Travel Guide Peru
Would you like to be part of an international team of primate researchers and get to know the diverse flora and fauna of the Peruvian rainforest? Then join a research expedition to tropical South America! Peru is not only the third largest country in South America, but also has something to offer in terms of its landscape. From beaches through to deserts, rainforests and impressive mountain chains, this country has everything it needs to satisfy your wanderlust.
Geography of Peru
Peru lies in the west of South America and is divided into three regions – Costa, Sierra and Selva. It is bordered by Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, Bolivia and Chile. Peru covers 1,285,215 km². It also owns 200 nautical miles in the Pacific and 60 million hectares of the Antarctic. Peru's capital is the coastal city of Lima. While most of the country's population lives in the coastal region, the rainforest remains largely untouched. The varied rainforest region of Selva covers 60% of the country and is an excellent backdrop for your journey. The Amazon winds its way through the area and serves as a transport artery through the jungle.
The Andes as the major geologic formation divide the country in 3 regions. The narrow, 2,300 km long coastal region (Costa) merges into the highland of the Andes (Sierra) that separates the rainforest (Selva) east of the mountain range from the sea. In former times this natural barrier was formed as a consequence of the subduction of the Nazca plate under the South American plate. Due to its position on the so called Ring of Fire in the Pacific, volcanic activities and earthquakes are relatively common in Peru. Peru's highest elevation in the Andes is the mountain Huascarán with a height of 6,768 m above sea level. Over 50 rivers have their origin in the Andes region of which the biggest ones Río Marañon and Río Ucayali join into the Amazon. Lake Titikaka is located in the Andes region as well and can be found in an altitude of 3,812 m above sea level.
Travel Tipps and Trivia for Peru
Climate in Peru
Even though Peru is located within the tropical zone near the equator, the climate changes from humid, hot conditions in the rainforest to dry, temperate conditions in the highlands and sunny weather in certain regions along the coast. A good time to visit the southern coast is from December to April, whereas hikers should wait for dry conditions from May to September. For travelers with the destination tropical rainforest there is no best time to go, as short, heavy rainfalls may occur throughout the whole year. Moreover the irregularly occurring phenomena El Niño may lead to unusual weather conditions.
Flora and Fauna in Peru
The rainforests of the eastern Amazon lowlands are home to numerous species including various snakes, caimans, jaguars, tapirs and countless birds. Besides the tropical forest, also the highlands of Peru are home to various animals like the condor, the spectacled bear and many lama species. Also the coast of Peru is an important habitat. Due to the Humbold current, plankton is brought to the coast in great amounts which is the basis of life for over 1,400 species of fish and with them also for numerous sea birds like albatrosses, cormorants or pelicans. In the projects you will mainly focus on different primate species of which at least 36 are known in Peru.