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. The climate is dry and pleasant with sun all year round. The average temperature fluctuates from 10ºC (50ºF) to 22ºC (71.6ºF).

Officially called San Pedro de Tacna, it has gained a reputation for patriotism, with many monuments and streets named after heroes of Peru’s struggle for independence (1821-1824) and the War of the Pacific (1879-1883). Residents of Tacna are known in Spanish as tacneños.

The oldest traces of humanity in Tacna date back to 9 000 BC, proved by the rupestrianpaintings found in Toquepala. Subsequently, this area was populated by groupsfrom the Collao Plateau. In 1537 the first Spaniards arrived here.

The population of Tacna collaborated closely with the emancipation of Peru, from the very first liberation movements that began in 1 811 with Francisco Antonio de Zela. The great sense of patriotism of these people was acknowledged by Parliament when the settlement was raised to the category of a Villa or town in 1823. On May 26th 1 928, President Jose La Mar issued a law awarding the town the title of Heroic City. On May 26th, 1880 it was occupied by Chile after the Stop the Alliance Battle. Based on the Ancon Treaty, Tacna regained its Peruvian status on August 28th, 1 929.

It is interesting to visit:

  • The Cathedral
  • Square of Arms
  • House of Zela
  • Municipal Theater
  • Railway Museum
  • Historical Museum
  • Parabolic Arch
  • House of Basadre
  • Bolognesi Boulevard
  • Judicial House
  • Locomotive Park


The Cathedral of Tacna

Opposite the Civic Center on the Main Square.
Visits: Monday to Sunday 7:00-12:30 and 15:00-19:30.
Located in the city center, with a neo renaissance style and very fine architectural lines. Built with stones obtained from a quarry in the Intiorko and Arunta hills, the contract to build this church was signed with the French firm Alejandro Gustavo Eiffel during the government of Jose Balta.


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. Hundreds of worshippers make a pilgrimage to this area on September 14th each year.

Miculla Petroglyphs

The Archaeological Complex of Miculla, also known as the Valley of Engraved Stones or the Petroglyphs of the Pampas of San Francisco de Miculla, is located within the department of Tacna, in what is the jurisdiction of the district of Pachía. This complex stands out for presenting in its territory one of the largest cave legacies in the South American Andes, which has a total surface area of 20Km2. It is believed that the remains found in Miculla date back to between 500 AD and 1,500 AD, which is why they were influenced by the Tiahuanaco culture.

Toquepala Cave

The Toquepala caves are located 154 kilometres from the city of Tacna, Peru in the western Andes at an altitude of 2,700 metres above sea level. The caves are 10 metres deep, 5 metres wide and 3 metres high. They are noted for the cave paintings found on the walls, depicting scenes of hunters corralling and killing a group of guanacos.

This type of hunting is known as “chaco” in the Andes mountains. The hunters form human circles, corral the animals and either capture or kill them.

The cave paintings use colors such as red, yellow, green and black. According to researcher Jorge Muelle, the scenes were intended to bring about a fruitful hunt.

Estimated ages of the paintings at the site have been radiocarbon-dated to 7,650 B.C. or before.


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