Peru Religion, Transport, Geography, Politics and Population

Religion in Peru

About 90% of the believing population of the country are Catholics, the rest profess Protestantism, Judaism and Islam.

Transport in Peru

Peru can be reached by plane with a transfer in Europe or in the USA. The country has 10 international airports – in Lima, Arequipa, Chicalayo, Pisco, Pucallpa, Iquitos, Cusco, Trujillo, Tacna and Giuliac.

Inside Peru, there is also an extensive network of domestic airlines, but the cheapest mode of transport for traveling around the country is the train. Ride on trains best in first class, other carriages are not very comfortable. You can also get acquainted with the country from the bus window, especially since several important highways of South America pass here. This is a 2500-kilometer section of the Pan-American Highway, which crosses the territory of Peru along the coast from north to south, and the Transand Highway, which is still the only highway that directly links eastern and western Peru. In the area of the selva, where there are practically no roads, transportation is common in original water taxis – canoes and motor boats.

Inside the cities it is better to travel by buses and fixed-route taxis. It should be noted that there are no bus schedules here. Taxis are also convenient, but payment should be negotiated right away, because taxi drivers often overcharge.

In order to rent a car, you must have an international driver’s license, a credit card and be over 23 years old.

Plant and Animal World in Peru

The coastal strip is dominated by desert plants – cacti and thorny bushes. The slopes of the central Andes are covered with a dense subtropical mountain forest, which, with height, is gradually replaced by a forest of a more temperate climatic type – “sekha”. The main tree of the seh is the cinchona tree. In the southern part of the Peruvian Andes, drought-resistant feather grass, short grasses and lepidophyllum shrubs grow. Cacti, thorny legumes and deciduous broad-leaved trees are found in the mountain valleys. The selva is occupied by tropical rainforests. Mahogany, zedrel, rubber plants, sarsaparilla, vanilla tree and tropical flowers grow here.

The fauna of the desert coastal strip is represented by sea lions, Humboldt penguins, Chilean flamingos, Peruvian pelicans, Inca terns, brown boobies, lizards, tarantulas and scorpions. In the cold waters of the Pacific Ocean, there are tuna, sardines, haddock, bonito, swordfish, mackerel, stone bass, sole, smelt and shrimp.

In the highlands, there are llama, alpaca, guanaco, vicuña, chinchilla, and on the eastern slopes – jaguars, spectacled bears and tapirs. Of the birds, the Andean condor, ibis, partridge, duck, goose, flycatcher and finches live here. The selva is inhabited by tropical animals – jaguar, cougar, armadillo, peccary, tapir, anteater, several species of monkeys, alligator and several species of snakes.

Minerals in Peru

The most important of the ore minerals are copper, zinc, iron ore, gold, lead and silver, the deposits of which are mainly concentrated in the western foothills of the Andes. Coal is mined in small quantities. Oil is produced in the northern part of the coastal region. The bowels of the eastern regions, covered with jungles, contain large reserves of natural gas.

Banks in Peru

Banks are open from Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 18:00, some are open on Saturday from 9:00 to 13:00.

Money in Peru

The official currency of Peru is the new sol. 1 new sol is equal to 100 centimes. In circulation there are banknotes of 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 new soles and coins of 1, 2 and 5 new soles, as well as 5, 10, 20 and 50 centimes.

Some shops, hotels and restaurants accept US dollars. US dollars are the easiest currency to exchange, with large commissions when exchanging other currencies. Foreign money can be exchanged at banks, exchange offices, hotels and airports. The most favorable exchange rate is in exchange offices, the least favorable – in hotels. Be sure to keep foreign currency exchange receipts before leaving the country, they are necessary for the reverse exchange of unused new salts. Credit cards are widely accepted in the main tourist centers of Peru. Traveler’s checks are most often not accepted for payment, but they are quite easy to exchange.

Rate: 10 Peruvian New Sol (PEN) = 2.77 USD

Political State in Peru

According to politicsezine, Peru is a democratic republic. The head of state is the president, who is elected by popular vote for a term of 5 years. Executive power is vested in the Council of Ministers headed by the Prime Minister. Legislative power in the country is concentrated in the hands of the unicameral National Congress.

Population in Peru

Most of the population are Indians (54%), mostly Quechua and Aymara peoples, about 32% are descendants of mixed marriages of Europeans and Indians (mestizos), 12% are descendants of Spaniards, 2%. Africans, Japanese and Chinese also live in the country.

The official languages of Peru are Spanish and Quechua (the language of the country’s indigenous people). The Quechua language is spoken mainly in the mountainous regions of the Andes, the Aymara Indian language is also widespread here. There are about 55 Amazonian dialects in the selva.

In large tourist centers, the attendants can explain themselves in English.

Cuisine in Peru

Peruvian cuisine is distinguished by a wide variety of vegetable dishes. The first is usually served with a variety of legume soups, mainly lentils and beans, as well as mashed red bean or spinach soups and quinoa soup. For the second, you should try “saltado” (fried vegetable stew), “huancaina papas” (a dish of potatoes, melted cheese and lemon juice with green salad and spicy sauce), rice in a pot, “arros-con-choclo” (porridge from rice or grains), “carapulcra” (dried potatoes with pork, chicken and sunflower seeds), “casa relleca” (potato pies stuffed with poultry, avocado or crab meat), “tamales” (fried dumplings stuffed with meat, wrapped in banana leaves), baked pumpkin stuffed with meat and herbs.

National meat dishes are made from beef, pork, lamb, llama, alpaca and poultry meat. Very tasty spicy “soupa a la creola” of beef with noodles, eggs, milk and vegetables; fried steak “lomo-saltado” with onions, peppers, fried potatoes and rice; chicken dish “aji de gallina” with spicy sauce; beef tenderloin with spices “maltado”; pork with peanut Chincheros sauce; steak “taku-taku” with boiled beans and rice with onion sauce; baked meat “puchero” in pots; stewed or fried whole guinea pig “kui”; puno alpaca steaks and anticucho oxheart skewers.

On the coast, seafood dishes are widespread – “sebiche” (raw fish or crustaceans marinated in lemon juice with onions and vegetables); assorted seafood “ceviche de mariscos”; shrimp soup with milk, eggs and peppers “supe de samarones”; seafood soup “levanta muerto”; spicy soup with seafood “supe de mariscos”; cold fish appetizer “escabeche” with peppers and onions; all kinds of sea bass “Sorvina”; various dishes from shellfish “conchitas”; mussels “choros”; octopuses “pulpo”; shrimp “camarones”; lake and river trout “tracha”; dozens of varieties of charcoal fish from the Amazon and crabs from the Pacific coast.

There are always corn and tortillas on the table. For dessert, pies stuffed with empanadas are served; fruit pudding “masamorra morada”; donuts with picarones syrup; flan cake made of eggs, cream and condensed milk, baked in the oven and served with fruit and coconut flakes; shortbreads; pancakes with sweet filling and of course fresh fruit.

It is customary to finish the meal with a glass of Hugos fruit juice; herbal tea, for example, mint tea – “mate” and strong coffee. Of the alcoholic drinks, the most popular are pisco, pisco sour (grapefruit brandy with lemon juice and egg white), whiskey, cachassa sugar cane rum, good local wines of the Vino Tinto, Vista Alegre and Takama brands.

Cuisine in Peru

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