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Chimbote is a port city in northern Peru, capital of the province of Santa, department of Ancash and district of Chimbote. This city became known by its fishing port, which by mid-70 reached the category of first fishing-meal port in the world, for its enormous volumes of fish landings and economic movement. Currently, Peru remains one of the world's greatest producers of fishmeal and derivatives.

A Bit of History

The territory where Chimbote is located has been successively populated by the cultures: Moche, Wari, Recuay, Chimu and Inca. Proof of this is archaeological centres of Punkur?, Pa?amarca, Huaca San Pedro, El Castillo, San Jose de Moro. It is thought that a single ethnic group populated these lands, the MAYAO, but the aborigines were later dispersed and decimated by the conquest of America.

In 1774, first appears the name of Chimbote in an official document in the book "Introduction and Overview of Provinces belonging to the Archbishop of Lima" by Cosme Bueno, The reference goes "... that the former Villa de Santa Maria de la Parrilla (Santa), has annexed a small fishermen village named Chimbote." The ethnography refers to these first settlers as fishermen originated from the seaside resort of Huanchaco, east of Trujillo, so they were called "huanchaqueros".

By 1815, Martin Plaza Larrabeitia, Deputy Assistant Delegate of the Crown of Spain awards ownership of these lands to the settlers; the population barely exceeded the hundreds. Its inhabitants mainly worked in craft fishing and cutting firewood.

Trade Growth and development

In 1871 starts the growth of the city with the construction of the railroad to Huallanca, led by engineer Henry Meiggs. The following year it was classified as "Puerto Mayor", so it is equipped whit a customs office and a port infrastructure.

During the Lynch expedition, episode of the Pacific War, the ranch El Puente was occupied by the Chilean army. As in other occupations, they demanded its owner, Dionisio Derteano, payment of a quota so as not to loot it. This couldn't be done, for in addition to the requirement being too high, the Peruvian State had closed all banks to avoid these quotas. Consequently, it was plundered and destroyed the harvest, the sugar mill and all the land would have.

On December 6 1906 the District of Chimbote is established and in the decade of 1930 the Pan American Highway is built.

Brief Bonanza

The decade of 1950 consolidates its port vocation with the organization of the Peruvian Corporation of Santa; construction of a hydroelectric generating plant: Canon del Pato; and the beginning of activities of steel mills. By that time, some fish processing factories had been installed on the periphery of the city and hundreds of fishing boats moored in the Bay of Chimbote

However, it is only in 1960 that begin the fishmeal massive exploitation, largely at the initiative of Luis Banchero Rossi, beginning a disorderly immigration due to high demand for labor. This situation caused the massive arrival of traders and services making the growth of the city chaotic and totally unplanned.

Disaster of 1970

The next decade would see the collapse of the economy due to two factors: over fishing and environmental pollution, caused by the industry exhausting the shoals off the coast, and climatic factors such as El Ni?o. Also in 1970 occurred the earthquake which reduced to rubble much of the infrastructure and real estate in the city, not counting the numerous deaths in Chimbote and the whole department.

Contemporary History

Recent decades have seen Chimbote in reorganization and good management processes. After the collapse of the fishing industry and a new El Ni?o in 1986; attention was turned to agribusiness, tourism and trade. Recent years have also been of remarkable recovery of the bay and refurbishment of municipal infrastructure.


Chimbote is located in the bay of same name, at the north end of Ancash. It is bounded on the north by Cerro de la Juventud and south by the peninsula Ferrol. It is two hours away from Trujillo and six of Lima. The city is divided into two by river Lacramarca, forming the wetlands of Villa Maria.


Being in the tropics, and the presence of the Andes, the Peruvian coastal area, where Chimbote is located, presents a desert climate, rainfall almost nil. The temperature varies between 28 ?C in summer and 13 ?C in winter. The winds are constant throughout the year, predominantly southwest at a speed of 30 to 40 km/h


Although the environment has been seriously affected by industrial activity, still keeps in Wetlands of Villa Maria an interesting heritage. Wetlands are natural coastal areas highly susceptible, so it is cared for by chimbotanos. Currently studies are made for planning the recovery of the Bay of Chimbote, once called "The Pearl of the Pacific", which is expected to take some hundred years.


It has a good Tourists Hotel. Its metropolitan area is nearly 10 km long, and has extended itself on sands and marshes. It is mostly residential, having more than 70 districts, known as Urbanizaciones and Pueblos Jovenes. The industrial zone is placed near the mouth of river Lacramarca, occupied mostly by shipyards and fishmeal factories. Chimbote is crossed by the Pan American Highway, which along their route takes the names of Jose Galvez Avenue and Avenue Henry Meiggs. Together with Jose Pardo Avenue are the main highways of the city. South of the city is the airport and before the bridge, the bus terminal El Chimbador. Along the coast there are 13 docks, industrial and artisanal.


Chimbote has 400,000 inhabitants. It clearly has a highlands- to-coast migrant's population and experienced a demographic explosion in the second half of the twentieth century. For these characteristics it is also called: the demographic synthesis of Peru. In the city Spanish is mostly spiked, although many immigrants speak quechua.


The first substrate of the Chimbotana Culture came from the north coast fishermen villages, once influenced by the Moche and Chimu and subsequently by the West through the Spanish culture. During the steel and fishing boom, the great migration resulted in the adoption of various cultural patterns both, from the coast and highlands. That is why the popular gastronomy includes the spicy ceviche and the guinea pig. In folk dancing: the Marinera and Huayno.


There are four universities. A public one, the National University of Santa (UNS) and two private, the Private University San Pedro (UPSP) and the University of Chimbote Los Angeles (ULADECH), having as well a subsidiary of the Private University Cesar Vallejo (UCV)


Chimbote is known as a port dedicated to the fishing industry, both for human consumption and fishmeal. The fishmeal and fish-oil plants are located in the industrial zone, covering the southern third of the bay. Main fish species drawn are: anchovy, tuna, mackerel and horse mackerel.

Another important industry is the steel mills, supplied by the mining of the interior region. So it is known as "The capital of fishing and steel."

Agribusiness is also important, most relevant being the sugarcane and marigold crops, used in food for poultry.

Chimbote is also the commercial axis of the area. Main foreign trade is done by sea, exporting agricultural and industrial products from river Santa and Nepe?a valleys to Europe, North America and Asia.

Most commonly used means of transport in Chimbote are by land (passengers and freight) and sea (foreign trade).


To the north are the cities of Coishco, Santa and Trujillo - the latter a two-hour trip; and southwards, those of Nepe?a, Casma, Huarmey, Pativilca, Huacho and Lima.

The city has two local newspapers: La Industria and El Diario, and three open signal TV channels: Channel 31, Channel 13, and Majestad TV (15 UHF). There are numerous radio stations; main local radio stations being RTCH, Ariana, Ancash, Nova, and Estrella.


Chimbote is the capital of the Province of Santa, department of Ancash. Its metropolitan area is divided in two districts: Chimbote (cercado) and Nuevo Chimbote.

It is the seat of the Provincial Government and the Superior Court of Justice of the Judicial District of Santa, as well as of the Coastal Directorate of Health, created in January 2005.

Page translated by courtesy of: Carlos Dextre.








Página web creada el 30 de marzo del 2005.
© Copyright 2005 Gualberto Valderrama C.