Capital of Peru's southernmost department of the same name, the city of Tacna lies on an arid coastal plain at the foot of the Andes. Bestowed the title of "Heroic City" for the stalwart patriotism of its citizens, Tacna is a thriving hub of commerce abounding with historic and cultural attractions. It enjoys a mild subtropical desert climate and offers visitors exquisite local culinary specialties inspired in the region's agricultural bounty.
Among Tacna's historic landmarks commemorating Peruvian independence and the War of the Pacific are the Parabolic Arch, the Casa Jurídica, the home of Francisco Antonio de Zela, and the History Museum which gives a full account of both events and other milestones in national history. Its Railway Museum is among the city's most unique and fascinating attractions, and in Locomotive Park the locomotive that transported Peruvian troops to Arica during the War of the Pacific is on display. Art and culture enthusiasts will be captivated by Tacna's imposing Cathedral, the classical Greek statues of its Ornamental Fountain, and the Baroque ceiling paintings and portraits of illustrious people at the Municipal Theater. Just outside the city you'll find the ancient Miculla petroglyphs, the thermo medicinal springs of Calientes, the beautiful sunny countryside and fine traditional restaurants of Valle Viejo, and the Alto de la Alianza battleground and museum.
Tacna's most important celebration is Tacna Week, an outpouring of patriotism in late August, and the city's principal religious festivals, Cruces de Mayo and the Virgin of Copacabana, are syncretic blends of Catholic devotion and Aymara rituals. The city's tourist week and wine festival are other excellent times to visit.