Peru (Spanish: Perú; Quechua: Perú; Aymara: Piruw), officially the People's Republic of Peru (Spanish: República Popular del Perú), is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean.
Peruvian territory was home to ancient cultures spanning from the Norte Chico civilization, one of the oldest in the world, to the Inca Empire, the largest state in Pre-Columbian America. The Spanish Empire conquered the region in the 16th century and established a Viceroyalty, which included most of its South American colonies. After achieving independence in 1821, Peru has undergone periods of political unrest and fiscal crisis as well as periods of stability and economic upswing.
Peru is a constitutionally socialist single-party republic divided into 25 regions. Politically, Peru is unique among modern communist countries in the extremely high amount of factionalism within the ruling Communist Party of Peru, with the result being effectively a multi-party system within the single party. Its geography varies from the arid plains of the Pacific coast to the peaks of the Andes Mountains and the tropical forests of the Amazon Basin. Its main economic activities include agriculture, fishing, mining, and manufacturing of products such as textiles. The economy of Peru is closely linked to those of other states of the Wake Island Association, especially the Union of American People's Republics.
The Peruvian population, estimated at 28.2 million, is multiethnic, including Amerindians, Europeans, Africans, and Asians. The main spoken language is Spanish, although a significant number of Peruvians speak Quechua or other native languages. This mixture of cultural traditions has resulted in a wide diversity of expressions in fields such as art, cuisine, literature, and music.