Located on the Pacific coast, Peru is the place to go for biodiversity. Coastal deserts, rainforests, and the Amazon Basin make Peru a hot spot for tourists and scholars. Peru was once the site of the Incan civilization and the country retains parts of this heritage today. Forty-five percent of the people are indigenous. Indigenous Peruvians who live in the high Andes largely speak Quechua, an ancient language that predates the Inca.
Today Peru is a nation recovering from poverty and political strife. Coups in the 1970's and 1980's have shifted government control from civilians to the military and back again.