Peru (/pəˈruː/ (About this sound listen); Spanish: Perú [peˈɾu]; Quechua: Piruw [pʰɪɾʊw]; Aymara: Piruw [pɪɾʊw]), officially the Republic of Peru (Spanish: About this sound República del Perú (help·info)), is a country in western South America. It is bordered in the north by Ecuador and Colombia, in the east by Brazil, in the southeast by Bolivia, in the south by Chile, and in the west by the Pacific Ocean. Peru is an extremely biodiverse country with habitats ranging from the arid plains of the Pacific coastal region in the west to the peaks of the Andes mountains vertically extending from the north to the southeast of the country to the tropical Amazon Basin rainforest in the east with the Amazon river.
Peruvian territory was home to several ancient cultures, ranging from the Norte Chico civilization in the 32nd century BC, the oldest civilization in the Americas, to the Inca Empire, the largest and most sophisticated state in pre-Columbian America. The Spanish Empire conquered the region in the 16th century and established a Viceroyalty that encompassed most of its South American colonies, with its capital in Lima. Peru formally proclaimed independence in 1821, and following the military campaigns of José de San Martín and Simón Bolívar, and the decisive battle of Ayacucho, Peru secured independence in 1824. In the ensuing years, the country enjoyed relative economic and political stability, which ended shortly before the War of the Pacific with Chile. Throughout 20th century, Peru endured armed territorial disputes, coups, social unrest, and internal conflicts, as well as periods of stability and economic upswing.
Peru is a representative democratic republic divided into 25 regions. It is a developing country with an upper middle income economy and a high Human Development Index score with a poverty level around 25.8 percent. Its main economic activities include mining, manufacturing, agriculture and fishing. The country also forms part of The Pacific Pumas, a political and economic grouping of countries along Latin America’s Pacific coast that share common trends of positive growth, stable macroeconomic foundations, improved governance and an openness to global integration; it is an active member of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation; and it is considered as a middle power.
The Peruvian population, estimated at 31.2 million in 2015, is multiethnic, including Amerindians, Europeans, Africans and Asians. The main spoken language is Spanish, although a significant number of Peruvians speak Quechua or other native languages. This mixture of cultural traditions has resulted in a wide diversity of expressions in fields such as art, cuisine, literature, and music.