The historical evolution of dams in Peru and their typology, with particular emphasis on trends in the last 140 years, is presented in this paper. The role in which the impoundments created by dams have played in the social welfare of the country’s development is clear. This paper also reviews some of the main issues, challenges and achievements of Peruvian dam engineering today, including an inventory made by the author of this paper of 128 dams and impoundments situated along the coast, and within the Andean Mountain range and high jungle of Peru. A statistical analysis of dam evolution and reservoir capacity created within this country for the period 1870-2010 is also presented.