SULLANA, THE PEARL OF THE CHIRA
Sullana, a province of the Piura Region, located on the north coast of the country, with an extension of 5,423.6 km2, at a height of 59 meters above sea level, and a population of 234,562, has a semi-tropical desert climate and an average temperature of 20° Celsius, varying between 13 °C in winter and 37°C in summer. Its capital, the city by the same name, is 38 km north of the capital of the Region, in the beautiful valley of the Chira, bathed by the river with this name.
The city of Sullana has good paved access roads, used permanently by bus services, from and towards the south, north and interior of the province. The fastest access option is taking a commercial flight from Lima to the city of Piura, followed by an approximately 45-minute car trip. If you take the Pan American Highway north from Sullana, you can get to the Tumbes Region in three hours, whereas taking it south will get you to the Lambayeque Region in three and a half hours approximately, showing the excellence of its location.
Since time immemorial, the Chira valley has been an important farming area, in which the Tallanes, an ethnos with a matriarchal system, settled. Over the years it was successively invaded by the Mochicas, the Chimu, and finally by the Incas. This was the area chosen by the Spaniards to found their first city in this part of the Americas. It was called San Miguel de Tangarara (founded on July 15, 1532); after the foundation, the Spaniards changed the native farming system, creating the repartimientos and encomiendas. Late in the 18th century, on July 8, 1783, giving it the name of "El Principe" (The Prince), Bishop Baltazar Jaime Martinez de Compaņon y Bufanda founded the city of Sullana. In the Colony, the northern area of the country was important due to the presence of the port of Paita (to which Sullana belonged), as well as its intense trading activity, this being a key factor in its development. In the early 20th century, Sullana was one of the most important and productive areas of the province of Paita, achieving the status of Province thanks to its population growth and economic and urban development on November 4, 1911.
Its main attractions, a visit to which is recommended, are the following:
El Angolo Hunting Preserve:
Located 10 km north of the city of Sullana (about three hours by car), in a territory shared with the Tumbes Region, with a total surface area of 65,000 ha, it covers part of the foothills of the "Los Amotape" cordillera. The countryside features dry forest vegetation and a cluster of low and medium height hills and canyons. Altitude varies from 540 in El Angolo village to 1,613 meters above sea level at the summit of Cerro Carrizal. The fauna in the preserve is extremely varied, including 17 species of mammals, such as the white-tailed deer, the puma (cougar or mountain lion), the wildcat, the sajino, squirrels and anteaters. There are 150 bird species, such as the condor, the buitre real, the sparrowhawk, the cernicalo, the sierra partridge and pigeons; 13 species of reptiles, 7 of amphibians and 10 fish species. The flora features the algarrobo (carob tree), the faique, the palo santo, the almond tree, the ceibo, the sapote, and the hualtaco. Hunting in this area is controlled, hunting of the white-tailed deer being permitted. This area is comprised within the Northeastern Biosphere Reserve, established by the UNESCO on March 1, 1977. Due to its wildlife riches this is an excellent camping area. Needless to say, one requires a special permit to hunt. If you wish to do so, we suggest you make arrangements with your travel agency, so that they can program your trip, do the paperwork to obtain your permit and hire the guns; the cost is quite reasonable.
The Poechos Dam
Twenty seven kilometers from the city of Sullana lies the Poechos Dam, offering the spectacle of a huge bowl of water enabling the practicing of water sports, including water skiing, motor-boating, fishing and swimming.
La Leche Sulfur Baths
Located in the La Brea district of Talara, medicinal and curative powers are attributed to these waters, due to their high sulfur content.
Cerros de Amotape National Park is located in the province of Contralmirante Villar in Tumbes and in the area of the province of Sullana in Piura. It is a natural and cultural heritage area of the northwest of Peru, featuring a great number of indigenous species, both animal and plant, due to its geographical location. The Park, whose territory is shared with the Tumbes Region, is surrounded by ecosystems, and is very close to the sea, the Pacific tropical forest and the Amotapes cordillera, presenting four biomes; very dry tropical forest, thorny tropical bushland, dry tropical forest and dry tropical pre-mountainous forest. The topography of the Park is mainly mountainous due to the massif of the Amotapes, featuring geographical accidents such as the Cerro Negro, deep canyons, cliffsides and gorges, with a warm, dry climate that freshens towards the east due to the increased altitude. Towards the north, the climate is warm and humid, and towards the south warm and dry. The average annual rainfall is 800 mm, with a rainy season from December through March.
Wildlife is very varied and is represented by species typical of arid areas as well as tropical forest and Andean Cordillera. The predominant mammals are the Gray Deer (odocoileus virginianus), the Puma (felis concolor), the Anteater (tamandua mexicana), the white-necked Squirrel (sciurus stramineus), the Jaguar (pantera onca), the Cuchucho (nasua nasua); among the birds are found the imposing Andean Condor (vultur gryphus), the jungle Condor (sarcoramphus papa), the noisy red-headed Parrots (aratinga erithrogenys) and other species of woodpeckers and parrots. Reptiles, amphibians and insects are everywhere to be seen. A special group is that formed by endangered creatures such as the Tumbes Crocodile (crocodilos acutus) and the northwestern otter (lutra longicaudis), that are found in the National Park's only river, the Tumbes, which one finds on the border of the Tumbes Region.
The city offers excellent scenery, and areas offering beautiful views, as well as hotels providing adequate services, banks, communications and good and tasty food, based on menestras, kid and rice. The local drink is the clarito. Try a visit - you will find it relaxing.