What do you know about Peru? You probably know that the capital is Lima and that Machu Picchu is in Peru. But we guarantee you’ll learn some new facts about this amazing country and improve your English at the same time!
Voice message from Gabi from Peru
Peru – The basics
Population: between 32 and 33 million. The capital is Lima.
Shares borders with Ecuador and Colombia (north), Brazil (east), Bolivia (southeast). Chile (south) and has the Pacific Ocean on the west.
Peru was home to several ancient cultures. The Norte Chico civilization in the 32nd century BC, the oldest civilization in the Americas.
And the Inca Empire, the largest state in pre-Columbian America, the territory now including Peru has one of the longest histories of civilization of any country. It goes back to the 4th millennium BC.
Curious facts about Peru
The potato was born in Peru and there are over 3,000 different varieties of Potato grown in Peru today. – “Soy mas Peruano que la papa” (I am more Peruvian than the potato).
Machu Picchu, the UNESCO world-historic site, is in Peru. It’s 2430 metres above sea level and was built by the Incas in 1450.
Spanish is the first language of about 80% of the population, with about 16% speaking Quechua. Aymara is the third most common language and there are several more minority languages.
The Giant Andean condor is the largest bird in the world (that can fly) and lives near the Andes in Colca Canyon. It’s 4 feet high and has a wingspan of up to 14 feet.
Peru has the highest sand dune in the world. It’s called Cerro Blanco and it’s in the Sechura Desert. It’s 1,176 metres high.
The Pisco Sour is Peru’s national drink. Pisco is made from Peruvian grape brandy and is mixed with lemons, sugar water, egg whites, ice and finished with bitters.
The Cuy, or Guinea Pig, is a traditional dish eaten in Peru during important festivals, and is served crispy complete with head, legs and eyes. It is healthier and has a lot more protein and less fat than llama meat.
Peru’s ancient Inca civilization was larger than imperial Rome and included 40,000 km of roads at its peak.
The Amazon River starts in Peru, high in the Peruvian Andes near Machu Picchu and ends in the Atlantic Ocean over 3,278 miles from its source.
Peru had a (highly controversial) President, whose parents were both Japanese, Alberto Fujimori. After fleeing to Japan when accused of many crimes when his Presidency ended, he was extradited back to Peru. There he has done prison time for, among other crimes, murder, kidnapping, bribery, embezzlement, etc. He was pardoned, but then the pardon was overturned by the Supreme Court.
Peruvian Coati Dung Coffee is the most expensive in the world. The coati is a cousin of the raccoon (mapache). It’s called Chanchamayo Highland Coffee and can cost between $20 – $65 per cup!
Is this true? Peruvians celebrate New Year’s by giving one another yellow underpants on New Year’s Eve to bring good luck in the coming year. It is a tradition to wear them inside out (underneath clothing) until midnight, then turn them inside out around midnight.
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