Location: North Coast.
Area: 4,669 km2
Minimum: 5 m.a.s.l. (Aguas Verdes)
Maximum: 134 m.a.s.l. (Cañaveral)
Relief: The department of Tumbes has a flat relief characterized by beaches, swamps and dry forests. The Mountain chain of the Amotapes is the most rough zone but with soft hills.
The department of Tumbes is located in the extreme north western part of the country. It limits to the north and west with the Pacific Ocean, to the south with Piura and to the east with Ecuador. Nature in this territory is gorgeous and capricious, such as, the manglares or mangrove trees, which are a formidable spectacle.
Due to its geographic location, so close to the equatorial line, Tumbes has a hot and humid weather all year round, with the average temperature being 30ºC (86ºF), rising to over 40ºC (104ºF). From December through March rains are strong and frequent, but the heat stays.
Tumbes was a populated region well before the Inca empire. The first settlers were fishers and hunters. Most recent cultures that lived there have left evidence of the refinement in their ceramics, and huacas or ruins that still stand today.
The Inca empire extended its domains up to Tumbes when Inca Pachacutec was ruling. He introduced a new way of organizing the empire, but the task of integrating these people to the empire continued with Inca Túpac Yupanqui. He gave great importance to this region by making it a support point in the conquest of the Cañaris .
The adventure of the conquest of Perú by the Spanish starts in Tumbes. After overcoming countless difficulties, the conquerors were able to land in this fabulous empire of which they had heard many legends. Undoubtedly, the thought of such a rich empire had instilled in their spirit an unwavering will to go on. With the information gathered, the conquerors set off to the rest of the empire, founding cities and overpowering their people.
During Colonial times, Tumbes was no more than a crossing point where soldiers and adventurers stopped momentarily to restock themselves, and continue traveling.
Tumbes, however, gains permanent presence during the Republic, because by limiting with Ecuador, it is necessarily involved in the unjustifiable territorial demands of this country.