Peru is located in the central part along the western coast of South America. It covers 1,285,215 square kilometres and has a population of nearly 28 million. Peru's inhabitants are mostly of Andean stock in the highlands and mixed-blood "mestizos" on the coast, blended with a hefty influx of European blood, largely Spanish. A country dotted with a vast and varied geography, Peru features 28 types of climates and contains 84 of the 103 ecological zones existing on Earth. Its territory is split into three natural regions running from north to south: the Coast, a narrow swathe of desert coastline, which is home to Lima and most of Peru's main cities; the Highlands, which feature breath-taking mountain landscapes and picturesque villages; and the exuberant Amazon jungle, teeming with a dizzying variety of animals and plants.
The Peruvian capital was founded on January 18th, 1535, by the Spanish Conqueror, Francisco Pizarro. Dubbed the "City of Kings," Lima is today a metropolis which blends the splendour of its colonial past with the modern era. Nestling on the banks of the Rimac River and on the shores of the Pacific Ocean, Lima is the seat of the government and the country's most important institutions. The population of Lima is more than 8 million people, making it by far the country's largest city, bustling with more business and industrial activity than anywhere else in Peru. Lima, a metropolis steeped in vice-regal airs, is the perfect starting point for travellers interested in getting to know Peru.
National Park Manú
Manú national park is a national park in the basins of the Amazon. Manú is located in the east of Peru and with its surface of 15.328 km² it is the biggest national park of Peru. The park is located on a height of 150 meters to more than 4000 meter above sea level. Therefore almost all ecological zones of Peru are represented in the park and the flora and fauna is widespread and varied. In Manú national park live about 800 bird species, 200 mammal species, 100 species of bats, 120 fish species and many reptiles and insects.
In the park you will find very unique animal species like the giant otter, the ‘Manu aboreal mouse’ and the harpy eagle. They live between 15.000 plant species. On one single hectare there are found more than 250 different species of trees. Because of the biodiversity the Manú national park is of big scientific value and one of the most appreciated parks of the world. In the park live over 30 communities of Quechua Indians and a few groups of indigenous Amazon people. All together, more than ten native languages are spoken here. From Cusco you can do several jungle trips to the National park of Manú. These trips vary in the number of days, transport, luxury, area and day program. Ask us for the possibilities and book your trip at Proyecto Peru!
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Lake Titicaca is the biggest lake of South America with a surface of 8340 km². The lake is located in the Andes highlands between Peru and Bolivia. With its 3812 metres above sea level, Lake Titicaca is the highest navigable lake in the world! In the lake are 41 islands, some of them are densely populated. The best known islands are ‘Isla del Sol’, ‘Amantani’ and ‘Taquile’. On these beautiful islands with old Inca ruins, live several fascinating Titicaca communities. They kept their traditions and culture hidden for centuries. It is possible to spend the night on these islands with locals.
A unique experience at Lake Titicaca is a visit to the Uros Islands of totora reeds, nearby Puno. These islands are made of reeds that grow at the banks of the lake. The inhabitants make everything out of these reeds, like houses and boats. The islands drive when the water level is high. Originally the islands were a haven of refuge of the Uros-Indians for the marching Inca’s. Nowadays the Indians live of the tourists visiting the islands. Book your Titicaca trip at Proyecto Peru. In the morning you will take a boat from Puno, via the Uros Islands to the Island Amantani and spend the night on this island at the house of locals. The next day you will visit Taquile island, from where you will take the boat back to Puno.
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The Peruvian city Arequipa is located at an altitude of 2325 meter in the desert mountains of Peru. This beautiful city is almost completely build out of sillar, a whitish volcanic tuff. Therefore the city is called ‘La Ciudad Blanca’, ´The White City´. Arequipa is the second city of Peru with more than 800.000 citizens. The main plaza ‘Plaza de Armas’ is beautiful: here you find the impressive cathedral and shopping galleries in colonial style. The soft climate year round makes people talk about Arequipa as the city of eternal spring.
The area around Arequipa is well known for its volcanoes, with ‘el Misti’ (the gentlemen, 5822m) being the most famous. Other mountains with permanent snow are the ‘Chachani’ (the fiancée) and the ‘Picchu Picchu’ (top of the mountain top). Nearby Arequipa you will find the amazing ‘Colca Canyon’, the second deepest canyon in the world and a paradise for hiking. Next to the beautiful landscape, you will be able to see a flight of a condor, the ‘king of the Andes heaven’. Finally you must visit the spectacular ‘Valley of the Volcanoes’ in Andagua, as well as the beaches of Mollendo, Camana and the beach Puerto Inca in Caraveli!
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Nobody knows for sure why they are made, the mysterious Nazca-lines. The impressive lines of Nazca are geoglyphs, drawings in the sand of the Pampas of Jumana and Nazca in Peru. The figures of animals, geometric forms and the thousand lines and line plays are captured for a long time in the sand of the desert. The highland by Nazca is one of the driest areas on earth with a moderate temperature of 25°C. Most of the time it is calm and without any rain, in this way the lines could be captured for thousands of years. The lines were made between 200 and 600 AD by Nazca and Paracas Indians. In 1990 the ‘UNESCO’ added the Nazca-Lines to the official ‘World Heritage List’. View the lines from a plane!
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Just 15 minutes away from the city of Ica in the south west of Peru, you find the genuine desert oasis of Huacachina. Palm trees line a shady lagoon, while colossal dunes tower above you in the background. It is a beautiful and unrealistic sight that is made even better if you enter a dune buggy and head out into the desert to see it from above! Once you are up in the dunes enjoying the view or the desert sunset you have to decide how to get back down again. Just take the buggy back down or…hop on your sand board and surf down the enormous dunes! It is like snowboarding but, well, sandier!
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