Tumbes is located in the northwestern area of the country, its boundary is with the Republic of Ecuador, where the desert area ends and the Tumbes delta opens and is the only navigable river in the Peruvian coast. Due to its proximity to the Ecuador its the warmest and rainiest area and has fertile land where they grow cotton, rice, fruit and tobacco. The climate is semi-tropical with sun all year round.
Tumbes was the first city to proclaim its independence from the Spain, it was on the 7th of January 1821. The fighting spirit of the Tumbesinos was confirmed once more during the conflict with Ecuador in 1941. Tumbes was turned into a department in 1942 as acknowledgment of their support to the Peruvian victory against Ecuador.
After the battle of Zarumilla the conflict was solved by the signature of the Act of Talara, predecessor of the Protocol of Rio de Janeiro. Tumbes is a noisy but welcoming always sunny and peaceful city, today its an active commercial bordering city with its large houses built with Guayaquil Bambu cane, hualtaco or algarrobo give it a peculiar distinction.
The main attraction of the area are the beautiful paradise beaches of crystal clear waters (many of which are appropriate for water sports) , clean sands, palm trees and extraordinary views that are unique in Peru as well as its grove of mangrove trees and estuaries in the Tumbes river delta. On the north of Tumbes you find the beaches of Puerto Pizarro with its islands Del Amor, Hueso Ballena and Los Pajaros.
Renting boats is recommendable. On the south you will find the beach of Murmova, caleta de La Cruz, Puerto Loco, Santa Rosa y Zorritos ( which has a suitable port for yachts and tuna fishers). Going further south you will find Bocapan, Cancas and Punta Sal. This last one has a good hotel lodging and is one of the most beautiful beach resorts in Peru. You can also fly to Talara in Piura to get these beaches, some of them have bungalows type accommodations right on the beach.
The architectonic environment as a whole of Cabeza de Vaca, where it is said that the "tumpis" lived, reached a high degree of civilization having constructed a beautiful city protected by big fortresses.
Cabeza de Vaca is the largest settlement of the Tumbes culture with evidence of hydraulic works, roads , ceramics etc.
Protected Natural Areas
The National Sanctuary of Mangroves of Tumbes is an area where the grove of mangrove trees are preserved and is the only sample of mangrove's in Peru. The mangrove grows and develops in salt water and its plants of various sizes have roots that are stilt shaped with seeds that germinate on the tree. The mangrove's area natural barrier against the erosion caused by the sea waves and the tides and also shelters shell fish and similar species as well as sea gulls, heron, fishing eagles small mangrove bears, otters, lizards and crocodiles.
Music and Dances
Their music is known as the "cumanas" which are poems sang while playing the guitar. Their motive's are varied but mainly are love themes, sentimental and witty insults.
The most popular is the "Danza de la Pava" whose step is similar to that of a turkey and represents the courting of wild turkeys.
One of the typical dishes is the ceviche of black shell fish served with yucas, sweet potatoes and corn. The chinguirito is a banana soup and a beverage made of coconut water and Pisco, the antecoco which is a coconut dessert.
Most of the beliefs, traditions and festivities have migrated from Ecuador, but there are some that have come from other places in Peru such as the folkloric beliefs of "chucaque", "el mal de ojo". Nevertheless the most typical Tumbes folklore is in their dishes based on sea food, their beverages and desserts.