Country Listing

Peru Table of Contents




Official Name: Republic of Peru (República del Perú).

Short Name: Peru.

Term for Citizens: Peruvian(s).

Capital: Lima.

Date of Independence: Declared July 28, 1821, from Spain; achieved, 1824.


Size: 1,285,216 square kilometers.

Topography: Western coast (Costa) mountainous and arid. Andes mountains in center (Andean highlands or Sierra) high and rugged. Less than one-fourth of Sierra, which includes cold, high-altitude grasslands (the puna), natural pasture. Puna widens into extensive plateau, Altiplano, adjoining Bolivia in southern Sierra. Eastern lowlands consist of semi-tropical and rugged cloud forests of eastern slopes (Montaña), lying between 800 and 3,800 meters; and jungle (Selva), which includes high jungle (selva alta), lying between 400 and 800 meters, and tropical low jungle (selva baja) of Amazon Basin, lying between 80 and 400 meters. Land use: 3 percent arable, 21 percent meadows and pastures, 55 percent forest and woodland, and 21 percent other, including 1 percent irrigated.

Climate: Varies from dry in western coastal desert to temperate in highland valleys; harsh, chilly conditions on puna and western Andean slopes; semi-tropical in Montaña; tropical in Selva. Uninhabited areas over 5,500 meters high have arctic climate. Rainy winter season runs from October through April; dry summer in remaining months.

Data as of September 1992