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History of Peru - heritage building in Lima - Luxury Train Ride in The Peruvian Andes

History of Peru

Peru tours take you to the heart of the most ancient and important civilization in the Americas. Evidence of human activity dates back several millennia to around 12,000 BCE, although little is known of these early inhabitants.

Machu Picchu trip
Machu Picchu in Peru
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Andean cultures in Peru

Andean cultures

In the southern Andes, the Tiwanaku culture were in power whilst the northern Andes were home to the mysterious Chachapoyas empire.

The most famous civilization of Peru was also the shortest-lived – the Inca Empire. Fierce warriors and conquerors, the Inca defeated a majority of other civilizations, consolidated their empire around 1300 AD, and built their capital in Cusco. Visit the most famous Incan ruins on your own Machu Picchu vacation. However Incan domain was to decline as fast as it rose with the arrival of Spanish conquistadors in 1532. Francisco Pizarro is famous for conquering a weakened Inca empire with just 100 soldiers! For the centuries that followed, the Viceroyalty of Peru became the most important region of the Spanish colonial empire with Lima as the capital.

Stroll through little known neighborhoods

Modern history of Peru

In 1820 Argentine liberator Jose de San Martin arrived with troops, occupying Lima and declaring independence from Spain. However independence would not be won until 1824 when royalist forces were defeated. A period of political instability followed. In 1879, Peru and its ally Bolivia, fought the War of the Pacific against Chile. The war ended in humiliation for Peru and they were forced to sign over territory to the Chileans.

In the 20th century CE Peru faced major economic and political upheavals, especially in the later decades when the country was plagued with inflation as well as terrorist threats from the Shining Path militant group. Between 1990 and 2000, the controversial Peruvian president Alberto Fujimori, did much to curb inflation and get the economy back on track, although he was considered a dictator.

Safety in Peru - Local street life in a village in the Andes of Peru, South America

Peru travel tips

In the 21st century, modern Peru is on a positive upward trend with political stability, declining poverty, and a growing economy.

Top Peru Travel Tip – History:

Evidence of more advanced cultures from around 1250 BCE, such as the Chavin, Chimu, Nazca, Moche and Paracas, have been found, and you can visit their ruins on your private Peru tours.

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