The Central Andes run as the backbone of Peru and are comprised of two large mountain ranges with spectacular snow-capped volcanoes and temperate mountain valleys.
The Andean mountains were the traditional home of the ancestral Inca kingdom.
Upon independence, Peru was the name given to the country. Peru has an approximate land area of 496,225 square miles (1,285,223 square kilometers) and is located in the central western section of the South American continent.
It borders Ecuador and Colombia to the north, Brazil and Bolivia to the east, Chile to the south, and the Pacific Ocean to the west.
Only in the last forty years of the twentieth century was Peru once again able to reach that initial number, since the indigenous population had been almost completely decimated.
The rich African influence also has contributed to a culturally and stylistically distinct variation of Peruvian Spanish. The archaeological remains of the royal Inca estate of Machu Picchu is one of the most striking images emblematic of Peruvian culture.Introduced by the Spaniards, Spanish was forced upon the indigenous population throughout the colonial period by the Spanish Crown.This enforced linguistic practice continued throughout Peru's republic period (from the 1830s to the present).To this day, the Andes support many of the current surviving indigenous populations, some still claiming a direct Inca ancestry.Finally, in the northeast, the large region of Amazonian tropical forest has recently been the scene of oil exploration and political colonization projects.