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Location
: North Coast.

Area: 35,891 km2

Altitude:
Minimum: 3 m.a.s.l. (Paita y Los Órganos)
Maximum: 2709 m.a.s.l. (Ayabaca)

Relief: Piura's department has a varied geography since it combines landscapes of the desert costeño with those of the high zones of the Andean region. In its coastal region stands out the desert of Sechura, the biggest of the Peru; in this one there is located Bayóvar's depression, the lowest area of the Peruvian territory (37 m.a.s.l.).

Its territory has a smooth topography in the coast and a rough one in highlands. The morphological forms most common in the coast are the dry ravines that suddenly become copious when there are heavy rains. Other features are a half-moon shaped dunes, the marine terraces such as those of Máncora, Talara and Lobitos; fluvial terraces formed by Chira and Piura Rivers and the ancient relief of Amotape, that delimits the coast to the north of the department.

Piura is the land of carob trees. Its development has been favoured by the petroleum exploitation and for the fishery boom.

In Piura was developed the Vicús Culture, originally known as Sechura, whose ceramics brought out the attention of archaeologists and collectors. Its deep tombs and shape and decoration features relate it with the regional cultures of Equator and Colombia, but, in turn, the strong asociation and similarity with Mochica ceramics, sets a strong link with the Lambayeque and Trujillo Cultures. Of course, the bakground of Vicús goes back to the formation period, when towns as that of añañique show a similar culture. After Vicús and following a long time development process, the Piura Culture, was formed, whose last members were known as Tallanes. In this stage arose the urbanism, with important centers such as Narihuslá.

The Inca Empire, with Túpac Yupanqui, began the conquest of this region subjecting the Ayahuacas and the Huancapampas, that inhabited the regions that are known today as the provinces of Ayabaca and Huancabamba. During the conquest Pizarro arrived this region looking for a place to settle. He found it in the Valley of Tangarará, in the banks of the Chira. There he founded the first spanish city in Peru, called San Miguel.

In 1587 the port of Paita was sacked and burned down by pirates and in 1588 the survivors returned to re-found the city.

Colonial life in this city, peaceble and quiet, became a focus for the libertary ferment, and people from Piura declared independence on January 4, 1821.

In the years of the Republic, material progress has run parallel to farming, one of the most developed in Peru. In the last year the capital of the department has begun its urban transformation, that is foreseeably to become one of the most important cities in the country.


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