PERU is a country in western South America with Spanish colonial cities, Inca ruins (Machu Picchu), and the magnificent Andes dominating the centre of the country. Peru has always been one of the most interesting countries to visit: a ‘must see’ is Chan-Chan, the 2500 year old Chavin ruins near Huaraz, and those interested in wildlife should visit the Islas Ballestas near Pisco to see huge sea lion and sea bird colonies.
The landscape varies from the Pacific coastal plains to the peaks of the Andes mountains and the tropical forests of the Amazon Basin (60% of the country). Peru is a developing nation with a poverty level around 40%. The Peruvian population is multiethnic, giving it a mixture of cultural traditions and a wide diversity of expressions in fields such as art, cuisine, literature and music.