Camana was founded as a Spanish villa in November 1539 by Francisco Pizarro under the name of Villa Hermosa de Camana, with the purpose of establishing a urban center that served as nexus between the City of the Kings (Lima) and Cusco. However, the Villa Hermosa was moved to Arequipa when there were climate complications in the territory of Camana, reason why it’s said that Arequipa was founded. It was in 1839, in the republic period, that Villa de Camana was raised to the category of city.
Travel tips for Camana
-The city of Camana is the capital of the province with the same name, that belongs to the department of Arequipa.-It’s located at just 112 mi (180 km) from the White City (Arequipa). The route takes about 3 hours, on the highway.-The tourist means in Camana are, in general of recreation, due to the geographic conditions and for having 24.8 mi (40 km) of beaches.-The beaches represent the biggest potential for tourism, since they are among the best of the Peruvian south. The high season, when the beaches in Camana are crowded, is the summer, from December to March.-Camana is the exit way to the sea for Arequipa, so it’s the favourite place of holidays for the people of Arequipa in summer.Camana is a city- small town. It won’t be difficult to get around by foot to get to the beaches or other places; but if you look for shorten the distances and transportation time, then you can have low-cost “combis” and some “mototaxis” where you will pay s/ 1 and s/ 2 to places close to the downtown (for long-distances the rates could be s/ 4 and s/ 7 per person.Camana is a calm town, but just in the low season. The important dates and in summer the city and the beaches are very crowded, what increase the tourist activity in an unreasonable way that is worse due to the shortage of an adequate infrastructure. Those days you have to take special care not to be stolen or loosing valuable objects, since the urban situation can be chaotic. Spend the new year in Camana is amazing, but it can also turn on a bad experience, due to the disarray of the nightlife. Enjoy Camana, but try to keep in mind those recommendations.
Best time to visit Camana
The best period of time to visit Camana is beginning of November, when the Anniversary of the city is celebrated, and there are lots of activities to participate at.
Climate in Camana
-The climate in Camana is pleasant since it’s mild and dry most of the year. The average temperatures do not exceed 77 °F (25 °C) in summer. In winter the coldest temperatures do not descend more than 50 °F (10 °C). The climate is desert and the rains are not frequent.
Things to do in Camana
Camaná is located on the western center of Arequipa department and it's one of the 8 provinces that constitute it. The main tourist attraction is the beaches circuit that spreads along the Pacific Ocean. The most busy beaches are: La Punta, Camaná, Cerrillos, El Chorro and Las Cuevas. Camaná is famous for its archeological sites and traditional dishes. The Petroglifos of Quilca are also part of the archeological tourism and you can visit them in Camaná. Those "petroglifos" are big stones that photograph scenes of hunt by draws made by the ancient fishermen of the pre-Incan period. One of the typical dishes of the local gastronomy (considered one of the best of the South of Peru) is the "chupe de camarones"; it's a kind of shrimp soup.
Nightlife in Camana
Nightlife in Camana
The best nightclubs and bars of Camana are located close to the beaches (the most famous are located in the beach La Punta).
Aqua Bar Discoteca
Location: Plaza Grau, close to the beach La Punta Hours: doesn’t say Price: doesn’t say The best entertainment experience and nightlife you will find in this exclusive and modern nightclub in front of the sea in Camana. The prices to consume are quite elevated, but the atmosphere and the events they do worth it.
Discoteca Vampiros Bar
Location: at the beach La Punta Hours: doesnt’t say Price: doesn’t say
Where to eat in Camana?
Location: Calle Alfonso Ugarte with Jr. 28 de Julio Hours: doesn’t say Price: among s/ 15 and s/ 30 You will find a large variety of dishes made of the freshest fishes and shellfishes, but also you will have creole dishes, dypical of the coastal peruvian cities.
Location: Jr. 28 de Julio Hours: doesn’t say Price: doesn’t say The restaurant Camotitos provides diverse choices for lunch or dinner but, as all good restaurant of Camana, the specialty is plates whose main ingredient is prawns. The “chupe de camarones” that you will taste here is just exquisite, highly recommended to the people that taste for the first time the seasoning of Camana. You will be very satisfied with the food, served in abundant portions.
The tourist places to see in Camana are:
Archaeological Museum Jose Maria Quimper
Location: at 12.4 mi (20 km) from the city, in El Cardo district Hours: doesn’t say Price: doesn’t say At this museum you will appreciate close to 10000 years of history, in a tour through the cultures Nasca, Paracas, Wari, Inca, among others that settled on the region. It worths it to take the time to get to know the museum, you can learn a lot about the history of the south peruvian coast.
Lagoons of Pucchun
Location: in one side of the Camana river Hours: all day Price: free entrance Those lagoons of Pucchun are little lakes, habitat and resting place for coastal and migratory birds. Some of the birds you will see in this natural ecosystem are: the blue heron, the parihuana (a sort of flamingo) and the pelican, among others.
Location: at 20.5 mi (33 km) from the city, at 30 minutes Hours: all day Price: free entrance It’s the most important port among the districts of the Camana province. It’s famous for being the place where the hero Almirante Miguel Grau Seminario, during the Pacific war, achieved a great feat, evading all the Chilean fleet, on board of the Monitor Huascar. It’s a good place for practicing ecotourism, submarine hunting and admiring the wonderful view over the twilight of Camana.
Location: km 845 of the Panamericana Sur Hours: all day Price: free entrance This beach is one of many that offers Camana to its visitors, although this one is among the most visited; its pleasant warm climate and a sea of peaceful waters make fall in love all the visitors.
The things to do in Camana
Location: La Punta Camana, Cerrillos, el Chorro, Quilca, Honoratos, Las Cuevas, among many others. We already mentioned that Camana has the best beaches of the south coast and they are usually crowded due to their variety and warm climate, but besides that they are visited by the people who practice water sports as surf, sports fishing or the scuba diving. To go to those beaches you will have to go across 6 to 25 mi (10 to 40 km) from the city of Camana (the route won’t take more than 30 minutes).
Typical dishes in Camana
Typical dishes of Camana
The plates of the cooking in Camana are prepared mostly with prawn and shellfish, since those animals are abundant in its sea. Your palate will be very satisfied tasting the flavors that those pottages offer.
Chupe de camarones
It’s prepared with chilly pepper, garlic, cummin, onion, pumpkin, field beans, sprawns, corn, egg, cheese, huacatay, milk, oil, rice and salt.
Ceviche de camarones
As its name indicates, it’s a typical “ceviche” marinated with lemon juice and onions. But the “ceviche de camarones” is cooked previously in a pot with boiled water for 15 or 30 seconds. Then it’s mixed up with all the ingredients and you let the lemon juice to marinate the dish.
Chicharron de camarones
It’s another exquisite dish that you can prepare with the prawn of Camana. For the preparation 2 dozens of peeled prawn tails well washed,flour, green chilly pepper, onion, garlic, pepper, salt and oil. You coat with crumbs the prawn tails in a mixture of flour, salt, pepper and other spices to fry them in abundant oil until they are gold-colored and crunchy. They are served with manioc or potatoes.
How to reach Camana
Camana by train
There isnt nowadays a train route destination to Camana.
Camana by flight
There isnt an airport in Camana. The airport located closer to Camana is the one of Arequipa, but is placed at 3 hours of trip by land. So its not avery interesting option.
Camana by bus
You can get to Camana by bus from Arequipa, Desaguadero, Ica, Ilo, Nazca, Paracas and Tacna. If you travel from Lima there are various schedules, bus companies and rates. The companies are Tepsa, Oltursa, Excluciva, Civa and Romeliza, transportation companies that cover this route in about 13 hours, with bus tickets from s/ 70 to s/ 160.
Accomodations in Camana
Accomodations in Camana
In the city of Camana you won’t find many options to lodge. A lot of the accomodations have high rates, due to the few offer and huge demand in the high seasons (summer and important dates), so you won’t find a low-cost hotel nor a inn that is totally satisfactory.
Hostal San Diego
Location: Calle Alfonso Ugarte with Jr. 28 de Julio Price: s/ 100 - s/ 280 One of the hotels with more guests, due to the number of rooms and the services they provide. It’s recommended only in the high season, since it’s not the best you can find in the city, but the staff service is great. Inside the construction there is a restaurant and a bar.
Hotel de Turistas Camana
Location: Av. Lima 138 Price: between s/ 200 to s/ 400 This spacious hotel of 3 stars has all type of services for your comfort and pleasure. It’s located at few meters from the downtown and just at 10 minutes from the best beaches. In its construction you will enjoy the gastronomy variety of the region in the restaurant, relax in its gardens and spa and have a drink in the bar and a swim in the pool.
Camana Beach House
Location: Costanera Norte 990 Price: s/ 660 (2 nights) More than a lodge, this house in front of the sea offers a unique summer experience in the beach of Los Cerrillos. It has 3 rooms with space for 7 people, kitchen, balconies and a terrace. You can also enjoy for free the bicycles of the house to go through natural routes that Los Cerrillos offers.
Important dates in Camana
Anniversary of Camana
(November the 9th)
During the first weeks of November you can live the festive spirit that celebrates the anniversary of the Spanish foundation of the city with diverse activities, among the ones you can find the Corso de la Amistad, made in all the Av. Mariscal Castilla. Besides that you can get the best out of the gastronomy fairs and raft competitions made on the Punta Colorada bridge. The top day of this festival is November the 9th.
Festival of the Virgen de la Asunta
In this patron saint festival the locals from Camana pay tribute to the image of the Virgen de la Asunta with processions, liturgies and cultural events. The festival’s origin is a miracle that calmed the sea violence, safeguarding the integrity of the city in 1969; the miracle is attributed to this virgin.