Location: South Coast.
Extensión: 16,164 km2
Minimum: 15 masl (Ilo)
Maximum: 3756 masl (Ichuña)
The geographic configuration of Moquegua is very interesting because of its vulcanism and its geomorphology. It is formed by upstream portion of the Tambo River, one of the most torrential coastal river. It has one of the steepest beds in the coast. It forms deep valleys that can be divided ino three sectors, the first to the northwest, forms the Puquina-La Capilla sector. These are veritable oasis enclaved in the rocks; arid hillsides and some terraces where horticulture is possible. These produce, going to the good climate and the richness of the soil, first quality alfalfa and fruits, specially grapes. The second sector of the valley that of Omate, one of the most populated and fertile soils of the department.
Nearby is to be found the Ubinas volcano, the only which is active in all of Peru. In the hillsides, the land is fertile in contrast with the desolation and sterility of its heights. In the southern part of the system of the Tambo River is located the town of Carumas, which along with Puquina and Omate, are the vital centers of this geography. The Moquegua River is a short run one and forms by the confluence of the Torata, Huaracane and Tumilaca rivers. After passing through the capital, it digs deep into a canyon called the Osmare. Before sheding its waters into the Ilo port, one of the best port on the Pacific for the extraction of mineral from Cuajone and Toquepala, to whose mines it is tied with a railroad of 204 kilometers long.
A benign and pleasureable weather, a variety of landscapes with lagoons surrounded by exhuberant vegetation pass through the valleys. These extend along the mountains and broad sand banks.
Moquegua is one of the main copper producers in Peru. This is obtained in the great mining company of Cuajone.
This region of the department was already known before the arrival of the Incas and to its original inhabitants is attibuted the name "Moquegua", which means silent place in quechua.
The foundation of the city of Moquegua occurred possibly in 1541. In 1604 occurred an earthquake that destroyed a great part of the city. During the Independence period, Moquegua stood out because of its brave people and this was the reason for confering to it the title of City in 1823. On April 3, 1930, was promulgated Law number 8230 that gave Moquegua the category of department. However, its organization as an independent region, was on 1857. On that year it was separately from the administration of the department of Arequipa, to which belonged all of the southern zone of the coast ever since the viceroyal administration.
Currently, thanks to its mineral resources, the department is planning its growth as a function of its contribution to the country and for its own benefit.