Peru Overview

Peru Overview

Country overview & natural area

From a scenic, cultural, ethnic and climatic point of view, Peru is a fascinating country. 84 of the 117 recognized life zones in the world can be found between the Pacific coast, Andean highlands and the Amazon region. Peru is considered one of the countries with the greatest biodiversity in the world.

History & State

According to internetsailors, Peru is a democratic, social, independent and sovereign republic. A trail of massive violence runs through Peruvian history: armed conflicts, extreme social differences and unequal life chances.

Economy & Development

Regardless of the economic successes (high growth rates since 2001) and the consistent economic policies of the governments in office, the positive economic development goes hand in hand with decreasing poverty rates and a certain resentment among the population about the low social progress. According to the national statistical institute INEI, the number of Peruvians living below the poverty line was 20.2% (2019).

Society & culture

In Peru, the Indians, who make up the largest population group, are discriminated against like in any other country in South America. They are poor, have little access to services, education and markets, and have little political participation and very little political representation.

Everyday life & practical information

Finally, you should receive some useful information and links that will make traveling, living and working in Peru easier. Have fun surfing and in Peru!

Official name: Republic of Peru

Area: 1,285,220 km²

Residents: 32 million (2018, HDR 19)

Growth of population: 1.1% (INEI 2014)

Seat of government: Lima

Official language: Spanish

Other languages: Quechua (13.8%), Aymara (1.2%)

Cities and transport infrastructure

Bridge in Arequipa

Bridge in Arequipa

slum in Lima

slum in Lima

Paseo de La República

Paseo de La República

Road in the mountains

Road in the mountains

Road in the jungle

Road in the jungle

Road on the coast of Lima

Road on the coast of Lima

Panorama of Lima in the evening

Panorama of Lima in the evening

Alley in Cusco

Alley in Cusco

Peru has around 30 million residents (estimated, source of data: INEI), of which 75.9% live in cities and agglomerations. The current annual population growth is 1.1% (2014). The country’s population is distributed very unevenly: In 2007, 54.6% lived on the coast, 32% in the mountains and 13.4% in the jungle. The regions Lima, Piura, La Libertad, Cajamarca, Puno, Junin, Cuzco, Arequipa Lambayeque and Ancash have more than 1 million residents, with Lima being the largest region with approx. 8.5 million.

The largest city in Peru is the capital Lima with 8.15 million residents in the agglomeration. Other larger cities are Arequipa (819,000), Callao (390,000), Pucallpa (312,000), Trujillo (277,000), Chiclayo (251,000) and Piura (248,000).

The most important traffic connection in Peru, with a length of over 70,000 km, are roads that run lengthways and crossways. The most important longitudinal connection is the “Carretera Panamericana” (2,375 km of asphalt road) running along the coast from north to south. The “Marginal de la Selva” stretches along the villages of the fertile eastern slope of the Andes (Ceja de Selva) between Ecuador in the north and Bolivia in the southeast. The villages and cities of the Peruvian Andes are connected by the mostly asphalted and 1,515 km long “Sierra Sur” connection between La Oroya (near Lima) and Desagüadero (on the border with Bolivia).

Between the Pacific coast and the Peruvian mountains (e.g. Ilo – Ilave / Desagüadero) or the jungle (Puerto San Juan – Iñapari) run the cross-connecting roads, which were expanded and partly paved in the 90’s.

The railway network consists of several unconnected rail networks and is 2,177 kilometers long. The route networks mainly serve the tourist (route network Machu Picchu-Puno) and less the freight transport (route network Matarani-La Paz) and are maintained by private operating companies.

The first cable car was completed after 1.5 years of construction and went into operation on March 2, 2017. It is located in northern Peru and leads to the historic fortress Kuélap in the Amazon department near the city of Chachapoyas.

The representative of the state

President Martin Vizcarra and Cabinet

President Martin Vizcarra and Cabinet

Since March 23, 2018, the leadership of Peru has consisted of the previous 1st Vice-President Martin Vizcarra, who took over the presidency due to the resignation of the elected President Kuczynski – and the 2nd Vice-President Mercedez Aráoz (the latter resigned and the The newly constituted Congress confirmed its resignation in May 2020). There have been several cabinet reshuffles since then. On July 15, 2020, a new cabinet was sworn in under the leadership of Pedro Cateriano. Constitutional lawyer Cateriano was Defense Minister under Ollanta Humala (2012-2015) and accompanied Humala as Prime Minister in his last year in office. Eleven new ministers were added to the cabinet of 18 ministers appointed, including seven women. The replacement of the previous Minister of Health Victor Zamora by Pilar Mazzetti, who has previously been head of the COVID command (an institution that leads the fight against Corona nationwide) and has already headed the Ministry of Health, should be emphasized. The Prime Minister Caterianos received the necessary confidence of the Congress, but had to resign after around 20 days in office. On August 6, the previous Minister of Defense, Walter Martos, took over the post of Prime Minister. The new prime minister merely changed the interior, labor, mining and women’s ministers and regained the confidence of Congress.

Education Minister Benavides (in August 2020) and Finance Ministries Alva (in September 2020) narrowly escaped the Congress’ motion of no confidence.

According to an opinion poll, President Vizcarra’s popularity fell to 57% in September 2020 (in July it was 65%, but it was well below the high of 87% in March 2020). This can be explained with the more than 160 days of quarantine and the resurgence of COVID-19 numbers, which did not bring the hoped-for success. The number of newly infected people continues to grow and Peru occupies 5th place with 647 166 corona infected people worldwide (as of August 30, 2020) and 2nd place for the dead / million. Population with 871 concerns. Furthermore, the decline in GDP is the strongest in the Latin American context, it is estimated to be over 12% for 2020.