One of the largest countries in the Americas, Peru is situated along the western coast of South America with a very extensive Pacific coastline.  Despite its proximity to the equator, there are a surprising amount of different climates in Peru, mostly due to the influence of the high and snowy Andes Mountains and the Humboldt Current that brings up cool waters from the Southern Pacific.  The country’s total population is hovering at around 26 million individuals, with the majority being of mixed indigenous and European extraction, though Asian, African, and even Middle Eastern immigrant currents have left their mark on the national identity and demographics.

The dominant language in Peru would have to be Spanish, though the most prevalent native language, Quechua, is also very widely spoken.  The culture of Peru is an eclectic and fascinating fusion of the indigenous cultures, most notably represented by the Incan civilization, and the Spanish traditions passed down during the conquest and colonial period.  Given Peru’s history as the seat of the most formidable Pre-Columbian American civilization and later the seat of the largest Spanish Viceroyalty in South America (based in the capital of Lima), there is overwhelming local pride and a sense of tradition that is put on display continuously in the many folk dances, musical styles, and diverse cuisine.

The food in Peru has to be one of the biggest bonuses: with an incredible variety of fresh ingredients, like tropical fruits and vegetables as well as excellent seafood, and a spectacular set of culinary influences (a balance of Mediterranean and Asian styles), the menus in Peru are loaded with exquisite treats.

Economic activity in Peru is largely dominated by the service sector, which accounts for over 50% of the GDP, with mineral mining (copper, zinc, gold) and textile manufacturing representing the other main sources of income and livelihood.  Since 2006, when a bilateral free trade agreement was signed between Peru and the US, commerce between the two countries has been on the rise, deepening the historically tight relation between the two nations.  People moving to Peru from the US or other developed nations will surely find that the exchange rate makes life in Peru very affordable, which has been a big pull for many such immigrants.

The process of moving to Peru is relatively simple by comparison with the immigration processes of other countries on the continent.  There are several different kinds of entry visas (note the link is only in Spanish). Of course, if you don’t know Spanish, you’ll want to read information in English, though without the exactitude of the previous link  (this site has the additional benefit of presenting many additional facts on how to resituate in Peru).  Lastly, real estate listings will give you an idea of where you might want to move, including info on moving to the nicer neighborhoods of Lima.