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Tacna, Peru - Travel Junction, The Gateway To Chile

Peru travel blog by Mark Berman - May 2009 May 2010 May 2014 Sep 2015   » View Photoset (37 Photos)

Mark Berman, South America backpacker for 10yrs!

East to Bolivia

2015 I came through Tacna this year on a flight from Lima so to get from Tacna to Desaguadero on the border of Bolivia which took 6hrs 15mins in a shared van. We passed through Moquegua, a place I had visited a few years earlier. Tacna is very much a travel junction, north, south or east!
Peru Photo - A woman made of flowers in the gardens at Pasaje Vigil in Tacna.
A woman made of flowers in the gardens at Pasaje Vigil in Tacna.

Gateway South to Chile

2014 I came through Tacna twice this year, once when I passed through heading south on my way to Arica Chile and then on the way back stopping to spend a few hours walking around taking some more photos before a flight north to Lima. I found a few new things I hadn't seen on my previous stay here. There is some nice gardens around Pasaje Vigil and a few bust monuments. There are also 2 people in the garden made of flowers. I took a long walk along the black and white striped boulevard, there's a ton of busts there of important people. I was also on the lookout for any graffiti art or murals. I came across a blue church called Parroquia Espiritu Santo. Tacna must have about 1000 palm trees, they are everywhere! I had a nice lunch at Santo Pecado Restaurant and walked to the main plaza. I enjoyed the gardens for a short time and then waved down a taxi to take me to the airport for my flight. Actually the best wall mural
Peru Photo - Pink flower garden around the base of a tree in Tacna.
Pink flower garden around the base of a tree in Tacna.
in Tacna is between town and the airport / border with Chile. It is of a Peruvian woman with a black hat and traditional clothing. I asked the taxi to stop so that I could get a picture. Tacna is certainly worth a quick look if you have time before or after crossing to or from Chile.

First Impressions

2009 I arrived in Tacna in the evening from Chile with the intention of staying 1 night and continuing north to Camana the next day after having a look around. After 2 bowls of chicken soup from across the road and a good nights sleep, I wandered around the city and headed for the main plaza to take a few photos.
Peru Photo - Jose Maria Barreto, gold bust in Tacna, author.
Jose Maria Barreto, gold bust in Tacna, author.
Along the way I came across a statue in a fountain of Romulo Cuneo Vidal, the Peruvian historian who lived from 1856 - 1931. There are gardens with a wooden tree statue and bird there also. I walked down a nice palm tree lined walkway towards the plaza. As I got closer I was not disappointed as it was looking like there were some cool things to see. I came across a mermaid-like statue, a heart shaped garden with flowers, a great big archway with 2 important looking statues of men on each side guarding the entrance. I saw some kind of sundial, an amazing fountain feature which all led towards the beautiful cathedral. There were several tourist police in the area keeping an eye on things. I also came across on the way back to the hotel, a statue of Francisco de Paula Gonzales Vigil - I think a former priest who became a parliamentarian.

Bus North to Camana

After getting my backpack and paying the hotel bill, I made my way by taxi to the bus
Peru Photo - A woman sells fruit from a pair of baskets on a Tacna street.
A woman sells fruit from a pair of baskets on a Tacna street.
terminal to head north to Camana, an 8-9 hour journey. As soon as I stepped foot out of the taxi at the terminal a man started shouting to me 'amigo, amigo, where are you going? Arequipa? Lima? Chile?'. I said no, I wasn't going to any of those places, but he kept asking me where I was going while I was walking away from him into the terminal. I eventually said I was going to Camana for which he told me that for 50 soles I could get a bus in 10 minutes. Then basically without me asking he decided to become the middleman between myself and the bus company desk, he asked for my passport and started booking my bus for me. The bus ended up only being 40 soles and the other 10 soles was to be his commission for helping me. Not that I need help with booking my buses or even asked him to help me in the first place, but I reluctantly gave him his 10 soles and said thanks. After that I thought I was a bit stupid for falling for that trick! But it got worse because the bus I was on, I was sitting down the back, each time the toilet was flushed a strong chemical smell was released into the back of the bus for which I endured for about 9 hours. The bus company was called 'Flores' and I never travelled with them again after that. I tried the company called 'Cial' a few times from then which were quite good and came with a hostess and good food.

Distances from Tacna

From the first security checkpoint north of Tacna these are the distances for various places by road, Moquegua 120kms, Arequipa 360kms, Puno 390kms, Desaguadero 470kms, La Paz 600kms, Cusco 776kms, Ica 967kms and Lima 1257kms.

     

View all photos in the Tacna Photoset


Itineraries / Routes: 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008



Distances & times (if available) from Tacna (Peru) to:


Map location: Tacna, Peru. Tacna is the gateway to or from Arica in Chile and I have stayed or passed through here several times. It's a nice place and has a few things to see plus large public spaces with flower gardens!
 A : Chile Border to Tacna - Peru 35 kms 35 kms straight distance | 1hr 1min 1hr 1min by car (49 kms) | 1hr 13mins 1hr 13mins by bus (49 kms) (49 kms)
 B : Arica - Chile 50 kms 50 kms straight distance | 1hr 16mins 1hr 16mins by car (61 kms) | 1hr 31mins 1hr 31mins by bus (61 kms) (61 kms)
 C : Moquegua to Desaguadero - Peru 115 kms 115 kms straight distance | 2hrs 1min 2hrs 1min by car (156 kms) | 2hrs 25mins 2hrs 25mins by bus (156 kms) (156 kms)
 D : Iquique to Arica to Peru Border - Chile 171 kms 171 kms straight distance | 3hrs 16mins 3hrs 16mins by car (231 kms) | 3hrs 55mins 3hrs 55mins by bus (231 kms) (231 kms)
 E : La Paz to Desaguadero - Bolivia 210 kms 210 kms straight distance | 5hrs 30mins 5hrs 30mins by car (322 kms) | 6hrs 36mins 6hrs 36mins by bus (322 kms) (322 kms)
 F : Puno to Bolivian Border - Peru 227 kms 227 kms straight distance | 6hrs 1min 6hrs 1min by car (339 kms) | 7hrs 13mins 7hrs 13mins by bus (339 kms) (339 kms)
 G : Copacabana - Bolivia 241 kms 241 kms straight distance | 6hrs 18mins 6hrs 18mins by car (353 kms) | 7hrs 33mins 7hrs 33mins by bus (353 kms) (353 kms)
 H : Arequipa - Peru 224 kms 224 kms straight distance | 4hrs 51mins 4hrs 51mins by car (363 kms) | 5hrs 49mins 5hrs 49mins by bus (363 kms) (363 kms)
 I : Iquique - Chile 244 kms 244 kms straight distance | 4hrs 58mins 4hrs 58mins by car (369 kms) | 5hrs 57mins 5hrs 57mins by bus (369 kms) (369 kms)
 J : Camana - Peru 299 kms 299 kms straight distance | 5hrs 50mins 5hrs 50mins by car (400 kms) | 7hrs 7hrs by bus (400 kms) (400 kms)
 K : Puno / Juliaca - Peru 244 kms 244 kms straight distance | 6hrs 35mins 6hrs 35mins by car (409 kms) | 7hrs 54mins 7hrs 54mins by bus (409 kms) (409 kms)
 L : La Paz - Bolivia 283 kms 283 kms straight distance | 7hrs 19mins 7hrs 19mins by car (428 kms) | 8hrs 46mins 8hrs 46mins by bus (428 kms) (428 kms)
 M : La Paz to Copacabana - Bolivia 269 kms 269 kms straight distance | 7hrs 21mins 7hrs 21mins by car (431 kms) | 8hrs 49mins 8hrs 49mins by bus (431 kms) (431 kms)
 N : Oruro - Bolivia 334 kms 334 kms straight distance | 9hrs 45mins 9hrs 45mins by car (620 kms) | 11hrs 42mins 11hrs 42mins by bus (620 kms) (620 kms)
 O : Cochabamba - Bolivia 438 kms 438 kms straight distance | 12hrs 38mins 12hrs 38mins by car (764 kms) | 15hrs 9mins 15hrs 9mins by bus (764 kms) (764 kms)
Driving times are accurate but approximate and are listed in the order of driving distance! Drive times are always affected by weather conditions, the terrain, time of day, altitude, dinner and bathroom stops, animals on the road, protests, a fast or slow bus driver, police checkpoints, border and river crossings, dropping off and picking up passengers etc. These drive times are obtained from Google Maps and are meant as a guide. Note however, times quoted in the main text of this page are exactly as the author experienced it.


My Hostel & Hotel Reviews for Tacna, Peru:

Copacabana Hotel, Tacna, Peru - Large Photo
Copacabana Hotel, Tacna, Peru (September 2015 - 2 nights) - Copacabana Hotel is one of the many overpriced hotels in Tacna. $110 Soles ($35USD) for a double room with bathroom, cable tv and wifi. The place is nice enough but my double bed was sunken in the middle which made it uncomfortable so I had to move to the single bed instead. Breakfast is included but they don't include anything with it. It is 3 pieces of bread, coffee and juice, that's all! Where are the eggs? What, I need to pay for those? Sorry, that is not a breakfast, how disappointing. I cannot recommend the Copacabana Hotel for these reasons, there are many other hotels to choose from!
Hotel Royal Inn, Tacna, Peru - Large Photo
Hotel Royal Inn, Tacna, Peru (May 2009 - 2 nights) - Big spacious room with bathroom and tv, well priced, good staff and in the center of town. The biggest room I have had in South America!

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Tacna, Peru - Travel Junction, The Gateway To Chile. Tacna is the gateway to or from Arica in Chile and I have stayed or passed through here several times. It's a nice place and has a few things to see plus large public spaces with flower gardens!

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