• Colombia!

    Colombia: Caribbean Sea coast. Go Now!

    Although most of the people live inland, Colombia also has its share of coastline along the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea (pictured). Go Now!

  • Ecuador!

    Ecuador: Sally Lightfoot Crab. Go Now!

    The Galapagos Islands and Ecuador are home to incredible wildlife, such as the famous Galapagos Turtle and the lesser known, but more common Red Rock or Sally Lightfoot crab (pictured). Begin Your Journey!

  • Chile!

    Chile: Torres del Paine National Park. Go Now!

    The Andes dominate much of Chile, including the breath-taking Torres del Paine National Park (pictured). However, the country also hosts the world's driest desert and a thriving metropolis. Begin Your Journey!

  • Venezuela!

    Venezuela: Los Roques. Go Now!

    Rooted in Europe, Venezuela boasts an impressive history, culture, and beauty, including the Caribbean Coast (pictured). Explore Venezuela!

  • Bolivia!

    Bolivia: Salt flats. Go Now!

    This hidden gem is full of surprises, from the impressive salt flats (pictured) to the migrating flamingos. It also clings to the most historic indigenous culture on the continent. Explore Bolivia!

Ethnicity, Language, & Religion of Peru


Nearly half of the people in Peru claim to be wholly Amerindian and among these people, most are Quechua. Another 40% of the population is mestizo, which is a person of both European and Amerindian heritage. The rest of the population claims to be wholly European, African, Chinese, or belongs to another ethnic group or combination of ethnic groups.

The Quechuas are often considered an ethnic group, but in reality they are linked more closely by language and are technically a linguistic group who identify and often claim the ethnicity of Quechua. These people may be referred to as Runajuna, Nunakuna, Ingas (in Colombia), Kichwas (in Ecuador), and others depending on the individual and how he or she identifies. No matter the name, all are related to each other ethnically and are often referred to simply as "Quechua," although some people prefer to be referred to in one of the more specific ways mentioned above.


The official languages of Peru include Spanish, Quechua, and Aymara. The number of native speakers of Aymaran is very small (about 2%) and the number of Quechua speakers is also relatively small as only about 15% of the population speaks this language natively. Most people, no matter their ethnicity, speak Spanish and this tends to be the language of communication across groups in the country.

Spanish is a Romance language also spoken in Spain; it is closely related to other Romance languages, including Portuguese, Italian, French, Romanian, others. The dialect of Spanish in Peru is quite distinct in comparison to that of Spain and there are also many minor differences in the language across Latin America.

Quechuan is a language family of South America, primarily found in the Andes Mountains. There are numerous languages that are included in this language family, but all are similar. Aymaran is another indigenous language family found in the Andes Mountains.


Just over 80% of Peru's population is Roman Catholic, including most of the mestizos and Quechua. There is a notable minority of people that are Evangelical, but the rest of the people, another 6-7%, belong to various religions or follow no religion.

Catholicism is a Christian religion that is one of the first Christian religions and was the most dominant religious force in the Christian world for years. Catholicism believes that there is a single God who created everything, a savior, the son of God, Jesus Christ who is the forgiver of sins, and there is the Holy Spirit, which makes up the last part of the Holy Trinity.

Continue reading on Safari the Globe to Learn the Catholic Church's doctrines, liturgy, symbolism, traditions, & hierarchy

This page was last updated: May, 2014