Chimbote is the largest city in the Ancash Region of Peru. It is also the capital of the Santa Province and the Chimbote District. The city is located on the coast in Chimbote Bay, south of Trujillo and at 420 kilometers north of Lima in the North Pan-American highway. Its exact geographic location is 9° 8' south latitude and 78° 35' west longitude. It is the start of a chain of important cities like Trujillo, Chiclayo and Piura. The advantages of this geographic location turns Chimbote into a transshipment junction for all the area of the Santa River valley.
During the 1970s El Niño, an earthquake, and overfishing drastically affected the fishing industry, and restrictions were added. However, more than 75 percent of Peru's fishing industry occurs in Chimbote. The Chimbote - Huallanca rail line, built in 1922, serves as a railway for coal and iron mines on the interior and a railway for the river valley by transporting rice, cotton, sugarcane, and bananas.
In 1871, an agreement was made with Enrique Meiggs to build a railroad towards the interior of the country. Chimbote acquires the category of port, but its population was only a thousand of inhabitants. The opening of the Pan-American highway opens an easy access to Lima in the 30s.
In 1940, Chimbote was a small fishing port of 2400 inhabitants in an urbanized area of 80 ha. In 1943, the government create the Corporación Peruana del Santa (Peruvian Corporation of Santa). This entity took up the railroad, made improvements to the port and began the works on the hydroelectric power station of the Cañón del Pato, in Huallanca. The first stage of the power station was inaugurated in 1958 and at the same time, the iron and steel plant started functioning. By the year 1943, the first companies dedicated to the extraction of bonito's liver also settle down. This liver was sold for a highest price abroad, due to the World War II.
Shortly after the fish canning industry declined, the anchoveta industrialization arrived at its very peak. This fact attracted people from all over the country due to the highest fishing wages. Chimbote became a gigantic and chaotic suburban area. The strong migratory wave toward the city was increased because of the serious crisis of the countryside in the 60s, particularly in Ancash, Cajamarca and the northern part of La Libertad Region.The axis of development moved from the cotton, sugarcane and rice land properties to the large city. In addition, the port was a natural exit channel for the exports of Santa valley and a starting point for the entry to the Callejón de Huaylas.
The Peruvian anchoveta Boom created so many wealths in the city, but it soon ended due to the indiscriminate fishing that preyed the bio-mass. There was also an earthquake in 1970 that caused damages in the facilities of the fishing industries, which entailed unemployment and impoverishment for the people from Chimbote. While these events happened, the Social Welfare Commission of the Diocese of Chimbote was dedicated to organize diverse popular dining places, in coordination with Unicef. Since 1985, a new rise of the fishing activity was observed. Nowadays, the fishing industry employs 8 thousand settlers approximately.
This fishing port gets little or no precipitation at all, but thick fog is very predominant around the months of May and November usually during the overnight hours. Rainfalls happenings usually occurs during the month of February.
The enormous migratory flow at the beginning of the 70s constituted a phenomenon without any kind of precedents in the country. By that time, less than 5% of the people from Chimbote could consider themselves as truly native. The reason was that between 1960 and 1970, Chimbote multiplied its population more than a hundred times. In 1900, the population of the port was 1,400 inhabitants; after 1970 it increased up to 170 thousand inhabitants. At the moment its population is 334,568.
The mentioned migratory phenomenon was closely bound to the creation of the Corporación Peruana del Santa (Peruvian Corporation of Santa), to the start and development of the fishing industry and to the establishment of the iron and steel plant (Siderperu). These three, altogether, multiplied the commercial and productive activities of the port. At the beginning of 1996, within the privatization process of the Peruvian public companies, Siderperu was bought by the Peruvian-Brazilian company, Acerco.
Chimbote is the largest fishing port in Peru. Chimbote has more than 30 fish factories, and has some of the world's finest fish-packing equipment.The main characteristic of Chimbote is its active commerce and its diversified industrial development. Its population is basically conformed by a group of workers that have experience in fishing, naval, canning and iron and steel industry. These people have reached the characteristics of being a competent labour force.
Chimbote is not only a fishing city, but also has a lot of beaches that are suitable for resting and recreation. Some of them are Besique, el Dorado, Los Chimús and Atahualpa, easily accessible by tarmaced roads.
Located next to the city is, Cerro de la Juventud (Mountain of Youth), also called Cerro de la Paz (Mountain of Peace). Since 1985, this tourist attraction brings hundreds of people from all over. The visitor will appreciate a panoramic view of Chimbote's bay from the top of this mountain. The tourist can also visit the Isla Blanca Boulevard - which has many beautiful marble sculptures and fountains. From Chimbote, some short tourist circuits can be taken, like Chimbote - Casma - Sechín - Yaután; Chimbote - Nepeña - San Jacinto - Moro -balls Jimbe; and Chimbote - Santa - Huallanca.
Chimbote has two important celebrations during the year: Holy Week and The Festivity of San Pedrito of Chimbote (also called Chimbote's Civic Anniversary).
Currently there are 30 bus carriers offering services for national and international travel. For the convenience of bus travelers, ticket plazas, information booths and windows, waiting areas, 2 restrooms, 2 restaurants, ATM machines and other consumer services are located throughout the building. There is also an internet cafe that operates until midnight. El Chimbador Bus Terminal is committed to the safety and security of its facilities and the people who use them.
Chimbote was a beautiful beach resort and an excellent resting place up to the moment when the industry of Peruvian anchoveta appeared. The reason: most of its coastal populated areas were filled up with factories.
Currently the airport does not handle any domestic flights, only private flights. The airport is undergoing minor safety-related renovations as of April 2006.