Peru is South America's third largest country. It covers 1,285,215 sq. km. and can be divided into three distinct geographic regions. Peru's population of about 23 million is divided almost equally between the highlands and the population centres of the coast, and the division marks a sharp cultural as well as geographic divide.
The Andes are still one of the world's most unstable mountain ranges, with frequent earthquakes, landslides, and flash floods.
The Andes are also the site of the most fascinating cities of South America-like the great city of the clouds, Machu Picchu.
Peru is best known as the heart of the Inca empire, but it was home to many diverse indigenous cultures long before the Incas arrived.
For the next 1500 years, Peruvian civilization developed into a number of organized cultures, including the Chavìn and the Sechìn. The Chavìn are best known for their stylized religious iconography, which included striking figurative depictions of various animals (the jaguar in particular) and which exercised considerable influence over the entire coastal region.
The Incan capital, at Qosqo, was undoubtedly the richest city in all of the Americas, with temples literally sheathed in heavy gold plate. Although Qosqo's architecture remains only in fragments and foundations, the architectural accomplishment of the Inca's has survived intact at the astounding ceremonial centre of Machu Picchu.
The Museo Nacional de Antropologia y Arqueologia houses the nation's most extensive collection of pre-Columbian artifacts. The museum maintains an outstanding international reputation for its curatorial and presentational accomplishment.
Ceramics, granite obelisks, and textiles of the various pre-Columbian cultures, including the Nazca, are displayed here, offering visitors an unmatched introduction to the great civilizations that flourished in Peru thousands of years ago.
89% Roman Catholic
4% From another religion
As part of its rich cultural tradition, Peru features many different languages. Although Spanish is commonly spoken across the country, Quechua is a major legacy of the Inca Empire, and is still spoken with regional dialects in many parts of Peru.
In addition, other languages are spoken such as
80,3% speak Spanish
16,2% speak Quechua
3% speak other languages
0,2% speak foreign languages.
They have indigenous, hispanic and african origin types of dances. These typical dances are danced in school, during Independence day and in much more other occasions. One of the most typical one is the “Marinera”.
The Marinera represents the flirt that happens between a man and a woman and it is a difficult to dance. Small children learn to dance it from a very early age. Peru have a variation of the Marinera. The Marinera Arequipena is practiced in many areas of Peru. There are another dances very similar to the Marinera like the Tondero or other kinds of Marineras from different parts from Peru.
The Huayno is a dance from high up the mountains in Peru. The origin of this dance is from the Inca and the Pre Inca time. The costumes for this dance are very colourful. The Huaylash is another dance from the mountains from Peru, the costumes are also very colourful. It looks a little bit like a tap dance but with a different rhythm and it’s a representation of Afro-Peruvian slaves in cotton fields, doing agricultural tasks.
The music of Peru is an amalgamation of sounds and styles drawing on Peru's Andean, Spanish, and African roots. Andean influences can perhaps be best heard in wind instruments and the shape of the melodies, while the African influences can be heard in the rhythm and percussion instruments, and European influences can be heard in the harmonies and stringed instruments. Pre-Columbian Andean music was played on drums and wind instruments, not unlike the European pipe and tabor tradition.
The cajón is an important percussion instrument developed by African slaves. The cowbell may also be of African origin. While the rhythms played on them are often African-influenced, some percussive instruments are of non-African origin.