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 CÃvico, Tacnaâ€™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 HÃ©roes, 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 PacÃfico, Tacna was officially governed by Chile (1880-1929), until its people unanimously voted to return to Peru. Much of Tacnaâ€™s identity is shaped by the Pacific War and the citizensâ€™ vote. Besides the Arca de los HÃ©roes, 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 ComisiÃ³n JurÃdica
, where the ceremony to reincorporate Tacna into Peru took place in 1929. The Museo Regional HistÃ³rico
has massive oil paintings depicting the War of the Pacific. The cityâ€™s biggest festival is August 28, marking the anniversary of Tacnaâ€™s reincorporation.
In addition to these monuments and many museums
, Tacna also has attractions not too far afield, like petroglyphs
, ruins, wineries, hot springs
Other places nearby Tacna: Ilo, Moquegua, Torata, Paracas, Huacachina Oasis, Nasca, Pisco, Ica and The Nasca Lines.