50 Curiosities about Peru you probably didn’t know

I mean what exactly is it you know about Peru? Alpacas, llamas, Machu Picchu and good food, that’s what everyone will say. But Peru is so much more than that. Peru is full of nature, interesting sites, has a rich history and much more. Apart from those reasons, the warm and welcoming culture is something else, especially for people who come visiting from far. If you are curious about coming here, get to know these 50 curiosities about Peru we selected for you!

Typical Peruvian clothing in the highlands of Peru.

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50 Curiosities about Peru

  1. With more than 32 million inhabitants, Peru is the fifth most populous country in South-America. About 10 million of those live in the capital, Lima.
  2. The capital and most important city of Peru is Lima but there are lot of other cities that are of great cultural and touristic importance like Arequipa, Cusco and Trujillo.
  3. Pisco is the national drink of Peru and it is used in the preparation of the most popular cocktail, the Pisco Sour.
  4. Three of the 30 best restaurants worldwide are located in Lima. Among which Central, Maido and Astrid y Gastón.
  5. Lima was the most important city of the vice-royalty in South-America.
  6. The currency of Peru is the Sol but in a lot of places US dollars are also welcomed.
  7. In Peru you can find some of worlds highest cities which exceed 3,500 meters above sea level.
  8. The alpaca is not only the friendliest of the four camelid species originating form Peru, the wool is used for the production of textiles and the meat is consumed by humans.
  9. Inca Cola is the most consumed soda in Peru, leaving even Coca Cola behind.
  10. In Peru you can listen to almost every song adapted to cumbia – a popular dance.
  11. Peru is the main producer and consumer of quinoa in the world.
  12. Located at 3,812 meter above sea level, you can find Lake Titicaca. This lake is part of the border between Peru and Bolivia. On this altitude, Titicaca is the highest navigable lake in the world.
  13. The Colca Canyon is one of the deepest on the planet. The deepest point reaches 4,160 meters down.
  14. More than 12 species of birds are preserved on the Ballestas Islands, including the Humboldt penguin, which is endangered. It is also the home to two species of sea lions.
  15. The most popular beer in Peru is Cusqueña – a beer brewed in the city of Cusco, in the Peruvian Andes.
  16. Machu Picchu was a hidden gem until it became a legend when the American explorer Hiram Bingham discovered it in 1911.
  17. It is not necessary to fly over the Nazca lines. You can admire the mysterious lines from various surrounding hills as well.
  18. Peruvian drivers are the most fast and furious in the world.
  19. Around 1880, Peru became part of a war against Chile to defend Bolivia. The Chileans rose to victory…
  20. Peru shares borders with Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Brazil.
  21. Some limeños – people from the capital, Lima – refer to the city as ¨Lima la gris¨, Lima the Grey. This is because of the dominance of cloudy days but the scarce rainfall during winter.
  22. The winner of the Nobel Price for Literature Mario Vargas Llosa was born in Arequipa and lost the presidential elections of Peru to Fujimori in 1990.
  23. Peru celebrates its independence on the 28th of July, the festivity lasts two days.
  24. The most important native languages are Quechua and Aimara.
  25. 80% of all Peruvians are catholic.
  26. Peru is a region with great seismic activity. The country has suffered severe damage in recent decades because of earthquakes.
  27. All principal plazas in Peruvian cities are known as ¨Plaza de Armas¨.
  28. The most symbolical mythical animals of ancient Peru are the condor, the puma and the snake.
  29. Peru holds the Guinness record for the greatest variety of typical dishes in the world with nearly 500 plates.
  30. Peru counts 12 sites that are considered as World Heritage by UNESCO.
  31. Cusco means ¨centre of the world¨ in Quechua.
  32. Peru is one of the 17 most diverse countries in the world.
  33. In 2007, Machu Picchu was declared as one of the new 7 Wonders of the Modern World.
  34. The main festivity in Peru is la Candelaria. It is celebrated in Puno the 2nd of February. In this festivity more than 100.000 people participate and it is transmitted on national television.
  35. In Peru there are more than 3,000 varieties of potatoes.
  36. The Inca Empire extended in various regions of Peru, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia and Ecuador. In these times, Cusco was its capital.
  37. In 2012, Peru has been recognized as Best Culinary Destination in the World by the World Travel Awards. Since then, it has received the same price for 4 consecutive years.
  38. The Peruvian are huge admirers of El Chavo del 8 and other Mexican soap operas.
  39. The mountains of the Andes divide Peru in three different regions: coast, highlands and jungle.
  40. In Arequipa you can find ¨el congelador¨ which conserves Juanita, a girl which was sacrificed by the Incas. Her body remained frozen and intact for over 500 years, until it was discovered during a expedition to Nevado Amapoto in 1995.
  41. Since 2012, Peru is considered and emerging economy by the International Monetary Fund.
  42. Machu Picchu means ¨old mountain´ in Quechua.
  43. The lake of Huacachina is a true natural oasis in the middle of the coastal desert of Peru.
  44. The Inca was the main ruler of the Inca Empira.
  45. In the floating islands of the Uros, on Lake Titicaca, there are solar panels which give access to electricity. So they can watch television and listen to the radio.
  46. In Peru, the first railway line of South-America was built in 1834.
  47. The leaves of the coca are the raw materials for the production of cocaine but normal consumption does not cause the same effects as the drug.
  48. World´s largest river, the Amazon, rises in la Quebrada de Apacheta, close to Arequipa.
  49. There is a Superman comic book in which the Man of Steel is found in Machu Picchu.
  50. The participation of the Peruvian national football team in the World Cup in Russia in 2018 was the first time since 1982.
50 Curiosities about Peru, Machu Picchu
The Inca ruins of Machu Picchu.
50 curiosities about Peru, Plaza de Armas
Plaza de Armas de Cusco at night.
50 curiosities about Peru
Natural oasis in the desert of Huacachina.
50 curiosities about Peru
Woman vending plants on the streets.
50 curiosities the Peru, rainbow mountain
Rainbow Mountain close to the city of Cusco.
50 curiosities about Peru, condor
The Condor in the Andes.
50 curiosities about Peru, Lima
The coastline of Lima.

Now that you know a little more about Peru, let’s see what college students know about Peru. After these getting to know these curiosities about Peru, you are definitely ready and excited for your trip to Peru!

Proyecto Peru is a Spanish School and Volunteering Centre in Cusco, Peru. Get to know our services on and learn Spanish with us!

Article translated and edited from Traveljunkie.