Peru (GPS: 10 00 S, 76 00 W) is located in Western South America, bordering the South Pacific Ocean, between Chile and Ecuador. The country’s area measurements are total: 1,285,216 sq km; land: 1,279,996 sq km, water: 5,220 sq km. This sovereign state is almost twice the size of Texas, slightly smaller than Alaska. The total irrigated land is 25,800 sq km (2012).
One of Peru’s essential features: Shares control of Lago Titicaca, the world’s highest navigable lake, with Bolivia. A small slope of Nevado Mismi, a 5,316 m peak, is the ultimate source of the Amazon River. Peru is one of the countries along the Ring of Fire, a belt of active volcanoes and earthquake epicenters bordering the Pacific Ocean. Up to 90% of the world’s earthquakes and some 75% of the world’s volcanoes occur within the Ring of Fire. On 19 February 1600, Mount Huaynaputina in the southern Peruvian Andes erupted in South America’s most enormous volcanic explosion in historical times.
Intermittent eruptions lasted until 5 March 1600 and pumped an estimated 16 to 32 million metric tons of particulates into the atmosphere reducing the amount of sunlight reaching the earth’s surface and affecting weather worldwide. Over the next two and a half years, millions died worldwide in famines from bitterly cold winters, cool summers, and the loss of crops and animals. The southern regions of Peru and the extreme northwestern part of Bolivia are considered the place of origin for the common potato.