When you think of Peru, images of ancient ruins, colorful land of textile, and incredible culture spring into your mind. Being the third-largest country in South America, Peru is home to several varieties of potatoes. The country boasts of beautiful landscapes, unimaginable architectural feats, a wide range of wildlife, and fantastic food, among others. To know more about Peru, here are 5 fun facts about Peru that probably you didn’t know.
1. Macho Picchu
The city of Machu Picchu hosts one of the most famous landmarks not only in Peru but in the whole world. Located in the sprawling Inca citadel, it is the most famous archaeological site in the continent. In 2007, it was voted as the seventh wonders of the world. The unique archaeological site was first discovered in 1911 by Hiram Bingham. It rests on a sacred valley which is 8,000 feet above sea level.
2. Highest Sand dune
When it comes to deserts and sand dunes, the majority of people do think of the Sahara desert, which is the largest on the planet. Nonetheless, the majority do not know about Cerro Blanco, the tallest dune in the world. The sand dune, which is 3,880 meters high offers an incredible sight of the Sechura Desert. It is arguably one of the best hiking and sandboarding destinations in the world. If you visit the top dune on clear days, you can see the Pacific Ocean.
3. Over 3000 varieties of potatoes
Potatoes did not only originate from Peru, but it is also the staple food here. It is the primary energy source for many Peruvian cultures. There are over 3,000 different varieties of potatoes. According to scientific research, potatoes have been grown in Peru, especially in the High Andres region as early as 8,000 years ago. It doesn’t stop there. Potato forms a significant ingredient for a variety of delicacies and cuisines. Some of the mouthwatering cuisines include:
- Mashed potatoes served with different stuffing such as tuna, avocado, and vegetables.
- Potatoes can also be smashed and served with minced meat, or boiled eggs
- Other menus include chips (salchipapas) and Crips.
4. Guinea Pig is a food, not a pet
Also in your dinner table, you are more likely to find roasted guinea pig. Probably you may know guinea pig as a nervous little pet that lives in a cage. However, in Peru, the small animal is considered a delicacy. The guinea pig has been one of the staples for Peru’s Andean diet for more than a century. It is regarded as a traditional food with values. It is usually served on skewers or a plate. This is one dish you can’t miss.
5. Interesting Biodiversity
Another essential fact about Peru is that it is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world. There are over 90 microclimates in the country. This makes it host a wide variety of plant and animal species. Besides, several endemic species are living in Peru. Also, about 60% of the country is covered by Amazon rainforest. As such, you are a nature lover, Peru has exciting facts you may want to see.