Peru's territory has an area of 1,285,216
km². It is bordered by Ecuador and Colombia on the north, Brazil and
Bolivia to the east, and finally Chile and Bolivia to the south. To the
west lies the Pacific Ocean. Its population has more than 27 million
inhabitants that speak Spanish, with others bilingual in Quechua or
Aymara and other native languages.
Eastern Peru consists mostly of the moist tropical jungles of the Amazon
Rain Forest, the largest on Earth. In the southeast along the border
with Bolivia lies Lake Titicaca — the highest navigable lake in the
world. The Altiplano plateau is a dry basin located along the slopes of
the Andes in southeastern Peru. Along the border with Chile, the Atacama
Desert is the driest place on the planet.
The Peruvian Sea is home to a large amount and variety of fish life. The
Sechura Desert is located in northwestern Peru along the Pacific
The main rivers of Peru include the Ucayali, Marañon, Amazon (which is
formed by the confluence of the Marañon and the Ucayali), Putumayo,
Pastaza, Napo, Jurua, and the Purus.
Peru is divided in 24 departments and one constitutional province.
The largest main cities include:
Lima (the capital and the economic and cultural centre)
Callao (the contitutional province)
Cusco (the capital of the ancient Inca Empire)
Ica, Puno, Chimbote, Huancayo, Cajamarca, Pucallpa, and Iquitos.
When the Spanish arrived, they divided Peru (because of political
reasons) into three main regions: the Coastal region, which is bounded
by the Pacific Ocean; the Highlands, that is located in the Andean
Heights, and the Jungle, which is located on the Amazonian Jungle. But
Javier Pulgar Vidal, a geographer who studied the biogeographic reality
of the Peruvian territory for a long time, proposed the creation of
eight Natural Regions. In 1941, the III General Assembly of the Pan-American
Institute of Geography and History approved this motion.
These eight Peruvian regions are:
Chala or Coast (subtropical dry and tropical savanna)
Suni or Jalca
Rupa - Rupa or High Jungle
Omagua or Low Jungle.
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