Republic of Peru is a country in western South America. The territory now including Peru has one of the longest histories of civilization of any country, tracing its heritage back to the 4th millennia BCE.
This is a country of unimaginable extremes where choosing your trip destinations may prove a true challenge. Tourists also visit the Spanish colonial architecture in many cities in Peru. Some of the most outstanding examples of Spanish colonial architecture are in the cities of *Lima, *Arequipa, and *Cusco. Peruvian cuisine is among the most varied in the world.
Be aware of your surroundings and try to avoid unlit or unpopulated areas, especially at night. A dirty old backpack with valuable contents is safer than a new one with old clothes in it. Armed robberies of tourists are fairly common.
Tourism is directed towards archaeological monuments, ecotourism in the Peruvian Amazon, cultural tourism in colonial cities, gastronomic tourism, adventure tourism, and beach tourism. The ruins of Machu Picchu (map) are the most internationally recognized of all the ruins of Peru and therefore receive the most tourists. The other popular ruins are those of *Chan Chan (map), *Sipán, Kuelap (map), *Nazca Lines (map), *Ollantaytambo, *Caral, *Sacsayhuamán, and *Sillustani.
60% of the land of Peru is in the Amazon Basin, and 74% of the land is covered by the Amazon rainforest itself. Peru has a higher percentage of land area protected in national parks and reserves than any other country in South America. The *Peruvian Amazon is one of the most pristine, virgin, and untouched rainforests on the earth, making it a destination for tourists interested in nature and ecology.
*Manú National Park (map) — one of the most diverse areas in Peru. *Río Abiseo National Park (map) is a world heritage listed national park in the San Martín region near Tarapoto. Since 1986, the park has not been open to tourism due to the fragile nature of the natural and archaeological environments.
Peru boasts a 2,414-kilometer coastline littered with many beaches attractive to any type of traveler. Two of the most popular beach areas are *Máncora (map) and Punta Sal (map) in the Piura (map), and Asia (map) in the Lima Department.