Remember the selfish ruler, Kuzco, who was turned into a llama in the movie, The Emperor’s New Groove? His character is based on an ancient Incan ruler and the kingdom that he rules is based on the ancient Incan city of Cusco in Peru.
The Incan people built an elaborate civilization in Peru that was mostly wiped out when the Spaniards arrived in the 16th century. You can still visit the ruins of this civilization at Macchu Picchu and other sites. The Koricancha, or Sun Temple, still stands, although the sheets of gold that covered it are gone. The city of Cusco is still thriving.
The country of Peru sits in South America between the Pacific Ocean and Columbia, Brazil and Bolivia. Peru is a beautiful country – with rainforests, mountains and dry coastal plains. The rainforests are home to animal species found nowhere on Earth and there are Indian tribes living in the rainforest that have probably never seen other people.
Snakes, reptiles, huge cats and colorful birds live in the rainforests. Fish, penguins and other birds live in and near the ocean. Llamas and Alpacas live in the mountains. The puya Raimondi plant grows for 100 years before blooming. That’s a long time to wait for a flower!
Peru is one of the richest sources of silver, copper and lead in the world, but many people are very poor. People live in tiny houses without electricity or running water. They may not have enough food to eat and they work very hard.
Fun Facts About Peru for Kids
- 32.5 million people live in Peru.
- Lima is the capital of Peru.
- Martin Vizcarra is the President (data 2018).
- Peru has 496,224 square miles of land.
- Most people speak Spanish or Quechua or Aymara, which are native languages in Peru.
- Native Indian tribes have kept their traditional language, culture and religion.
- People in Peru can expect to live 74 years.
- Most people are Roman Catholic.
- 94.17% percent of adults can read.
- Peru houses the Andes mountain range. The highest mountain in the Andes and the highest point in Peru is the Huascaran mountain measuring 6768 m.
- Ubinas is an active volcano in Peru at a height of 5,672 m. Located in the volcanic central zone of the Andes. It last erupted in 2006 / 2007.
- The longest river in Peru is the Ucayali river stretching for 1,100 miles.
- In 1551 San Marcos University was founded and is believed to be the oldest university in the Americas.
- Peru mines a lot of gold and is Latin America’s largest producer. Peru is ranked number 6 in the world for gold production.
- Machu Picchu in the Amazon jungle is one of the sever wonders of the world.
- Guinea Pig is a delicacy in Peru.
- Ancient: very old
- Civilization: cities and towns where groups of people live and gather
- Ruins: the remains of a town or settlement
- Thrive: grow, flourish
Peru Video for Kids
Question: Do many people live in the jungle?
Answer: Few people live in the jungles, but Iquitos is a city in the jungle. The best way to reach this city is by taking a boat up the Amazon River.
Map of Peru
Here’s a map of the country of Peru and all its cities and villages. Zoom in to get into street level or zoom out to see other countries around Peru! You can see the terrain, but also see the roads, images of the buildings and even take a 3D tour through the streets of the cities of Peru, as though you are actually there!