used today in the Andean highlands.

13. Peruvians Were Among the First People To Surf

Many people believe that the Peruvian coast is the cradle of surfing. Peruvians started surfing up to 5000 years ago using reed watercraft. In fact, one of the most thrilling and interesting facts about Peru is that it’s still one of the best countries in the world to surf.

The country has thousands of miles of coastline, so you will always find the perfect empty spot to surf. Now, if you want world-class waves, then you will need to surf in Northern Peru, which has amazing waves all year round. 

14. Peruvian Poncho Takes Hundreds of Hours To Make

Diving through the clothing-related interesting facts about Peru, we’ll find the Peruvian Poncho. It’s a traditional clothing item that consists of 2 rectangular pieces of cloth sewn together while leaving an opening for the head to go through. They are usually made of luxury alpaca fiber and they last for long. 

The making of ponchos is very time-consuming and it takes hundreds of hours to make. The weavers spend weeks and sometimes even months to complete

It’s not only worn to provide warmth and protect from rain, but to reflect your identity and heritage. Each community has a special design of a Peruvian Poncho that represents them. The designs are usually very detailed and they have geometric patterns or animals. 

15. Peru Is Home to Most of the World’s Alpaca Population

The alpaca is a South American camelid mammal that is often confused with the llama due to its similar appearance. However, the alpaca is smaller than the llama. 

One of the interesting facts about Peru is that it’s home to the largest population of alpacas in the world. In fact, Peru alone has 85% of the world’s population of alpaca

16. Peru Has Two of the World’s Deepest Canyons

Colca Canyon is one of the most popular tourist spots in Peru. Around 150,000 tourists visit it every year for its astonishing depth, unique landscape, and terraces. It’s considered one of the deepest canyons in the world. Moreover, it’s a great trekking spot for adventure lovers.

The nearby Cotahuasi Canyon is also considered one of the deepest in the world. In fact, it’s twice as deep as the Grand Canyon. It’s mainly formed by the erosive power of the Cotahuasi River. It’s also another popular tourist destination in Peru. 

17. Two-thirds of Peru’s Land Is Covered by the Amazon Rainforest

17 Exciting and Interesting Facts About Peru

As I’ve mentioned in the previous interesting facts about Peru, it’s a megadiverse country. But to put that into perspective, nearly 60% of Peru’s land is covered by the Amazon Rainforest.

The Amazon Rainforest, being the most biodiverse place on Earth, should give you a glimpse of the natural wonders Peru has. 

The Amazon Rainforest doesn’t only contain thousands of creatures but also hundreds of Indigenous communities. These people’s lives depend solely on the forest. 

Further Reading – Interesting Facts About Peru 

After reading these interesting facts about Peru, I’m sure you’ve fallen in love with the country just the way I did. It’s a biodiverse country with rich history, incredible nature, and a lot to learn from. 

If you liked reading the facts about Peru, you can check my other relevant posts too.

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