Peruvian Cities
Tumbes, TUMBES
Location, extension and population | Brief historic overview | Main attractions | Typical dishes and beverages | Tourist calendar

The department of Tumbes is located in the extreme north western part of the country. It limits to the north and west with the Pacific Ocean, to the south with Piura and to the east with Ecuador. Nature in this territory is gorgeous and capricious, such as, the manglares or mangrove trees, which are a formidable spectacle. Due to its geographic location, so close to the equatorial line, Tumbes has a hot and humid weather all year round, with the average temperature being 30ºC (86ºF), rising to over 40ºC (104ºF). From December through March rains are strong and frequent, but the heat stays.

It has an extension of 4,732 km² (1827 sq ml) and a population of almost 150,000 people.

The capital is Tumbes, a city with beautiful beaches and natural landscapes that fascinate visitors.


Tumbes was a populated region well before the Inca empire. The first settlers were fishers and hunters. Most recent cultures that lived there have left evidence of the refinement in their ceramics, and huacas or ruins that still stand today.

The Inca empire extended its domains up to Tumbes when Inca Pachacutec was ruling. He introduced a new way of organizing the empire, but the task of integrating these people to the empire continued with Inca Túpac Yupanqui. He gave great importance to this region by making it a support point in the conquest of the Cañaris.

The adventure of the conquest of Perú by the Spanish starts in Tumbes. After overcoming countless difficulties, the conquerors were able to land in this fabulous empire of which they had heard many legends. Undoubtedly, the thought of such a rich empire had instilled in their spirit an unwavering will to go on. With the information gathered, the conquerors set off to the rest of the empire, founding cities and overpowering their people.

During Colonial times, Tumbes was no more than a crossing point where soldiers and adventurers stopped momentarily to restock themselves, and continue traveling.

Tumbes, however, gains permanent presence during the Republic, because by limiting with Ecuador, it is necessarily involved in the unjustifiable territorial demands of this country.


Los Manglares
. A forest of mangrove trees that grows and develops in a transit area between land and sea. It comprises a small area at the left margin of the Tumbes river and a bigger area at the right margin of the same river up to the Capones International Canal. It is a natural beauty with labyrinths, inlets, and a refuge and food source for a numerous species of crustaceans, mollusks, fishes, and a varied bird fauna.

Plaza de Armas or Main Square. Although the plaza has a modern cut, it is surrounded by old houses that keep their Colonial influence.

Plaza Bolognesi, Tumbes.Plaza Bolognesi. Built in honor of the hero of the Battle of Arica (Pacific War), Colonel Francisco Bolognesi.

Plaza Alipio Rosales. Built in memorial of the Tumbesinos who offered their lives during the conflict with Ecuador in 1941.

Zarumilla. Calm scenario of the 1941 Glorious Campaign. The pampas of Zarumilla were the site of the combats against Ecuador in making the Peruvian nationality prevail in this department.

Aguas Verdes is a frontier location of great commercial activity. This town connects with the city of Huaquillas in Ecuador through a bridge.

Puerto Pizarro. A beautiful port with white sand beaches, and a place to enjoy a variety of dishes based sea food.

Malecón Benavides. A belvedere built on a main road bordering the river. The perfect site for a beautiful sunset.

Zorritos. Capital of the province of Contralmirante Villar where the first oil well was perforated in 1860. It has a beautiful landscape and inviting beaches.

Tumpis Fortress. At 5 km (3.1 ml) from the city of Tumbes, it is an archeological monument similar to the Paramonga fortress in the department of Ancash.

Caleta de Cruz Pizarro. Cove where Francisco Pizarro started the conquest of Perú. It has a replica of the Cross set up by him in 1532.


The typical dishes of the Tumbesino cuisine are based on seafood, preferably black scallops, crabs, shrimps, and bananas known as plátanos dominicos.

Among the most well-known dishes are, the cebiche of black scallops, which come from the Manglares, and banana balls broth with dominicos, meat, red peppers, eggs, olives, raisins, flour, coriander and other herbs.

Other specialties include, the shrimp omelet, chupe de cangrejos, cebiche mixto, and the crab pulp omelet.

A typical beverage in the department is the chinguirito, which is obtained by combining pipa (the milk of a soft coconut) with aguardiente.


January 1.
New Year's Eve. This celebration started in 1907 in the locality of Bellavista.

January 7. Anniversary of Tumbes. On the eve, a serenade is set up. The whole city participates in an exhibition of fireworks.

June 24. Anniversary of the Battle of Zarumilla.

June 28 and 29. Fiesta de San Pedro and San Pablo takes place in the beaches of Puerto Pizarro and La Cruz.

September 1 through 5. Fiesta de la Virgen del Perpetuo Socorro celebrated with a fair in Zarumilla.

September 21 through 27. Tumbes Tourist Week. During this week, various activities are scheduled with the participation of local authorities and the city as a whole.

December 1 through 15. Feria de Integración Peruano-Ecuatoriana in honor of the Virgen Inmaculada.