The South American country of Peru is a land of numerous wonders. It is a megadiverse country with habitats ranging from arid plains in the Pacific coast to soaring peaks in the Andes, and the dense rainforests of the Amazon. Peru is also culturally diverse and home to several ancient cultures. The country traces its heritage back to the 4th millennia BCE and has one of the longest civilization histories of any country. Here are some of the most interesting facts associated with this fascinating and beautiful country.
10. Peru Has Rainbow Mountains
Peru has one of the world's most magnificent geologic features, the Ausangate Mountain in the Peruvian Andes. It is located at an elevation of 6,384 m and is extremely difficult to reach. The mountain is striped with colors ranging from maroon and gold to turquoise and lavender. Several days of hiking is required to reach the mountain. The locals revere Ausangate as divine and consider it to be a deity that protects Cusco. Every year, thousands of pilgrims visit the mountain during the Star Snow festival.
9. The Inca Citadel Of Machu Picchu Is In Peru
One of the world's most noted archeological sites, the Inca citadel ofMachu Picchu is in Peru. It is located on a 2,430 m high mountain ridge in the Eastern Cordillera of Peru. It was built in the 15th century and serves as the most famous icon of the Inca civilization. For ages, the site remained largely ignored until it was brought to global attention by an American historian in 1911. Machu Picchu provides evidence of the Inca way of life, their religion, and culture. In 1983, the property was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In 2007, a worldwide online poll selected Machu Picchu as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
8. The Mysterious Nazca Lines Can Be Seen In Peru
Shallow incisions or depressions made in the soil of Peru's Nazca Desert represent a group of large geoglyphs formed between 500 BC and 500 AD. They are called the Nazca Lines. However, many of these lines are not merely lines but figurative designs of plants and animals. The top layer of soil and pebbles were removed to reveal the yellow-grey subsoil where these lines were etched out. Although much is known about how these lines were made, there is still much debate about why they were created. Some theories even go as far as linking the Nazca Lines with aliens. The mystery remains unsolved to this date.
7. The World's Highest Navigable Lake Is In Peru
Peru shares Lake Titicaca with Bolivia. It is a massive and deep lake located in the Andes mountains on the border between Peru and Bolivia. The lake's surface elevation is 3,812 m. It is the world's "highest navigable lake" as it is the highest lake used by large commercial vessels. The lake has a surface area of 8,372 square km and a maximum depth of 281 m.
6. The Mighty Amazon River Starts In Peru
No fewer than five Peruvian rivers have been honored as the source of the mighty Amazon, the world's largest river. More recently, the Mantaro River in southwestern Peru has been designated as the true source of the Amazon.
5. Peru Has A Hanging Cliffside Hotel
The Sacred Valley of Peru offers its visitors a rare opportunity to stay in a luxury capsule that hangs from the top of a mountain. Here, one can eat, sleep, and laze around in a transparent hanging room and absorb the magical vistas of the mystic valley. Access to the Skylodge Adventure Suites is, however, not very easy. People must climb, hike, and zipline through the mountains and forests to reach the hotel. Guided packages to and from the hotel are available.
4. Peru Has One Of The World's Deepest Canyons
The Cotahuasi Canyon is twice as deep as the Grand Canyon of the US. The former is located near the Peruvian city of Arequipa. It is 3,354 m deep. The canyon was carved by the Cotahuasi River as it flowed through the Coropuna and Solimana massifs.
3. The World's Worst Association Football Disaster Happened In Peru
On May 24, 1964, Peru was playing a football match with Argentina at the Estadio Nacional in Lima. During the match, the referee gave an unpopular decision that enraged the Peruvian fans who then decided to invade the pitch. To counter the unruly fans, the police fired tear gas into the crowd leading to extreme chaos. Many people were crushed against the steel shutters leading down to the street and died from asphyxiation or internal hemorrhaging. 328 deaths and 500 injuries were reported during this disaster which was termed the Estadio Nacional disaster.
2. Peru Is The Land Of Potatoes
Peru is a land of incredible potato biodiversity. Of the nearly 5000 potato varieties found worldwide, over 3500 varieties are grown in Peru. Potatoes grown in Peru come in a variety of colors, shapes, and flavors. Some withstand cold and drought better than others.
1. The Amazon Rainforest Covers 60% Of Peru
The Amazon rainforest, the world's largest rainforest, has its second-greatest extent in Peru after Brazil. Nearly 60% of the area of Peru is covered by this forest. The forest houses an incredible diversity of flora and fauna, the highest in the world.