Location: South of Perú.
Area: 16,076 km2
Minimum: 318 m.a.s.l. (Ite)
Maximum: 3415 m.a.s.l. (Candarave)
This department is located down the Titicaca Plateau, and has a diverse geography, including volcanoes, deserts and mountainous zones, from which arise the rivers that go over the punas and the plateaus, thus givin shape the hydrographical system of this zone. By the west is the Pacific Ocean, the La Yarada beaches, the Ite Pampas, and settled down as a prisoner, the Tacna Valley. From the west side of Tacora arise the waters of the Caplina River, which goes through the city of Tacna.
It has a small extent, but has a great mining and agrarian potential. It has diverse climates and a varied production. The Heroic City of Tacna is a symbol of love, devotion to our Country and national loyalty.
In Tacna is located Toquepala, one of the starting points to looking for the man's antiquity in our country. In the Toquepala Caves lived the Stone Age Man, who was a hunter and had a great affection for the art and the ritual practices.
The first spaniards who looked over the region were those who in 1535 formed part of the Almagro expedition, organized to conquest Chile. The favorable conditions of this region then attracted to many other soldiers and persons who arrived from Spain looking for a place where they could settle.
The discovering of the Potosí Mines in the Viceroyalty Era determined the arising of the Port of Arica and the town of Tacna.
Tacna is the precursor city in the history of the liberty movements in Peru. There took place the uprisings movements of Zela and Paillardelli, the first which rose up the arms against the king forces.
The history gave to Tacna a great contest: the unhappy War with Chile that had tragic consequences, and which gave to Tacna the first place again. The department of Tacna was then occupied by the southern invaders since the year 1884, by means of the questionable Treatment of Ancón which put under captivity the populations of Tacna and Arica. Near almost 50 years Tacna remained occupied by the invader forces that attempted to impress its nationality to peruvians who resided in that city. However, it was the national conviction of giving it all for their country what made possible that, after a long imprisonment, Tacna returned back to Peru.