Maps of Peru

  • 01 of 05

    Political Map of Peru

    Political Map of Peru
    ••• Map of Peru courtesy of the Central Intelligence Agency

    The map above is a stripped-down political map of Peru, created by the CIA. It doesn’t provide many physical details, but it gives you a clear picture of Peru’s borders, neighboring countries, major cities and rivers. For a more detailed political map of Peru, see United Nations Map No. 3838 Rev. 3 (pdf)

    Notable features include the equator, running along the northernmost point of Peru, and the Amazon River. Three major Peruvian rivers, the Marañón, Huallaga and Ucayali, join the Amazon in northeastern Peru. The Río Madre de Dios, meanwhile, flows into Bolivia and across Brazil (its name changing to Beni and Madeira respectively) before joining the Amazon near Manaus.

    The Peruvian capital, Lima, sits near the midpoint of Peru’s Pacific coastline, dominating the coastal strip. The former Inca capital of Cusco is located inland, with the colonial city of Arequipa to the south and Lake Titicaca to the southeast (forming part of the border between Peru and Bolivia).

    Continue to 2 of 5 below.
  • 02 of 05

    Map of Departments in Peru

    Political Regions and Departments map of Peru.
    ••• Huhsunqu/Creative Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0

    Peru is divided into 25 administrative departments (including Callao), which in turn are divided into provinces and districts. Each department has its own elected regional government, but political control remains heavily centralized in Lima.

    Before looking at the next map of Peru, take note of the trend in department sizes. Moving inland, department areas tend to increase. This reflects a decrease in population density as you move from west to east. Loreto, by far the largest department in Peru, covers the nation’s northeastern region, an area of dense jungle and only a few large settlements

    Continue to 3 of 5 below.
  • 03 of 05

    Peru Population Density Map

    Population density map of Peru by regions and departments (2007)
    ••• Huhsunqu/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0

    Peru's ​three geographic regions of coast, mountain and jungle (costa, sierra y selva) split the country into distinct zones, each running from north to south. The map above -- created using census data from 2007 -- reveals the close relationship between geography and population density in Peru.

    The coastal strip is home to the majority of Peru’s most densely populated departments. Lima’s highly populated urban area sets it apart from all others; the city has a population approaching 8 million, while Peru itself is home to about 30 million inhabitants.

    Departmental population densities decrease as you move away from the coast, first with the rugged Andean range (running from north to south through the center of Peru), followed by the sparsely populated jungle regions.

    Continue to 4 of 5 below.
  • 04 of 05

    Peru Vegetation Map

    Peru Vegetation Map
    ••• Peru Vegetation Map. Image © Central Intelligence Agency (Wikimedia Commons)

    You can clearly see the contrast between Peru’s coast, mountain and jungle regions on the vegetation map above. The coastal strip (yellow) is largely desert and scrubland, although tropical savanna, mangrove swamps and dry forests exist along the far north coast of Peru.

    The highland area (brown) consists primarily of grassland, scrub and alpine wastes. Unlike the dry coastal strip to the west of the Andes (which lies within a rain shadow area), the eastern foothills remain green and moist. This area of cloud forest and upland jungle is known as the selva alta (high jungle) or ceja de selva (eyebrow of the jungle).

    Further east is the vast lowland area of the Amazon Basin, a region of dense tropical rainforest in which riverboats become the main form of public transportation in Peru.

    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05

    Physical Map of Peru

    Physical map of Peru
    ••• Urutseg/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

    If you’re worried about altitude sickness in Peru, the map above will give you a good idea of the areas in which you’ll be at risk. Remember, altitude sickness occurs at elevations of 8,000 feet (2,500m) and above. See this full table of altitudes for Peruvian cities and tourist attractions.

    Green and light brown areas on the map indicate no risk of altitude sickness -- these areas are below 8,000 feet. The brown highland strip, however, is home to cities and sights above this mark. This area includes popular tourist destinations such as Cusco, Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca, Huancayo and Huaraz, as well as the highest mountains in Peru