An afternoon in Tacna
Tacna Travel Blog› entry 20 of 30 › view all entries
Time to head back to Peru. The day started in Arica, just across the border in Chili. We climbed atop the Morro which gave a foggy view over the city and then headed to the international bus station.
Well, crossing the border from Arica to Tacna is an interesting thing. We took a “collectivo” which is nothing more than a car of a Chilean citizen. The man helped us get some tickets and immigration forms for Peru and guided us to his car. The car got stuffed with some other passengers and luggage and off we went to Peru. The guy hurried all of us throught the customs and went full throttle to Tacna, only to head back again to pick up the next clients.
There is not much to say about Tacna. We stayed here for one night because it was too much of a hassle to go to Arequipa the same day. I expected nothing from Tacna and it was not on our list of cities, but it wasn’t bad at all.
Tacna is quite a weathly city compared to other Peruvian cities. It must be because in summer all the Chileans move across the border for some cheap shopping in Tacna. There is a lot of contact between Tacna and Arica. They are like twin cities but I guess there is also a lot of rivalry, as Arica is much richer. Peru and Chile have fought a lot over these cities. One thing to notice therefore in Tacna is how patriotistic the city is. The Peruvian flag is visible everywhere.
The plaza de armas of Tacna is visible on the 100 Nuevo Soles note. It has a brick cathedral, an Arc that celebrates famous Peruvian generals, Grau and Bolognesi if I am not mistaken, and the fountain was designed by Gustave Eiffel (whatever was he doing in this part of the world? Signs of his presence are everywhere). It is a very nice plaza with a lot of plants and a very noticable palms. Other than that, Tacna hasn’t much to offer. But hey, we have seen it! It is always fun to end up in cities that were not in your planning.