Like many countries in Latin America, Peru isn't one of the richest countries in the world. However, its relative political stability, even if not quite everything in the garden is rosy, makes for a fairly encouraging economic outlook. If you are content, during your trip to Peru, to stay on the beaten path, you won't be aware of the real situation or how difficult day to day life is for the population.
Up against Keïko Fujimori, the daughter of his long-time enemy Alberto Fujimori, the left wing Nationalist Ollanta Humala was elected President of the Republic in 2011. In his manifesto, the Head of State promised to fight a merciless battle against corruption and drug trafficking. He also wants to put in place a free education system, to increase salaries, to bring in free healthcare for everyone, to gain more recognition for indigenous communities and to introduce retirement at the age of 65. For the moment everything isn't quite completed and despite the differences within his party coming out into the open, Ollanta Humala remains a popular president.
The numbers are dreadful. 12% of Peruvians have to live on less than 2$ per day, more than a million can't read and write and eight million are unemployed. Nevertheless the country's economy has experienced twelve successive years of growth. A significant accomplishment in the current world economy. Inflation is less than 3% and poverty has been halved.
Peru has found its greatest asset under the ground. The country is the world's largest producer of silver, is in second place for copper and zinc, in third for tin and in sixth for gold. Mineral exports total 28 billion dollars, about 60% of the country's export revenue, and the aim is to double this figure between now and 2017. Not impossible if one considers that only 10% of underground assets have so fare been exploited.
Other sectors too are holding their own. Agriculture first of all: Peru is the highest exporter in the world of organic coffee and the second highest of organic cocoa. Peruvian waters are some of the richest in the world. They contain so many fish that 10% of the world's fishing takes place here.
A holiday in Peru means going to one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.
The country is home to innumerable wonderful sites and attractions. Cusco, Machu Picchu, treks in the Andes, Lake Titicaca, the Amazon jungle, the Nazca Lines, Lima and the old colonial towns are all great assets that are highly attractive for tourists. The tourist sector is expanding at a great rate and the country has successfully improved its infrastructure to the point that tourism is currently the jewel of the Peruvian economy.