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

The Constitutional Province of Callao is located in the largest bay in this part of the continent, and in the central occidental region of the country. It is the most important port of the coast of South America. Even if it forms a geographical unit with the city of Lima (the capital of the country), it has a totally independent administration, as well as its own resources that make it a very special place. Source:
It has an extension of 148 km² (57 sq ml) and a population of almost 600,000 people.

Callao is said to be the key of the capital of the Republic, not just because it is a very important sea port, but also because it houses the Jorge Chávez International Airport.

The capital is Callao and it harbors the districts of Bellavista, La Perla, La Punta, Carmen de la Legua and Ventanilla.

The temperature is almost the same as in Lima. The weather is humid and with very few rains.


Experts say that the territory of Callao has had since ancient times very special life conditions. Its first settlers, who lived before the Incas, were a strong and fierce race. The huacas or pre-Inca tombs of Maranga and Bellavista confirm the advancement and organization of these settlers until the Tahuantinsuyo or Inca armies arrived. 


Properly speaking, the history of Callao, however, starts two years after the foundation of Lima, on March 6, 1937. The Lima Town Council sent Diego Ruiz to establish a tambo bodega (inn and store) there. This is how the first building was constructed, without foundation minutes. By 1639 the port already had 5,000 people.

Since then, Callao started to receive better attention from the viceroys. It was, after all, the golden key to sea trade. Yet, on October 28, 1746 an earthquake devastated the area. With great effort, the local people reconstructed the city, finally recovering its presiding position.

During the independence struggle, Callao was a strategic point and the population had an active part in it. From the Real Felipe fortress, built in 1746, squadrons led by Cochrane were twice repelled in 1819. In 1820, Callao endured the blockage held against the libertarian gest of General San Martín.

The National Convention, at request of one of its members, Manuel Toribio Ureta, approved unanimously on April 22, 1857, to give the port of Callao the rank of Constitutional Province. Since then, it has been known as the Provincia Constitucional del Callao.


Aeropuerto Internacional "Jorge Chávez".MAIN ATTRACTIONS OF THE CAPITAL
Aeropuerto Internacional Jorge Chávez
. This finely designed airport is considered among the most important in this part of the continent, with facilities that are constantly renovated.

Fortaleza del Real Felipe.Real Felipe Fortress is a symbol of the defense of liberty in Perú. From there, a new attempt of the Spanish to take control of the country on May 2, 1866, was dismissed. The construction of this fortress began in 1747 and took 27 years to finish it. It is a pentagon built in an area of 70,000 m² (27,000 sq. ft), including two fortified towers, Torre del Rey and Torre de la Reina.

Islas Palomino and El Frontón. Cruises are offered to go near these islands and enjoy the wonderful view. These isles are the habitat of innumerable bird species and sea lions.

Shipping Terminal, where passengers and cargo ships arrive from all around the world.

Frontis del Museo Naval.Naval Museum. It houses the most precious relics of the heroes of the Peruvian Navy, specially of the greatest, Miguel Grau. The museum keeps his sword, military cap, cuff buttons, medals, silverware, navigation books, and letters. Also, inside a sarcophagus lays a fragment of the tibia o thin bone of the Lord of the Seas, as he was known, the sole human remain recovered after his immolation in the Battle of Angamos against Chile.

Fishing Terminal. Located in the marina, this is where the fishermen sell their catch without intermediaries.

La Punta, Callao.La Punta. One of the most well-attended beaches in Callao. It is known for having a pebbled seashore. The beaches of Chucuito, Cantolao and Arenillas are also very popular.

Chucuito. It is a calm and hospitable resort, with a population mostly made up of Italian descendants.


Churches in Callao include, Iglesia Matriz  del Callao, Santa Rosa, San Juan Bosco, Virgen de Lourdes, Inmaculada Concepción, San José, Sagrado Corazón de Jesús, Nuestra Señora del Carmen de la Legua, among others.

Escuela Naval del Perú (Naval Academy) is located in the district of La Punta. It trains and forms future marines, emulating the example of Admiral Miguel Grau.

Instituto del Mar del Perú (EMARPE). This national institute is responsible for planning, coordinating, and executing hydrobiological research.

Colegio Militar Leoncio Prado, located in the district of La Perla.

Club Regatas La Union. Founded in 1891 in the district of La Punta, it is one of the oldest social and sports clubs in Lima.

Perú Yacht Club. Founded in 1932.

Bellavista Shooting Club. Founded in 1910.

Servicio Industrial de la Marina (SIMA). It is the shipyard of the Peruvian Navy, where high quality vessels are constructed.


Fish and seafood is in Callao, as in the other coastal cities, the basic ingredients of its cuisine. At first, the best exponents of the Chalaco culinary art concentrated along the old fishing pier. Afterwards, they started to move and expand to different quarters and districts.

Among the dishes created in Callao, the most outstanding are cebiche, parihuela, chupín, choros a la chalaca, chicharrón de calamares con salsa tártara and corvina a la chalaca. Restaurants in Callao also cook a dish that has recently been censured, musciame (dolphin meat dried in salted water). Yet, some are replacing dolphin meat with sea lion.

The Chalacos drink local beer and chicha de jora or fermented maize.


April 22
. Anniversary of the Provincia Constitucional del Callao.

May 2. Military and civil parades in honor of the heroes of the Battle of Dos de Mayo (War of The Pacific, against Chile).

July 15. Procession of the Virgen del Carmen de la Legua.

July 27. Anniversary of the Sport Boys Club, the local soccer team.

October 6. Anniversary of Bellavista.

October 8. Military and civil parades and celebrations in honor of the heroic deeds of Admiral Miguel Grau, and his immolation in the Battle of Angamos.

October 17. Anniversary of La Punta.

October 28. Procession of the Señor del Mar (Lord of the Seas). A multitudinary display of the Catholic faith of the Chalacos.