Peru Geography

Peru – key dates for your trip

Area: 1,285,216 km² (land: 1,279,996 km², water: 5,220 km²)

Population: 29.2 million people (July 2011, CIA). 45% Amerindian, 37% mestics (Amerindian and white ancestors), 15% white, 3% black, Japanese, Chinese and others.

Population density: 23 residents per km²

Population growth: 1.029% per year (2011, CIA)

Capital: Lima (7.9 million residents, 2006)

Highest point: Nevado Huascaran, 6,768 m

Lowest point: Pacific Ocean, 0 m

Form of government: According to Militarynous, Peru has been a presidential republic since 1980. The constitution dates from 1993. Peru has been independent from Spain since 1821.

The president is elected by the people for a five-year term. A constitutional amendment from 2000 prohibits re-election. The first and second vice-presidents are also elected by the people, but have no constitutional functions unless the president is unable to perform his duties. The most important executive body is the Council of Ministers, which consists of 15 members and a Prime Minister. The President appoints the members who must be confirmed by Congress. All bills must be approved by the Council of Ministers.

The legislature consists of a single-chamber congress with 120 members. In addition to laws, Congress ratifies government bond treaties and approves the budget.

The judiciary of the government is made up of the 16 members of the Supreme Court. The Constitutional Court interprets the Constitution on issues of individual rights. Higher-level courts review complaints against decisions made by lower-level courts. First instance courts are located in provincial capitals and are divided into civil, criminal, and special chambers. The judiciary has created several temporary specialized courts to catch up on the large backlog of pending lawsuits. In 1996 an office for a human rights ombudman was created.

Administrative structure: 25 regions (Amazonas, Ancash, Apurimac, Arequipa, Ayacucho, Cajamarca, Callao, Cusco, Huancavelica, Huanuco, Ica, Junin, La Libertad, Lambayeque, Lima, Loreto, Madre de Dios, Moquegua, Pasco, Piura, Puno, San Martin, Tacna, Tumbes and Ucayali) as well as a provincia (Lima).

The regions are divided into provinces, these into districts. The planned decentralization of the country paused after the merging of departments was rejected in a national referendum in October 2005.

Head of Government: Prime Minister Juan Jiménez Mayor, since July 23, 2012

Head of State: President Ollanta Humala, since July 28, 2011

Language: The official languages ​​in Peru are Spanish and Quechua. Aymará is sometimes spoken, and English is also spoken in tourist regions.

Religion: 81% Catholics. 1.4% Seventh Day Adventists, 0.7% other Christians, 0.6% others, 16.3% unspecified or no confession (2003 estimate).

Local time: CET – 6 h.
In Peru there is no change between summer and winter time.
The time difference to Central Europe is -6 h in winter and -7 h in summer.

International phone code: +51


Mains voltage: 220 V, 60 Hz; in Arequipa 220 V, 50 Hz, in Iquitos 110 V, 50 Hz. American plugs are used, adapters are recommended.

Peru (South America): geography and map

Peru is bordered to the north by Colombia and Ecuador, to the east by Brazil, to the southeast by Bolivia and to the south by Chile. To the west is the Pacific Ocean.

Landscape zones

P.eru is usually divided into clearly different regions: the coast (Costa), the highlands and the Andes (Sierra) as well as the forest regions of the rainforests (Selva) and cloud forests (Montana).

Here is an accurate topographic map of Peru.


The largely narrow strip of the Costa (11% of the land area) is largely a coastal desert and is strongly influenced by the Humboldt’s Current. Due to the drought, agriculture is only possible along the oasesTo the coming rivers possible.

In the southern part of the country, in the border region to Chile, is the Atacama, the world’s driest desert. Here, as in the entire southern area of ​​the Costa up to the capital Lima, about halfway up the coastal strip, the annual rainfall is extremely low.

In the north of Lima the rainfall increases slightly, here agriculture is partly possible outside of the river oases. The temperatures in this region are between 12 ° C (winter) and 35 ° C (summer).


The mountain ranges of the Andes, the Sierra, adjoin the coastal strip. The Andes are interrupted here by long valleys (callejón or valle). Further features (which can be found in the entire Andean region) are deeply cut valleys (canyons) as well as large rivers on the east and west side of the Cordillera that break through mountain ranges (Pongo).

In the central region of Ancash are the up to 5,000 m high Black Cordillera (Cordillera Negra), the approximately 3,000 m high Callejón de Huaylas, the White Cordillera (Cordillera Blanca), with the highest mountain in Peru, 6,768 m high Huascarán and the Callejón de Conchucos (with the Marañón River, a source river of the Amazon).

The highest peaks in the country are Nevado Huascarán, 6,768 m, Yerupaja, 6,634 m, Coropuna, 6,425 m, Ampato, 6,310 m, Chachani, 6,075 m and Volcán Misti, 5,822 m.

In the northern part of the country, the Andes are not high enough to reach the snow line and are therefore relatively rich in vegetation (climatic zone of the Paramo). In the central part the mountains are very steep, with partly wide valleys and peaks in the area of ​​the eternal ice (glacier). From the height of the capital Lima towards the south, the landscape looks hilly at heights between 3,000 and 4,000 meters, some massifs reach heights of 5,000 m, there is snow here all year round.

From Lima in a southerly direction you can find volcanic cones with rare volcanic activity, the mountain range of the Andes widens strongly from here. The plateau flattens out in the southern part of the country (in the regions of Puno, Arequipa, Tacna and Moquegua), and the Altiplano is formed.

At an altitude of 3,300 m, the mean annual temperature is around 11 ° C. Although there is little rainfall, heavy rains can occur from October to April.

The Sierra is inhabited by a large part of the Indian population, near Cuzcos is the famous Inca ruined city of Machu Picchu.


The rainforest region (Selva) is located in the east of the Andes. The transition between the higher-lying tropical cloud forest (Montaña) with a milder climate and the rainforest is fluid.

The rainforest is determined by the time-of-day climate, the mean annual temperature is around 26 ° C, and up to 3,800 mm of precipitation falls annually. Several Amazon source rivers originate in the Selva region and flow from here through the Amazon basin to Brazil.

Since the rainforest of Peru is dense and almost impenetrable, this region has hardly been developed so far. The most important traffic arteries are rivers that flow from the Andes to the Amazon.

Significant natural resources have been found in the Selva region. The majority of the regional population is made up of indigenous and mestizo people. European (mostly Spanish), Chinese and African settlers also settled here.

The largest nature reserve in Peru, Pacaya-Samiria, is located in this forest region.


The most important river in Peru is the Amazon, its headwaters Río Apurímac, Río Urubamba, Río Ucayali and Río Marañón, as well as the Amazon tributaries Napo, Huallaga and Putumayo

The two largest lakes in Peru are Lake Titicaca and Lake Junín, located between the Andean chains.

Peru Geography