The region Tacna is bordered by the Pacific Ocean on the west, the Moquegua Region on the north, the Puno Region on the northeast, the Bolivian La Paz Department on the east, and the Tarapacá Region of Chile on the south. Its capital is Tacna. Its elavation ( lowest town 0 sea level ) ( highest town 3415m. Candarave ). Its population 286,810 ( last census 2005 ) this year 2007 is around 288,000.
Tacna region is divided into 4 provinces, which are composed of 26 districts. The provinces and their capitals are as fallows:
1.- Tacna ( Tacna ).
2.- Candarave ( Candarave ).
3.- Jorge Basadre ( Locumba )
4.- Tarata ( Tarata )
Tacna is the southern most region in Peru. Its name originates from the Quechua words taka ("hit") and na ("something to do"), which would mean "a place to hit". This expression is thought to be related to the Quechua conquest of the Aymara people. Its capital is the city of Tacna.
Present-day Tacna Region was occupied by forces from neighboring Chile as a result of the War of the Pacific. Tacna was reincorporated into Peruvian sovereignty in 1929 and today it is known for being one of the most patriotic areas in the country.
The Tacna Region is bordered by the Pacific Ocean on the west, the Moquegua Region on the north, the Puno Region on the northeast, the Bolivian La Paz Department on the east, and the Tarapacá Region of Chile on the south. The border between the Tacna Region and Chile is known as La Línea de la Concordia.
The region is located below the Titicaca plateau, and has a diverse geography, including volcanoes, deserts and mountainous zones, from which arise rivers that go over the punas and the plateaus, thus forming the hydrographical system of this zone. The region is small in size, but has a great mining and agriculture potential. It has various climates and a diverse production.
There is evidence of the presence of a very early culture that goes back more than 10 000 years. The archaeological investigations in the region have proved that a civilization dwelled in this zone in the Stone Age. The Toquepala Cave (7630 BC) and Abrigo de Caru (6240 BC) belong to this age. There are other sites such as Girata Complex, Mullini, and Queñavichinca, where investigations have not been concluded.
The first groups of Spanish conquerors arrived to the region in 1535. These groups were formed by members of the Almagro expedition, organized to conquer Chile. During this time, the city of Tacna was called Villa San Pedro de Tacna. In 1615 and 1784 Tacna experienced violent earthquakes and many towns were reduced to ruins. However, they were rebuilt by their people who decided to stay in the same place.
Tacna has a seat of honor in the emancipation process. Since 1810, the local patriots, following the example of their Argentine neighbors, who had already declared their independence, started to conspire. In 1811, Francisco Antonio De Zela, sent forth the first libertarian outcry in Tacna. Once the Peruvian independence was consummated, the heroism of this city was honored by promoting it to the rank of villa on 1823. On May 26, 1828, President José de La Mar promulgated a law given by Congress by which the city of Tacna was given the title of Ciudad Heroica (Heroic City).
During the War of the Pacific against Chile, the tacneños placed themselves in the front line, offering their lives defending the nation.
On May 26, 1880, after the Battle of Alto de la Alianza, the Chilean army invaded the Tacna province and remained there for five decades. In spite of time, the Tacneños kept their national pride high and, finally in 1929, the city was reincorporated to Peruvian territory.
Southern Peru was hit by a strong earthquake on June 23, 2001, causing extensive damage in the Tacna Region.
On January 26th, 2007, Peru’s government issued a protest against Chile’s controversial demarcation of the coastal frontier the two countries share. Peruvian President Alan García recalled his ambassador to Chile, Hugo Otero, to Lima to consult about the controversy over the maritime boundary the two countries share.
According to the Peruvian Foreign Ministry, the Chilean legislatures have endorsed a plan regarding the Arica and Parinacota region which does not comply with the current, established territorial demarcation. Moreover, they allege that the proposed Chilean law includes an assertion of sovereignty over 19,000 sq. meters of land in Peru's Department of Tacna. According to the Peruvian Foreign Ministry, Chile has defined a new region "without respecting the Concordia demarcation." The Peruvian government maintains that the dispute over the Chilean plan that has been submitted to the Chilean Constitutional Court is part of an on-going maritime dispute whereby Chile has tried to use the demarcation process to extend its maritime frontier. Over the past 50 years, Peru has maintained claims over roughly 40,000 square kilometers of ocean territory. For its part, the Chilean government has asserted that the region in dispute is not a coastal site named Concordia, but instead refers to boundary stone No. 1, which is located to the northeast and 200 meters inland.
Given that the proposed Chilean law does not recognize the borderline established by both nations in the 1929 agreement, Peru lodged diplomatic protests with Chile. In the complex territorial dispute, Chile is attempting to modify the border near the Pacific Ocean to fit in the geographical parallel, rather than continuing the national borderline to the sea, which Lima asserts will cut off at least 19,000 square meters of the Peruvian territory. Nevertheless, a possible border dispute was averted when the Chilean Constitutional Court ruled on January 26th, 2007 unconstitutional legislation that Peru said could be seen as a move by Chile to encroach on its maritime territorial sovereignty. While agreeing with the court's ruling, the Chilean government reiterated its stance that the maritime borders between the two nations were not in question and have been formally by the international community. It has been reported that following the Chilean judicial ruling in Lima’s favor, the likelihood that Peru takes its border dispute with Chile to an international court has been increased by the government and national media. Peruvian Foreign Minister Jose Garcia has expressed that his country may turn to the international court at The Hague but has said that the necessary documents for that action are not ready. On January 28, 2007 Peru’s leading newspaper El Comercio reported that the President of the Cabinet of Ministers (Consejo de Ministros del Perú), Jorge del Castillo, expressed his grave concern over the pending maritime dispute with Chile.
Cathedral. Majestic and serene quarry stone structure. The original plans were designed by the French firm of the famous architect Gustave Eiffel.
The Ornamental Fountain. Built in the last century, this fountain is a piece of art of delicate lines and harmonious contours. Its singular beauty shines day and night.
The Arch of the Heroes is located in the Paseo Cívico, a promenade built to honor Admiral Grau and Colonel Francisco Bolognesi, heroes of the War of The Pacific.
History Museum, dedicated to the rich history of Tacna. The exhibit goes from ancient times through the Republic.
The Railway Museum, located in the Tacna-Arica Train Station.
Casa de Zela. A memorial museum to honor Francisco Antonio de Zela, who sent the first libertarian outcry in 1811.
Town Hall Theater. Constructed in 1870, its main lounge houses paintings of great artistic value. Judicial House. It was the setting for the release of the department of Tacna back to Perú on August 28, 1929.
Casa Basadre. House where famous contemporary Peruvian historian, Jorge Basadre, was born and lived.
Parque de la Locomotora. A park solely created to house the locomotive that conducted the troops, munitions and equipment for the defense of the city of Arica in the War of The Pacific.
Alto de la Alianza. A monument and a site museum built on a plane over the Intiorco hill to honor the resisting forces in the Battle of Alto de la Alianza.
Pocollya. Countryside with an excellent weather and a gorgeous natural scenery. There are several restaurants that serve typical local dishes.
Pachía. At 17 km (11 ml) from the city, this is a site with sun all year round; ideal for resting and recreation.
Calientes. Thermal fountains located between hills in the village of the same name. The waters are relaxing and healthful.
Toquepala Cave. Rupestrian paintings of the primitive people who lived 10,000 years ago, located in the mining bed of the same name.
Tarata. At 89 km (55.3 ml) from Tacna and 3,070 m.a.s.l. (10,072 ft), Tarata is an Andean location with a painteresque landscape and colossal terraces of pre-Inca origin.
Aricota Lagoon. At 156 km (96.9 ml) from Tacna and 2,783 m.a.s.l. (9,130 ft), it has an extension of 8 km (4.97 ml). Many legends have been handed down around this lagoon.
Locumba. Inter-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.
Balneario Boca de Río. At only 40 km (24.8 ml) from the city, this beach resort has a nice atmosphere and wonderful beaches.