10 fascinating facts about Peru

10 fascinating facts about Peru
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Curious Coding Critters™ Ranger & Zip packed their bags and set off on their Coding Critters World Adventure Stories to the exciting country of Peru in South America. Imagine their surprise when while searching for 10 fascinating facts about Peru to share with you, they dug up a treasure! No wonder Ranger & Zip can’t wait to show you more. Visit our Instagram account to read their story and the rest of the Coding Critters World Adventures.

Keep following our Instagram account and checking in because all the Coding Critters friends are heading off on amazing World Adventure Stories. Plus, we’re giving away a Coding Critters pet and a Learning Resources Puzzle Globe each month – you don’t want to miss out.

10 fascinating facts about Peru
Ranger and Zip are curious pups and love sniffing out new adventures. They chased each other up and down the country, hunting for all sorts of interesting facts about Peru and its history.

  • Peru is in western South America and is surrounded by countries Brazil, Chile, Bolivia, Columbia, and Ecuador.
  • The Amazon – the world’s second longest river after the Nile – has its headwaters (not headquarters) in Peru. Here, it starts its 4,000-mile journey all the way through to the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Brazil.
  • Ranger & Zip discovered that over 500 years ago, Peru was home to the Inca civilisation. The Inca empire was the largest in South America. Their capital city was Cusco, which still exists today. However the capital city of modern day Peru is Lima which is also the country’s largest city.
  • Ranger & Zip visited the city of Machu Pichu, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. This amazing old city is 2,430m above sea level on a ridge between two mountains and it took Ranger and Zip ages to climb up!
A photograph of Machu Piccu in Peru for Learning Resources Coding Critters World Adventures Stories

The sacred city of Machu Piccu (Image: SL_Photography/Getty Images)

  • Historians reckon the city was built for Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui, an Inca emperor. The emperor, his family, and advisors would live there during certain times of the year. There are also several temples which shows that Machu Pichu must have been a sacred religious place.
Picture of a statue of Pachacuti at Machu Piccu for Learning Resources Coding Critters World Adventures Stories

A statue of the Incan emperor, Pachacuti, greets travellers at Machu Piccu
(Image: Uwe-Bergwitz/Getty Images)

  • Clothing was important to the Inca and what they wore told you a lot about who they were. Unlike today where we decide what we want to wear, the Inca people were given their clothes according to their status. Only the upper classes could wear fancy clothes and the fanciest of them all was the emperor.
  • The sun was sacred to the Inca people and gold was highly-prized because they believed it was the sweat of the sun. The emperor would wear lots of gold jewellery and a fancy headdress to let everyone know how important and divine he was, and he was the only living person allowed to wear gold.
  • Incan craftsmen were master goldsmiths and you can see some of their pieces in museums around the world today. When the Spanish arrived in South America, they were dazzled by all the Incan gold and a legend grew of the lost city Paititi. The story goes that the city was rich in gold, silver, and jewels and is somewhere in the jungle. However, many people have tried – and failed – to find it and its treasures. Maybe Ranger and Zip should see if they can sniff it out?
  • Many of the foods we eat today originated in South American counties including Peru. These include corn, potatoes, sweet potato, cocoa, cashews, squashes, and avocados. Today, corn is a cheap, plentiful food source, but in those days, only the rich, elite Inca ate corn.
Picture of a young Peruvian boy and a llama for Learning Resources Coding Critters World Adventures Stories

A young Peruvian boy wearing brightly coloured clothes poses with a llama
(Image: Hadynyah/Getty Images)

  • The Incans didn’t have cattle and sheep, but they did have llamas. They used them for food, wove cloth from their hair, and used them to transport goods.

Here’s an Incan maths activity idea for kids:

Picture of a quipu for an Incan maths activity idea for kids Learning Resources Coding Critters World Adventures Stories

An Incan quipu was a method of recording facts and figures
(Image: simonmayer/Getty Images)

To keep a record of numbers, the Incans had a method called a quipu (pronounced key-poo) which is like an abacus. They would take a piece of cord and tie a knot in it. The colour of the cord, the position, number of knots, and thickness of the knots held meaning. Only a few have survived, and no-one has completely figured them out yet because the Incans didn’t have written language so couldn’t leave us the instruction manual!

Here’s a video that shows you more about them and may inspire you to make one yourself to practise maths. To get started, you will need a few lengths of cord – try brightly coloured wool. Then decide what your knots will mean. Maybe your first piece of cord stands for the number 10, and a second could be 1. Tying two knots in the first cord would mean 20, and five knots in your second piece mean 5. In other words, two knots (20) and five knots (5) would be 25. Why not take a photo of your quipu and tag us on our Facebook and Instagram accounts?

Did you catch Scamper and Sneaker in Egypt or Bopper, Hip & Hop in France? Read more about the Coding Critters adventures. PLUS download our free Coding Critters activity sheets.

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