Peru is rapidly becoming one of South America's most popular destinations. Whether they be thrill-seekers, history lovers or foodies, each year more and more tourists are heading to this corner of the globe. And Peru has more than enough steep peaks, compelling ancient sites and delectable dishes to satisfy the appetite of each and every one of its visitors. You're bound to be familiar with the colonial cities of Cusco and Lima, as well as the famous Machu Picchu, but do you know of any of these interesting facts about Peru?
Peru boasts the deepest canyon in the world
America's Grand Canyon most likely springs to mind when you think about the world's largest canyons but Peru is home to a spectacular canyon that is actually twice its depth. Just outside the city of Arequipa sits the impressive Cotahuasi Canyon. Around 3,354 metres deep, this canyon boasts a handful of hiking trails with unforgettable views not to be missed.
The world's tallest flowering plant is found here
Otherwise known as the queen of the Andes, the intriguing puya raimondii plant calls Peru home. Soaring above the locals at 15 metres tall, this plant is the largest species of bromeliad on Earth, so it's no surprise it can take over a century to fully bloom!
Over 3,000 types of potatoes are grown here
Peru is a potato lover's paradise. Found here over 10,000 years ago, not only is Peru the birthplace of the potato but today it houses over 3,000 varieties! Despite differing in colour, shape, size and texture, Peruvian cuisine makes use of them all.
It's home to the largest flying bird in the world
Peru is home to several breathtaking sights, but not many are as impressive as the giant Andean condor flying over Colca Canyon. Weighing up to 12 kilograms, many of these otherworldly birds reach one metre tall, with wings that stretch four metres wide! Yet sadly they have recently been listed as vulnerable by the World Conservation Union due to human activity.
90% of the world's Alpaca population lives in Peru
Alpacas are endearing animals, best known for being friendly, gentle and curious. And no other country around the world is home to more of these charming creatures than Peru. Although they can be found around the country, head to Awana Kancha, where the Alpaca is the most common animal, to spend some time feeding and petting these fluffy, loveable camelids!