Inca Empire and Culinary Hot Spot

Peru is the land of the Incas! The huge Inca empire arose in the twelfth century and covered large parts of what is now Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina and even Chile until 1532. The city of Cusco, located on the plateaus of today's Peru, was the capital of the Inca empire. The ruins of the Incas, especially the famous city of Machu Picchu, attract thousands of tourists every year. They give the country a very special charm and, in some cases, a mystical touch.

Peru has a population of over 32 million people, a third of whom live in the capital Lima. Peru is one of the four countries in Latin America with a large indigenous population, together with Bolivia, Ecuador and Guatemala. Almost half of all Peruvians are descendants of the Quechua and Aymara and another 37% are Mestizos. The rest of the Peruvians are descendants of Europeans, Africans and Asians. Why are there no Incas in the list? Inca originally describes only one of the over 200 ethnic groups in the Inca empire, they saw themselves as descendants of the sun god Inti and lived in Cusco and surroundings. The Inca nobility the officers and the priests in the Inca empire were made up of the ruling clan of this ethnic group. They ruled over all other inhabitants and administered the gigantic empire.

Peru borders Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, Bolivia and Chile. In the west, the country borders the Pacific Ocean, with many beautiful beaches and secluded bays. The Andes rise directly behind the narrow coastal strip and divide the country into three different geographical zones with a corresponding climate: the coastline, the highlands and the Amazon basin. Did you know that the Amazon river originate in Peru? Around 60% of the 1.3 million km² of land are covered by tropical rainforest, so Peru not only has incredible cultural treasures, but also a very rich biodiversity and is therefore equally exciting for culture- and nature lovers!

Even if it often appears like the history of Peru did begin with the Incas, this is not true. The country looks back on 20,000 years of history. All over the country you can find evidence of its history and the interesting cultural mix, which is still reflected in the lifestyle of the Peruvians. Several isolated indigenous groups still live in the Amazon basin. Cultures long sunken, such as those of the Chavín or the Pucará, tell of the eventful history of Peru and the efforts since the earliest times to survive and live even in inhospitable regions

What you shouldn`t miss in Peru:

  • Lima: pretty, historical, fascinating, lively, exciting, full of culinary highlights and close to popular beaches and surf spots - what more can you ask of a capital?
  • Cusco was the capital of the Inca Empire, also known as the navel of the world, and has such an eventful and partly legendary history, that you could fill entire shelves with it - discover it yourself! The old part of the town is now a World Heritage Site.
  • Machu Picchu: You shouldn't miss THE figurehead of Peru and UNESCO World Heritage! Even if you don't care about history, the place itself is jaw-dropping   – just magical!
  • The enigmatic Nazca Lines are world cultural heritage and can best be admired during a flight.
  • Iquitos is the largest city in the Amazon. There is an amazing subculture here, with its own cuisine, local customs and even floating villages in the Amazon!
  • Lake Titicaca, shared by Peru and Bolivia, is the highest commercially navigable body of water on earth and also very interesting: Here, for example, the Uros live on floating islands - once a strategy to escape attacks by the Incas and now part of their culture.
  • Relaxing on the beach or surfing on great waves? Mancora in Northern Peru is the right place for it!
  • Manu National Park is a world natural heritage and one of the places with the greatest biodiversity on earth.

These are the top sights - but many come to Peru for something completely different: the food! Peru has been awarded several times with the "Oscars of the tourism industry", the World Travel Awards, as the best culinary travel destination in the world! The great thing about Peruvian cuisine is its diversity. In addition, the Peruvians seem to have a knack for delicious and often surprising combinations. Deep-frying is combined with healthy, fish with meat, sweet, sour and salty, ginger with lime ... plus very sweet desserts ... Peru offers the perfect dish for every taste!

The Peruvians are generally rather reserved and somewhat shy. But once the ice is broken, you will find that they are extremely kind and warm-hearted people.