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Callao

Trip Planner South America  /  Peru  /  Lima Region  /  Callao
(4/5 based on 600+ reviews for 6 attractions)
Things to do: museums, nature
El Callao is the chief seaport of Peru. The city is also called Provincia Constitucional (Constitutional Province), the only province of the Callao Region. The Historic Centre of Callao is located 15km west of Historic Centre of Lima, the country's capital, and is part of the Lima Metropolitan Area. Callao borders Lima Province on the north, east and south, and the Pacific Ocean on the west.HistoryEl Callao was founded by Spanish colonists in 1537, just two years after Lima . It soon became the main port for Spanish commerce in the Pacific. The origin of its name is unknown; both Indian and Spanish sources are credited, but it is certain that it was known by that name since 1550. Other sources point to the similarity with the Portuguese word calhau, having a similar sound.At the height of the Viceroyalty, virtually all goods produced in Peru, Bolivia, and Argentina were carried over the Andes by mule to Callao, to be shipped to Panama, carried overland, and then transported on to Spain via Cuba.On 20 August 1836, during the Peru-Bolivian Confederacy, President Andrés de Santa Cruz mandated the creation of the Callao Littoral Province, which had political autonomy in its internal affairs. During the government of President Ramón Castilla, Callao was given the name of Constitutional Province, on 22 April 1857; before that, Callao had the name of Littoral Province. All of the other Peruvian provinces had been given their names by law, while Callao was given it by constitutional mandate.
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