Peru; The land of World Wonders!

Peru; The land of World Wonders!

After Machu Picchu was elected in 2007 to be one of the “New 7 Wonders of the World", Peru now also holds another internationally recognized Wonder of the World; The Amazon Rainforest which recently got elected to be one of the “7 Wonders of Nature in the World”.

In 2007 Machu Picchu got elected to be part of a very exclusive club, namely that of the New 7 Wonders of the World. Inspired by the 7 Ancient Wonders of the World, the organization World of 7 Wonders decided to hold an international voting in which Machu Picchu came out as one of the New 7 Wonders of the World.

After seeing the impact this had on people’s awareness for the destinations voted for, the organization wrote out a contest for the “7 Wonders of Nature in the World”. The organization first asked people around the world to select potential candidates per continent, after which the organization decided on 28 main candidates for the last round of voting.

For the initial selection for South America there were 11 candidates of which 5 were located in Peru, the highest number for any one country in the world. Peru received nominations for the Amazon Rainforest, the Colca Canyon, the Cotohuasi Canyon, Huascaran National Park and the Alpamayo Mountain. Among the competitors from other countries one could find the Iguassu Falls (Arg/Bra), The Galapagos Islands (Ecuador), the Angel Falls (Venezuela) and the Uyuni Salt Lake (Bolivia).

In the end two final candidates were selected for South America; the Amazon Rainforest and the Iguassu Falls to be part of the 28 final candidates worldwide. Both of these were selected in the final round and made it to be one of the 7 Wonders of Nature in the World.

The Amazon Rainforest is the largest rainforest in the world and covers part of most South American countries; Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela, all hold substantial parts of this immense forest on their territory. The entire Amazon Rainforest encompasses seven million square kilometers (1.7 billion acres), though the forest itself occupies some 5.5 million square kilometers (1.4 billion acres). The Amazon represents over half of the planet's remaining rainforests and comprises the largest and most species-rich tract of tropical rainforest in the world. The Amazon River is the largest river in the world by volume, with a total flow greater than the top ten rivers worldwide combined. It accounts for approximately one-fifth of the total world river flow and has the biggest drainage basin on the planet. Not a single bridge crosses the Amazon.

As the rainforest runs through so many countries, why is it that in Peru this accomplishment was celebrated even more than in for instance Colombia or Ecuador? In contrast to many other countries, Peru can claim to be the source of the Amazon River, the main river running from West to East throughout the Amazon Rainforest and the lifeline of these forests. Furthermore, in Peru almost 60% of the territory is made up by the Amazon Rainforest making that Peru after Brazil holds the largest part of the Amazon Rainforest on its territory. Besides the sheer size of the rainforest on their national territory, Peru can also claim the highest number and density for many animal and plant species living in the rainforest.

In any case these types of polls are not agreed on by everyone and personal preferences do differ according to the interests and travel experiences one has. Nevertheless it cannot be denied that a country such as Peru that is blessed with such an incredible amount of beauty and awe, producing 5 out of 11 continent-wide candidates must make one hell of a travel destination. So no matter that only the Amazon Rainforest made it to the final selection, the inclusion of the other sites makes clear that Peru is a country of extremes and awe.

What other country in the world can claim the following extremes all within their boundaries; the highest navigable lake (Lake Titicaca), the deepest and second deepest canyons in the world (Cotahuasi and Colca Canyon), the longest river in the world (the Amazon River), the most beautiful mountain in the world (the Alpamayo Mountain) the highest sand dune in the world (Cero Blanco, Nazca) and the longest wave in the world (Chicama).

No doubt that travelling to Peru is travelling to a country filled with endless destinations and sights, one even more inspiring than the other…

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