Peru is located on the western border of South America. Its bordering countries are Ecuador and Columbia to the north, Chile is to the south, Brazil and Bolivia are to the east, and to the west is the Pacific ocean. The third largest country in South America, Peru is 496,095 square miles. Its size is equal to Texas, New York, California, and Maine combined. Geographicaly, Peru is divided into three main parts; La Costa, La Sierra and La Selva. La Costa is the long, narrow coastal region that stretches the Pacific coastline from north to south. It is semi-arid, some parts are extremely dry and rain fall is very low in this area. It isn't completely dry, though. Even though it is mainly desertic, many rivers from the Andes flow through the region towards the Pacific, creating fertile vallys. The coast has the greatest economic activity. Lima, Peru's capital, is located in La Costa.
Parallel and east of La Costa is La Sierra, the central region that is part of the Cordillera de los Andes. The Andes is a mountain range that streaches through parts of Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador and Argentina. It even has sub-chains that go as far as Columbia, in the north, and Tierra del Fuego in the south. La Sierra covers about thirty percent of Peru. Several of the world's highest mountains, including Peru's highest point which is the mountain of Huascaran standing at 22,205 feet, are located here. There are sveral snowcapped mountains here, and through them run many rivers, irrigating great valleys. The scenery is very beautiful and spectacular here.
La Selva, the tropical rainforest region of the Amazon basin, is east of La Sierra. This region is the richest region in biological resources in all of Peru, and maybe in the world. It covers two-thirds of Peru, and is made up of dense vegetation and has an abundant population of animal life. The densely forested eastern slops of the Andes are considered part of La Selva and are called the montana, or cloud forest.