Peru is divided into three regions: coast, highlands and jungle.
Although this simple division is a fair portrait of Peru's geography, the reality is much richer and far more complex: in Peru, nature appears to have taken on particular characteristics which have turned its mountains, plains, jungles and valleys into unique habitats.
An extraordinary variety of eco-systems shelters a wide diversity of animals and plants.
Total: 1,285,220 sq km
Land: 1.28 million sq km
Water: 5,220 sq km
Total: 5,536 km
Border countries: Bolivia 900 km, Brazil 1,560 km, Chile 160 km, Colombia 1,496 km (est.), Ecuador 1,420 km
Continental shelf: 200 nm
Territorial sea: 200 nm
Varies from tropical in east to dry desert in west; temperate to frigid in Andes.
Western coastal plain (costa), high and rugged Andes in center (sierra), eastern lowland jungle of Amazon Basin (selva).
Lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
Highest point: Nevado Huascaran 6,768 m
Copper, silver, gold, petroleum, timber, fish, iron ore, coal, phosphate, potash, hydropower.
Arable land: 3%
Permanent crops: 0%
Permanent pastures: 21%
Forests and woodland: 66%
Other: 10% (1993 est.)
12,800 sq km (1993 est.)
Earthquakes, tsunamis, flooding, landslides, mild volcanic activity.
Environment - current issues:
Deforestation (some the result of illegal logging); overgrazing of the slopes of the costa and sierra leading to soil erosion; desertification; air pollution in Lima; pollution of rivers and coastal waters from municipal and mining wastes.
Environment - international agreements:
Party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol.
Geography - note:
Shares control of Lago Titicaca, world's highest navigable lake, with Bolivia.