11 Unbelievable Facts About Peru

Venture into the intriguing depths of Peru with ’11 Unbelievable Facts About Peru.’ You’re about to discover some truly fascinating aspects of this South American gem.

Tourist woman in rainbow hat and brown poncho holding man by hand and going to the lake in the mountains
Photo by depositphotos.com

1. Every December 25th, a tradition known as ‘Takanakuy‘ takes center stage in a Peruvian town. This unique practice involves community members — children, women, and men — settling the year’s disputes through fistfights. The ritual ends with communal drinking, numbing any pain and ushering in the New Year on a clean slate.

2. In an interesting twist, Peru’s president from 1990 to 2000 was of pure Japanese descent. Alberto Fujimori fled to Japan in 2008 amidst his prosecution for crimes against humanity. He even tried to resign via a fax machine! In 2009, he was sentenced to 25 years in prison, pardoned in 2017, only for the Peruvian Supreme Court to annul the pardon.

3. The world’s highest permanent settlement is La Rinconada, Peru, standing over 16,000 feet above sea level. This gold-mining town of 30,000 residents lacks running water, a sewage system, and significant government presence.

4. Welcome to Iquitos, Peru’s city only accessible by plane or boat, making it the largest city in the world unreachable by road.

5. Would you believe that both the potato and tomato hail from Peru? These staples of Eurasian cuisine were unknown to the Eastern Hemisphere until about 500 years ago. Even tomatoes, initially dubbed “Pomidoro” (golden apple), seemed too exotic for Italian palates for nearly 300 years.

6. Amid World War II, Peru and Ecuador clashed in a separate international conflict in 1941, unaffiliated with the Axis or Allies.

7. In the heart of the Peruvian jungles, there’s a German settlement named Pozuzo, established by roughly 150 German and Austrian settlers in 1859. Isolated from their homeland and the rest of Peru for 120 years, they became entirely self-sufficient.

8. Machu Picchu, Peru’s crown jewel, escaped the destructive hands of the Spanish conquistadors due to its hidden location, invisible from below. Local communities aware of the site kept it secret to protect it from Spanish invasion.

9. The Potato Park in Peru is an indigenous-managed seed bank specializing in Andean crops, particularly potatoes. This agricultural haven houses 2,300 out of the world’s 4,000 potato varieties.

10. La Rinconada, aside from its status as the highest elevated city globally, hosts a unique gold mining practice. Miners work for 30 days without pay, but on the 31st day, they can take home as much ore as they can shoulder.

11. Incans practiced intentional cranial deformation on infants, leading to elongated skulls among the nobility. This peculiar custom was a marker of social status within their communities.