By Ryan Cummings

This would be the size of Peru if it were on top of the United States.

30,147,935 people live in Peru. It's the 42nd largest country in the world. Peru covers approximately 1,285,216 square kilometers. The three major cities in Peru are Lima, Arequipa, and Trujillo. Lima is the capital city.

Peru's official language is Spanish, but about 13% of Peruvians speak Quechua, which is a native American language. The Quechua Indians almost take up half of Peru's population. Less than one third of the population is mestizo, which is a Indian and European decent. Peru was founded in 1821 when it declared independence from Spain. in They have a government similar to the U.S; they have a constitutional government. Peru's relationship with the U.S. was at its lowest point in 1989, when the U.S. invaded Panama and Peru called its ambassador in protest of U.S. military actions. But relations have been restored and ever since then the relationship has been mutual.

This is Machu Picchu, one of Peru's most famous sites. It was believed to be a royal estate for Inca leaders in the 15th and 16th century. It is made up of more than 150 buildings that sit in the midst of a tropical rainforest and mountains. Peru is a very diverse country when it comes to its geography. It's filled with rain forests, mountains, highlands, and coasts.

There are very many cultural sites and historic sites throughout Peru. This is one famous cultural site called Colca Canyon. It lays in the Andeas mountain range and it's more than twice as deep as the Grand Canyon

This is called the Sacsayhuaman. It is believed to be a fortress built by the Incas in early civilization.

These are the Nazca Lines, located between the towns of Nazca and Palpa along the Pacific coast. They were created between 200 B.C. and 700 A.D. These sketches show many different figures including animals and humans.

The Huacachina is a small oasis town surrounded by sand dunes with a lake in the center. It was once a playground for the elite Peruvians. Now, you can sand board and take dune buggy rides there.

Lomo saltado is one of the most popular Peruvian dishes. It's a beef stir fry that contains sirloin, onions, and tomatoes. It's served with rice.

It would cost around $1,000 to fly to Lima, Peru. Other cities in Peru would be a little more expensive to fly to. Peru has two seasons; a wet and a dry season. May through October is normally the dry season, so months May through August are usually the months with the most visitors in Peru. It would cost around $10 for each meal, and hotel prices range from $50 to $300 a night. Prices for food are less expensive than the U.S.

Interesting facts about Peru:

Mashed potatoes, french fries, and chips all originate from Peru.

The worlds largest soccer riot occured in Peru in 1964 during a Peru vs. Argentina match. 300 fans were killed and 500 were injured.

In Peru, you are required to pay a fee to use public restrooms. Toilet fees usually go for around $0.75.

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