extension and population
| Brief historic
Main attractions of the capital |
Main attractions of the department of Tacna
Typical dishes and beverages |
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.
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
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
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.
ATTRACTIONS OF THE CAPITAL CITY
Majestic and serene quarry stone structure. The original plans
were designed by the French firm of the famous architect Gustave
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
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.
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.
ATTRACTIONS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF TACNA
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.
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.
DISHES AND BEVERAGES
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.
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
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
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
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