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Tarija

(3.8/5 based on 180+ reviews for top 10 attractions)
Things to do: sightseeing, wineries, historic sites
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 subtropical highland (similar to the Bolivian cities of Cochabamba and Sucre), in contrast to the harsh cold of the Altiplano (i.e., La Paz) and 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. Tarija was claimed by Argentina until 1899, when it renounced its claims in exchange for the Puna de Atacama.
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