Peruvian Cities
Tacna, TACNA
Location, extension and population | Brief historic overview | Main attractions of the capital | Main attractions of the department of Tacna | Typical dishes and beverages | Tourist calendar

Monumento a los cáidos en la Batalla del Alto del Alianza, en la guerra del Pacífico.LOCATION, EXTENSION AND POPULATION
The department of Tacna is located in the extreme south of the country, in a peaceful and sunny valley at 552 m.a.s.l. (1,811 ft). Its territory expands between the Coast and Sierra regions. It limits to the north with Moquegua, to the south with Chile, to the east with Puno, and to the west with the Pacific Ocean. The climate is dry and pleasant with sun all year round. The average temperature fluctuates from 10ºC (50ºF) to 22ºC (71.6ºF).

Tacna has an extension of 14,767 km² (5,701 sq ml) and a population of over 200,000 people.

The capital is Tacna, a small and clean city with great walks and beautiful trees along the streets.


El paseo cívico, el arco fue construído en memoria de Grau y Bolognesi.BRIEF HISTORIC OVERVIEW
The department of Tacna is part of the region shaped by the occidental valleys of the south central Andean area. There is evidence of the presence of a very early culture that goes back more 10,000 years. The archeological investigations in the region have proved that a civilization dwelled in this zone in the Stone Age. To this age belong the Toquepala Cave (7630 BC) and Abrigo de Caru (6240 BC). There are other sites, such as, Girata Complex, Mullini, and Queñavichinca, where investigations have not concluded.

The first groups of Spanish conquerors arrived to the region in 1535. These groups were formed by members of the Almagro expedition, organized to conquer Chile. During this time, Tacna was called Villa San Pedro de Tacna.

In 1615 and 1784 Tacna went through violent earthquakes and many towns were reduced to ruins. However, they were rebuilt by their people who decided to stay in the same place.

Tacna has a seat of honor in the emancipation gest. Since 1810, the local patriots, learning from their neighbors, the Argentineans, who had already declared their independence, started to conspire. In 1811, Francisco Antonio de Zela, sent forth the first libertarian outcry in Tacna.

Once the independence of Perú was consummated, the heroism of this city was honored by promoting it to the rank of villa on 1823. In May 26, 1828, President José de la Mar promulgated a law given by Congress by which the city of Tacna was given the title of Ciudad Heroica or Heroic City.

During the War of The Pacific with Chile, the Tacneños placed themselves in the front line, offering their lives defending the nation.

On May 26, 1880, after the Battle of Alto de la Alianza, the Chilean army took over the city and remained for five decades. In spite of time, the Tacneños kept their national pride high and, finally in 1929, the city was reincorporated to Peruvian territory.


. Majestic and serene quarry stone structure. The original plans were designed by the French firm of the famous architect Gustave Eiffel.

The Ornamental Fountain. Built in the last century, this fountain is a piece of art of delicate lines and harmonious contours. Its singular beauty shines day and night.

The Arch of the Heroes is located in the Paseo Cívico, a promenade built to honor Admiral Grau and Colonel Francisco Bolognesi, heroes of the War of The Pacific.

History Museum, dedicated to the rich history of Tacna. The exhibit goes from ancient times through the Republic.

The Railway Museum, located in the Tacna-Arica Train Station.

Casa de Zela. A memorial museum to honor Francisco Antonio de Zela, who sent the first libertarian outcry in 1811.

Town Hall Theater. Constructed in 1870, its main lounge houses paintings of great artistic value.

Judicial House. It was the setting for the release of the department of Tacna back to Perú on August 28, 1929.

Casa Basadre. House where famous contemporary Peruvian historian, Jorge Basadre, was born and lived.

Parque de la Locomotora. A park solely created to house the locomotive that conducted the troops, munitions and equipment for the defense of the city of Arica in the War of The Pacific.

Alto de la Alianza. A monument and a site museum built on a plane over the Intiorco hill to honor the resisting forces in the Battle of Alto de la Alianza.

Pocollay. Countryside with an excellent weather and a gorgeous natural scenery. There are several restaurants that serve typical local dishes.

Pachía. At 17 km (11 ml) from the city, this is a site with sun all year round; ideal for resting and recreation.


San Francisco de Miculla Petroglyphs. Great concentration of petroglyphs distributed in an extension of approximately 16 km² (6.2 ml). The engravings are done in calcareous stones or reddish silica of different sizes.

Calientes. Thermal fountains located between hills in the village of the same name. The waters are relaxing and healthful.

Toquepala Cave. Rupestrian paintings of the primitive people who lived 10,000 years ago, located in the mining bed of the same name.

Tarata. At 89 km (55.3 ml) from Tacna and 3,070 m.a.s.l. (10,072 ft), Tarata is an Andean location with a painteresque landscape and colossal terraces of pre-Inca origin.

Aricota Lagoon. At 156 km (96.9 ml) from Tacna and 2,783 m.a.s.l. (9,130 ft), it has an extension of 8 km (4.97 ml). Many legends have been handed down around this lagoon.

Locumba. Inter-Andean valley located at 79 km (49 ml) from the city. The town of Locumba has a very rich religious tradition, shown by its devotion to the Señor of Locumba.

Balneario Boca de Río. At only 40 km (24.8 ml) from the city, this beach resort has a nice atmosphere and wonderful beaches.


Tacna offers visitors colorful dishes exquisitely combined and abundantly served. The picante a la Tacneña and patazca Tacneña belong to this region.

Corn and cheese, chicharrones with toasted corn, cuy or guinea pig chactado, pastel de choclo con pasas y maní (corn cake with peanuts and raisins), baked pork, cazuela de ave y grilled lamb, are also local specialties.

To drink, Tacna has macerados de damasco (macerated Brussels apricot), frutilla or tumbo, and wines produced in the local vineyards.


They are celebrated in different towns and villages with typical local dances that can go on for entire days and nights.

April. Corn and Potato Festival in Tacna.

May 1. Fiesta de las Cruces.

May 26. Anniversary of the Battle Alto de la Alianza.

June 7. Anniversary of the Battle of Arica.

June 20. Day to remember Tacneño patriot Francisco Antonio de Zela.

June 23. Night of San Juan.

August 28. Procesión de la Bandera. A singular and moving civic patriotic act in which the women of Tacna carry the red and white Peruvian flag through the streets of the city. Later, various associations, group of students, and the armed and police forces take part in a parade that ends in the main square, where the Arch of the Heroes is located. For a week the locals celebrate the reincorporating of the Heroic City of Tacna as part of the Peruvian territory. Simultaneously, a fair on farm and livestock products, industrial goods and handicrafts takes place.

September 1. Anniversary of the city of Tarata.

September 14. Peregrinación al Señor de Locumba.

September 23. Fiesta de Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes, celebrated in Candarave.