South of the Equator
Peru is one of 12 independent countries in South America, not including French Guiana, which is an overseas region of France. The entire country is located south of the equator -- but only just. The equator runs through Ecuador to the north of Peru, missing Peru’s northernmost point by a small margin.
The CIA World Factbook places the center of Peru at the following geographic coordinates: 10 degrees south latitude and 76 degrees west longitude.
Latitude is the distance north or south of the equator, while longitude is the distance east or west of Greenwich, England.
Each degree of latitude is about 69 miles, so the top of Peru is about 690 miles south of the equator. In terms of longitude, Peru is roughly in line with the East Coast of the United States.
Peru’s Location in South America
Peru is located in western South America, bordering the South Pacific Ocean. The nation’s coastline stretches for about 1,500 miles, or 2,414 kilometers.
Five South American countries share a border with Peru:
- Ecuador to the north, which shares an 882-mile border
- Colombia to the north, which shares a 1,119-mile border
- Brazil to the east, which shares a 1,861-miles border
- Bolivia to the southeast, which shares a 668-mile border
- Chile to the south, which shares a 106-mile border
Peru itself is divided into three distinct geographic zones: the coast, mountains and jungle -- or "costa," "sierra" and "selva" in Spanish.
Peru has a total area of approximately 496,224 square miles or 1,285,216 square kilometers. For more information, read How Big is Peru?