By the late nineteenth century Peru’s foreign debt, particularly to England, had grown enormously. Even though interest could be paid in guano, there simply wasn’t enough. To make matters considerably worse, Peru went to war with Chile in 1879.

Lasting over four years, this ” War of the Pacific ” was basically a battle for the rich nitrate deposits located in Bolivian territory. Peru had pressured its ally Bolivia into imposing an export tax on nitrates mined by the Chilean-British corporation. Chile’s answer was to occupy the area and declare war on Peru and Bolivia. Victorious on land and at sea, Chilean forces had occupied Lima by the beginning of 1881 and the Peruvian president had fled to Europe. By 1883 Peru “lay helpless under the boots of its conquerors”, and only a diplomatic rescue seemed possible. The Treaty of Anco , possibly Peru’s greatest national humiliation, brought the war to a close in October 1883.

Peru was forced to accept the cloistering of an independent Bolivia high up in the Andes, with no land link to the Pacific, and the even harder loss of the nitrate fields to Chile. The country seemed in ruins: the guano virtually exhausted and the nitrates lost to Chile, the nation’s coffers were empty and a new generation of caudillos prepared to resume the power struggle all over again.

Create Your Dream Adventure

Contact us for a comfortable and personalized itinerary to Peru

Hotel Quality

(Optional. You may choose more than one)

Number of Travelers
Trip Length
Tentative or Set Travel Dates
Next 1/2

You also can write us at:

Packages start at USD$1,239 for our 4-day Cusco & Machu Picchu package (with domestic flights included.)
We specialize in complete travel packages that allow you to enjoy your travels while we handle the logistics.
Services are available as part of a full itinerary (3-days or more) including all hotels, tours and ground transportation.

Peru Explorer