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Trip PlannerSouth America  /  Bolivia  /  Tarija Department  /  Tarija


Wineries & Vineyards · Landmarks · Architectural Buildings
Tarija or San Bernardo de la Frontera de Tarixa is a city in southern Bolivia. Founded in 1574, Tarija is both the capital and largest city within the Tarija Department, with an airport (Capitán Oriel Lea Plaza Airport, TJA) offering regular service to primary Bolivian cities, as well as a regional bus terminal with domestic and international connections. Its climate is semi-arid (BSh) with generally mild temperatures in contrast to the harsh cold of the Altiplano (i.e., La Paz) and the year-round humid heat of the Amazon Basin (i.e., Santa Cruz de la Sierra). Tarija has a population of 234,442.HistoryAlthough in the local imagery the name of Tarija is said to come from a certain Francisco de Tarija or Tarifa, researched information disproves that probability. The valley, of where present-day Tarija is situated, was identified as "Tarija" and shared an articulation similar to its current pronunciation, prior to Spanish expeditions and occupation. In testimonials by members of the first group of Spaniards entering the Valley, the name of Tarija was already mentioned. This group did not include anyone by the name of Francisco de Tarija. One should also note that similar-sounding toponyms exist for surrounding places, such as Tariquia and Taxara. Around 1535 an expedition sent by Diego de Almagro arrived in the valley where Tarija is located. In 1574, the Viceroy of Peru, Francisco de Toledo, commissioned an expedition to establish Tarija. In July 4, 1574, San Bernardo de la Frontera de Tarixa was founded. In 1826 the citizens of Tarija voted to become part of Bolivia. In 1807 Tarija had become separated from Upper Peru to become part of the jurisdiction of Salta (part of Argentina), but its close ties to what became Bolivia provided the impetus for it to go back to its original jurisdiction. In 1899 Argentina renounced its claims in exchange for the Puna de Atacama.
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