Tourism in Tumbes

Beautiful beaches, wide open plains, rolling hills, and towering mountains make up the diverse terrain of the department of Tumbes where several ecosystems are located such as estuaries and mangroves, the dry equatorial forest (Cerros de Amotape National Park) and the Pacific tropical forest (Tumbes National Reserve). More than 30% of the territory has been declared as protected natural areas.


Cerros de Amotape National Park (91,300 hectares) is located on the Tumbes-Piura border and gathers together a great biological diversity. The wildlife is especially assorted with species like the Andean condor, the little spotted cat, the red deer, the peccary, the northern anteater, the spectacled bear, the gray deer, and the Guayaquil squirrel.


The Mangroves of Tumbes National Sanctuary that is composed of extensive aquatic forests that create a one of a kind environment between the river and the sea is home to black hawks, egrets, and other birds.


The history of Tumbes dates back to pre-Columbian cultures dating from 10,000 a. C., up to the domination of the Incas (S. XIV) and then the Spanish conquest that was initiated with the arrival of Francisco Pizarro and his army in 1532 to land at Caleta La Cruz. There are now large sections of the Inca Trail of the coast and highlights the archaeological place Cabeza de Vaca, a National Cultural Heritage.


Its closeness to the Equator makes the beaches of Tumbes ideal places for surfing, diving, sport fishing, or simply for the people searching for fun and sun in summer. Punta Sal is thought to be one of the best beaches in Peru because of its white sand and rich marine life. The Zorritos cove is famous for its tranquil water and wide variety of fish.


To the north of Tumbes, you come across Puerto Pizarro, well known for its islands and for its American crocodile breeding center, a species unique to Peru and one in danger of being extinct. This is also a place where you find large amounts of black scallops and crabs, the basis for an exquisite local cuisine.

Tumbes City Overview

  • Location:

    Northwestern Coast, 23 feet (7 m.) above sea level

  • Distances to Tumbes:

    From Lima 789 miles (1,270 Km)
    From Máncora 61 miles (98 Km)
    From Piura 173 miles
    From Aguas Verdes: 16 miles
    From Guayaquil - Ecuador: 171 miles

  • Population:

    154,000 inhabitants

Maps of Tumbes

Maps of Tumbes

Tumbes Guide


Tumbes City

The city of Tumbes is located on the banks of the Tumbes river, the only river in the Peruvian coast navigable by small boats, is surrounded by a vast tropical vegetation and agricultural areas. Its buildings are republican and modern who have a modest economic development. Near to the main square there are houses of nineteenth century some wood and cane, pedestrian streets and modern monuments around which local people used to meet and local craft galleries. Around the perimeter of the main square to enjoy fine cuisine of Tumbes, the bandshell, the shopping area and the Iglesia Matriz San Nicolás de Tolentino (XVII Century). The Tumbes river boardwalk offers nice views of the area. In Tumbes can not fail to enjoy its famous seafood, such as black scallops, cebiche, chili prawns and majarisco.


Around Tumbes

The main archaeological sites, considered National Cultural Heritage, highlighting the archaeological site Cabeza de Vaca, Rica Playa and El Guineal. The medicinal mud, places of upwelling thermal waters, curative mud form, highlighting Hervideros. Places for outdoor excursions, hiking and canoeing. Aguas Verdes the border town with Ecuador, it has great commercial activity and that is joined by the International Bridge with the Ecuadorian town of Huaquillas. Caleta La Cruz, where Francisco Pizarro disembarking and began the conquest of Peru and laid the Cross on the new land, also Hervideros thermal baths.


Beaches and Resorts of Tumbes

Punta Sal, Zorritos y Puerto Pizarro are the most required beaches by tourists in Tumbes. The beach of Máncora located in the department of Piura is most accessible from Tumbes city referred to trips from Lima. Beaches of white sand and warm (26°C. average), with almost guaranteed sun all year round, each offering different alternatives, one for game fishing, spear fishing, whale watching, other ideal for relax and rest. Hotels and bungalows for rent on these beaches and how to reach them. Since these beaches is easy access to any areas of protected natural areas. Other beaches of Tumbes are Cancas, Punta Mero, Bocapán, Playa Hermosa and Jelí.


Protected Natural Areas of Tumbes

Approximately 30% of the territory of the department of Tumbes was declared as protected natural area for their biological richness and large numbers of endemic species. Its ecosystems include tropical rainforests, dry forests equatorial, mangrove areas and estuaries. Tumbes National Reserve (75,102 hectares), the Mangroves of Tumbes National Sanctuary (2,972 hectares) and Cerros de Amotape National Park (91,300 hectares) are protected areas, which form part of the Northwest Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO recognized in 1977. Among the flora species include the carob, guaiac, beef stick, bay leaf balsam guachapelí, black wood, ear of a lion, but they are the most special mangrove species in this department. The fauna consists of Tumbes species such as deer, ocelots, monkeys, ducks, partridges, guans, swallows, parrots, foxes, huanchacos, peccaries, snakes, iguanas, crocodiles, lizards, etc. These species are compounded by the variety of species of fish from its shores. The Mangroves of Tumbes National Sanctuary is often visited on tours organized from Puerto Pizarro or the Puerto 25 area .


Tumbes Cuisine - Northern Cuisine

Northern food must be eaten with gusto. The renown of its dishes grows daily thanks to its fresh lime-juice marinaded fish and shell fish served with a hot pepper sauce, onions, yams, corn on the cob, or boiled corn. Chinguirito dried and salted guitarfish is a typical seafood dish, as steamed fish, shrimp, and other shellfish and crab, served with mild creamed yellow peppers. Fried manioc sticks, parmesan cheese scallops, and banana chips are patient appetizers, or a “jalea” of fried manioc sticks, fish and shellfish. Causa cold pie, combines layers of mashed potato, and fried onions, garlic, and spices with grilled fish. And to drink, a beer or corn beer called “chicha” is served in gourds. Meats are cooked variously. Particularly well-liked are kid stew served with squash cooked in corn beer, and beans or green corn tamales; “chabelo” stew prepared with shredded grilled beef and grilled banana plantains, and duck and rice, cooked. in malt beer. “Priests” soup, a turkey broth, and “shámbar” a soup combining pulses and pork and beef broth are good for dieters, while desserts include quince jellies, and “king-kong”, a cake made with egg yolks, and creamed pineapple and milk custard. In addition to classic restaurants, these delicacies can be enjoyed at local “chicherías” literally corn beer bars where food is prepared over a wood fire in earthen pots, or in “huariques” the neighborhood restaurants of Tumbes and Piura.


Handicrafts of Tumbes
In the fishermen’s coves of Puerto Pizarro, Punta Mero, Punta Sal y Cancas, people sell items made of seashells such as earrings, necklaces, and seashell curtains. There are also shops selling decorations and figurines of people and animals typical to the area made from pasalla tree and banana plant fibers.


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