20 Fast Facts About Peru You Should Know

Curious about the country of Peru and finding yourself coming up short when you try to recall information from your 9th grade world geography class? Sardi’s is coming in hot with fast facts about Peru that you can toss into conversation next time you’re sitting down to a Peruvian chicken dinner. Whether you want to be an expert on the Peruvian flag or just want to add knowing the capital of Peru to your list of achievements, we’ve got you covered.

  1. Peru’s flag is red and white, with the national coat of arms in the middle. It was adopted by the government in 1824 and then modified in 1950 to its current design.
  2. Peru is the third largest country in South America, landing on the list just after Brazil and Argentina.
  3. The landscape of Peru is incredibly varied, including beaches, deserts, rain forests, and mountains.
  4. The official currency of Peru is the nuevo sol. It has been the legal tender since 1991 and is divided into 100 cents.
    Related: 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Peru
  5. Peru is a constitutional republic with a president, congress, and supreme court. Peruvians are required by law to cast a vote each election.
  6. The earliest inhabitants of Peru arrived around 15,000 years ago. One of the most noted civilizations was that of the Incas, who built Machu Picchu.
  7. Peru is one of the richest countries in the world in terms of natural resources thanks to a wealth of copper, gold, silver, iron, lead, and zinc. Reserves of oil and natural gas can also be found there.
  8. The second-highest range of mountains in the world runs through Peru - the Andes. They run from north to south and you can catch beautiful views of them from the beaches.
  9. The capital of Peru is Lima. The city is located in the central region and overlooks the Pacific Ocean. It’s also the largest city in the country.
  10. The world’s largest rainforest - the Amazon - covers nearly half of the entire country of Peru. This makes Peru home to one of the most diverse collections of plants and animals in the world.
  11. The climate in Peru varies since the country is so topographically diverse. You’ll find everything from desert to mountain to tropical rainforest climates as you travel the country.
  12. The official languages of Peru are Spanish and Quechua. Quechua is an indigenous language spoken by tribes that live primarily in the Andes Mountains.
  13. The population of Peru is 31,331,228. The population of the United States is around 329,500,000, to put it into perspective. Although Peru is a large country, more than half of its population lives in the coastal desert region that makes up about 10% of the total land of Peru.
  14. More than three-fourths of Peruvians are Roman Catholic, a religion introduced by the Spanish. Before this, many Peruvians practiced polytheism and pantheism, worshiping a multitude of gods and elements of nature.
    Related: Savoring Tradition: Exploring the Delicious Role of Peruvian Food in Holidays & Festivities
  15. Lima is the largest city, but cities like Trujillo, Chimbote, and Arequipa are growing rapidly. More than 70% of the national population lives in cities.
  16. The major rivers in Peru include the Amazon, Ucayali, and Madre de Dios rivers.
  17. The jungle regions of Peru are so dense that they’re difficult to explore. Some scientists believe that there may be indigenous tribes there that have never had contact with the outside world.
  18. Everyone’s heard of Machu Picchu, but Cuzco is another historical landmark that should be explored if you’re traveling to Peru. This city was once the capital of the Incan empire, and many Incan ruins still stand there today.
  19. The national bird of Peru is the Andean cock-of-the-rock, or tunki in Quechua. This large bird lives in the Amazonian region and is renowned for its bright, beautiful plumage.
  20. Caral, a Peruvian city in the Supe River Valley of the Andes Mountains, is the oldest center of civilization in the Americas. Radiocarbon dating showed that it was likely established somewhere between 2000-3000 BCE. 

Experience Peruvian Food and Culture at Sardi’s

Now that you know everything you need to know to impress your guests over a traditional Peruvian dinner, it’s time to start cooking! Check out our tips on the best sides for a Peruvian chicken dinner. Visit a Sardi’s location near you or order online from our expansive menu including our famous Peruvian chicken.