Tacna is a modern city that has grown mainly during this century. Nevertheless it has a rich history, being demonstrated in its cave paintings and petroglyphs that reveal the presence of men of prehistoric times. Its name is a reduction of “Tacana” that comes from the Quechua language that means “I strike in this place or I reign in this place”; this is related to the conquest of the Quechuas over the Aymaras, the first settlers of this region.
There is no city in Peru where the patriotic pride feels with greater intensity like in Tacna, the heroic city. After arduous negotiations with the government of Chile and restituted to the country in 1929, the city bases its economy on an intense commercial activity towards the border and neighboring cities. This activity makes of Tacna the most visited place of Peru, in spite of being immersed in the northern limit of the Atacama Desert, the city takes refuge in the heart of a fertile agricultural valley. Its geography has in addition an attractive potential for adventure sports, because it extends from the mountains and snow-covered summits to the shores of the Pacific Ocean.
Located at 562 m.s.n.m. is surrounded by desert. Its average temperature is 23 ° C with maximum temperatures of 27.5 ° C in the first months of the year, and minimum of about 10.5 ° C in July, August and September. It is characterized by low rainfall in summer, which makes of Tacna a dry and pleasant.
Nailed in the heart of the city, the Main Square lodges an important monumental trilogy: The Cathedral, the Pileta Ornamental (both works of Gustav Eiffel) and the Arc of the Heroes, which honors the memory of the Tacna men in the War of the Pacific. In the middle of the place this located a cozy public square, with colorful bougainvilleas, the typical flower of Tacna, where often folk music is played.
It is a beautiful and calm stroll constructed in 1840. Throughout the same, runs underground, the quiet Caplina River. The pergolas, gardens and the busts of illustrious personages of Tacna stand out.
Tacna is the largest commercial zone of Peru, having the advantage to be a free trade zone with more than 1000 stores and points of sale where you will be able to buy national and imported products of the best brands at really competitive prices.
Alto de la Alianza Museum
At 8 km from the city, on a vast plain of the Intiorko hill, the Monument of the Heroes of the Alto de la Alianza is located, it renders tribute to the fallen in defense of Tacna the 26 of May of 1880. The same includes a Monument, that consists of eight steel sculptures which present the history of Tacna, its heroism, resurgence and projection to the future; the Museum of Site, that conserves relics of the uniforms, arms and projectiles found in the battlefield; Campo Santo and the esplanade where the battle had place.
At only 10 minutes from downtown, are the districts of Pocollay, Nature, Pachía and the Annexes of Miculla and Calientes. These are towns of a beautiful rustic and pleasant atmosphere, in which it is possible to appreciate the houses with mojinete type ceilings that long ago predominated in Tacna, beautiful rural churches, pathways and tree-lined avenues adorned with typical flowers and colorful typical rustic restaurants are offered to the visitor.
Petroglyphs of Miculla
This archaeological site is located at 20 km to the east of the city of Tacna. It is considered as one of the most important places of rock art of South America. It has 1500 years old.
The thermal baths are one of the main touristic potentials of Tacna, very visited by their curative properties. The thermal water outcrops are distributed in valleys of the mountain range and the plateau, mainly in Caliente, Jarumas, Paucarani, Calachaca, Ticaco and the geyser of Yucamani.