Peru is located in the west central part of South America. It encompasses an area of 498,222 square miles (1’285, 215 km2) and can be compared in size to Spain, France and former West Germany combined. In South America, only Brazil and Argentina are larger. Peru is the 19th largest country in the world. Peru Travel
It is bordered to the north by Ecuador, to the south by Chile and Bolivia, to the east by Colombia and Brazil and to the west by the Pacific Ocean.
Peru is a varied and diverse country due to the climatic, natural and cultural diversity of its regions. It is 1,554 miles (2,500 km) long, and has 3 natural regions: coast, sierra and jungle.
The climate of Peru varies widely, ranging from tropical in the montaña to arctic in the highest mountains of the Andes. Average temperatures decrease about 1.7 Celsius degrees (about 3 Fahrenheit degrees) with every 450-m (1,500-ft) increase in elevation. Permanent snow and ice fields cover peaks more than 5,000 m (16,500 ft) above sea level and the highest elevation at which the land is suitable for agriculture is about 4,400 m (14,500 ft).
Peru Travel -Coast
The coastal region accounts for 10.6% of Peru's territory 52,639 square miles (136,334 km2). It is a narrow strip 1,554 miles long (2,500 km), but only 12 to 62 miles wide (19 to 100 km). The altitude along this strip varies from zero to 3,281 feet above sea level (1,000 m). Although the coastal strip is mainly arid, seasonal rains occur in the north, especially during periods of El Niño climatic phenomena.
Along the coast, less than 1 million hectares of the total 15 million are irrigated, Some of the 52 valleys are arable and they are farmed using a combination of ancient Peruvian methods and modern technologies The Peruvian coastal region has been home to several important cultures. Visitors can find many well-known archaeological sites here, including Chan-Chan, Nasca and Sipan. In the coastal plain the temperature is normally equable, averaging about 20° C (about 68° F) throughout the year. The coastal climate is moderated by winds blowing from the cool offshore current known as the Peru, or Humboldt, Current.
The coast receives less than 50 mm (less than 2 in) of precipitation each year, largely because the cordilleras receive most of the rain carried by the trade winds from the east. Mist-laden clouds known as ‘garúa’ shroud many of the slopes of the sierra from June to October, providing enough moisture to support grasslands.
Peru Travel - Sierra
Sierra is the name given to the Andean highland region, where the Andes mount range runs through the country north to south like a backbone, dividing the coastal region from the jungle. The sierra offers a wide diversity of landscapes which vary according to the altitude. The Sierra makes up 30.5% of the nation's territory 151,304 square miles (391,876 km2) and is between 52 and 155 miles wide (83 to 250 km). The average altitude is 14,108 feet above sea level (4,275 m aprox.). The Peruvian Andes have more than 174 snow-capped peaks over 16,000 feet (4,877 m) in height and 39 peaks over 19,600 feet (5,974 m) in height. The highest and most formidable of them all is Mt.Huascaran at 22,205 feet (6,768 m). High plateaus, at altitudes ranging from 12,500 to 14,100 feet (3,810 to 4,298 m) above sea level, contrast sharply with deep canyons such as those formed by the Apurimac, Cotahuasi and Colca Rivers. The sierra region has both arid areas and fertile valleys. Vivid blue skies form a stunning backdrop to the soaring peaks and are reflected in many glittering lakes. The world's largest navigable lake, Titicaca, is an incredible tourist resource for Peru thanks to its scenery, history, archaeological sites and beautiful colonial towns. In the sierra the temperature ranges seasonally from about -7° to 21° C (about 20° to 70° F). Rainfall is usually scanty, but in some localities heavy rains fall from October to April. In Cusco, in the southeastern sierra, annual rainfall averages some 815 mm (some 32 in). The exposed eastern slopes of the Andes receive more than 2,500 mm (100 in) of rain annually, but sheltered locations receive much less. Rainfall amounts diminish rapidly southward, causing many changes in the vegetation.
Peru Travel - Jungle
The jungle is the country's largest region, covering 58.8% of Peru's national territory 292,150 square miles (756,665 km2). Tropical rain forests extend from the eastern Andean foothills to Peru's borders with Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, and Bolivia.
There are two separate and distinct types of jungle, the highland and the lowland. This region is extremely hot and humid, although at higher altitudes it is less so. The prevailing easterly winds blowing across that region gather moisture that is later deposited on the eastern Andean slopes. Annual rainfall in some districts averages as much as 3,810 mm (as much as 150 in). Most of this rain, which principally falls from November through April