Location: South Coast.
Area: 16 164 km2.
Capital: Moquegua (1140 masl)
Altitude: Minimum: 15 masl (Ilo)
Maximum: 3756 masl (Ichuña)
Santa Catalina de Guadalcazár. This was the Spanish name for this town wedged in the heart of one of the most fertile valleys along the south Peruvian coast. Thanks to a benign climate, the Conquerors succeeded in planting sprawling vineyards and raking in abundant harvests. In the final years of the colonial era, the city changed its name to Moquegua, the same as the department where it is located. Moquegua then began to develop progressively into one of the country's leading agricultural areas.
Famous for its wines and pisco (grape brandy), Moquegua features many attractions for visitors: its main square features a fountain designed by French architect Gustave Eiffel, while in the Iglesia Mayor church the faithful worship Santa Fortunata, a martyr from the early days of Christianity. Heading deeper into the department, visitors will find unique provinces such as Torata, where the houses still feature picturesque old-fashioned roofs overshadowed by imposing stone mills, or Ilo, the main port on Peru's south coast. Throughout the department one can order patasca (a hearty soup of corn, mint and giblets), chupe de camarones (shrimp stew) or the delicious local desserts such as manjarblanco (a creamy dairy paste), the alfajor de penco pastry and the local corncakes called tortas de maíz. All this comes together to create a mix of aromas and flavors that make Moquegua simply unforgettable.