PERU BOLIVIAThe Ecuador bordered by Colombia on the north, Peru on the east and south, and the Pacific Ocean to the west. Ecuador was home to a variety of Amerindian groups that were gradually incorporated into the Inca Empire during the 15th century. The territory was colonized by Spain during the 16th century, achieving independence in 1820 as part of Gran Colombia, from which it emerged as its own sovereign state in 1830. Spanish is the official language and is spoken by a majority of the population, though 13 Amerindian languages are also recognized, including Quichua and Shuar. The capital city is Quito, while the largest city is Guayaquil. Cuenca is an outstanding example of a planned, inland Spanish-style colonial city in the Americas. Peru is an extremely biodiversity country with habitats ranging from the arid plains of the Pacific coastal region in the west to the peaks of the Andes mountains vertically extending from the north to the southeast of the country to the tropical Amazon Basin rainforest in the east with the Amazon river. Peruvian territory was home to ancient cultures spanning from the Norte Chico civilization in Caral, one of the oldest in the world, to the Inca Empire, the largest state in Pre-Colombian America. The Empire conquered the region in the 16th century and established a Viceroyalty with its capital in Lima. The mixture of cultural traditions resulted in a wide diversity of expressions in fields such as art, cuisine, literature, and music.
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