Altitude: 7 m.a.s.l.
Climate: Average annual temperature: 24° (Maximum 38° and minimum 19° C). The rain season runs from December to March.
Access: The overland route from Lima-Tumbes (1,276 km) up the North Pan-American Highway takes around 18 hours. There are also flights from Lima which take an hour-and-a-half.
In Tumbes, summer is eternal, and the surroundings resemble Paradise. The fact it lies so close to the Equator has determined the landscape, which teems in plantlife. Its history dates back centuries, when the Tumpis, a tribe who were excellent sailors, settled in the far northwest of Peru. These were the first natives discovered by the Spaniards in 1532.
The superb beaches of Tumbes and its warm sea are ideal for surfing and underwater fishing. The beach of Punta Sal is considered one of the finest on the Peruvian coast for its pure white sands and a sea ideal for water sports.
North of the city of Tumbes lies Puerto Pizarro, the gateway to the National Mangroves Sanctuary. The mangroves have formed vast clumps of water-borne forests which have created a unique eco-system linking the river and the sea. The mangroves are the breeding grounds for black scallops, which are served up in Tumbes' most famous dish, the cebiche de conchas negras. Other mouth-watering local recipes include ají de langostinos (spicy shrimp strew) and majarisco (plantain served in a shellfish sauce).
South of Tumbes lies Zorritos, the town which received its name from workers involved in drilling the first oilwell in the area, back in 1863. Not far from Zorritos lies the Bocapán beach, where visitors can swim in Hervideros, natural hot springs bubbling with iodized salts.
A good time to visit Tumbes is in October, when visitors can take part in the local Tourism Week and enjoy the beaches, the local cooking and above all the warm hospitality of its people.