7 junio, 2024

Coast of Peru: characteristics, climate, relief, demography

What is the Coast of Peru and where is it located?

The coast of peru, a country located in western South America, covers a narrow but long territory (2,250 kilometers) facing the Pacific Ocean. It begins in Boca de Capones in the town of Tumbes and reaches the border with La Concordia (Chile).

The altitude of the Peruvian coast or Chala, as it is also known, is around 500 meters above sea level, having an extension in width that varies between 40 and 170 kilometers.

It is one of the three traditional regions of Peru and has valleys (where agriculture is developed), pampas, tablazos, depressions and cliffs in its relief.


The Coast of Peru is divided into three regions or sectors:

North Coast: It extends from Boca de Capones in Tumbes to Punta Agujas in Piura. In this coastal section the climate is semitropical. Here is the only navigable river on the coast and also the only tropical dry forest in the country.
central coast: This section goes from Punta Agujas in Piura to Paracas on San Gallán Island in Ica. It has a subtropical-arid climate.
South coast: It is the sector that extends from Paracas in Ica to Tacna, on the border with La Concordia in Chile. Its climate is subtropical-arid with an average temperature of 17 degrees.

Characteristics of the Coast of Peru


The climate of this territory is predominantly arid, although technically it has two types of climates: semitropical (on the border with Ecuador) and subtropical.

The atmospheric humidity is considerably high, so people can feel cold, even when the temperature normally exceeds 12°C and reaches 30° during the summer.

In winter, the «garúa» produced by Humboldt currents darkens the landscape. This same current prevents seawater from getting too hot throughout the year.

Between November and March (summer season), the northern sector of the Peruvian coast receives intense rains. There the temperature is usually around 24 degrees Celsius.

Meanwhile, in the central sector it hardly rains and the average temperature is 18.2 degrees. Winter occurs between April and October.

In this area of ​​Peru, up to 132 millimeters of rainwater can fall per year. These levels of rainfall can increase in the presence of the El Niño atmospheric phenomenon, which acquires special nuances in this region where scientists already call it: “Coastal El Niño”.

The “special” character is due to the fact that the effects of the heating of the sea waters end up generating torrential rains that are restricted to that area, thanks to the wind currents that circulate there.


The economic activity of this region is naturally fishing. Both marine and continental are carried out at the artisanal level and also at the industrial level.

Throughout its territory there is a great variety of fish, prawns, crabs, lobsters and black shells. Horse mackerel, hake, mackerel and anchovy also abound.

It is produced for domestic consumption and for export. For example, the European and North American markets are large consumers of Peruvian fishmeal and oil.

However, rice, cotton and sugar cane are also grown. In fact, it is the region with the most developed agriculture in the country because it is intensive, highly technical and attracts large capital investments.

Mining and the oil industry also occupy many inhabitants of this region and affect its economic indicators.

Cattle farming is intensive but limited to a few tracts of land in the valleys.

Gastronomic tourism is another of the engines of the Peruvian economy.

The Peruvian industry is limited to large cities such as Lima, Chiclayo, Piura and Arequipa, among others. The largest number of factories is located in Lima.


Because it is a region bordered by a mountain range, it presents formations of valleys and pampas.


In the valleys is where the largest number of people are concentrated and where the main cities of Peru are based. It is transversal to the coast.

It is also the section where intensive agriculture is developed due to its fertile lands, which encourages the production of inputs for internal consumption and for export.

Some of the main valleys are:

Chira in Piura.
Nepena in Ancash.
Acari and Yauca in Arequipa.
Chancay and Rimac in Lima.
Pisco in Ica.


The pampas are areas located between the valleys where it almost does not rain, such as:

Elms in Lambayeque.
Majes in Arequipa.
Bye, in Liberty.
Go to Tacna.


The tablazos are the areas where the oil and natural gas deposits are located, so their importance for the country’s economy is considerable. Some of them are:

Foxes, in Tumbes.
Mancora, Lobitos and Negritos, in Piura.
Lurin, in Lima.
Great Table of Ica.


They are small concave areas below sea level, from which marine waters emerge that evaporate, leaving behind salts and nitrates that are used for various purposes.

Some depressions of the Peruvian coast are:

Bayobar in Piura.
The salt flats of Huacho in Lima.
Otuma in Ica.

There are also deserts like the Pur dune, in Trujillo, hills like those of Lachay, hills like Solar.

Likewise, there are small bays, peninsulas, guano islands, lbuferas and an oasis (Huacachina).

It also presents abrupt rocky elevations that are the hills of the Andean foothills.

Flora and fauna of the Coast

Because it is an area with a predominantly arid climate, flora and fauna are not very abundant. However, there are very distinctive plant species such as salt grass, mangroves, hairy cactus and the Huaco thistle.

As for the most common animals in the region, we can name the gray fox, the carob squirrel, the green iguana, the cuculí and the Arenales owl.


Approximately, a little more than half of the Peruvian population (54.6%), lives in 10.6% of the Peruvian territory.

In fact, according to the National Water Authority (ANA), the percentage of the population living in that area is 60%, despite the fact that it only has 2.2% of the total water in the country.

The mixture between the whites and the indigenous and blacks, gave rise to the Creoles. That denomination is used to designate the costeños, who are the majority of the population. Whites, Afro-descendants and indigenous people are present in a smaller proportion.

The black population is commonly located on the central and southern coast, where they settled years ago from Africa and the Antilles, to be the workforce in rural work. The indigenous people occupy mountain or Andean territories of Peru.

Main cities of the Coast

Some of the main cities are:

North: Tumbes, Sullana, Piura, Chiclayo, Trujillo, Chimbote
Center: Lima, Callao, Ica
South: part of Arequipa, Moquegua, Tacna


Cusco Peru (undated). Climate on the coast of Peru. Recovered from: cuscoperu.com.
Discover Peru (undated). The coast and its long desert. Retrieved from discover-peru.org.
The Popular (2013). The coast and its characteristics. Recovered from elpopular.pe.
Plains, Alberto (2015). Economic Activities in Peru. Recovered from reportaje.com.pe.
National Parks. Peru Coast. Retrieved from nationalparks-worldwide.info.
Peru travel. About Peru. Recovered from peru.travel.

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