Peru is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean. Peruvian territory was home to the Norte Chico civilization, one of the oldest in the world, and to the Inca Empire, the largest state in Pre-Columbian America. The Spanish Empire conquered the country in the 16th century and established a Viceroyalty, which included most of its South American colonies. After achieving independence in 1821, Peru has undergone periods of political unrest and fiscal crisis as well as periods of stability and economic upswing. Peru is a presidential representative democratic republic divided into 25 regions. Its geography varies from the arid plains of the Pacific coast to the peaks of the Andes mountains and the tropical forests of the Amazon Basin. It is a developing country with a medium Human Development Index score and a poverty level around 40%. Its main economic activities include agriculture, fishing, mining, and manufacturing of products such as textiles. The Peruvian population, estimated at 28 million, is multiethnic, including Amerindians, Europeans, Africans and Asians. The main spoken language is Spanish, although a significant number of Peruvians speak Quechua or other native languages.
The jaguar (Panthera onca, // or UK //) is a New World mammal of the Felidae family and one of four "big cats" in the Panthera genus, along with the tiger, lion, and leopard of the Old World. The jaguar is the third-largest feline after the tiger and the lion, and on average the largest and most powerful feline in the Western Hemisphere. The jaguar's present range extends from Mexico (with occasional sightings in the southwestern United States) across much of Central America and south to Paraguay and northern Argentina.
This spotted cat most closely resembles the leopard physically, although it is usually larger and of sturdier build and its behavioural and habitat characteristics are closer to those of the tiger. While dense rainforest is its preferred habitat, the jaguar will range across a variety of forested and open terrain. It is strongly associated with the presence of water and is notable, along with the tiger, as a feline that enjoys swimming. The jaguar is a largely solitary, stalk-and-ambush predator, and is opportunistic in prey selection. It is also an apex and keystone predator, playing an important role in stabilizing ecosystems and regulating the populations of prey species. (more...)
Photo credit: Ericbronder
Public transport in Lima is handled by buses, micros, taxicabs, and the so-called mototaxis. Micros are the most common means of public transportation in Lima and many other cities in Peru. The word micro is used in common-day Peruvian Spanish as an abbreviation for microbus (minibus). These privately-owned vehicles are not only known for being very cheap and convenient but also for being rather risky. (more...)
The Battle of Ollantaytambo took place in January 1537 between the forces of the Inca emperor Manco Inca and a Spanish expedition led by Hernando Pizarro during the Spanish conquest of Peru. A former ally of the Spaniards, Manco Inca rebelled in May 1536 and laid siege to a Spanish garrison in the city of Cusco. To end the stand-off, the besieged mounted a raid against the emperor headquarters, located in the town of Ollantaytambo. The expedition was commanded by Hernando Pizarro and included 100 Spaniards and some 30,000 Indian auxiliaries against an Inca army of more than 30,000. (more...)
- December 24, 1971 - Flight LANSA 508 crashes en route from Lima to Pucallpa killing all crew members and all but one of 87 passengers.
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