Peru was the seat of several prominent Andean civilizations, most
notably that of the Incas whose empire was captured by the Spanish
conquistadores in 1533. Peruvian independence was declared in 1821,
and remaining Spanish forces defeated in 1824. After a dozen years
of military rule, Peru returned to democratic leadership in 1980,
but experienced economic problems and the growth of a violent insurgency.
President Alberto Fujimori's election in 1990 ushered in a decade
that saw a dramatic turnaround in the economy and significant progress
in curtailing guerrilla activity. Nevertheless, the president's
increasing reliance on authoritarian measures and an economic slump
in the late 1990s generated mounting dissatisfaction with his regime.
Fujimori won reelection to a third term in the spring of 2000,
but international pressure and corruption scandals led to his ouster
by Congress in November of that year.
is a large, mountainous country on the Pacific coast of South America.
It has borders with Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile and
the Pacific Ocean. The Sierra contains the Andes, with peaks of
over 6000m (20,000ft). The Selva, an area of fertile, subtropical
lies between the Andes and the jungles of eastern Peru. Peru offers
diversity: history, archaeology, sports, beaches, mountains, medicinal
springs, nature, fantastic landscapes, friendly people and music.
Tumbes and Piura are the most northerly Peruvian coastal departments
and are major beach, surfing, sporting and deep-sea fishing centres.
Lima, the capital, is an ancient Spanish city founded by Francisco
Pizarro in 1535 and known as the ‘City of Kings’. The
city’s splendid museums, galleries and monuments are juxtaposed
with modern suburbs. Cusco, situated 3360m (11,024ft) above sea level,
was once the capital of the Inca Empire. Remains of the granite stone
walls of the Inca Palace and temples can still be seen. Peru’s
most famous archaeological site is Machu Picchu, the ‘Lost
City of the Incas’, and the final destination of the famous
three-day Inca Trail.