Peru: 20 Interesting Facts You Might Not Have Known
Peru is most known for the ancient Incan city of Machu Picchu, which is located in the country’s highlands. The fact is, however, that this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to everything that this amazing nation has to offer!
For example, did you know that Peru is home to over 4 million alpacas? All of those beautiful, fluffy faces are a lot of fun! Among the intriguing and lesser-known facts about Peru are details about this must-see country that are worth learning about. We are confident in saying that you will be booking your ticket in no time!
So, without further ado, let’s get started with these interesting Peruvian facts!
Peru is home to 70% of the world’s alpaca population, which is the largest in the world.
Is it time to go on a Peruvian adventure? I’ve had alpaca in my luggage!
For most of us, the archetypal picture of Peru is of an alpaca gazing longingly over the ruins of Machu Picchu in the distance. But what is it that has fueled this romanticized view of the country? Peru, on the other hand, is home to over 70% of the world’s total alpaca population, according to statistics. That is approximately 4 million alpacas, which is incredible!
The Cotahuasi Canyon is one of the world’s deepest canyons, with a depth of more than a mile.
Have you ever been to the Grand Canyon in the United States? If that’s the case, picture it being more than twice as deep. Isn’t it difficult to grasp what’s going on? The truth is, Cotahuasi Canyon is indeed this deep, thus solidifying its position as one of the world’s deepest canyons.
Featuring a depth of 3,354 metres, this magnificent canyon is definitely something to see. Visitors to the reserve are not need to get a permission in order to access the area. However, the region receives much fewer visitors than the more well-known Colca Canyon in Peru, and the housing and dining options in adjacent Cotahausi town are somewhat more restricted.
Peru is home to a hotel perched on the edge of a cliff.
If you have a phobia of heights, now is the moment to turn your gaze away. Allow me to present you to Natura Vive’s Skylodge Adventure Suites, Peru’s cliff-hanging hotel with vertigo-inducing views of the Andes. A shared dining area and three bedroom suites with a dry toilet and basin are located a one-and-a-half-hour trek above the Sacred Valley in these glass capsule pods, which are connected by a glass walkway.
When you get to your capsule, the experience isn’t ended yet! The next day, after spending the previous night dangling from the cliff’s edge, you’ll have to descend the mountain to reach the bottom. Only a series of safety grips and zip wires will allow you to complete this task!
There are those who may not like this adrenaline-pumping experience; nevertheless, for those who are bold enough to go on the voyage, you will be rewarded!
Peru is the birthplace of a remarkable fruit known as the acai berry.
Peruvian fruit is a gift that keeps on giving and giving and giving. Do you want anything sweet? It’s not an issue at all. Are you looking for a citrusy treat? sorted.
Camu camu, which is indigenous to the Amazonian areas, is more than just a fruit. This acidic berry is generally red or yellow in color, and it is claimed to have a flavor that is a cross between grapefruit, lime, and cherry. It isn’t the fact that it tastes tasty that makes it so intriguing, though. Camu camu is considered to be a superfood.
Because of its high concentration of vitamin C (60 times more than that found in an orange), it is thought to be an antioxidant.
Peruvian national drink, the Pisco Sour, is a mix of pisco and lemonade.
If you’re in Peru (or Chile, for that matter), it’s just a matter of time until you sample Pisco for the very first time. This liquor, which is most comparable to brandy, is the national drink of both nations, with debate currently raging about where it came from and how it came to be.
If you go to Peru, you will almost certainly be able to experience this alcohol in the drink known as the Pisco Sour. It’s made with a combination of pisco, sugar syrup, lime juice, bitters, and an egg white, and although it doesn’t seem very appetizing, it’s certain to make your lips smacking. Attention: Pisco Sour hangovers may be really unpleasant!
Peruvian vicuas are the country’s official animal.
Because of the profusion of alpacas in Peru, it is reasonable to think that they are the country’s national animal – particularly when you see them decked with vividly colored bells and ribbons in every town and city! However, it is the vicua, a near relative of the alpaca, that receives this honor instead.
This undomesticated mammal resembles a llama in appearance and behavior. It is, on the other hand, far smaller and more elegant. The vicua is shown on the national flag of Peru. It is most renowned for its luxuriously soft wool, which sells for a high price on the international market. Because this is the most costly wool on the planet, you may expect to spend hundreds of dollars for a sweater made with it. We’ll stick to our infant alpaca market ripoffs, thank you very much for asking.
Machu Picchu is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, and it is located in Peru.
No journey to Peru is complete without a stop to Machu Picchu, whether you trek the Inca Trail, drive over the Salkantay Pass, or just take the train there. In 1911, American explorer Hiram Bingham discovered an old fortress that had been known locally for decades, and it was his discoveries that propelled the location into the public attention.
One of the most preserved pre-Colombian structures ever unearthed, Machu Picchu is located in Peru’s Sacred Valley. A direct consequence of this, the “Lost City of the Incas” was named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in 2007, further increasing its ever-increasing worldwide renown.
There are a lot of restrictions that you must obey when visiting Machu Picchu, as well as a large list of things that you are not permitted to do. Among the most innovative are the following: undressing, applauding, leaning against walls, feeding the animals, singing, and dancing.
For a brief period of time, Inca Kola sales exceeded those of Coca Cola in the local market.
Peru’s obnoxious yellow drink, whether you like it or not, isn’t going anywhere. Peruvians have grown to love this unusual soda to the point that local sales of Inca Kola have surpassed sales of Coca Cola, the world’s largest soft drink company.
In order to avoid the discomfort of being left outdoors in the cold, Coca Cola reached an agreement with the proprietors of Inca Kola bottled water company. According to the terms of the deal, the Inca Kola Corporation would retain exclusive ownership of the trademark outside of Peru and would be compensated accordingly. However, in the motherland, they would collaborate with Coca Cola to manufacture the beverage as a joint venture.
If you can’t fight them, the only thing left to do is to become one of them!
In Peru, there are true rainbow mountains to be seen.
You may have seen the brightly colored photographs of visitors taken at Vinicunca Rainbow Mountain on social media. But this is just one of several rainbow mountains in Peru, as you can see here. It is true that the saturation on these photographs is virtually always cranked up, yet it is still necessary to view these rainbow mountains in person to believe them.
Peru’s Red Valley and surrounding rainbow mountains, which get their vibrant colors from the multitude of minerals that make up its structure, are a must-see for every visitor to the nation. However, you should be aware that the most renowned peak, Vinicunca, is a popular tourist attraction, and you are unlikely to be able to access it on your own.
Palcoyo Rainbow Mountain receives much less visitors than other mountains in the area, allowing for a much more relaxing and peaceful experience. If visiting the ‘Mountain of Colours’ is on your bucket list, keep in mind that all of these locations are situated at exceptionally high elevations, so give yourself plenty of time to acclimatize before going.
Machu Picchu is home to an astronomical observatory, which is open to the public.
Despite the fact that seeing the historic site of Machu Picchu is often regarded to be the most important “must-do” activity while visiting Peru, shockingly few people are aware of the significance of this location during the time of the Incas. Fortunately for you, dear reader, we are going to fill you in on everything!
Archaeologists think that the Machu Picchu location was suitable for a variety of different functions throughout its time of use. In addition to being a ceremonial location that had been sanctified, the region also hosted an agricultural center and even an observatory. The latter is supported by the presence of the mystical Intihuatana stone, which is located in Mexico. The two equinoxes are represented by this ceremonial stone. On these situations, the sun is directly above of the stone, casting no shadows on the surface.
In Lake Titicaca, people live on reed islands that float in the water.
It is located on the border between Peru and Bolivia, and is the world’s highest navigable lake at an elevation of 8,000 meters. It is a highly popular tourist destination, and thousands of visitors come here every day to explore the islands off the shore….
A visit to the Uros floating islands is one of the most popular day activities in the area. These man-made islands, which are formed of totora reeds, were initially built to offer a safe haven for the people who lived on the islands. Living on islands in the lake ensured that they would be able to evacuate quickly if invading forces came after them.
However, contrary to popular belief, this is not the case. Although these islands seem to be a throwback to a bygone era, this is not the truth. Residents in Uros have access to modern amenities like as TVs, solar panels, and even mobile phones!
Peruvian Inca Orchid dogs are typically hairless, with a few exceptions.
It’s possible that you’re acquainted with this hairless dog if you’ve been to Peru in the past. These dogs are virtually invariably hairless, with their coats typically varying from black to a pinkish hue. When hair does emerge, it tends to create a neat looking mohawk on their forehead or to cover the space between their tail and foot. Occasionally, a Peruvian Inca orchid may be born with hair, although this is not the usual.
It is believed that these dogs were initially utilized as hunters in pre-Incan times, before they were domesticated. However, it has been proposed that after the Incas gained control, the dogs were employed as bed warmers by the royal family. Because they have hairless skin, they radiate heat even if their body temperature is no greater than that of a typical dog. They are effectively transformed into a giant hot water bottle while they are in this state! After all, who needs a microwave bear, right?
Ceviche is considered to be the national dish.
What about raw fish that has been cured with lime juice and salt? We know it doesn’t seem very appetizing right now, but we promise that you’ll be eating it before you know it! Ceviche is a deliciously simple cuisine that consists of raw fish, lime juice, chili peppers, onions, and coriander, among other ingredients.
There has long been a disagreement about the origins of ceviche, although despite the fact that it is a popular meal among Peruvians, it seems to have originated in the country of Ecuador. Ceviche, without a doubt, is the cuisine that Peru is most renowned for. It has spread around the globe and can now be found everywhere.
Peru is home to the world’s biggest flying bird.
Although the Andean Condor may be found in a number of countries around South America, Peru is often considered to be one of the greatest locations in the world to observe one in the wild. When the wing span and weight of this incredible species are taken into consideration, it is believed to be the world’s biggest flying bird. It may be seen flying across the sky all around the nation, including Alaska.
Unfortunately, the International Union for Conservation of Nature has classed this magnificent bird as vulnerable, which is a sad state of affairs. Because it is a scavenger, it is sometimes poisoned as a result of consuming sick corpses that have been slaughtered by hunters. The loss of habitat is also a significant factor in the species’ demise.
The Incas were the first people to conduct a census.
The Incas did not have a written language when the Spanish conquistadors arrived in the 1500s. As a consequence, they relied on knots to keep track of their knowledge. This innovative record-keeping method functioned via the use of a “quipus.” It was essentially a rope made of cotton or animal hair, and it was used to take a census of the people at the time.
Quipu were used by the government to record information on its residents, including their occupations, property, and ages, by tying knots in the quipu of various sizes and colors.
The discovery of elongated skulls in Paracas prompted a conspiracy theory about extraterrestrials.
As soon as images of the freshly found skulls in Paracas made their way into the public domain, it was clear that something wasn’t quite right. These skulls were extremely long in comparison to a regular human skull, prompting some to believe they were evidence of extraterrestrial presence.
Peru is the starting point for the Amazon River.
South America is often associated with the great Amazon River, which is one of the first things that comes to mind when you think of the continent. You may not be aware, though, that it all begins in Peru.
There are now three headwaters of the Amazon River located high in the Andes mountains that have been identified by scientists and geologists as the river’s origin. The Mantaro, the Maraón, and the Apurmac are the three tribes.
Peru is home to the world’s tallest sand dune, which stands at 1,050 meters.
Cerro Blanco, located in the Nasca Valley, is the world’s tallest sand dune and the highest point on the planet. It is known to be “The Everest of the Desert,” and it is one of Peru’s most popular sandboarding spots, according to some. From base to top, the sand dune rises to a height of 3,860 feet (1,176 meters), making it higher than the highest mountains in England and Wales combined!
Peru is home to the second-highest concentration of shamans in the world.
Peru’s shaman community is a testament to the fact that the country’s ancient traditions are still alive and thriving. Healing practitioners and shamans in this group are mostly derived from Andean and rainforest populations, who have preserved old traditions and culture.
Shamanic tourism is a thriving industry in the nation, with thousands of visitors flocking to the forest each year to participate in rites such as the San Pedro and Ayahuasca ceremonies. Despite the fact that they have historically been used as plant medicine, these hallucinogens are nevertheless quite strong and may be extremely deadly.
In Peru, there are almost 4,000 different varieties of potatoes.
Peru is known as the “World Potato Capital” because of its abundance of potatoes. Potatoes were domesticated in the Andean highlands as far back as 10,000 years ago, and they rapidly became a mainstay of Peruvian cuisine. While none of us are unfamiliar with this starchy superfood, few of us are likely to be aware of the vast number of distinct varieties of potatoes that are really available.
Peruvian potatoes are available in every color on the color wheel, ranging from yellow to black and every shade in between. They are also available in a variety of forms and sizes. And the most amazing thing of all? Per is home to several types that are uniquely accessible there! Is there anything more you want to do? Start chowing down on carbohydrates!