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Peru: Fascinating facts about country with world’s highest sand dunes

Peru is a country in South America that’s home to a section of Amazon rainforest and Machu Picchu, an ancient Incan city high in the Andes mountains.

The region around Machu Picchu, including the Sacred Valley, Inca Trail and colonial city of Cusco, is rich in archaeological sites.

On Peru’s arid Pacific coast is Lima, the capital, with a preserved colonial center and important collections of pre-Columbian art.

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World’s highest sand dunes

The Cerro Blanco sand dune is one of the highest in the world, towering over the Sechura Desert at around 1,176 metres.

The sand dune is located 14 kilometres east of Nazca with excursions to see it are usually organised from there.

At the site, one can hire a dune buggy or sandboard, and spend hours sliding down one of the largest natural wonders in the world.

National drink

Pisco sour is Peru’s national drink.

a Peruvian brandy that is mixed with lemons, sugar, water, egg whites, ice and bitters.

Invented in the early 1920s by an American bartender, you can also try a version of the drink (called chilcano) that’s made without the egg whites.

World’s highest lake

Located between Bolivia and Peru, Lake Titicaca has an elevation of 3,810 metres above sea level.

In the 1960s, Jacques Cousteau, a French conservationist, found ruins of a city beneath the surface of Lake Titicaca.

Today, the descendants of the Quechua people who called this lost city home live on almost 100 of these self-made, floating islands on the lake.


The potato is originally from Peru, and there are over 3,000 different varieties.

Interestingly, proud Peruvians use the phrase “Soy mas Peruano que la papa” (I am more Peruvian than the potato).

Modern scientists are even reverting back to Ancient Peruvian planting methods in order to prevent strains of genetically modified potatoes from losing their resistance to famine

World’s deepest canyons

The Cotahuasi Canyon has a depth of around 3,600 metres.

To access the canyon, one needs to travel to the city of Arequipa, which is closest to the canyon and the easiest place to set off from.

Machu Picchu

The Lost city of Machu Picchu, one of the most famous landmarks in Peru, was voted in 2007 as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.

Rediscovered in 1911 by explorer, professor, and archaeologist Hiram Bingham, the site of the historic Incan civilization rests on a mountain ridge almost 8,000 feet above sea level in the Sacred Valley.

One can only hike in or take a train and then a bus, the fact that there is no easy way to get there which makes it even more impossible to believe that the whole site was built by hand over a mile up in the mountains when most people struggle to walk up the stairs.

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Nasca lines

Peru’s Nazca Lines, a collection of more than 70 giant human and animal geoglyphs, were first noticed from the air in 1927.

Strung along the high desert plateau between Nazca and Palpa, this collection of lines comprising more than 70 human figures and animals and 10,000 lines making it one of the world’s greatest archaeological mysteries.

The TV show, Ancient Aliens, seems to think it was an alien landing strip, where German mathematician and astronomer Maria Reiche believed they were sophisticated astral charts and part of a huge astronomical calendar used by the native people as a way to commune with the gods.

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