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Tarija Department


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Tarija Department

Brief history

Tarija, founded the 4 July of 1574 by Captain don Luis de Fuentes y Vargas, due to an order of the viceroy Francisco de Toledo, its first name was “Villa de San Bernardo de Tarixa”, and its main objective was to defend the Spanish and vassals of the King from the attacks of the chiriguano Indians Indians.

At the time of founded, the first Council was constituted with notable residents, headed by the mentioned captain. The first inhabitants were the “Tomatas”, very similar to our “Chapacos”, ©, high, robust, riders and hospital.

During the war of independence, the 15 April of 1817 rose held the battle of La Tablada, It is the most significant victory of tarijeños rebels against the Spanish forces, so that date is celebrated as departmental events.

Among the heroes of those epic days we can cite to a native Méndez “Moto”, Rojas, Avilés, Mendieta and the lion brothers. Tarija is rich in Folklore and traditional customs, and there are radical differences in each of its provinces. The traditional generosity of its inhabitants offered to domestic and foreign tourists, both in the city and in the field, the most cordial and affectionate welcome.


The Department of Tarija is located to the South of the Republic of Bolivia; It borders to the North with the Department of Chuquisaca, to the South with the Republic of Argentina to the East with the Republic of Paraguay and the West by Chuquisaca and Potosi. It has an extension of 37,623 km.2 and a population of 291,407 inhabitants (Census 1992). The capital of the Department is the city of Tarija (1,866 m.a.s.l.) situated between 21 ° 32′ 00″ South latitude and 64 ° 47′ 00″ longitude West of the meridian of Greenwich, has an extension of 37.623 km and its population is of approximately 200.000 inhabitants, account with 6 provinces and 157 cantons.


The city of Tarija is to 1924 meters above the sea level, its climate is mild and very pleasant, its valleys have an average of 17 to 23 degrees and in tropical places oscillates between 25 and 35 degrees, the rainy season includes the months of December to February. Temperate and cold in the West area.

Musical instruments


It is a tubular membranophones of double patch and direct hit, relatively small (between 6 and 15 CMS. high and 39 to 40 CMS. diameter) and very light, because you must behave and run on a single hand. Your frame is built of finely laminated wood and their patches of inner membrane of cow stomach, which are fixed to the frame cooking them first to two cane rings which surround it and then using a string joining both rings in zigzag. The box is the only instrument that can be run by women, that certainly is a heritage Inca.


It is a chordophone rubbed with bow, It is built both in communities and in the city of Tarija. Describes it Goyena “…the Fund, girdles and the handle are constructed of one piece, digging a piece of Walnut, Cedar or Willow. The CAP is usually pine, orange pegs and tailpiece of asta…The bow is made with orange wood rod and nut, the strings consist of horse tail mane…”. The melodies played with this instrument are pentatonic, with a thimble to rhythmic way; his character is binary.


It is a clarinet formed by a Pavilion made of cast Bull Horn, to which is appended at its narrow end, a nozzle (“straw”) of hollow canes from 10 to 20 CMS, line lengthwise almost halfway to obtain a thin layer that acts as a vibrating tongue. The melodies played with this instrument are usually tetratonicas, binary rhythmic character.


It is a transverse natural trumpet of giant dimensions (up to 5 meters long) that are constructed of cane hollow perforated and reinforced, which a flag is attached at one end (“corincha”) made of cow tail, and on the other side is the proscenium arch which is a side-opening of the cane. The melodies played with this instrument are tritonicas, the rhythmic behavior is binary.


It is not an instrument of the region, but it is very used by different folk groups to accompany the different rhythms of the music Tarijena such as the Cueca and Chacarera La. Considering the calendar of instrumental music, There is the period of use of tools chapacos: The erque from all saints to the Carnival (November-February), The shank from the feast of La Cruz, San Roque and Rosario (May-October), The Violin during the feast of Passover, Christmas and new year, The Camachena from San Juan to Todos Santos.


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