Peru, country in west central South America, bounded on the north
by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil and Bolivia, on the
south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean.
The area of Peru, including several offshore islands, is 1,280,000
sq km (494,210 sq mi), making it third in size (after Brazil and
Argentina) of South American countries. Lima is the country's capital
and chief commercial center.
The climate of Peru varies widely, ranging from tropical in the
montaρa to arctic in the highest mountains of the Andes. Average
temperatures decrease about 1.7 Celsius degrees (about 3 Fahrenheit
degrees) with every 450-m (1,500-ft) increase in elevation.
Permanent snow and ice fields cover peaks more than 5,000 m (16,500
ft) above sea level, and the highest elevation at which the land
is suitable for agriculture is about 4,400 m (14,500 ft).