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Peru - The Coast

This is the coastal region of Peru, following the country's Pacific coastline from north to south and thus forming a long narrow region between the ocean and the mountain ranges of the Andes. Although some places are fertile, most of La Costa consists of dry and sometimes extremely arid desert regions. Always thought that the Sahara was the driest place on earth? Wrong! There are places in the south, near the Chilean border, which are even drier. In some places it doesn't rain for years. The landscapes can be veryspectacular though, with immense sand dunes and stone-deserts. A veryinteresting example of the sand desert can be found in Huacachina, a green oasis completely surrounded by sand dunes.

Although there is plenty of rain in the Amazon basin, it rarely reaches La Costa because of the barrier of the Andes mountains inbetween. But since many small rivers flow from the Andes into the coastal desert, there are also fertile and green places. For instance Lima, in fact in the middle of the desert, doesn't seem to be a desert city at all, and there is no lack of fresh water.

South of Lima is Lunahuana, where the Cañete River is a popular place for wild-water canoeing. Further south alongthe coast are the cities Pisco and Ica. Very mysterious are the Nazca lines. An interesting place for wildlife is the Paracas NationalPark.

Around Trujilloand Piura in the North are some beautiful beaches. It is also a popular place for windsurfing. The oceanwater is clean and crystal-clear at most places. Also in the northare the cities Chiclayo and Tumbes.


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