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Ilo is a port city in southern Peru. It is the largest city in the Moquegua Region and is the capital of the Ilo Province.


Puerto Ilo is a small port town on the very southern coast of Peru. Before the arrival of the Spanish in the mid 16th, the area was populated by the Chiribaya people . The Conquistadores were given land grants by Charles V and brought olives to this area. Olive agriculture was the main crop and source of work until the early 20th. century. A small settlement, Pacocha, was established by the seashore where Rio Osmore flows into the Pacific ocean. High tides in late 19th. century flooded Pacocha and the population moved to Ilo's current location and took its present name. Until the beginning of the 20th. century most of the people lived along the banks of the Rio Osmore, whose waters flow sporadically during the summer months. Ilo was a of port of call to the ships traveling from the east to the west coast of the United States via Tierra del Fuego; after the building of its pier in the 1800s, world commerce was increased. Italians, Chinese, Japanese, Germans settled in Ilo during this time. This international trade came to a stop with the building of the Transcontinental rail road and the Panama Canal. All that remained were steamships transporting commerce between Peruvian and Chilean ports.

Along with its Pier, a railroad was built to connect Ilo to Moquegua. The railroad took the name of Calamazo The original industries of the city include fishing and mining. Copper mines originally owned by the Southern Peru Copper Corporation (SPCC) provided many jobs to the region. SPCC was established by the American Smelting and Mining Corporation in the middle of the 20th century. Many Americans and Peruvians working for SPCC live in an area of Ilo called Ciudad Nueva. A copper smelter plant that was once owned by SPCC is located within 10 kilometers of the city, and has contributed to a large amount of air and water pollution in Ilo. The people of Ilo are very friendly, welcoming with open arms all visitors. Local swimming areas include Poso de Lisas and Puerto Ingles. Temperatures in Ilo range between 18 and 28 degrees Celsius year round. Rain is almost non existent, as Ilo is located in the Atacama desert, one of the driest coastal deserts in the world. The country of Bolivia has in the past utilized Ilo to conduct trade, giving them access ocean shipping.

Battle of Pacocha took place near Ilo.

Main attractions

The main attraction is without doubt the Urban Center whose landmarks are:

St. Jerome's temple, built in 1871

Glorieta Jose Galvez, built in 1915

State Pier, built at the end of 19th century

Punta Coles

Ilo has one of the largest copper smelters in the country. It also has a formerly state owned copper refinery. Both of these businesses are located at a distance from the urban center. These businesses have been known to affect the fish populations and the water. Ilo's industry appeared in the movie The Corporation as an example of environmental exploitation for profit.

Texas actor/writer, Brent Paxton, was an exchange student in Ilo in 2004.


Peruvian Navy Museum.

"El Algarrobal" Museum.

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Ilo

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