extension and population
| Brief historic
Main attractions in the capital city |
Other attractions of the department of Moquegua
Typical dishes and beverages |
EXTENSION AND POPULATION
The department of Moquegua is located in the southwestern
part of the country. It limits to the north with Arequipa,
to the south with Tacna, to the east with Puno and to the
west with the Pacific Ocean. Its territory comprises parts
of the coast and the Sierra. The weather in the coast is dry
and warm, while in the Sierra temperatures are high during
the day and cold at nights. The average temperature is 25ºC
Moquegua has an extension of
16,175 km² (6,245 sq ml) and a population of over 134,000
The capital is the city
of Moquegua, with a noble past readily shown in the
old adobe mansions, with ochre and white walls and the peculiar
mojinete ceilings. Other important cities are Ilo,
Toquepala, Cuajone and Omate.
The region in which the department
of Moquegua is located today was inhabited before the arrival
of the Incas. According to chronicler Garcilazo de la Vega,
it was Inca Mayta Cápac who organized the military
expedition to expand the domains of the Cusco monarchs along
this part of the coast.
Since these were fertile lands,
capable of supporting a larger population, the Inca army officers
in charge decided to establish the towns of Cuchuna and Moquegua.
In doing so, they were also protecting the Inca domain over
the conquered lands.
There is no accurate data on
the Spanish conquest or the founding of the city of Moquegua
by its army. Presumably, it was founded on November 25, 1541
by Pedro Cansino and his wife, Josefa de Bilbao.
The port of Ilo, which was created
on that very same date, grew in importance as several mills
were set up in 1713 to process the wheat produced in the region.
Moquegua had an outstanding performance
during the Independence War. Accordingly, the Supreme Governmental
Assembly granted it the title of 'city' on January 19, 1823.
One of the most distinguished
leaders of the Independence War was Moquegua born Field Marshal
Domingo Nieto. He fought heroically in the battles of Junín
and Ayacucho. In his honor, the Presidential escort
regiment is named after him.
During the War of The Pacific,
Moquegua suffered the invasion of Chilean troops. This army
looted all buildings --churches included--, tortured the women,
and took the jewelry of the people.
ATTRACTIONS IN THE CAPITAL CITY
Plaza de Armas.
This main square is one of the monumental spaces of great
tourist attraction. Its holds a beautiful ornamental fountain,
designed by the famous French architect Gustave Eiffel.
Iglesia de Santo Domingo.
It houses two carved retables; and in one of the altars, the
mortal remains of Santa Fortunata are venerated.
Casa del Regidor Perpetuo
de la Ciudad. This eighteenth century mansion, notable
for its façade engraved in stone, displays at the back
the family coat of arms and typical mestizo style flowers.
Casa de Alayza. A house
of unadorned architecture belonging to the end of the eighteenth
Casa de la Familia Fernández
Cornejo y Fernández de Córdova. This mansion,
located in the Plaza de Armas, was built in the eighteenth
Casa de los Diez Canseco.
Old mansion that in spite of not having the original façade,
still keeps its artistic doorway, entirely carved in stone.
Casa de Angulo. This 1894
mansion, built under the influence of the end of the eighteenth
century style, is elegant and huge.
Casa de Fernández Dávila.
This one-story mansion, built in 1883 and simple in its design,
holds a grand doorway and four barred windows at the front.
Samegua is 5 km (3 ml)
away from the city. This locality with numerous fruit orchards
offers a pleasant and colorful landscape.
Torata. At only 24 km
(15 ml) from the center of the city, this picturesque district
is home of rustic buildings showing the traditional mojinete
roofs. The Torata church is impressive; the pulpit and beautiful
wooden carved altar pieces are outstanding.
Cerro Baúl. This
hill is an impressive and peculiar geological formation. The
perimeter of its peak seems cut at a right angle, looking
like a baúl or trunk.
Cuajone. At 32 km (19.8
ml) from the city, this sheer cliff cooper field can be fully
appreciated from a belvedere, built as a sidewalk.
ATTRACTIONS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF MOQUEGUA
This beautiful province of the department is located in
a gorgeous bay, resting on top of underground rocks.
La Glorieta. This is a
traditional esplanade to view the impressive Ileño
littoral and the intense harbor activity.
Punto Coles is an observation
site of the sea fauna, where great numbers of guano sea birds
and herds of sea lions can be seen.
Los Olivares. This location
is well-known for its olive production. The trees, with perimeters
of over six meters each, are enormous and the olives are very
big and of wonderful quality.
Fundación de Cobre.
This cooper foundation belongs to Southern Peru Cooper Corporation.
Designed to produce blistered cooper, it is considered one
of the most modern in the world.
Refinería de Cobre.
This refinery is located at 9 km (6 ml) north from the Ilo
port and produces cooper refined with a 99,99% fineness.
Fuentes Termales de Omate,
Ullucán, Ichuña, Cadenas and Putina. These
thermal springs, very popular for their curative properties,
originate from the hundreds of volcanoes in the area.
DISHES AND BEVERAGES
The Moqueguanos are known
to be expert gourmets and very mindful of their culinary tradition.
They have a way in the serving protocol that cannot be defeated
by the most elemental rules of courtesy: all dishes are placed
in the center of the table and the one that is closer to each
person is the first to be tasted.
Their most distinctive dish is
charrada, prepared with beef trifles, heart, chinchulin
or tripe, gizzard, veins, gut. Each piece is fried separately
and can also be served independently with cooked potatoes
and grounded chili.
Other local dishes include, roasted
rabbit and patazca moqueguana, that carries slices
of pork, whole and ground mote, chuño (potato
starch), chaque, a variety of squash, and chili.
Among the sweets, the penco
and the guargueros are best known.
Among their typical drinks, the
macerado, a macerated Brussels apricot and grape brandy,
is a necessity.
February 2. Fiesta
de la Virgen de la Candelaria. A date in which the people
of Torata and devotees from other towns pay tribute to their
patron. Music bands play folklore pieces in her honor, and
dancers perform for hours acknowledging her blessings.
June 5 and 6. Anniversary
October 14. Santa Fortunata.
The Moqueguanos celebrate this date with great devotion in
the presence of the mortal remains of Santa Fortunata. She
rests in an urn in the church of Santo Domingo. On the eve,
the locals prepare for the verbena (night festival)
and the burning of fireworks announcing the holiday.
November 25. Tourist
Week and Anniversary of Moquegua. The local people
celebrate with military marches, grass-root festivals, parades
with colorful floats, fairs, and village dances.