Peru is located in western South America, bordering the South Pacific Ocean, between Chile and Ecuador. Huascarán is not only the highest mountain in Peru, but also the highest point in all of the Earth’s Tropics. Peru shares control of Lago Titicaca, world’s highest navigable lake, with Bolivia. The Amazon river begins in Peru on a remote slope of Nevado Mismi, a 5,316 m peak. Environmental issues include deforestation (some the result of illegal logging), overgrazing of the slopes of the Costa and Sierra regions leading to soil erosion, desertification, and air pollution in the capital city, Lima. There is also pollution of rivers and coastal waters from municipal and mining wastes.

For over 30 years, Inkaterra has pioneered and promoted sustainable tourism in Peru. The Manu Wildlife Center Lodge is owned by Manu Expeditions in conjunction with a peruvian Conservation group – Peru Verde. InkaNatura Travel operates Sandoval Lake lodge in the Tambopata National Reserve. Wasai Lodge & Expeditions operates Maldonado Lodge and Tambopata Lodge. Rainforest Expeditions is a Peruvian ecotourism company operating a number of Amazonian lodges, including the Tambopata Research Center. Amazonia Expeditions operates award winning jungle lodges on the Tahuayo river (Tamshiyacu-Tahuayo Reserve). Huayruro Tour Lagunas is a family travel agency situated in Lagunas, at the entrance of the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve. (See Wikipedia List of protected areas of Peru.) ParksWatch maintains summary data on threats facing protected areas in Peru. Tingo Maria National Park is located in the Huánuco Region, and its principal attraction is the Owl Cave, where the “guacharo” oilbirds live. Manú National Park is also designated as an international biosphere reserve, as is Huascarán National Park in central Peruvian Andes. (See Wikipedia Biosphere reserves of Peru.) Birding Peru are outfitters for birdwatching throughout Peru.

Biosphere reserves:

  • Huascarán 1977
  • Manu 1977
  • Noroeste 1977

IUCN members:


Ancient Peru was the seat of several prominent Andean civilizations, most notably that of the Incas whose empire was captured by the Spanish conquistadores in 1533. Peruvian independence was declared in 1821, and remaining Spanish forces defeated in 1824. After a dozen years of military rule, Peru returned to democratic leadership in 1980, but experienced economic problems and the growth of a violent insurgency. (See Wikipedia Internal conflict in Peru.) President Alberto FUJIMORI’s election in 1990 ushered in a decade that saw a dramatic turnaround in the economy and significant progress in curtailing guerrilla activity. Nevertheless, the president’s increasing reliance on authoritarian measures and an economic slump in the late 1990s generated mounting dissatisfaction with his regime. FUJIMORI won reelection to a third term in the spring of 2000, but international pressure and corruption scandals led to his ouster by Congress in November of that year. A caretaker government oversaw new elections in the spring of 2001, which ushered in Alejandro TOLEDO as the new head of government.

Chan Chan Archaelogical Zone is on the UNESCO List of World Heritage in Danger. The famous Nazca Lines are a series of ancient geoglyphs located in the Nazca Desert in southern Peru. In Peru, the popular Inca Trail to Machu Picchu forms part of the Qhapaq Ñan (aka Ruta Inka) refers to the Inca road system stretching along the Andes, in preparation for World Heritage. At the 2004 World Social Forum in Mumbai, former Mayor of the Provincial Municipality of Cusco, Jose David Ugarte recounted the indigenous communities’ struggle with the government and the tourism industry in the face of threats to privatize the historical sanctuary of Machu Picchu. Also in Mumbai, Rodrigo Ruiz Rubio presented notes from the Association for the Defence of the Kuelap campaign to stop the eviction of 250 indigenous families and the privatization of the historic fort of Kuelap. Willka Tika is a luxury retreat in Peru’s Sacred Valley, between Cusco and Machu Pichu. Grupo GEA is a local NGO working with community based tourism in Peru. Minka Fair Trade operates a number of community tourism options along “The Minka Trail”. South American Explorers maintains two resource centers for members in Peru, a clubhouse in Lima and another in Cusco. Hostelling International Peru operates out of Lima Hostel, in the Miraflores district. There is an informative Spanish language email list for Peruvian tourism specialists on the Peruvian scientific network, Red Cientifica Peruana.

Alan Shoemaker’s Soga del Alma organizes the annual “Amazonian Shamanism Conference” in Iquitos. Hamilton Souther’s Blue Morpho Tours operates as well known shamanic retreat center in the Peruvian Amazon, Blue Morpho Ayahuasca center. Howard Lawler’s Choque Chinchay Journeys also offers “Shamanic Healing Retreats & Transformational Pilgrimages” in the Peruvian Amazon. The notorious bon vivant Peter Gorman also arranges “Shamanism and the Sacred Sites of Peru Tours“. Otorango Expeditions is an experienced adventure tourism company based out of Iquitos.

World heritage:

  • City of Cuzco (1983)
  • Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu (1983)
  • Chavin (Archaeological Site) (1985)
  • Huascaran National Park (1985)
  • Chan Chan Archaelogical Zone (1986)
  • Manu National Park (1987)
  • Historic Centre of Lima (1988, 1991)
  • Rio Abiseo National Park (1990, 1992)
  • Lines and Geoglyphs of Nasca and Pampas de Jumana (1994)
  • Historical Centre of the City of Arequipa (2000)

ICCROM members:


  • Why do Gringos like black?: mourning, tourism, and changing fashions in Peru by B Femenıas, 2004
  • Collaborative Tourism Planning: A Case Study of Cusco, Peru by A Ladkin & AM Bertramini, 2002
  • An integrative approach to tourism: lessons from the Andes of Peru by RE Mitchell & PFJ Eagles, 2001
  • Community Integration: Island Tourism in Peru by RE Mitchell & DG Reid, 2001
  • State tourism institutions and neo-liberal development: a case study of Peru by L Desforges, 2000
  • Tourism and Nativistic Ideology in Cuzco, Peru by PL Van den Berghe & JF Ochoa, 2000
  • Machu Picchu: Consecration or Desecration by Carol Cumes, 1999
  • Trading Culture: Tourism and Tourist Art in Pisac, Peru by J Henrici, 1999
  • The destination life cycle: international tourism in Peru by G O’Hare & H Barrett, 1997
  • Rainforest Expeditions: Combining Tourism, Education, and Research in Southeastern Amazonian Peru by E Nycander, 1996
  • Tourism as a sustained use of wildlife: a case study of Madre de Dios, Southeastern Peru by MJ Groom, RD Podolsky & CA Munn, 1991
  • Tourism as Ethnic Relations: A Case Study of Cuzco, Peru by P Van Den Berghe, 1980

Peru Data