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Altitude: 550 meters (1,804 ft) Population: 242,451 Phone Code: 052

Located 36 kilometers (22 mi) from the Chilean border, and 56 kilometers (34 mi) from the port of Arica, Tacna is an important commercial center frequented by Chileans in search of cheap medical and dental treatment. As Peru's southernmost city, Tacna is also a popular point for travelers to hop across the border to Chile.

The main points of interest in town are located near the Paseo Cívico, Tacna’s Plaza de Armas. Facing the plaza is the cathedral, which was designed by the famous Gustave Eiffel. Near the other end of the paseo is the imposing Arca de los Héroes, a triumphal arch that serves as the city's symbol; on either side are gigantic bronze statues of Admiral Grau and Colonel Bolognesi, two heroes of the War of the Pacific.

After the Guerra del Pacífico, Tacna was officially governed by Chile (1880-1929), until its people unanimously voted to return to Peru. Much of Tacna’s identity is shaped by the Pacific War and the citizens’ vote. Besides the Arca de los Héroes, other monuments are the Campo de la Alianza, the site of a battle between Peru and Chile in 1880 (8 km/5 mi north), and the Museo Casa de la Comisión Jurídica, where the ceremony to reincorporate Tacna into Peru took place in 1929. The Museo Regional Histórico has massive oil paintings depicting the War of the Pacific. The city’s biggest festival is August 28, marking the anniversary of Tacna’s reincorporation.

In addition to these monuments and many museums, Tacna also has attractions not too far afield, like petroglyphs, ruins, wineries, hot springs and beaches.


Other places nearby Tacna: Ilo, Moquegua, Ica, Paracas, Nasca, Huacachina Oasis, Torata, Pisco and The Nasca Lines.

21 Jun 2012

Things to do in Tacna

Paseo Bolognesi

125373The commercial artery of Tacna is Av. Bolognesi. In the center of the broad boulevard is a several-kilometer-long park, the Paseo Bolognesi. To stroll down the palm-lined Paseo is to walk through ...
City Walk
Tacna, Peru

Museums in Tacna

Tacna has a surprising number of museums, enough to fill a day or two of sightseeing. Most feature the players important to Tacna’s struggle for independence, but a few surprises await the ...
Tacna, Peru

San Francisco de Miculla Petroglyphs

On the road heading to Bolivia are the San Francisco de Miculla Petroglyphs. The drawings show people of dancing, playing music, fighting and hunting animals. Other figures are animals, like ...
Tacna, Peru

Train across the Northern Atacama Desert

125377Few ordinary, working-class trains run anymore in Peru. An even rarer ride is the international railroad, crossing from one country to another. But from Tacna to Arica, Chile, departs what is called ...
Other Activity, Transportation Info.
Tacna, Peru

Boca del Río and Other Beaches

Tacna has its own beaches to which its denizens escape the sweltering summer months. The air may be hot, but the water of the Pacific along this coast is cold. A dip into the surf is refreshing. ...
Tacna, Peru

Centro Cultural Teatro Orfeón

Teatro Orfeón, constructed in 1848, is Tacna’s oldest theater. Unlike most playhouses we know today, with rows of seating facing the stage in front, the Orfeón was designed along traditional ...
Movie & Theater
Tacna, Peru

Humedales de Ite

Humedales de Ite is Peru’s largest wetlands. In part a man-made swamp (from mining activities in the early 1960s), these humedales now cover 1,360 hectares (3,361 ac) and are 11.7 kilometers (7 mi) ...
Tacna, Peru

Paseo Cívico

The Paseo Cívico, Tacna’s Plaza de Armas, is a thin, triangular park. On the broad end is the Catedral de Tacna, a simple yet stunning cathedral designed by Gustave Eiffel and completed in 1854 ...
City Plaza
Tacna, Peru

Aguas Termales Calientes

Note: In early January 2012, a flashflood caused by a huayco (a river formed in a dry gulch) destroyed the complex. It is not known when it will be rebuilt. For those wanting to get out of ...
Spa/Hot Springs
Tacna, Peru
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