Peru’s Independence Day or "Fiestas Patrias" is celebrated on July 28. Peruvian independence was first declared in 1821 by the Argentine liberator, General José de San Martín but absolute independence was not actually gained until 1824.

On their Independence Day, citizens pay tribute to the great patriots like Tupic Amaru, Pumacahua, Aguilar, and Micaela Bastidas, for all the sacrifices they made in order to re-instate the country's independence.

Festivities in Peru begin with the president's speech to the nation. the president then hoists the flag, before the fireworks, bullfights and military parades start. To celebrate the beautiful country, we’ve put together a great list of reasons why we love Peru. 

  1. Peru’s name most likely comes from the Spanish misapplication of the Quechua word pelu, meaning a river.
  2. There are three official languages – Spanish, Quechua and Aymara.
  3. Peru grows more than 55 varieties of corn, and you can just about find it in any color, including yellow, purple, white and black.
  4. Peru has the world’s second-greatest catch of fish, following only China.
  5. Peru is a surfer’s paradise. Chicama has the world’s longest left-handed wave at 4kms long, and Mancora has the world’s largest left-handed point-break.
  6. Two-thirds of Peru is covered in prime Amazon Rain Forest.
  7. The potato is originally from Peru, and there are over 3,000 different varieties. Proud Peruvians use the phrase “Soy mas Peruano que la papa” (I am more Peruvian than the potato).
  8. Peru has 1625 types of orchids of-which 425 can be found growing naturally close to Machu Picchu. The Inkaterra Hotel in Machu Picchu has South America’s largest privately owned collection at 500 varieties.
  9. Peru has the second largest amount of Shamans in the world, second only to India.
  10. Cusco in Peru was the most important city in the whole of the Inca Empire, and governed as far north as Quito in Ecuador and as far south as Santiago in Chile.
  11. The Pisco Sour is Peru’s national drink and is made using Pisco brandy, lemons, sugar water, egg whites, ice and finished with bitters.
  12. If Peru had a national dish, it would probably be Ceviche which is a preparation of raw fish marinated in citrus juice, usually spiced with red onion and aji pepper, and served with sweet potato or choclo, a white Andean corn with dime-size kernels.
  13. Peru is the 8th largest producer of coffee in the world, and is the 5th largest producer of the Arabica bean.
  14. The finest cottons in the world, Pima and Tanguis are Peruvian.
  15. There are some 90 different micro-climates in Peru, making it one of the most bio-diverse countries on the planet.
  16. There are 10 million alpacas in the world, and three-quarters of them live in Peru
  17. Cuy or Guinea Pig is a traditional dish eaten in Peru during important festivals, and is served crispy complete with head, legs and eyes.
  18. Peru is the largest exporter of asparagus in the world, with over 117,000 metric tons in 2012.
  19. Famed writer and Nobel Prize winner, Mario Vargas Llosa, may be Peru’s most famous intellectual and novelist. He even entered the 1990 presidential election, but lost.
  20. Famous fashion photographer Mario Testino is also from Peru. He was the last photographer to take official portraits of Britain's Princess Diana. 
  21. Ancient Peruvians would often bury food with their dead, believing that it would help sustain them on their journey to the next life.
  22. The oldest newspaper in South America is El Peruano, founded by Simon Bolivar in Lima in 1825
  23. The National University of San Marcos in Lima is the oldest continuously functioning university in the Americas.
  24. The city of Machu Picchu, one of the most famous landmarks in Peru, was voted in 2007 as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.