Cruising to Peru
Ancient Peru was the seat of several prominent Andean civilizations, most notably that of the Incas whose empire was captured by the Spanish conquistadors in 1533. Peruvian independence was declared in 1821, and remaining Spanish forces defeated in 1824. After a dozen years of military rule, Peru returned to democratic leadership in 1980, but experienced economic problems and the growth of a violent insurgency. President Alberto FUJIMORI's election in 1990 ushered in a decade that saw a dramatic turnaround in the economy and significant progress in curtailing guerrilla activity.
Nevertheless, the president's increasing reliance on authoritarian measures and an economic slump in the late 1990s generated mounting dissatisfaction with his regime. FUJIMORI won reelection to a third term in the spring of 2000, but international pressure and corruption scandals led to his ouster by Congress in November of that year. A caretaker government oversaw new elections in the spring of 2001, which ushered in Alejandro TOLEDO as the new head of government; his presidency has been hampered by allegations of corruption.
Location: Western South America, bordering the South Pacific Ocean,
between Chile and Ecuador
Territorial sea: 200 nm
Varies from tropical in east to dry desert in west; temperate to frigid in Andes
Western coastal plain (costa), high and rugged Andes in center (sierra), eastern lowland jungle of Amazon Basin (selva)
Lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
Peru's economy reflects its varied geography - an arid coastal region, the Andes further inland, and tropical lands bordering Colombia and Brazil. Abundant mineral resources are found in the mountainous areas, and Peru's coastal waters provide excellent fishing grounds. However, overdependence on minerals and metals subjects the economy to fluctuations in world prices, and a lack of infrastructure deters trade and investment. After several years of inconsistent economic performance, the Peruvian economy grew by more than 4 percent per year during the period 2002-2005, with a stable exchange rate and low inflation.
Risk premiums on Peruvian bonds on secondary markets reached historically low levels in late 2004, reflecting investor optimism regarding the government's prudent fiscal policies and openness to trade and investment. Despite the strong macroeconomic performance, the TOLEDO administration remained unpopular in 2005, and unemployment and poverty have stayed persistently high. Economic growth will be driven by the Camisea natural gas megaproject and by exports of minerals, textiles, and agricultural products. Peru is expected to sign a free-trade agreement with the United States in early 2006.
Airports: 246 (2005)
8,808 km; note: 8,600 km of navigable tributaries of Amazon system and 208 km of Lago Titicaca (2005)
Total: 4 ships (1000 GRT or over) 38,954 GRT/62,255 DWT
Sailing Specifics: Ports and terminals
Callao, Iquitos, Matarani, Pucallpa, Yurimaguas; note - Iquitos, Pucallpa, and Yurimaguas are on the upper reaches of the Amazon and its tributaries
Chile and Ecuador rejected Peru's November 2005 unilateral law to shift the axis of their joint treaty-defined maritime boundary along the parallel of latitude to an equidistance line which favors Peru; organized illegal narcotics operations in Colombia have penetrated Peru's shared border; Peru does not support Bolivia's claim to restore maritime access through a sovereign corridor through Chile along the Peruvian border
Other Sailing Destinations in the Region
Argentina - Belize - Brazil - Chile - Colombia - Costa Rica - Ecuador - El Salvador - French Guiana - Guatemala - Guyana - Honduras - Mexico - Nicaragua - Panama - Peru - St. Pierre and Miquelon - Suriname - Uruguay - Venezuela