Peruvian Cities
Moyobamba, SAN MARTIN
Location, extension and population | Brief historic overview | Main attractions of the capital city | Other attractions of the department of Moyobamba | Typical dishes and beverages | Tourist calendar

Cataratas de Jera. Moyobamba, San Martín. Fotografía: Heinz Plenge / PromPerú.LOCATION, EXTENSION AND POPULATION
The department of San Martín is located in the High Jungle of the north eastern region of the country. To the north and east it limits with Loreto, to the south with Ucayali and Huánuco, and to the west with Amazonas and La Libertad. All its territory is located in the tropical region of Perú.

It has an extension of 53,064 km² (20,488 sq ml) and a population of almost 500,000 people.

The capital is Moyobamba. Due to its geographic location, San Martín is hot and humid-warm. The annual average temperature is 38ºC (100ºF), with strong rains from January through March and June through December.

Other important cities are Tarapoto, Lamas, Rioja, Juanjuí, Saposoa, Tocache and Uchiza.


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Plaza de Armas de Moyobamba.BRIEF HISTORIC OVERVIEW
The origins of San Martín go back to when the fierce Chancas, prosecuted by the Incas, came to this region and settled in a completely unknown habitat. Their men dedicated to hunting and fishing.

When the conquerors arrived to the Tahuantinsuyo, a group of them came to these territories, founding the first city in the Jungle, Moyobamba, in 1541. From there, the conquest was launched. Missionaries, soldiers, merchants, and other individuals parted enthusiastically to found new cities, establish authorities and construct European style buildings. Moyobamba was the first city in the oriental part of the country in which a Town Council was established, a first governor designated, and a first Town Hall constructed.

In 1782, the Bishop of Trujillo, Baltazar Jaime Martínez, founded Tarapoto, name given to a local palm tree.

During the administration of Marshal Castilla, the first Prefecture and Superior Court of Justice were established in the city.

The department of San Martín was created on September 14, 1906, through Law No. 201.

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Cataratas del Gera.MAIN ATTRACTIONS OF THE CAPITAL CITY
Gera Waterfalls
. Located in the district of Jepelacio, at 21 km (19 ml) from Moyobamba. One of the most beautiful natural resources in the country.

San Mateo Thermal Baths and Sulfur Baths. At 5 (3 ml) and 6 km (4 ml) of the city respectively.

Morro de Calzada, a small rounded hill in the village of Calzada considered the guardian of the city.

Orchid Plantations, located in different parts of the city and where more than 2,000 varieties are found.

Las Puntas. A natural esplanade or belvedere from where the beauty of the city can be appreciated.

Río Mayo. The river can be crossed with canoes or motor boats.

Bajada de Shango. Beautiful countryside in the outskirts of the city.

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OTHER ATTRACTIONS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF MOYOBAMBA
Tarapoto
, known as the City of The Palm Trees, is located at 33 m.a.s.l. (108 ft) with warm and agreeable weather. Among the most attractive sites of the city are, the impressive waterfalls of Ahuashiyacu, Huacamaillo, and Tununtununba, with natural paradisaic landscapes.

Venecia Lagoon, also located in Tarapoto, with very calm waters. Visitors can enjoy boat rides, swimming or fishing.

Lago de Sauce o Blue Lagoon is located at 52 km (32.3) from Tarapoto. Fishing, swimming, water skiing, sailing and other sports are practiced.

Petroglyphs of Polish. Located near Tarapoto, these petroglyphs depict the ritual writing of the first settlers of the region.

Lamas. The folklore capital of the department. It has attractive sites, such as, the Huayco native quarter, Cumbre de Acomayo, Fundo Don César, and an ethnic museum.

Rioja. Known as Hat City. Among the sites worth visiting are, Cuevas de los Huacharos, Cuevas de las Velas, Los Túneles, Laguna de San Francisco, Mashuyacu, and San Juan Urificio resort.

Balneario Cumbaza. It is a quarter of the city bathed by the river of the same name.

Juanjuí. Capital of the province of Mariscal Cáceres, where the ruins of Gran Pajatén are found. In has an extension of 40 hectares, with circular constructions of slated flag decorated with cabezas clavas (carved mythical figures) and other figures depicting flying condors.

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TYPICAL DISHES AND BEVERAGES
The gastronomy in the department of San Martín has a variety of dishes and drinks that do not exist in other parts of the Jungle.

Among the most famous dishes are, the rice juanes (rice tamales with hen, eggs and olives), nina juane (similar in its presentation to the former, based on battered eggs and chicken), nichicapi (a hen, yucca, corn and peanut soup), timbuche (fresh fish, battered eggs and coriander), tacacho (unripe bananas mashed with lard). Also, cecina de tacacho, chorizo, inchicucho and poroto shirumbe.

Local beverages include, mazato, lechonapi, ventisho, siete raíces, mistela, uvachado, chuchuhuasi, chapo, soroashua and cortesachados.

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TOURIST CALENDAR
May 3.
Velación de la Cruz de Coca. Celebrated in Rioja with the participation of the whole town who, accompanied by different bands, dance in the streets.

June 24. Fiesta de San Juan. This festivity is vivaciously celebrated throughout the department. In the eve, women cook the juanes, and on the 24, families go in groups to the nearest river or lake banks to dance, drink and eat in honor of San Juan.

Last Week in June. Moyobamba Tourist Week. Various social, recreational and cultural activities take place in this beautiful city during that week. Locals and visitors walk around the city enjoying the beauty of the natural landscape.

July 14 through 20. Tarapoto Tourist Week. Recreational and social activities with the participation of foreign and national artists take place during that week.

July 16. Fiesta de la Virgen del Carmen de Lamas. The local people organize several folkloric presentations and Corpus Christi pageants, in gratitude to their patron. They also invite home-made bread and typical dishes to all present.

July 25. Fiesta del Patrón Santiago, patron of Moyobamba.

August 15. Virgen de las Nieves, patron of Yurimaguas. The local people pay tribute to their patron with night festivals, processions and dances. Each quarter starts to celebrate ten days before the actual date.

August 20. Anniversary of the city of Tarapoto. On the previous days, the town organizes dance festivals, parades and different types of tournaments.