Peru (Spanish: Perú, Quechua: Piruw, Aymara: Piruw), officially the Republic of 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 byBolivia, 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. It was conquered by the Spanish Empire in the 16th-century, which established a Viceroyalty with jurisdiction over most of its South American domains. Independence was declared on 1821 but consolidated only after the Battle of Ayacucho, three years later.
Peru is a presidential representative democratic republic divided into 25 regions. Its geography varies from the arid plains of the coast of the Pacific Ocean to the high mountain peaks of the Andes mountain range and the tropical forests of the Amazon Basin. It is a developing country with a moderate Human Development Index score and a level of poverty of around 50%. Main economic activities include agriculture, fishing, mining and manufacturing of products such as textiles.
The combination in Peruvian territory of different ethnic groups over five centuries has formed a multiethnic society. This mixture has resulted in a wide diversity of cultural expressions in fields such as art, cuisine, literature and music. The country has also a rich cultural heritage, which includes the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Machu Picchu.